La Moneuse Special Winter Ale

Reviewed by on January 31, 2014 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Brasserie de Blaugies

  • Origin: Belgium

  • Rated On: December 27, 2012

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 8.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: between cold and cellar temperature

  • Style: Saison

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Brasserie de Blaugies claims to be Belgium’s smallest family-owned brewery, one run out of their garage, at that.  The winter ale is based on their regular saison, made ‘extra rich’ for the holiday season – that is all they deemed necessary in terms of off the shelf marketing.

This 750ml bottle pours a hazy, dark orange-brick amber hue, with two fingers of densely foamy, pale beige head, which leaves a rather random portrayal of streaky lace around the glass as it genially fades away.  It smells of earthy yeast, semi-sweet pale malt, some mild convenience store candy sugar, a bit of white wine vinous character, and some understated leafy, grassy hops. The taste is fruity, predominantly plum-like malt, a bit of acerbic yeastiness, dry white wine notes, some middling yeast, a less than certain muddled sweet spiciness, and a twinge of softly lilting alcohol.  The carbonation is a tad frothy, but nothing really overwrought, the body medium-light in weight, and generally quite smooth, with only a slightly pithy overtone. It finishes just barely off-dry, the pale malt, lingering astringent fruitiness, rising earthy, leafy hoppiness, and simmering boozy warmth all contributing to a general sense of well being.

A decent enough saison-type offering, sure, but the ‘Noel’ upgrades are tenuous at best – nothing all that seasonal really presents itself, which isn’t quite a bad thing, per se, but given the stealthy marketing around this offering, I was expecting a fair bit more in terms of spice, sweetness, and shamelessly overt Yuletime goodness. So, good, to be certain, but more on the subtle, relaxed side.

Brady White

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