Tag Archives: Belgian style Wheat Beers

153. Abbaye des Rocs Blanche des Honnelles

Here’s a beer that’s been sat in the Official Threehundredbeers Cellar (my spare room) for a while now. A lazy summer Sunday afternoon seems an appropriate time to crack open a chilled Belgian-style Wheat Beer

Abbaye des Rocs Banche des Honnelles

I always expect this style of beer to pour a cloudy white, but Blanche des Honnelles is another that comes out a vibrant golden colour. As always with a wheat beer, there’s that moment of indecision where you try to remember whether you’re supposed to pour the yeast into the glass too. A dilemma which resolves itself when you realise you’ve already plopped half of it in there while you were making up your mind.

The body is full and smooth, perhaps as a result of oats being used alongside wheat and presumably barley. There’s a pleasant, subtle citrus aroma which reminds you that some folks like to add a slice of lemon to this style of beer. You wouldn’t do that in public, of course, but I think it would work.

Beyond that, in terms of flavour, there isn’t a great deal going on. Instead it’s just a drinkable, refreshing tipple.

Indeed, this is quite an inoffensive beer, and you can see why it’s popular in Belgium with the sort of drinker for whom a stonking great double-figures behemoth like Bush Ambrée or a rich, dark Quad such as Rochefort 10 might not hit the spot. The respectable 6% ABV strength is well hidden too. Blindfolded, I’d probably guess that Blanche des Honnelles weighed in closer to about 4%.

It’s nice enough, all in all. A pefectly fine example of its style, but it’s a beer that doesn’t leave a great deal to say here.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Brasserie de l’Abbaye des Rocs, Montignies-sur-Roc, Belgium
Style: Belgian-style Wheat Beers
Strength: 6.0% ABV
Found at: Beers of Europe
Serving: 330ml bottle

138. Caracole Troublette

Here’s a beer that’s been sat around the house, and indeed somewhat neglected for a while since it arrived in a case from Beers of Europe a year or so ago.

Whilst I’m not typically a great fan of the Belgian-style Wheat Beers, I’ll keep an open mind. I have tried one Caracole beer, their Ambrée, at Poechenellekelder in Brussels, and it was very good indeed.

Let’s give this one a chance.

Caracole Troublette

There’s that slightly murky golden colour so typical of the style, though it’s a little less cloudy than some, despite a reasonably hard pour to make sure any yeast gets in there, which appears to be the done thing.

It smells distinctly Belgian: when it comes to beer, Belgium is all about the yeast, and as expected it’s prominent here.

To my surprise, I actually rather like this one. It’s light but not as watery as the Blanche de Namur. If anything, it’s a little more like a standard Belgian blonde than any wheat beer I can remember.

There’s an interesting citrus tang in there, and I wonder if Troublette contains a hint of orange peel, which is a common addition to this style of beer. There’s a subtle but pleasing peppery hop bitterness which is a rarity for a Belgian beer, but welcome all the same.

Served chilled, this would be a thoroughly refreshing summer beer. I can well imagine myself sipping one on the terrace outside Poechenellekelder while watching the tourists go by.

You know, that gives me an idea. Stay tuned…

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Brasserie Caracole, Falmignoul, Belgium
Style: Belgian-style Wheat Beers
Strength: 5.5% ABV
Found at: Beers of Europe
Serving: 330ml bottle

64. Hoegaarden

One of the slight downsides of the 300 Beers project is that occasionally I’ll have to sample a beer that I already know I’m not keen on. Hoegaarden, almost certainly the most famous of the Belgian-style Wheat Beers, is a case in point. But never mind, let’s give it another try.

Hoegarden was created in 1966 by Belgian milkman Pierre Celis, regardless of what the “Anno 1445” on the label is intended to imply. It’s made with 55% malted barley and 45% unmalted wheat, and spiced with milled coriander seeds and dried Curaçao orange peel. Finally, each bottle is primed with a small amount of sugar and fresh yeast, to encourage subsequent fermentation in the bottle.


I’m struck that Hoegaarden pours a pale, golden straw colour, in contrast to the cloudy whitish colour I remember it being. I wonder if the yeast in this particular bottle has settled more than usual in the several months it has been sat in the kitchen while I dragged my heels over drinking it.

It certainly smells like a wheat beer, albeit a fairly light one, with those distinctive Belgian esters present as ever. Served chilled, Hoegaarden is a reasonably refreshing, summery beer, but it just isn’t exciting. There’s a bit of a void where the flavour should be—I can barely detect either the coriander or the orange peel—and I wonder if that’s why some folks like to dress Hoegaarden up with a slice of lemon, so that at least it tastes of something.

While I’ll probably never know for sure, it’s a little hard to believe that today’s Hoegaarden, brewed in vast quantities by international brewing giant AB InBev, let us not forget, is quite the same beer that old Pierre gave up his milk round for back in the sixties.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Brouwerij Hoegaarden (AB InBev), Hoegaarden, Belgium
Style: Belgian-style Wheat Beers
Strength: 4.9% ABV
Found at: Maxy Supermarket, Norwood Road, London SE24
Serving: 330ml Bottle

35. Du Bocq Blanche de Namur

We were hardly likely to be staying away from Belgium for long, in retrospect. In fact this one is Belgian and a Wheat Beer. I can barely contain myself.


Clearly I jest, but to put it politely, this is a beer for people with more subtle tastes than my own. At a paltry 4.5% ABV and a mere 12 bitterness units, it was never going to set pulses racing.

Blanche de Namur tastes like Hoegaarden, obviously, but it’s an emaciated, watery version of Hoegaarden. Honestly, beyond a faint whiff of the typical Belgian esters, the overriding flavour here is actually of water.

Supposedly the ingredients include coriander and bitter orange peel; maybe I’ve had one too many Imperial Stouts recently, but my taste buds can’t detect them.

I never set out to post overly negative reviews, and tend to feel bad if I do, but quite frankly, this is a crushingly dull beer.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Brasserie du Bocq s.a., Purnode, Belgium
Style: Belgian-style Wheat Beers
ABV: 4.5%
Found at: Bossman Wines, Lordship Lane, London SE22
Dispense: 330ml Bottle