Brasserie de Blaugies - La Moneuse Special Winter Ale
- ABV: 8.00%
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Tulip
Brasserie de Blaugies La Moneuse Special Winter AleBlaugies brews a few beers, one of them a classic Saison (farmhouse ale) called La Moneuse, which is named for A. J. Moneuse (b. 1768), a famous local bandit and gang leader, and ancestor of the brewers' family. La Moneuse Special Winter Ale is a heartier, slightly less earthy version of that beer. And it's a real foamer owing to the live yeast added at bottling to condition the beer, so pour gently. Expect a hazy, peachy brass color with massive meringue-like head. For an 8% beer, the alcohol is well-hidden. The nose is not as "farm house-y" as expected for the style; expect tons of fruity esters and little must on the nose, with notes of fresh clementine oranges, cotton candy, lemon peel, just-cut pineapple and other fleshy fruits, mango chutney and aspirin dust. As it warms, some must and a touch of funk finally emerge. The evolution in aromas is worth waiting for—we spent 10 minutes just sniffing the thing before taking our first sip. It needs to warm to experience the "saison" elements on the nose. Despite all it sweet scents, this beer hits quite dry and with a slight horse-blanket and phenolic note on the palate, with spicy hop notes, giving impressions of finely ground white pepper. There are slightly funky pineapple-like notes, but between the spicy, very dry, earthy hop character and the aggressive carbonation, things never run too sweet. The sweetness is more implied by the nose than driven by the flavor. Look for a touch of clove and hints of cardamom and cinnamon. The earthy hop profile hangs on almost indefinitely on the palate, with a minor afterglow akin to pink cotton candy whipped up in a barn. A wonderful treatment of the style that nicely gives more fruit and less spice on the nose than is typical, but still gives that saison familiarity in the flavor. Pair with gamey meats like goat, venison, or pheasant, or partner with an earthy camembert cheese, which will mute the earthiness of the beer and let the 2nd tier, fruitier characteristics come to the forefront.
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