Rio Reserva (2009, 75cl edition)
by De Struise Brouwers (brewery website)
Origin: Oostvleteren, Belgium – Type: Belgian Quadrupel – Alcohol: 10.5%
De Struise Brouwers are a Belgium brewery residing in Oostvleteren, who produce some of Belgium’s biggest, complex, explosive but well balanced beers available – which is huge acclaim considering they are from Belgium!
They are one of my personal favourite breweries and if you are not familiar with them I would recommend their Pannepot (Belgian Dark Strong Ale) or Elliot Brew (Double IPA) beers to start you off.
This Rio Reserva (from 2009) though, may just be my favourite De Struise beer thus far…
The beer has a strong aroma of caramel, biscuit, toffee, sultanas and just a hint of the 10.5% ABV.
It tastes super smooth which is largely due to the barrel aging. I tried the 2011 version of this beer recently and the distinctive flavours were more individual and potent, where as this blends all of them together effortlessly.
The beer gives flavours of caramel, biscuit, toffee, vanilla, bourbon and sultanas with some warmth from the alcohol.
Everything is blended incredibly well and the mouthfeel comes largely from the alcoholic backbone with a slight syrupy feel, but overall this is a very smooth and luxurious beer.
All the bitterness and malt flavours come at the back end of this beer and form the lingering after taste with the accompanying warmth from the alcoholic content of the beer.
This an extremely well balanced, smooth and luxurious beer. The taste is huge and so is the ABV but none of these get in the way of the enjoyment of the beer.
The little extra: Rio Reserva was brewed back in 2008 in collaboration with Ryohei Sugawa San – brew master at Rio Brewing & Co.
Where we bought it: Beer Mania, Brussels – I highly recommend this beer store if you are in the area!
Where you can find it