Till relatively recently, I knew of De Molen only by reputation. My trip to Amsterdam for the opening of Beer Temple gave me a swift introduction to their world via the wonderful De Molen Black Jack, and their Mout & Mocca, which I did not enjoy so much. I also came back with a small selection of bottles from that house of delights that is De Bierkoning.
One of those was the De Molen Rasputin, a Russian Imperial Stout as the name might suggest. Pouring an almost flat, turgid, inky brown, it gives off a thick, chocolatey, vanilla, bourbon cream aroma, with hints of licorice. On first sip the impression is of a beautifully rich chocolate dessert. There's an almost smoky roastiness, and a blackcurrant-like fruitiness that shows most in the finish. This is certainly focussed on the big, rich, chocolatey malts, and the bitterness,as big as the numbers say it is, is definitely in the background. Sweet, thick and rather delicious, it does not taste like the 10.7% ABV that it is.
As a home brewer, the De Molen labels are interesting as they give some prime statistics such as gravity readings, brewed and bottled date as well as the hops used and the IBUs. Perhaps utilitarian, I find them quite attractive.
And now I have that damn Boney M song rattling around my head...