Total Score: 8.65/10
Woe betide the shores of misfortune, for there I am lost, a catalyst among the chaos… today I learnt a new word in French “Malheur” which means “misfortune”, and today I also get to try a new beer style Bière Brut, which is a beer that has Champagne-like qualities… this is a good day indeed. Bière Brut is an interesting style in that it undergoes the Champagne method or ‘méthode champenoise’ which involves a tedious process of remuage (turning a top-down bottle in a rack once a day for 8-10 weeks) and dégorgement (removing the lees at the end of this process for a clearer, crisper wine). I suspect this will be an awesome brew.
Poured from a 750ml cork and caged bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Presents a cloudy pale orange body with yeast particles floating in the glass and a white sea foam 1 inch head that soon reduces to a centimetre. A nice looking brew, though I imagine it should be clear of yeast given the “méthode” used. 8/10.
S: Funky/musty/dusty/crusty yeast all over the aroma, followed by over-ripe sweet red delicious apples and hints of (surprisingly enough) dry Champagne. What sets this apart from Duvel (a different style I know but similar enough to be considered first cousins) is that over-ripe sweet red apple note – it’s intoxicating here. 9/10.
T: Yep, definitely tasting red delicious apples, and sugar… lots and lots of sugar… which actually takes on a sultana raisin/botrytis wine character mid palate. Yeast plays less of a role in the flavour but is still noticeable and musty. Finish is medium dry with a touch of astringency. A few sips later your tongue acclimates to the sugar and it doesn’t seem super sweet anymore. The big surprise is the alcohol, which really sneaks up on you (same as a bottle of Champagne). 9/10.
M: Medium bodied with a sharp/excitable carbonation. 8/10.
D: I have a great fondness for red apples (particularly Fuji apples) but I have a distaste for sultanas – I’m not a fan of any dried fruit TBH – I like my fruit fresh and intact of all its liquids… plus sultanas are way too sweet, yuck! So for me this Bière Brut was the best of times… it was the blurst of times [you stupid monkey!*]. Not sure if this bottle is truly representative of the style having a best before date of 02/12/2012 – if anything it has probably aged quite well… still: Sultanas. 8/10.
Food match: Cheese/walnuts/platter/crackers: Mission accomplished.
*Thousand monkeys working on a thousand typewriters reference.