GavrocheSeptember 1, 2010 Saint Sylvestre Cappel, France
Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre
Saint Sylvestre Cappel, France
Imported by: Eurobrew
Available: ID, IL, IA, NJ, WI, FL, MD, MI, SC, GA, CT, NC, PA, OH, VA, NE, TN, NY, MA, MO, KS, IN, AL, NH, ME
Gavroche is a character in Victor Hugo’s nineteenth century novel, Les Miserables. He is a rebellious yet always generous little urchin living by his wits on the streets of Paris.
Original gravity: n/a
Another saintly beer, this time from French Flanders, home of the bière de garde style of ale and in the heart of the region’s hop fields. St. Sylvestre is a family-owned brewery that dates from 1860. Gavroche comes in a striking pint bottle with a cork and cradle. The bottle-fermented beer is a French interpretation of a Belgian abbey beer, with a gold/bronze color, heavy collar of foam and an amazingly complex aroma of vanilla, cobnuts, roasted malt and peppery hops. Sweet malt in the mouth and finish is balanced by spicy hops, sultana fruit and gentle hops. The perfect beer for the local speciality, a tart called flammenkeuche (flame cooked), topped by mushrooms, onions and goat’s cheese.
- Roger Protz
“French Red Ale”? I guess that in a brave new world of “Black IPA”, it could be true. In fact, the beer has a full amber color, but isn’t particularly reddish. The aroma is full of earthy stone fruits, damp leaves, herbs and licorice. The full-bodied palate manages to show a fluffy effervescent texture, focused by light bitterness. Fruit plays through the center to a slightly acidic sign-off. I’m still not sure what “French Red Ale” is, but this biere de garde will be very nice with my grilled lamb chops.
- Garrett Oliver
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
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