I selected Bon Secours out of the lovely selection of beers that my in-laws brought with them when they lasted visited. It’s from Beers of Europe (http://www.beersofeurope.co.uk/) – what do you mean you’ve never been to the BoE site? Come on, you must…it’s massive and full of tempting things…
Anyway onto the Bon Secours – which is French for “Good Relief”, or “Good Help” or something like that anyway. The bottle’s got a picture of a Saint Bernard on it too, so I think I know where they’re going with this. (Any French speakers out there are welcome to pitch in…)
Anyway, it’s a nicely quirky-looking bottle which I fully intend to re-use to put my beer in (when I get around to brewing up that Belgian).
The swing top went off with a hell of a pop and nicely frightened dimbo cat number one; dimbo cat number two being outside and performing laps of the garden as it was a *tiny* bit windy…you know what they’re like…
After the violent pop there was substantial fobbing which meant losing a little bit of Bon Secours to the sink and worktops; fortunately the yeast stayed where it was – stuck soundly the bottom the of the bottle.
In a glass, Bon Secours is an affable light amber in colour with a fairly vigorous carbonation. The head was lacy, sticky and tempting-looking.
As well as all the standard fare of sweet malts, cheap penny-sweets (candies) and a little twang of hop, Bon Secours aroma also seemed to have something faintly “animal” about it…it’s a bit difficult to describe – a vague reminder of the smell in the room after childbirth; a memory of the smell I got when I last plucked and drew a pheasant: sweetly visceral, almost gutsy… Not unpleasant…just, “alive”…maybe something of humanity about it?
I’ve had inklings of this aroma from other Belgians, but haven’t been able to really put my finger on it ’til now. It just goes to show important yeast is in introducing complexity into beer. Raw hops and malt will only take you so far…
In the taste I got a fairly high-level of sweetness and a yeasty complexity: fruitiness was in adundance – being the stand-in replacement for all that “animality” in the aroma. The taste wasn’t anywhere near as complex as the aroma – being completely dominated by the sweetness of the malt.
The 8% alcohol delivered a warmth that helped to contribute to a significant mouth-feel, which at the swallow, re-doubled with the sweet malt to really remind you that this is a sizeable beer.
All in all enjoyable and fairly complex (although not the most complex I’ve ever had) As Bon Secours is not at all bitter it’s really not very refreshing…saying that, though, I think Bon Secours would make an pudding/dessert beer. It’s probably marvellous with fruit cake. In fact I KNOW it would be.
http://www.brasseriecaulier.com/ (and the site’s under construction as I write this)