In the two-plus years since it instituted the Legendary Series, Lakewood Brewing Co. has played upon the inspiration of various apparitions and mythological characters, but the most recent release is devoted to a saint.
Saint Dymphna, the person, was a seventh-century Christian martyr who devoted her life to the care of the mentally ill. She’s the patron saint of Geel, Belgium, and it is there that the Chapel of Saint Dymphna sits next to a 500-year-old linden tree. Lakewood founder and Belgian native Wim Bens played near that tree as a child, with the recollection of those days influencing the creation of this modern-day brew.
A Beligan-style tripel by design, Saint Dymphna is brewed with Belgian candi sugar and linden tree flowers. The resulting beer is clear with golden amber hues and an aroma which gives off a distinctive floral essence. Taking that one step further, while linden is a species of lime tree, if anything the blossom gives Saint Dymphna a subtle and tempered lemon character.
In terms of other flavors, Saint Dymphna is malty with notes of dried fruit, bread yeast, spice and a light herbal element. There’s a sweetness that lingers throughout the experience, balanced somewhat by a relatively firm bitterness in the finish. The beer is medium-bodied and well-carbonated, though, Saint Dymphna drinks lighter and with a softer palate than those descriptors, and an original gravity reading of 1.085, might imply. It’s moderate in terms of strength, having a mid-range ABV of 8.6 percent, with little or no evidence of alcohol in either the aroma or taste.