So I decided that a mere week and 3 days after bottling the Belgian Warriors, I was going to pop one open. I didn't expect any carbonation, but I heard a nice "chhhahh" sound when I opened the bottle and immediately got excited. The beer poured beautifully with a thick head that held for a while. I took about 20 pictures until I got one that I was happy with and the head didn't change throughout. Usually with my homebrews, I have to be a bit more efficient with the camera phone. By the way, it did not mesh well a shrimp cocktail, but I never claimed to be good at food and beer pairing.
The color you can't really see is a nice brown. It matches a lot of Belgian Dubbels well, but shows some red when held up to the light.
The smell is very complex. There is some maltiness, there is a toastiness, and then there are the hops. The hops are the main character here, but due to the other notes, the cascades and saaz mix doesn't come off as very familiar. There is a cleanness to the hop smell that I dare say might come from the bittering hop: the Warriors. The liquor smell that was there before bottling has faded into the background.
The taste greets with a good balance of bitterness and malt. It stings just a little, and I am surprised at how well it carbonated already. I wasn't patient enough after putting it in the fridge and it's kind of lukewarm. I think it should definitely be served a bit colder. But I am not disappointed. The middle is full and satisfying. This is a pretty big beer after all. The end is bitter, a bit too bitter. A tart Warrior hop finish is not what I was going for, but that only makes me look forward to the next s
ip. Overall I am very happy with the result and would definitely brew something similar again. I think it would be cool if it ended with more of a roasty note instead of the bitterness.
I drank it fast and I only had those 7 shrimp in my belly, but at 9%, I can really feel it.
I am aware that as a brewer, I tend to appreciate my own brews more than other people. Because of that, I will limit myself to a max rating of 8 out of 10. That being said, I give this a 7 out of 8 out of 10 SHRIMP CONFUSIONS!