While on holiday in St Louis, I tried a variety of beer.
The first I tried was the 1554 Enlightened Black Ale, by the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, CO. This was in the fridge at Ben's parents' house, left over from a mixed pack, and the label described it as a dark malty ale with chocolate flavors. Sounded right up my alley!
I poured it into a glass and found it to be quite black, almost stout-like in appearance, except with more head. The taste was also stout-like, with a nice malty chocolate aftertaste. It's only 5.6% ABV, so it doesn't pack too big a punch.
It's a pretty tasty brew, and if you like stouts or would like them better if they weren't quite as heavy, give this a try.
Then when we went out for dinner the next night, I tried Duvel. It's from the Duvel brewery in Belgium. It's a Belgian strong pale ale, which means that it's hoppy, slightly fruity, and may contain spices. An SPA is pale in color, ranging from whitish-yellow to gold, and has a higher ABV (around 8%). Hence, strong.
The Duvel was a clear yellow-gold color, and because I don't know the trick of the perfect pour, it didn't get the big foamy head. But that's OK; it still tasted good. The flavor was nice, not too bitter, with hints of spices (coriander, maybe?)
It's a lot like Hoegaarden, if it were less yeasty and twice as alcoholic. Considering that I'd be content to drink Hoegaarden forever, that's saying a lot.
The next day, we went out to a famous restaurant/pub called Blueberry Hill, where I tried Delirium Tremens. It's another import, from Brouwerij Huyghe in Belgium. It's also a strong pale ale.
The lighting was too dim to get a good look at the color of the beer, but it was pale amber. The taste was nice; slightly hoppy but not horribly bitter. I'd drink it again if given the chance, though it's more of a summery brew than winter. I'm finding it difficult to recall precisely the flavor of this beer, but that doesn't mean it's an unassuming, bland beer. It's kind of like if a white beer didn't have the spices in it and had twice the ABV. It doesn't have the yeasty sweetness of a Hefeweizen, either.