Leute Bok – A Beer with a Wooden Foot


The label of this strong dark ale from Van Steenberge apparently relates back to the farm brewery days when goats did what goats do alongside the bordering hop fields. The past tense is appropriate as the production of the beer, first brewed in 1927, stopped together with the farming activities. Finally, in 1999, production was restarted and, to help the beer on it’s way in the modern world, it – or better said, the Leute Bok tumbl(ing)er glass, was given a wooden foot.

The glass cannot stand alone so you either have to hold it or place it in the foot. Obviously a challenge if you drink too much!

In my opinion such gimmicks are totally unecessary; a beer should be able to stand on it’s own feet, especially when it comes from the brewer of the top class Gulden Draak and Piraat beers. People, especially tourists, however, seem to rate gimmicks above the beer; take Kwak from Bosteels as a good example.

So, is Leute Bok, a worthy sibling for Gulden Draak and Piraat or just another beer with a gimmick.
In the glass it looks good; dark reddish brown with an impressive light tan head that unfortunately receded fairly quickly to a half finger thickness and left little in the way of lacing.

The aroma is of yeast, malt and some fruit, notably fig and prune which came through more as the beer warmed. A slight caramel sweetness was up front in the taste together with dryish malt grain. The feeling was like having a weak coffee with a square of milk chocolate to try and cancel out a stale cigar taste. Fig and prune come through and there is a little bitterness but they couldn’t really balance the equation.

The finish is dryish and the alcohol (7.5%) tentatively shows itself at the end.

Sadly, the beer didn’t work for me; so the answer is: just another beer with a gimmick.



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