Abbaye de Leffe 9 degrees - 9% ABV
So do you think that the American craft beer movement has any effect on
beers being produced in Europe? Perhaps not directly. I have not found one of the bars or pubs with a large selection of beers carrying any of the American craft brews. However, I have found many of the old established brewers releasing new lines of beer with increases hops and flavor. For instance Abbaye de Leffe has been producing beers since 1200 with recipes handed down from generation to generation for over 800 years. Suddenly they decided to release a new beer with a face full of flavors.
9 degrees is much like the staid Leffe Blonde in character, but then they gave it a dose of enhancement that is kind of hard to pin down, kind of like Lance Armstrong. What they did is use a new brewing process which brews the beers at a slightly higher temperature. The result is a dark golden beer that pours with an insignificant head and has the smell of a Saison. The flavor is fairly sweet up front but finishes with a hoppy bite that does not linger. The underlying spices and slight smokiness add quite a complex character. of course you can be assured that even with this new line the brewers will stick with the tradition of producing a magnificent, balanced beer.
9 degrees is not available in the States yet and may never make the jump, but they are surely determined to keep the U.S. brewers from jumping the other way.
Abbaye Notre Dame de Leffe S.A.