Brouwerij De Landtsheer
Imported by: Belukus Marketing
Available: CA, NC, VA, MA, PA, SC, WI, NY, KY, WA, OR, TX, CO, DE, MD, NE, CT, GA, MN, NJ, MI, IL, IN
Brewed using the same fermentation methods and yeast used in producing champagne, and oak-aged.
Original gravity: n/a
Malheur means unhappiness in French, so this Belgian beer is tempting fate. But despite the name it's excellent, though 11 percent alcohol is somewhat daunting. Labeled Brut, it's clearly aimed at discriminating wine and champagne drinkers. It is the palest of pale in color with a dense collar of foam and a luscious nose of ripe, juicy malt, tangerine fruit and a musky hint of hops. There's a big punch of warming alcohol in the mouth with ripe citrus fruit, tangy hops and cracker wheat. The finish is bittersweet with light, floral hops, rich fruit and chewy malt. Dangerously drinkable.
The bottle presents itself with full Champagnesque haughtiness, dressed in full regalia. The cork lets go with a mighty pop. The beer is hazy gold, raising a voluminous fluffy white head that stands like shaving cream. The nose is very inviting — a mélange of apple peel, earth, spices, black pepper — and do I detect a whiff of wild yeast horsiness? The initial palate is reserved, opening up as a mousse on the tongue, showing only a hint of bitterness, a quick burst of fruit and a clean dry finish. It’s a nice beer, though its lean perfection is less interesting than the nose promises. That won’t bother me once the smoked trout arrives.