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A delicious, subtle beer, brewed from barley , wheat and oats (as was commonplace in the Low Countries in the Middle Ages). Biscuit, hop, dates and alcohol aroma; sweet/bitterish taste; with honey, toffee, alcohol and raisin aromas; bitter/sweet finish with honey, liquorice and toffee aromas. A traditional Lambiek and Kriekenlambiek still survive on an unofficial basis, though the only place I've ever seen them is at the Opstal "Weekend der Spontane Gisting" festival. Smoke, perfume and tobacco aroma; bitterish taste with biscuit and wood aromas; bitter finish with tobacco, wood and herbal aromas.
One of my favourite Belgian beers and one of the best new beers of the last 20 years. A beer that has improved markedly (or my tastebuds have) since my last tasting. No doubt some pubs in the Payottenland still serve them, too. A pleasant and drinkable beer, that still retains its hop character (unlike most of its rivals). Tobacco, wood and smoke aroma; sweet/bitter taste with hop, vanilla, honey and cherry aromas; very bitter finish with biscuit, hop, herbal and fruit aromas.
A recent innovation is an unfiltered version of Speciale Palm dispensed by handpump. This is where they leave beer for two years to go sour. A tripel with a pleasingly high level of bitterness. Unlike many other small Belgian breweries, Slaghmuylder continues to brew both top- and bottom-fermenting beers and has built separate fermenting rooms for them.
I suspect a change in the proportions of old and new beer which are blended to produce it. Mid-brown colour with a dense head; plum, cream, spice and chocolate aroma; sweet/bitter taste with black chocolate, pepper, toffee, roast and fruit aromas; bitter finish with black chocolate, burnt, liquorice, toffee and chicory aromas.
A couple of outlets offer uncut old beer served by handpump. Now Westvleteren Red has gone, this will have to do.
As mass-market beers go, they're up there with the very best. Yellow colour, small-beaded head; pepper, grass, mint and piss aroma; sweet/bitter taste with grass, mint, alcohol and sugar aromas; bitter finish with alcohol, resin and sugar aromas. Vegetable, raisin, grass and metal aroma; sweetish/bitterish taste with cardboard, celery and dust aromas; bitter finish with wood, grass and cardboard aromas. With the possible exception of Grimbergen Optimo Bruno I wouldn't cross the street to drink any of their beers. Dark brown colour, tight, lasting head; herbal, cream, mint and toffee aromas; sweet/bitterish taste with dates, toffee, honey, cream and herbal aromas; bitterish finish with toffee, liquorice, pepper and cream aromas. Mid-brown colour with a dense tan head; cream, pepper and biscuit aroma; sweetish/bitterish taste with cream, plum, chocolate, pepper and toffee aromas; bitter finish with plum, roasted, chicory and cream aromas. (Tasted ) All articles and photos on these pages (unless otherwise stated) are property of Ron Pattinson.
It doesn't stop the rest of Interbrew's Belgian beers being total crap, though. Pale amber colour, large rocky head; coriander, hop and dust aromas; sweet taste with boiled sweets, cream and biscuit aromas; bitterish finish with perfume, pepper and milk aromas. Liquorice, chicory, toffee and chocolate aroma; very sweet/bitterish taste with alcohol, raisin, apple, herbal and caramel aromas; bitter finish with liquorice, chicory, black toffee and hop aromas. At least a healthy dose of hops balances out the sweetness. An unsubtly alcoholic beer with suspiciously little yeast sediment. A quite horrible beer with masses of bad or inappropriate flavours. Emmanuel Slaghmuylder founded the brewery in 1860 and it is still owned by his direct descendents. I would jump into the canal to avoid some of the range. Very pale yellow colour with a rocky head; basil, cinnamon, tobacco and lemon; sweetish/bitterish taste with lemon, honey and basil aromas; bitterish finish with wood, tobacco and honey aromas. A big bruiser of a beer that's quite likely to fell you with a single blow. A mahogany ale with a touch of sweetness and a good dose of malt bitterness. If you would like permission to reproduce either on your own site or in a book, please contact me first.