La MeuleJanuary 1, 2007
Brasserie Des Franche-Montagnes
Available: NY,NJ, MD,DC, VA, MA,CT,ME, GA, FL, MI, IL, MN, OH, IN, WA, NC, IA, AZ
If there was any doubt that this beer is, as the label states, “brewed with the herb sage,” it’s quickly cast off by the first sniff, which reveals plenty of the forcefully aromatic herb backed by a pleasant peppery spiciness. In the body, the beer’s herbaceous character is less dominant, giving way to honeyed malt and a creeping bitterness that culminates in a dry, mildly hoppy finish. Beautiful flavor progression here, and I suspect a fine accompaniment to roast chicken with savory stuffing.
- Stephen Beaumont
A Swiss made golden ale with a French name. Intriguing. But it doesn’t stop there. Spectacularly dense meringue-like head. Vanilla and fresh herbal aroma. Sage is indicated and delivers subtly. Remarkable and enjoyable. Furthermore, annoyingly drinkable and persistently comforting. Is it the aroma? The stand up head? The balance of hops, sage and malt? This beer is worth your journey. Wow. I can imagine all kinds of great food to go along with this, but who’s hungry? I’m thirsty and simply drinking, quenching and being comforted. Not a bad place to be.
- Charlie Papazian
The flip-top bottle opens with a startling report and the hazy golden beer pours frothing into the glass. A big punch of sage wafts over the malt and hop aromas. On the palate, the beer has Champagne-like carbonation, a sharp quinine-like dry bitterness, a brief show of malt at the center and a decidedly herbal finish. It’s not for everyone, but it’s certainly not boring. La Meule is brewed with admirable finesse and confidence. Try it with a cave-aged Gruyere.
- Garrett Oliver
Stephen Beaumont boarded his first plane at the age of 15 and hasn’t looked back since, obsessing about travel to the point that he gets nervous if he doesn’t have a ticket or two stacked on the corner of his desk. When he’s not running around in search of new taste experiences, he makes his home in Toronto, where a new cultural experience is only as far away as the next neighborhood.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
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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