Size: 250 ml
ABV: 7 %
Ciney is a monastery from the 16th Century .. no I am joking. Believe it or not I have trawled through the history of Ciney from the beginnings of beer drinking, and there seems no mention of any monks, nuns or other religious orders, which is kind of refreshing after the consecutive Bon Secours (#28), St Feuillien (#29), Tongerlo (#30) and Trappistes Rochefort (#31). I am sure there probably was, but this town isn’t famous for it. No this town is famous for cows. There was even a war about these cows. Now that’s worth reading about .. surely.
Ciney isn’t big. In fact it only has about 15,000 inhabitants, and is rather overshadowed by Dinant and Namur as major tourist towns in the region. People might wish to come and see the beautiful church which adorns the beer’s label, and from where the beer was first drawn in the middle ages, and some do, but most people come for the cows.
Ciney has the largest cattle market in Belgium, and the second largest in Europe. If you are driving into the town from the countryside, you cant help but see cows everywhere, and beef from here is highly recommended for its quality and flavour. In fact these cows were so highly prized, that in 1272 a peasant from one village decided to steal one from another village. Not content with getting it home and eating the evidence, the naïve fellow tried to sell it on at another fair in another village, from where the previous incumbent of the cow was looking for a new cow, and caught eyes on his old one – cue the Guerre de la Vache (War of the Cow). It lasted three years, killed 15,000 people, and destroyed over 60 villages. Utter madness.
This was drunk outside on a beautiful day, and holding the glass up in the sun shone deep brown with fantastic cherry red flowing through. The aroma was quite smoky and appley, and although the taste was hard to discern it was fairly strong and treacly. A nice beer but far too small and thin to be one to hanker after again.