Ladyface Ale Companie - Flamberge
- ABV: 8.5%
- Serving Temperature: 50–57° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Snifter, Flute or Pinot Glass
The two years this beer spent aging in Cabernet wine barrels has done wonders for it—with a generous amount of that barrel presence coming through perfectly alongside the red ale at this beer’s core. The underpinning of deeper berries and darker fruit, along with a toasty oak vein providing both vanilla and a hint of char, brings this beer into terrain that most Flemish red ales never really approach. Having compared Dérailleur with Russian River Temptation, we’re disinclined to go too much further with such comparisions…but the integration of the underlying wine-barrel aspects had us remembering RR’s Supplication and Consecration. It’s a deliciously built beer in its own right, though—with a profile you won’t find anywhere else, and, for a few of our panelists, this was the standout of the entire Ladyface bunch. It’s tasty.
One of multiple releases from Ladyface’s “Ingenuity Series of Barrel-aged Inventions” that we’ve included in this Rare Beer Club special offer, the Flamberge proved to be on its own level entirely when it came to barrel-aged character. Its name translates to “flame blade,” an undulating long sword that we assume was manufactured sometime around the days of yore. This adheres to the best parts of that flame-blade idea, though. Just enough sharpness from its tart-cherry acidity, a lean measure of warmth from the 8.5% ABV, and those underlying, deep-fired notes of char and chocolate-vanilla from the long-earned effects of barrel aging.
There’s also a vibrant carbonation keeping everything interesting here: fluffy, prickly at the edges of the tongue, and sufficiently textured to ease the potent impact of barrel and deep berries. This beer seems to levitate. We expect aging bottles of Flamberge to bring out the sherry and caramel notes further, and this should hold up for quite some time in the cellar, particularly given the ABV. The brewery suggests pairings of the classic accompaniment of Carbonnade de Bœuf, or alongside the well-matched vanilla creaminess of rich cheesecake.
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