la bière “Made in Normandie”
Medium high pear greets the nose, with medium bread and cake malt, low spicy hops, low stone fruit and crisp apple. Warm spicy phenolics develop, sort of like cinnamon. There is a bit of light oxidation. The pour is hazy gold with a medium high bright white foam stand, with long persistence. There are many small dark floaters going up and down, quite flavorless and not noticeable unless you hold it to the light. The flavor starts with light pepper, with medium malt, slightly sweet bread and cake, followed by low earthy hops and medium bitterness. The beer finishes dry with pear and stone fruitiness coming in. The balance is malty. The body is medium light, crisp, with high carbonation and a light carbonic bite. The mouthfeel is neither creamy nor astringent. Overall, this is a very refreshing medium-light brew with flavorful malt and fruitiness with interesting spiciness. A very rewarding beer. 6.5% ABV
RateBeer calls this a Bière de Garde, the brewery does not. The beer is paler than even the blond form of bière de garde. The aroma is appropriate for the paler versions of the style. The head is spot on. The flavor does not include the toast or toffee characteristic of the style, but the paler versions normally have less of those elements. What I did not find is the aroma, taste or heat of alcohol, however 6.5% puts this near the low end of the typical range.
My cousins took a river cruise from Paris to Normandy, and knowing that I’m a beer geek, they brought this set as a most welcome Christmas gift. The first bottle gave me the notes above, the second I shared with the brewers at my favorite local brewery. I was certain they never had this, and they found it an excellent beer, one you can savor. Now about those floaters . . . they were more apparent in the first bottle than the second, and had no effect on any other aspect of the beer. My cousins probably bought the bottle in the fall, gave it to me at Christmas, and then I was slow to open it. In other words, through no fault of its own, the bottle was less than fresh. The light oxidation also suggests this. So my apologies to the brewers, and I thank them for a fine beer.
And my warm thanks to my cousins for making it possible to try this beer!
A coincidence that I find amusing: you saw that I had the beer unopened for several months. Finally I drank it, and went to check it in on Untappd. At first I didn’t find it, which didn’t surprise me, it’s understandably rare. But then I found it. There was precisely one check-in, and it was dated the day before my check-in. So after all that time, I was second by less than 24 hours!
If you would like to know more about the beer and the brewers, this is their website: La MiN