Uiltje Talus Trojan Horse Belgian Double IPA and gilding the lily

Uiltje Talus Trojan Horse Belgian Double IPA and gilding the lily

John ShearlockSep 29, '23
The story of the Trojan horse is as old as storytelling itself. You know it right? The one where the Greeks sack the city of Troy by leaving a splendid horse gift at the city gates. The Trojans unwittingly accept the gift (well it’s hard to turn down a giant majestic wooden horse right!), only to find it’s full of Greek soldiers who open the city gates that night allowing in an army. It’s now a metaphor for a trick or deception that results in a foe being invited into a home or place of security. Think of the Trojan Horse malware that used to wipe our computers back in the (good ‘ol) days…

So, the Trojan Horse in my opinion, isn't really a positive notion to align with in terms of branding - which makes it sort of odd as a beer concept. But then Uiltje (whose beers we have looked at in the past) are certainly right out there in the leftfield when it comes to this sort of thing.

This beer belongs to Uiltje’s Back in Time range - which has involved all sort of wackiness including Egyptians, Spitfires and Cowboys in previous releases. So, I guess, really it’s just a bit of fun, and offers a theme to riff off when describing the beer, which, in this case is “as full-bodied as Achilles, as fair-skinned as Hector with the floral notes of Helen’s perfume.”

It’s all witty stuff, if you know your ancient history, but has me wondering whether it’s a beer concept too far. Or perhaps in this case not far enough? I’ve tasted the beer and it’s pretty fab… but why the Trojan Horse? Isn’t this the most splendid opportunity for a deceptive adjunct to pop up out of nowhere and ransack your taste buds? I’d say so, but this is a pretty faithful interpretation of a Belgian double IPA.

A missed opportunity, perhaps, but the beer saves itself with its delivery, which goes a bit like this…

Pours a rich amber with a white head that hangs around patiently. The nose is a tropical fruit bomb with dank hints of pine, eucalyptus and menthol, which lead into a big mouthful of much of the same, complexed by spice and cloves. There's real length and superb balance, albeit at the top end of the spectrum. This is big malt meets big hops and big abv - with a textural almost phenolic quality to boot!

This beer doesn’t need a concept to carry it! The important thing is what is in the can and we’re told that clearly and concisely with the words Belgian Double IPA. But in this day and age, with the competition that now exists and the sheer number of breweries out there, brewers feel they need to throw everything they can at a beer. It may sometimes come across as gilding the lily, but, I guess, who can blame them.