I think it was the weight of expectation that made me avoid Holgate’s Beelzebub’s Jewels. See, I’m a fan of Holgate and Beelzebub was one of the few Holgate beers I hadn’t tried. That was because it used to come in a big champagne-style bottle and had a starting price of $70.
Being an unabashed cheapskate who thinks $40 for a beer makes me a big spender, I was never going to be able to fork over $70 for a bottle of this.
So you could colour me stoked when the guys at Holgate chose to put the 2013 version in 500ml bottles, which meant a lower price tag. Under that magical $40 threshold.
At that price I bought one, felt like a big spender and expected a great deal from it. Which was why I delayed drinking it – I felt it wouldn’t be able to match my expectations and I’d end up disappointed. But, as it turns out that was stupid thinking because it does meet all those expectations – Beelzebub’s Jewels really delivered.
Oh my, how it did. So much so that I wished I’d bought two of them. But it was a good thing that I hadn’t because I would have drunk it straight after the first. At 11 per cent alcohol per bottle, that wouldn’t have been a smart decision.
What we have with Beelzy is a Belgian quad aged in pinot noir barrels. It pours a deep cola-brown colour. Stick your nose in the glass and you get some phenomenal vanilla oak and pinot noir aromas. Made me want to stop and sniff some more before taking a sip.
And that sip was very special. Sweet, syrupy, oaky, with vanilla, fruitcake and further hints of sultana. Not a skerrick of an alcohol burn either, which is very impressive for such a big beer. This one went down so, so, so, so smooth.
I’m so hoping this year’s Beelzy comes in those 500ml bottles. Cause I’m buying one for sure.