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Beers 1 - 20 of 25:

Brasserie St Germain, Page 24 Blonde (France)
This beer from the north of France comes in a swing-top 75cl bottle and pours a hazy pale yellow with a moderate white head. You would swear this had some wheat in its recipe, but the label declares only barley malt, hops and yeast, but those notes of ripe banana and clove are joined by a refreshing lemony tone. On the palate there is quite a rich texture here, more of that clove and cardamom spice and a fruity core. The hops give some real bitter bite in the finish in a nicely hoppy, yeasty and bright beer. 5.9% ABV, 75cl, ?5.80, Atlas Vintners.
Brasserie St Germain, Page 24 Reserve Hildegarde Ambr (France)
This russet/amber-coloured strong ale from Flanders in northern France comes in a 75cl swing-top bottle, and pours with plenty of carbonation giving a pillowing white head. The aromas are deeply malty, with a bit of clove and orange oil in a Belgian ale style, something like leafy green herbs too in quite a complex profile. In the mouth it has a rich, full texture, the hint of sweetness and high alcohol immediately cut by a big, bitter, chicory streak of hops and acidity. There's plenty of richness and malty character too. Not an earth-shattering Biere de Garde, but a satisfying ale that lingers on the palate. 6.9% ABV, 75cl, ?5.95, Atlas Vintners.
Brasserie St Germain, Page 24 Triple (France)
This strong, blonde ale from St Germain comes in a 75cl swing-top bottle and weighs in with 7.9% ABV. The colour is a rich barely sugar, with plenty of carbonation giving a lofty off-white head. The nose has toffee and citrus, with a little floral note, but it is quite discreet and less spicy than the Blonde in this range. In the mouth it has lots of fruity character, with orange and some lemon to the fore, but a rounding of gentle caramel and some lively, hoppy bitter oil notes are very pleasing. Quite long too, this is a stylish Triple. 7.9% ABV, 75cl, ?6.35, Atlas Vintners.
Castelain, Ch'Ti Blanche (France)
This big bottle is closed with a cork and wire topping. A cloudy wheat beer, Ch'Ti Blanche pours a pale yellow/white with a moderate white head. The nose is nettly and pungent, with a grassy character and rather modest hints of coriander and clove spice. There's a slight smokiness, and hints of of an estery banana note. On the palate it is quite full, with a clean, underripe white fruit and lemony style. There's a subdued spicy quality in a beer that is easy to drink, but not terribly distinctive. 4.5% ABV, 75cl, ?2.99, Asda.
Castelain, Ch'Ti Triple (France)
This large, wine-bottle sized Ch'Ti is closed with a Champagne-style cork. This is the Triple, top-strength beer of the range, presented as a "bière de garde", or beer for keeping, on the label. It pours a rich golden colour with quite a thin, and quickly dissipating white head. On the nose there is a soft blanket of honey and biscuity malt, but a nice cut of hops too, and a certain floral, confectionery, aromatic quality. On the palate there is a noticeable sweetness; a slightly cloying saccharine quality, that is joined by much more bitter hoppy notes and a fruity, ripe apple and pear character. This is quite a "sticky", thick beer on the palate, that has a syrupy finish. It is certainly quite complex, though I did not find it easy to drink. It would be an interesting one to lay down. Also available in a 33cl size. 7.5% ABV, 75cl, ?3.49, Waitrose.
Cimes, Brasserie de, L'Aiguille Blanche (France)
In a very distinctive blue glass bottle, this wheat beer pours a pale straw yellow that is thick with hazy yeast, topped by a thin white head. It has a powerfully aromatic nose, rich with clove and coriander, a little 'band-aid' character and some citrus and hop notes. On the palate this really is a high-toned, with masses of herby flavour, that for me is just a little too grassy and pungent, and then the finish is a touch underpowered with a slightly dilute character. An interesting beer rather than a great one. 5.0% ABV, 33cl, ?1.39, Beersofeurope, Pierhead.
Cimes, Brasserie de, Piste Noire (France)
This biere ambrée pours a nut brown colour with an off-white, quite persistent head. The aromas on the nose are all about caramel and malt, with notes of bran and a little herbal character, and some fruity tones too. On the palate it is thick-textured and extremely sweet, with a flood of rather sugary flavour joined in the mid-palate by fudge and chocolate notes, some red fruits, but the sweetness really dominates and for me begins to cloy slightly. An interesting enough beer, and it has character, but you'd have to like that sweetness. 5.9% ABV, 33cl, £1.39, Beersofeurope, Pierhead.
Duche de Longueville, Cidre Gros Oeillet 2004 (France)
A Normandy cider I've tasted in several vintages, and which always does more for me than most. It pours a rich, burnished gold with a good white head. The nose is beautifully delicate and evocative, the Gros Oeillet apples being intensely "appley" but having a citrus, orange twist and a hint of barley sugar. On the palate it is dry and refreshing, with lovely apple flavour and very little sweetness other than the ripe fruit. Tangy and crisp, it is a delightful summer drink. 5.0% ABV, 50cl, ?1.59, Sainsbury's.
Duyck, Ambrée (France)
This biere de garde is brewed with three different Alsace hops, and richly toasted French malts to give it a warm ruby/tobacco colour with a moderate off white head. On the nose it is all fudge, chocolate and richly toasted aromas with some sweet stewed fruit notes. On the palate this is full and creamy textured, with a rush of sweetness, and a thick, malty pillow beneath. It is pretty well balanced, and although I'd have prefered a little more crispness and bite in the finish, it is a fine, sumptuous, strong, dark beer. 7.5% ABV, 75cl, ?3.49, Beersofeurope, Pierhead.
Duyck, Jenlain No Six (France)
This beer bears the inscription ?Biere Blonde Speciale? on the label, and indeed it is a rather nice interpretation of a Blonde Pilsener style, that pours a medium gold with fluffy white head. The nose has lots of biscuit and caramel malt, and a nice undertow of nettly hops that are really quite grassy. On the palate this is a full-textured, strong tasting beer, with quite vinous notes and plenty of oomph, marrying mouth-filling, sweetish, fruity flavours with a pillowing weight of malt and plenty of hoppy, resinous notes in the finish. 6.0% ABV, 33cl, ?1.39, Pierhead.
Duyck, Jenlain Noël (France)
Jenlain's Christmas beer is brewed seasonally with dark roasted malts and aromatic Alsace hops. It pours a rich, dark amber colour with a moderate cream-coloured head. The nose has a distinctive note of marmalade oranges, with a base of caramel and a fine, grassy character beneath. On the palate it is smooth and medium- to full-bodied, with an initally sweet attack giving way to a braod spice, orange and plum fruitiness on the mid-palate, and a refreshingly tart and crisp, hoppy finish. Also in 25cl bottles at the same strength. 6.8% ABV, 75cl, Pierhead.
Fischer, Adelscott (France)
"Bière au Malt à Whisky" it says on the label, for this beer made with peat-smoked malt. The colour is a dark, burnished amber with a cream-coloured head that thins quite quickly. On the nose the aromas are quite complex, with hints of good cider, malt and a touch of smoky, iodine-like peat, though it is not particularly whisky-scented. In the mouth this smooth and creamy beer is intensely sweet as it strikes the palate, with a burnt orange and marmalade tang and a caramel note. That smoky, roasted barely note persists. Not a totally convincing beer for me, but it is different, and has genuine character. 6.6% ABV, 33cl, ?1.49 - ?1.79, The Offie, Onlyfinebeer.
Fischer, Desperados Tequila Beer (France)
Forget Tiujana, this Tequila-flavoured beer is brewed in Alsace, France. It pours a pale gold colour, and the fluffy white head dissipates fairly rapidly. On the nose it is intensely aromatic, with a massive hit of lime (which is another flavourant) and some exotic, perfumed notes. On the palate it is basically like a lime shandy (only far more potent), with the bite of the Tequila quite obvious, and the lime flavour overpowering any hop or malt character. It is undoubtedly refreshing, but more alco-pop than beer. Good at what it does, and proving very popular in bars. 5.9% ABV, 33cl, ?1.25, Beersofeurope, Onlyfinebeer, Pierhead.
Fischer, Tradition Blonde (France)
This Pilsener-style beer from Fischer brewery of Alsace comes in a swing-top bottle, and weighs in with 6.0% ABV. It pours a medium- to deep, lightly hazy golden colour, with a fairly thick white head that dissipates fairly rapidly. The nose has a pleasantly biscuity malt character, with a touch sweetcorn and background, citrussy fruit notes. On the palate there's just a slightly metallic, bitter edge to this, although some leafy, chicory-like hop comes through too. The beer is slightly lighter in both texture and flavour than I'd have hoped for, but is reasonably fresh and crisp in the finish. 6.0% ABV, 35.5cl, ?1.89, Beersofeurope, Pierhead.
Kronenbourg, Premier Cru (France)
This is a special beer from Kronenbourg (brewed in France) that is a big step up in class from the standard 1664, coming in a dramatic opaque blue bottle and weighing in at 6.0% ABV. It pours quite dark and golden, with an off-white head. The nose is aromatic, with hoppy, quite estery scents of herbs and spices over rich malty, toasty notes. On the palate a clove-like edge adds bite to fine crystal malt flavours that have lots of bittersweetness about them, with a good oily hop bite. To me it is a style half-way between a strong lager and a lighter bitter. 6.0% ABV, 50cl, ?2.19, Safeway, Sainsbury's.
Kronenbourg, Wel Scotch (France)
I believe this beer was brewed by Kronenbourg as a direct response to Brasserie Fischer's very successful Adelscott - a "whisky beer", brewed from peat-smoked Scotch whisky malt. This one declares "au malt des Highlands" on the label. It is slightly lighter in colour than Adelscott, and has a fast dissipating head. There are ginger and plum nuances to a malt-loaf, raisiny nose. On the palate it is sweet like Adelscott, with a subtle coriander spiciness and more ginger and clove - a much spicier beer. It doesn't have the substance of Adelscott, and the sweet finish is a lot more cloying, with less complexity. Purchased in France. 6.2% ABV, 25cl.
La Choulette, Ambré (France)
(RP) Russet-coloured French beer with a spicy and bitter orange aroma and a hint of chocolate. Bitter, peppery hops burst through on the tongue, balanced by rich grain and a Grand Marnier orange fruitiness. The finish is sweet to start, dominated by fruit, chocolate and grain, but peppery hops break through and provide a bitter finale. 8.0% ABV, 33cl, ?2.29, Beersofeurope, Onlyfinebeer, Pierhead, Pitfield Beer Shop.
Le Brasseurs de Gayant, La Goudale (France)
Made with hops from Flanders and based on an original medieval recipe, Goudale is a pale-to-medium golden beer, that pours with quite a creamy white head. The nose is powerful with a whiff of cloves and wheat-beer like fruit of lemons and apples, but all supercharged and deep. On the palate that clove and slightly medicinal quality continues, with a creaminess to the texture and biscuity malt coming through to pad out the mid-palate. The acidity is good and there's a hit of pepper and spice in the finish of a, quite complex but then fairly straight-shooting strong beer. Enjoyable to be sure. 7.2% ABV, 33cl, Pierhead.
Le Brasseurs de Gayant, Tequieros Tequila Beer (France)
Alsace's Fischer brewery brews Desperados, a tequila-flavoured beer, and now the French are at it again with Tequieros, a beer that contains 8.2% Tequila as well as lime flavouring and, unless my palate deceives me, a fairly massive dose of sugar. The beer pours a yellow/light gold colour, with a thin white head. The nose is overwhelmingly lime cordial, with maybe a hint of the Tequila behind. On the palate this is like drinking a Tequila and lime with a touch of sweetcorn in the middle and a sweet, slightly blowsy finish. Not my cup of T. 5.6% ABV, 33cl, ?1.25, Pierhead.
Meteor, Biere de Noël (France)
The Alsace brewery of Meteor has a relatively light, crisp take on the Christmas beer theme, with a moderate 5.8% ABV in their caramel-coloured beer, that pours with an off-white head. The nose here is distinctive, with notes of buttered popcorn, some spice and a floral edge to orangy fruit. There's something very estery, like Parma violets or other confectionery too. On that palate that aromatic, floral character persists, with a fairly thick body, and a deal of initial sweetness. A chewy, malty character builds through the mid-palate, and this finishes with a drier, more weighty appeal than that initial, high-toned aromatic suggested. Fascinating stuff. 5.8% ABV, 65cl, Pierhead.
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