Brasserie de Blaugies - La Moneuse Special Winter Ale

Brasserie de Blaugies - La Moneuse Special Winter Ale

Beer Club featured in Rare Beer Club

Style:

Saison

Country:

Belgium

Alcohol by Volume:

8.00%

Brasserie de Blaugies - La Moneuse Special Winter Ale

  • Alcohol by Volume: 8.00%
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Tulip
NOTE: Like all cork-finished beers, point away from the face (and not just yours) while opening. Belgian beers can be particularly prone to popping right as the cage is removed from the cork, so watch out! We suggest placing a rag over your hands while removing the cage and cork, to dampen the cork blast, should one occur.

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.
Translation: Blaugies Brewery Country: Belgium City: Dour (Blaugies is the smaller village where they really are) Regional Locale: Southwestern Belgium (Hainaut, Wallonia), minutes from the French border Official Language: Dutch ("Flemish"), French & German How To Say Beer There: In this part of Belgium, French is your best bet: Bière (pronounced: bee-yehr) Continent: Europe Some of the best beer in the world comes from unconventional places, like a kitchen washtub (that's basically where Hoegaarden got its start), and is brewed by some unlikely characters. The beer from this month's first featured brewery, Brasserie de Blaugies, is brewed in a two-car garage by a pair of schoolteachers. Not kidding. Marie-Noëlle Pourtois and husband Pierre-Alex Carlier live in the small village of Blaugies (near Dour, Belgium), just a few clicks from the French border. Together, they have come up with a formula for creating world class specialty beers, with a distinct and unique flare all their own. Marie-Noëlle does the brewing, boiling up a mere 900 hectoliters per year (that's about 1,500 kegs worth of beer—very small for a "commercial" brewery.) When the grains used in the brewing process are spent, Marie-Noëlle backs the family tractor up to the garage door, shovels the grains into the back, and takes it right out to the livestock on the family farm. Pierre-Alex does the cooking in their attached farmhouse tavern. The two have been at it since 1987, and have garnered local and international praise for their inventive take on traditional farmhouse style Belgian beers. As such, it's not surprising that the Blaugies beers are discussed at some length in famous beer writer Michael Jackson's classic: The Great Beers of Belgium. The Carlier/Pourtois family enjoys good food and beer, and consumes a lot of its own product for cooking and drinking. They're also just about the nicest folks you're likely to meet. Their beers have a distinctive character we consider to be a bit rougher and grainier than other, nearby commercial examples (like Saison DuPont) and this translates to a flavor profile that gives the impression that the brewer put the beer in the bottle just a short while before you popped the cork; fresh, family-brewed beer—this is artisanal brewing at its very best.
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