Struise Pannepot Reserva is a great dark ale from the Struise brewery. Like all Struise beers this one is brewed in their official brewery in Oostvleteren. The name "Struise" refers to the "Struisvogels" or ostriches that some of the brewers used to breed before they started brewing beer. "Struise" is also an adjective meaning "tough", like "tough guys", but the brewers deny this has anything to with the naming.
Like all Pannepot beers this Reserva variation is a beer of high fermentation. The name "Pannepot" refers to the fishing boats that could be found in the close by coastal town of De Panne, at the beginning of last century. The fishermen on these boats used to drink strong dark ales, not unlike the beers of the Pannepot series.
Although the Struise Pannepot is their best selling beer and "flagship" beer, but as their website states they have brewed over a hundred different beers. The Pannepot series (to which this Reserva belongs) was their first attempt at producing a more unusual beer and it has been receiving rave reviews ever since.
The Struise Pannepot Reserva here is basically the same as the "normal" Pannepot but this one has been aged in oak barrels. It's a dark "old fisherman's ale" that can be positioned somewhere between a Belgian strong dark ale and a stout beer. It has a nice dark brown colour with a creamy head. There's some complex flavours include burned coffee and sweet caramel.
The Struise Pannepot Reserva is not always available, so be quick!
The Pannepot Reserva was an idea from my brew colleague Carlo who wanted to age Pannepot in genuine French oak barrels (barrique 225 liters). We have brewed 90HL at the end of 2005 which has been aging on oak ever since (14 months). 30 Hl was bottled Tuesday 8th May 2007. 60Hl has been transferred now to second hand calvados oak vessels and will be bottled again early autumn 2007, we will name that batch Pannepot Grand Reserva. As quality and results rule at Struise, the Reserva was already brewed again and aging on oak.