Saturday, October 3, 2015

Linden leads in Lakewood's Legendary Saint Dymphna

Image credit: Lakewood Brewing Company.

In the two-plus years since it instituted the Legendary Series, Lakewood Brewing Co. has played upon the inspiration of various apparitions and mythological characters, but the most recent release is devoted to a saint.

As reported here prior to the beer's release, Saint Dymphna, the person, was a seventh-century Christian martyr who devoted her life to the mentally ill. She's the patron saint of Geel, Belgium and it is there that the Chapel of Saint Dymphna sits next to a 500-year old linden tree. Lakewood founder and Belgian native Wim Bens played near that tree as a child, with the recollection of those days influencing the creation of this modern-day brew.

A Belgian-style tripel by design, Saint Dymphna is brewed with Belgian candi sugar and linden tree flowers. The resulting beer is clear with golden amber hues and an aroma which gives off a distinctive floral essence. Taking that one step further, while linden is a species of lime tree, if anything the blossom gives Saint Dymphna a subtle and tempered lemon character.
Image the property of Brown.

Considering other flavors, the beer is malty with notes of dried fruit, bread yeast, spice and a light herbal element. There's a sweetness that lingers throughout the experience as well, balanced somewhat by a fairly firm bitterness in the finish. On the topic of feel, Saint Dymphna is medium-bodied and well-carbonated, though, the beer drinks lighter and with a softer palate than those descriptors, and an original gravity reading of 1.085, might imply. It's moderate in terms of strength, having a mid-range ABV of 8.6%, with little or no evidence of alcohol in either the aroma or taste.

As for an overall impression, from an objective point of view Saint Dymphna is exactly what you'd expect out of a tripel. It's a beer with a complex mix of fruit and spice built upon a sturdy malt foundation, and it has more than a little strength. For my own taste, I'd probably like the sweetness to be toned just a bit, and for the florals to be a little less forward, but it's understood the latter is a featured element of the beer based on its inspiration.

* Originally published on

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