You may be disturbed by this beer upon first pour. It is…well, really very pink. However, don’t fret that something has gone badly wrong with De Molen’s brewing equipment- it’s called ‘Rozenkoek & Pink Lady’ (Glazed cake & Pink Lady (apples)), so don your Barbie-pink (preferrably satin á la Grease) jackets and strap yourselves in for a surprising taste experience. If you want to stick the Barbie movie on in the background too, that would also heighten the vibe.
First of all, our monthly culture lesson: Roze koek (literally ‘pink cake’) is a fairy cake with a very pink, sweet glaze. I can imagine that it’s something which could be found in Barbie-land’s canteen, but for me it holds a few more nostalgic memories of making fairy cakes with my grandpa in their small kitchen. I don’t think there’s a more innocent joy in the whole world than eating the leftover batter from the mixing bowl or the beaters of the (unplugged) mixer, especially when my grandpa could add more sugar than needed when gran had her back turned!
This beer begins with a taste I can only describe as ‘pink’, living up to its appearance. But, don’t write this off as a book with an accurate cover yet: as the flavours begin to develop and become a lot more complex when you peek under the surface. The bitterness of the apple peel, as well as the texture of it come to offset the sweetness, and in the mid-taste you get a beautiful swell of pure apple juice flavour. The apple peel texture sensation lasts through the endnotes, where you get a gentle fizziness on your tongue- quite delightful!
For a beer you would assume would be quite syrupy given the ingredients and traditional style of the barleywine, it is very drinkable and hides its 10.5% extremely well. Don’t be afraid of it being too sweet- it also has some elements of tuck shop foam banana sweets (if that’s an adequate description for anyone to catch?), but the apple texture and flavour really work. Just, don’t have one too many, as you may find yourself belting ‘Beautiful School Dropout’ in your living room (or even worse, in a karaoke bar!).