Ladyface Ale Companie - Dérailleur
- ABV: 7.1%
- Serving Temperature: 52–59° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Chalice or Pinot Glass
It’s definitely been a bit since we’ve had a bière de garde aged in Mourvèdre wine barrels…
We’ve almost certainly never said most of those words in the same sentence before, nor ever really encountered a beer like this. The bière de garde style in its traditional form tends to get looked over in the grand scheme: maltier in the days of hops being the cool ingredient. Here the lean, modestly caramelized profile of the base bière de garde gets entirely transformed by those months spent aging in wine barrels. There’s puckering, zesty grapefruit-like acidity and an overall expression arguably more in line with an “American sour ale” in its myriad forms.
Whatever this is, it’s mouthwatering, incredibly nuanced, and an absolutely pleasure to dive into. This had us thinking of encounters with Russian River Temptation, though that’s aged in Chardonnay wine barrels, rather than the darker grapes preceding Ladyface’s Dérailleur.
The similarities: that bold, fine bubbled effervescence; the subtle tinge of an almost buttery oak character that’s so not the bad kind of butter; and the complex layers of fruit between, feeling all honeyed and golden. This would serve as an excellent aperitif beer, or one to set aside for a few months as a celebratory note to the Thanksgiving dinner table. (We always tend to be thinking of tart, saison-like beers on that front.) The overall diversity of flavors here—the baked apple note, tart white peaches, sherry-like notes of cherry and raspberry—make this so not what you’d generally think of if someone offered you a bière de garde.
For an offering like Dérailleur, we’re frequently inclined to go with the tried-and-true route of exquisite beers: savor them all by themselves. That said…there are an infinite number of ways to enjoy this barrel-aged BdG, and at least a few of them involve pairings that put that juicy lemon and white-peach acidity to work. We expect this one to age just fine. Do keep an eye on cellared bottles, and be sure to taste this one early on to see what we’re talking about.
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