This rare beer pours a deep straw color featuring some brassy hues. It’s capped by a thin white head that fades quickly to a collar. Presentation wise, it’s a fine looking pale brew, not unusual in appearance. One sniff, however, and you instantly know you’ve got something atypical on your hands. Expect very prominent notes of nougat (in this case, a local French version of chestnut honey and almonds comprises the cream of nougat used), offering a sweet, candy bar-like impression. Also found are notes of fresh, clean grains, and the blend of sweet and cereal works nicely. There’s no chocolate used, but as nougat and chocolate so often come together, we got an implied note of milk chocolate (just our brains playing tricks on us). The nougat provides notes of almonds most prominently, along with honey. Look also for a soft fruitiness not unlike cherries, with a waft of vanilla making an appearance as well. On the palate, while there is a richness to the beer, it drinks quite clean in the finish. Note that as the moderately sweet fruit and almond notes blossom, the flavor of nougat is unmistakable; it is deeply integrated into the beer, not feeling like an extract-y afterthought, but entrenched in the makeup of the beer. The nuttiness is moderately rich up front, and then offers a more nutty dryness in the finish. The sweetness quickly fades to the background as a minimal hop and grain bitterness rise up to dry things out a bit and refresh the palate for another sip. Late in the finish, expect a minor note not unlike Añejo tequila. No doubt, this beer is unusual, and very nicely done—and that’s a combination we can get behind. We’ve had other beers where nuts and honey were used, though threads from each can be difficult to identify. But Bière au Nougat certainly lives up to its name—you just cannot miss the nougat—and it’s certainly worth sampling, for the novelty alone. Turns out, in addition to being an unusual brew, it’s quite well made and has wonderful flavor—you can’t go wrong (unless you happen to dislike nougat). There are very few bottles of this beer available domestically. We have picked up the vast majority of it for our members, with a handful of cases reaching shelves at least a month after you receive yours. But do allow others to try this beer—it’s a great one to share during the holiday season, at gatherings, as people will be intrigued by your fancy French nougat beer. It’s not for everyone, let’s just make that clear, but none of our Rare Beer Club selections are, after all. If you want to explore something new and probably unlike any other beer you’ve had, or if you simply wish to see how a brewer can work magic by showcasing the distinctive flavors of their region, then this is a beer not to be missed.