Sunday evening’s review of another Xmas night’s beer – Leffe Radieuse

This is it the final beer in the Xmas selection my sister brought be back from Brussels. It’s definitely taken longer cataloguing all the various beers for my blog than it did to drink them – in the case of this Leffe Radieuse I am posting about it almost a month after I drank it – so excuse me if my recollections are a little clouded (especially as I also lost the phone I was making notes on while drinking).

I've had this empty bottle kicking around in my room since Xmas...

‘First thing I should say is that I find the use of too much red, pink or purple on beer packaging quite off-putting – as I noted in my Chimay review.

These types of colours always make me think the beer is fruit flavoured and once I have that idea in my head it really influences my taste buds to report ‘fruity, fruity, fruity’ while drinking it.  Obviously Leffe beers tend to have fruity edges or hints to them but you want those in the back-ground, supporting the hops, wheat and spices etc. not dominating the show.

As another Leffe brand extension I was struggling to understand where Leffe Radieuse fitted into a line-up which already spans Blonde (bottle or canned), Bruin, the bottle-conditioned Triple and my personal favourite: the super-strong aperitif the Neuf.

So is the Radieuse just an insignificant differentiation in InBev’s branding strategy – designed to squeeze a few curious Euros from their loyal drinkers?

Here's the seal on the Radieuse - but where does this beer fit into the line up? (and why is the bottle detailing in pink?)

The Leffe website has a good description of the Radieuse here. it describes it as a ‘gourmet beer’ that is the pride of ‘every brewer’ (or brewing robot at InBev?). It apparently has specially selected hops that give it the bitter taste that connoisseurs are ‘mad about’ (not sure that is really the best choice of words by the official site there).

It has fruity accents and earthy overtones apparently, 8.2% alcohol volume and is best served at 5-6 degrees C.

My impressions were basically that it tasted like a purer version of the Leffe Bruin, with more edge and a more silky mouth-feel. Apparently coriander is one of the key ingredients – which seems a bit strange to me – but I must admit I could not taste it.

The Radieuse is definitely up there with the Triple and Neuf in terms of hit as it makes its way down your throat, rests in your tummy and and then filters into your blood. I would imagine after 2 or 3 bottles of this your might be rather enjoying yourself ^^.

I had a look online for the definition of ‘Radieuse’ and what I got is ‘brilliant’ and ‘Luminous’. For me this is definitely the beer in the Leffe collection that has been crafted for visuals.

The Radieuse - maybe the best looking liquid in the world? As you can see once again I have not managed to get much of a head on my Leffe.

I assume the closest English translation would be: ‘Leffe Radiant’ – the dark, bronze-ruby colours burst from the glass and break and refract the light gloriously as you raise the glass. It conjures images of the god-rays of sunlight streaming through the ancient stain-glass windows of the Trappist Abbeys where it’s brewed, the monks shuffling about their worship.

The Leffe website less dramatically describes the Radieuse’s visuals as a ‘unique golden-brown colour that plays a staring role on any table.’ This suggests that it’s place in the Leffe portofolio is as a dinner-party type beer, to bring out and dramatically pour before candle-light when you have people to impress. (not sure that I will every be doing that personally…hopefully…)

Well that finishes up all my Xmas beer blogging, so I can finally move into 2011 for some new beer activities. I am planning to get down to my Mum and Dad’s local pub The Viper to learn something about some English beers as it’s all been very Belgian in here recently, I am also looking to do some beer and cheese matching.

Anyway I’ll leave you with this image to ponder:

A Leffe and a nice cup of tea...almost impossible to choose between the two on a Sunday evening...which would you go for?

Leady 247 ^^

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2 responses to “Sunday evening’s review of another Xmas night’s beer – Leffe Radieuse

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