Archive for the tag “Biere de Garde”

Page 24 Brune – Brasserie Saint-Germain

page-24-brune_bttl7.9% ABV
Purchased through Rare Beer Club and poured into oversize wine glasses.

This brown “biere de garde” – really an abbey-style dubbel – comes from Brasserie Saint-Germain, based in the north of France, near the border of Belgium.  Page 24 Brune pours a deep walnut brown with a sand-colored head that makes up in integrity what it lacks in volume.  The curious and enticing nose boasts raisins, chestnuts, berries, and a hint of the grape vine.  Delicious toffee, nuts, and dark fruits welcome on the first swallow, with a little bit of tartness entering the finish courtesy of the raisin and wine grape flavors.  More roasted nuts come in as the beer settles on the palette, along with a caramel-y yeastiness and a little farmhouse spice.  Brasserie Saint-Germain has brewed an exemplary dubbel with a balanced but complex blend of flavors.

toasts-4.5    4.5 Toasts


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Gift of the Magi – The Lost Abbey (Cellar-Aged)


10.0% ABV
Purchased at Total Wine and More in late December 2011, cellared for 1 year, and poured into tulip gla

His Notes:

The Lost Abbey’s high-alcohol holiday biere de garde pours a reddish-orange with a voluminous, frothy, dirty-white head.  The distinctly Belgian nose offers pineapple, barnyard funk (due to the brett-aided bottle-conditioning), and other tropical aromas.  The first swallow has more caramel and grass than I remember – with a darker hue to match the more robust flavor – and a long, boozy, incredibly pleasing warmth to the finish.  This is no longer the “contemplative biere de garde” promised on the bottle; instead, it’s a brutish strong ale for a lonely Christmas Eve, with a mouthful of dusky hops entering on subsequent swallows.  Gift of the Magi has a fascinating mélange of flavors, ranging from grassy to woody to spicy and slightly fruity, offering new discoveries with each sip.

toasts-5-small    5 Toasts

Her Notes:


 toasts-4.5    4.5 Toasts

Original Review from January 2012:

10.0% ABV
Purchased at Total Wine & More ($3.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

This Lost Abbey Xmas annual pours a murky orange with a frothy, quickly retreating, off-white head.  The smell is strong with grapes, fresh dark fruits, berries, spices, and barnyard funk, along with the unmistakable quasi-tropical aroma of wild yeast.  Very inviting on the palette with fruit, grass, and a mild sourness, but it quickly warms up to reveal layer after layer of woody texture and complex spice.  Gift of the Magi is a fascinating hybrid of a Belgian farmhouse beer and a spicy winter ale, with oak notes, brandy, orchard fruits, bready yeast, and wild grass all present.  It gives you so much complex flavor to chew on, you can easily overlook the double-digit alcohol content.  A real masterpiece, Gift of the Magi overwhelms you with its Tower of Babel flavors instead of its’ ABV.

toasts-4.5    4.5 Toasts

Her Notes:


 toasts-4    4 Toasts

Oro de Calabaza (Jolly Pumpkin)

8% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($13.49/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

This Biere de Garde from Dexter, Michigan-based Jolly Pumpkin pours a pale, cloudy hay-yellow with a vaporous white head.  Oro de Calabaza has a pungent but utterly inviting nose of pepper, old oak, sour grapes, and musty wild yeast – classic barnyard funk aromas, but slightly sweeter.  Golden honey-sweet flavors mingle with the souring effects of brettanomyces and oak barrels (the standard for all Jolly Pumpkin beers), but it’s all very measured and balanced and pure.  There is also some lemon zest, mild spice, tangy fruit, and wood from the barrel-aging, and although sour-ness dominates the aftertaste, it’s consistently textured and eminently drinkable.

  4.5 Toasts

Her Notes:

   4 Toasts

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