Oddly Scottish-leaning Belgian gnome. Chestnutty, low-foaming, weak-headed brew with an aroma of… not a great deal; vague malt with a bit of stickiness. The flavour follows this. The "Mc" bit seems to be part of an odd Belgian affiliation with Scotland, and a deep confusion about what the Gaels drink. There is a similar beer which claims all sorts of tartan connections, but which is brewed in Antwerp, and only visits its supposed birthplace in tins, on the cheap. This beer feeds the Belgian love of the sweet and alcoholic (8%) but lacks in nearly every other reportable factor, which is a shame, as the chaps at LaChouffe can really brew, of which more later.
A rather quaint, artisanal-looking beer with a grolsh-style opening which makes a Pavlovian pop. Mild, light head which disappears in a moment. Aroma is mild but light, elderflower and citrussy, colour is more amber than your standard lager. Taste is distinctly biscuitty and moreish, there’s enough bitterness to it that it’s not cloying, but it has the carbohydrate Pringles quality which makes you want to take a full mouthful and keep topping up. Not overstated on the flavour, hence very drinkable, though I shouldn’t want more than a gallon. Jesus, it’s 9.5%.
It’s not due to it being the third of tonight’s review subjects that I can’t work out what this is called—it genuinely seems confused. Named after some chap from sixteenth century Gent, variously called Charles Quint and Keizer Karel, it is "robin red" although the actual delivery suggests rather a wet robin. It foams nicely but not excessively and smells of bonfire toffee, and tastes only slightly lighter. I wouldn’t say I don’t like it, but it doesn’t taste of beer. If it were flat, what would it be? There’s some hop to it, but it’s more like a mead for its profound sugariness. Shan’t be laying any down for the summer. 8.5%