Pannepot has been a beer I have wanted to try for quite some time now. I've never actually seen it at the store, though, and never traded for it, so it's been sort of out of sight, out of mind. Being the #30 beer on the Ratebeer Top 100 of 2011, I definitely knew I had to try it.
In a stroke of luck, I found it and a few bottlers of Bell's Oracle at a bottle shop out in the 'burbs after a round of furniture shopping (fun, right?). I popped it open to enjoy that same night.
The 11.2oz bottle pours a inch of light brown head over a dark, dark brown body. The smell is everything you could ever want from a dark Belgian beer: a complex mix of raisins and figs, vanilla, and an almost spicy cider taste. You can smell the booze, which isn't surprising considering how young the beer is and the 10% ABV.
This is a powerful tasting beer. There is so much going on, all of it perfectly melded together. The dark fruits are the most obvious taste, with a molasses or brown sugar sweetness. You can also taste a mild bit of spices; maybe cinnamon and/or anise. There is a good bit of alcohol in the taste, as well.
This is both medium bodied and carbonated and has a bit of burn from the 10%.
This is an absolutely tremendous Belgian beer. I think it might be tied for my favorite dark Belgian ale with Rochefort 10, another which blew me away. I would love to try a bottle with a few more years of age on it to see if the booze mellowed out a bit. That would make it pretty much perfect.
I give Pannepot by De Struise Brouwers an A. Two thumbs up!
Beer Advocate: A