De Regenboog ‘t Smisje Plus Imperial IPA

This lovely little bottle was found while browsing the shelves of The Four Firkins. Brewed by Brewery De Regenboog (Rainbow in Dutch) in Assebroek-Brugge, Beligum. From the very small amount of information I can find about this brewery it appears it was started in 1995 by Johan Brandt who had a great passion for brewing and started making beer once a week with a capacity on only one barrel. As of 1999 he was brewing twice a week producing 1.5 barrels, as of 2006 according to B. United International Inc. (De Regenboog’s importer) he was trying to find an upgraded facility where he could produce 6 barrels at a time. It wouldn’t surprise me if he has had success as beer advocate/rate beer have many beers attributed to De Regenboog and I was able to get this all the way over in Minnesota. ‘t Smisje Plus is their Imperial IPA and I am excited to try this small batch brew, on to the fun part. Holy carbonation, upon opening this beer and watching the first drops hit the side of the glass, this beer creates a massively carbonated head the beginning of which fades very rapidly the rest settling more slowly, forcing me to pause many times during my pour to not over flow my glass with white foam. As the head settles you can see the delicious hazy orange color of this beer completely opaque and unfiltered, almost looking a bit like peach or apricot juice. This brew has a very nice aroma, smelling a bit more sweet than I expected with very nice malt aromas and some apricot like fruity aromas you may be used to detecting in Belgian Ales. Some alcohol is present in the nose but very little bitterness. Wow, this beer has flavor. Here are the bitter hop flavors I was looking for, rather intense initially but as you let this beer flow onto your palate your taste buds will do a 180 over to sweet smooth slightly floral almost fruit like flavors. Bitter flavors definitely linger in the after taste but even though this beer is 10% ABV the complex balance of this beer makes it rather unnoticeable to me. This beer makes me think about how much I appreciate the differences between beers made in varying parts of the world. The Belgian yeast and malts create a wonderful contrast between the bitter hop flavors in this beer producing a lovely drinking experience. The mouthfeel of this beer is meduim, with out a particularly heavy body making this a drinkable but intense ale. This is very obviously a Belgian influenced Imperial IPA so if you enjoy a good Belgian Ale and don’t mind a few bitter flavors you will likely dig this beer. Not the perfect beer for a hop head but still a worth beer for any lover of artisan beer, you will certainly enjoy its unique attempt at the style particularly if you are used to the American counterparts. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
't Smisje Plus Pndia Pale Ale

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