Tsjeeses is pronounced as something in between ‘cheeses’ and ‘Jesus’ – the cheeky play on words, and slightly risqué characature is very much intended. It is Struise’s much-loved winter seasonal offering. A few years back, it started life as a much lighter-coloured beer, but over the years has been getting progressively more amber in colour.
The base beer is a lovely strong blond/amber ale, with cane sugar and spiced add to the mix. And then the lucky batches are aged in either bourbon or port barrels for a good soaking. So this is the 2014 Bourbon barrel version.
As mentioned, the beer pours a dark blonde to amber colour, giving an inviting aroma of caramel malt, dried stone fruits, banana and a good dose of bourbon.
The flavour reveals much the same in the heavy malt, slightly sticky body. There is sweetness of caramel and brown sugar, lots of fruit flavours from figs and dates, to dried apricot and peach. A slight woody character sits in behind the sweet, warming bourbon notes.
This is a sipper, allow it to warm up a little and it will evolve over time.