I’ll tell you one thing, it’s a long time since I’ve had a decent Belgian ale…I seem to spend so much of my time seeking out, drinking and trying to brew entertaining IPA-inspired hop bombs that I have shamefully neglected marvellous continental yeast forward beers…
Now, my in-laws are welcome house guests at the best of times, but when they turn up bearing a crate of beers carefully chosen from Beers of Europe then they’re even more welcome than usual.
The two stouts I reviewed previously were from that crate, as was this bottle of Bourgogne des Flandres.
The clear bottle shows off probably the palest beer that I’ve ever seen, it looked like elderflower cordial and really thin.
(A clear bottle! I hear you cry, surely that’ll incense Jon no end? Well it doesn’t really…this is beer is all about the yeast and the malt – the hops being used for their preservative and bittering qualities, so there shouldn’t really be any hop aroma to get all skunked in any sunlight)
Poured out, BDF looks so ethereal and light I wondered if it would taste of anything at all, but the aroma is enchanting: all pilsner malty, spicy and fresh. There’s almost a lemony, ozoney quality too, and a faint alcoholic note (it’s 6% – happy days)
The taste eventually materialises through the strong effervescence and is yeastily fruity, with delicate spicy edge, notes of bubblegummy sweetness come through here and there with clean honeyed malty overtones. A gentle bitterness appears on the swallow and the lovely combination of tastes continues.
All-in-all, a nice yeast character and balanced body lead to a clean and refined drop. I liked it a lot, so much so that I’m considering putting a clone recipe together.