Brasserie de Bourganels - Bière au Nougat

Brasserie de Bourganels - Bière au Nougat

Beer Club featured in Rare Beer Club

Style:

Spice/Herb Ale

Country:

France

Alcohol by Volume:

5.00%

Brasserie de Bourganels - Bière au Nougat

  • Alcohol by Volume: 5.00%
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Serving Temperature: 45° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass
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.
While France is not well known for its beer culture, there is plenty to speak of. More so in the northern part of the country, where the proximity to Belgium, notably Flanders, has allowed some beery spill over, but with their own definitive style. The north has seen somewhat of a resurgence of beer, however, southern France has not enjoyed the same, partly because there is not as long, deep-rooted a history of brewing there to which to return. When the number of breweries in France fell from an astonishing 2,372 in the 1890s to just a dozen by 1945, a relative few returned overall, but the concentration in the south of the country was exceptionally minimal. The south of France does possess a rich and lengthy tradition of agriculture, and so it’s not surprising that some of the most beloved products grown there have made their way into the few beers of the area. Chestnuts, almonds, honey, verbena—all are produced in the region and are cherished fruits of labor characterizing the area. This agricultural richness is revealed in local cuisine, but it can be further showcased in beers that integrate those ingredients, and in the Ardèche region of southern France, brewer Christian Bourganel recognized that “a long tradition had disappeared in the South of France. At the end of the 20th century, I decided to revive it…” Originally brewing at the Castelain brewery, he founded his own Brasserie de Bourganels in 2000. By providing another vehicle for local ingredients, residents and visitors alike are intrigued by the concept of this merging, but the expression of those ingredients within beer offers a wealth of new experiences, which is something that we’re sure will appeal to members of the Rare Beer Club. The French may not be well known for their beer, perhaps paradoxically since Frenchman Louis Pasteur is widely regarded as the godfather of modern brewing; still we all know of the (sometimes infamous) French passion for life and living. From the art of love to the celebration of culture, to the art of eating well, French brewers are trying to perfect the art of enjoying life, and what better vehicle than beer could there be for such an endeavor? Wine, you may have cornered the French market, and obscured the world view of what France has to offer in fermented form, but beer presents a wealth of new opportunities to experience French culture and joie de vivre. This month, we share a bit of that experience with you. A santé!
Unmatched Variety by Style, Brewery & Country

Unmatched Variety by style, brewery & country

Choose from Five different Beer Clubs offering unmatched variety by brewery,
country of origin, and beer style to suit your specific tastes.

DISCOVER OUR FIVE CLUBS