Belize Brewing Company Belikin Stout - 6.5% ABV
So there I was, sitting at the bar at a resort in Belize (poor me, right?) wondering which piss water Caribbean beer I was going to gag down for the next several days. Red Stripe? Gag. Kalik? Gag. Corona? Double gag.
"A beer I guess" I replied to the bartenders query.
"What kind"? he asked with his slightly accented English.
"Urk ... do you have any with flavor"? I asked, fearing the worst.
"Have you tried Belikin"?
"No, but I guess I will give it a shot" I sighed.
"Do you want the lager, the Premium or the Stout"?
At this point the few brain cells that I have left fired up and I recalled that Belize used to be an English colony called British Honduras. British. Why wouldn't there be a stout?
"Kind sir, I would love to try the stout".
Now the next several hours are a bit blurry due to the quantity of Belikins that followed, but I seem to recall my initial impression as having the gates of heaven open and a choir of angels singing, but I could be misremembering. Regardless, over the next several days I experimented enough with the beer to be pretty damned sure that my initial impression was not as seen through rose colored glasses.
The Belikin Brewing Company was founded in 1969, well before independence from England, and their brewing line has 4 stouts. 4. Four. Quattro. Damn, I wish that I had tried them all. The bottle for the stout is the same as for the lager with only the color of cap to show the difference, but not to worry, you won't confuse them. Oddly, they also brew Guinness Stout which is not the typical stout sold in the U.S. and Europe. "This wonderful rich beer is brewed by our brew masters at the Belize Brewing Company Ltd in Belize according to the original recipe from Ireland under the direct supervision and quality standards of Guinness Ltd. from Dublin, Ireland" and is a potent 7.5% ABV. I wish that I had tried it.
The stout is almost black and has a thick, rich texture, almost like a porter. The smell is rich as well, with molasses, licorice and coffee. The flavor is also surprisingly rich with dark fruits, roasted malts, licorice, molasses and hops appearing at the end, very complex and decidedly un-Caribbean (halleluiah). I was so impressed that I actually did not feel the need to look for another beer during the whole trip. I have heard rumors that Belikin is available in parts of the U.S. so if you know where I can find it ......
Belize Brewing Company
One King Street
Belize City, Belize