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Advent-ures Part I

Okay, it is December 3, and I have had the first 2 of the Beer Advent Calendar beer (for those just tuning in – check out here for an explanation). What are the first impressions? Positive with some uncertainty. Let me explain (to help keep things straight I will clearly indicate which day the beer is):

1. Ayinger Kellerbier

Day one – great start! I am a big fan of kellerbier generally (which is an un-flitered German beer – usually lagers that offer a fuller, yeastier flavour; kind of like a German cask ale). Ayinger is known for their weizens, of course and the sublime Celebrator. Their Kellerbier is a hazy light straw that looks remarkably like a witbier. A moderate white head and a touch of lacing tops, but not for long. The aroma is earthy with yeasty notes. Some light grain malt sweetness, some hints of lavender and soapiness. It is a very light-bodied beer with a delicate, lemony straw sweetness upfront. It is softer than I might anticipate. The middle dries out but remains light and soft. The finish has some earthy, yeast linger. Virtually no hop character at all. Very fresh and refreshing with a slight yeasty tang in the linger. It reminds me of a summer ale with the yeast remaining. A very promising start, indeed.

2. Brasserie Trois Dames Bise Noir Double Malt

This one confused me, I must admit. In part because neither the box nor the bottle tell you what to anticipate. It is a big beer that pours thick, black and opaque. It has a light tan head that refuses to build but still hangs around as a thin covering. The aroma gives off chocohlate, light coffee roast, dark fruit, some brown sugar sweetness. In all the aroma balance is sweet rather than roast – mostly porter with edges of stout. I also wonder if I get hints of lactic in there as well – the first sign of trouble. I sip and find sweet chocolate upfront and touches of coffee roast. I also get a bit of chocolate-covered almond in the flavour. But then a clear and distinct lactic sourness moves in and transforms the beer. It wipes away the richness of the beer, making it seem almost like a Flanders Stout (which doesn’t exist, as far as I know). I don’t know if this lactic is intentional or not (it often is). But either way I don’t think I appreciate its effects on the beer. It wipes away the richness and fullness that a big honking stout should have. I am trying not to do much googling with the Advent beer – as I want to exist in the uncertainty in a way as it seems part of the game. Which means I am not sure what they were going for her, but whatever it is – I am not sure it works.

Two beer down, 22 to go. An interesting and intriguing start to say the least. I will review seven more next Monday.

 

 

2 comments to Advent-ures Part I

  • I also found the Bise Noir odd. It appears that in the past, the bottles had been labelled an imperial stout (which this beer is clearly not), but from my limited french, looking at their website it appears that they have recently changed the recipe, but it doesn’t indicate what they changed it to. With the light body and hints of anise, combined with the tartness, I wondered if they were going for a “black wit”, or given the alcoholic strength, an “imperial dunkelwit”. That said, while there is a lot going on in the beer, the flavors didn’t mingle well together.

    Beers one and three have been very good. Day four brings slight disappointment, not because of a bad beer, but because it is a beer that is available on the shelves in Alberta for the past month or so, therefore not quite as exclusive as advertised. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still crack it and enjoy it when I get home from work tonight. :)

  • Lundy

    The calendars were sold out by the time I got around to it, so I am living though all my BC buddies that got them. Everyone commented about the “sourness” of the beer #2 and some people even mentioned large flakes. Maybe it was just a faulty beer.

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