De Ranke Noir De Dottignies (Belgian Dark Ale)

I mean, it comes wrapped in parchment paper, need I really say more?  When you get beer that comes wrapped in parchment paper from across the Atlantic with a picture of a Church on it you shut up and drink it.  I sort of imagined this thing being shipped over on a pirate ship from another time period and that was perhaps backed up by the fact that it’s neither filtered or pasteurized.  We’ve been pasteurizing beer for close to 100 years now so between that and the wrapping paper this is a bit of a throw back, a way throw back.

I felt kind of like the dad from “A Christmas Story” as I opened this package that could easily be marked fra-gee-lay, except this time it wasn’t from Italy, it was from Belgium.  It was almost as if I didn’t want to ruin the presentation, or maybe I could even place it in the front window for the neighborhood to see.  Not sure my wife would like that anymore then the wife from “A Christmas Story” did in that case though.

This build up caused me to be a little let down on first taste, but the Bitter Belgian would win eventually.  Noir is becoming the it word in beer these days.  Nobody wants to simply say dark or black anymore I suppose.  These guys are from Belgium though, so they get a pass, how could they know how played out a word like Noir is in Williamsburg. 

It poured like a Coca-Cola, but somehow didn’t taste like one at all.  As I drank it you could feel brick roads and hand carved wooden barns.  Whatever scenic is in my head for Belgium, that’s where it was at.  This wasn’t a beer you drank to party, this was a beer you drank after a long hard day of work.  This is a beer you drink after milking cows for 20 hours or some shit. 

The beer was heavy and high in alcohol content, I can’t find the actual % on the bottle, but I know it was somewhere in the 9% range just by drinking it.  The bottle matches the beer, it’s so heavy on the bottom that I constantly thought there was more.  I hoped so too.

All in all, it was a beautiful beer.  Who am I kidding?  If it’s from Belgium it’s going to be dope, these folks don’t play around.  That said, it had the curve ball of being a dark from those parts.  The polish was still there, that sheen that can only be described as “Belgian flavor” cut through the dark and hoppy edges like a knife through butter.

The paper had a bunch of hands on it that reminded me of some sort of important warning from the 80’s.  I think they’re just saying, “give me more of this shit” though.  If I had another bottle, it’d be drank.  Just saying.  One.

Visit them here: http://www.deranke.be/en/index_en.htm