In an effort to find an non U.S. beer off the beaten path for Sip with us Saturday, I found La Divine by Brasserie De Silly from Belgium.  Admittedly, I wanted go a bit more off the beaten path for this one but my choices were a little more limited.  Not that I’m complaining, I really enjoyed the brew.  Plus, I’ve already had a good beer from them.

The Pour: La Divine poured with a hazy copper colored head and offered a small, finely carbonated, and only minimally retained head.  The carbonation wasn’t as high as I would normally expect a Belgian Abbey brew to be.  However, there was a touch of decent lacing the liquid level reduced.

The Nose: Sticky and sweet, that is the best way to describe the nose.  The aromas of a barley and wine were very present.  Actually, the beer reminded of half beer, half red table wine.  There was a certain youngness and freshness to the brew, like a young wine.  Of course the sweet candy sugar tones were present as well as a bit of fruitiness.

The Taste: Like the nose, the taste was very refreshing and a bit sweet.  The wine-like qualities were to the fore on the palate as well.  A fresh fruitiness, candy sugar caramel sweetness, and a barely pop all helped to hide the 9.5% ABV of the brew.  Surprisingly, La Divine really dried out at the end (again, not unlike a red wine) and left a long lasting impression.

Overall, this is my favorite Belgian beer but it’s hard to denigrate it for much.  It was balanced in its high ABV, it was satisfyingly fresh and dry, and it was a joy to drink.  If one criticism was far to make about the brew, I suppose that the level of carbonation could be bumped up a fair amount.  The pillowy head and full carbonation of Belgians was lackluster on this one.

Mike’s Rating:

Overall Satisfaction: ★★★★☆ 

Among other Belgian Ales: ★★★¾☆