Classical Beer Review: Butcher’s Tears Tenebrae

Image result for tenebrae butcher's tears
This beer was drunk at the source: Butcher’s Tears’s tap room in Amsterdam.

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Butcher’s Tear’s Tenebrae is a beer that fits its name: dark. The smell of the beer is entirely soy sauce. Its taste, however, is much more complex and pleasing. Tenebrae is more a British stout than a sticky, sweet RIS from America. There are bunches of dark fruit flavors with a heavy roast back bone. As the beer continues across the palate, there is a pleasant chocolatey-ness. More subtle: nuances of bubble gum, cherries, and figs were detected as the beer warmed. At 13.5% ABV, booziness is surpisingly absent in this beast. I give this a . . . “Ten”(ebrae)*

Tenebrae, Latin (plural) for “darkness, shadow, gloom” (tenebrae, -arum [f]). It is found in the famous Latin phrase, in absentia lucis, tenebrae vincunt “in the absence of light, darkness conquers,” among several other Latin texts. In the Gospel of John (1.5), the word appears in the phrase: et lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt “and light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not understand it.” This refers to the power of God (light) who shines forth the way for mankind in the darkness (evil).

Speaking of religion: Tenebrae is also the name for a Catholic church service sometimes held during Holy Week in which candles are progressively extinguished until there is darkness (representing the death of Jesus).

33 cl
13.5% ABV
Ingredients: barley, hops, water, yeast
Brewed by: Butcher’s Tears, Amsterdam, the Netherlands


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