David Sapsis's picture

Biere de Triomphe

April, 2017
Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
5 / 6
35 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Judges as BJCP cat. 24C Biere de Garde ( Amber)

The beer was served in a stemmed chalice, poured aggressively. The color is a medium brown with appreciable muddy haze. Foam stand fails, but a modest protein lace clings to the rim. A steady bead of outgassing (large bubbles) indicates a highly conditioned brew. 

The aroma has a strong and rich bready note with angles of  of banana, apple, honey, light malt caramel, and yeast.  Intriguing in that it is both malty and very fruity, yet somewhat dry with the yeasty-sulfur and woody notes. A splash of bright pomme (red apple, yellow pear) fruitiness rounds out a malty nose. No musty cellar elements are detected; this is pure fruit, malt, and yeast.

The flavor has a big biscuity/light caramel malt front end, that trails to a mid palate of medium-high bitterness and flavors of toasted and caramel malt, honey, light aromatic fruits and a strong bitter hop note  reminiscent of dried sage and bay. Late palate  accentuates the lingering dry-herbal and yeasty notes, and seem to dominate the lasting malt  Finish is dry but with a reemergence of lingering caramel and mineral richness. Overall, the beer is strongly malty, fruity, and surprisingly dry. Mouthfeel is medium high and pretty viscous, with a dose of astringency and woodiness. Conditioning is high which seems to aid in the drying finish.

Biere de Garde are relatively few and far between, and it's a tough style to get right. These beers should be malty and approachable with a nice balance of ester fruitiness and good attenuation from a lagering phase. This one seems a bit too bitter but it also has a aged-wood component that takes it into a somewhat different realm. It is thicker, fruitier, woodier, and somewhat stronger than classics like Jenlain. I'd think this beer would be a good match for a diverse cheese plate. If you like rich, malty and fruity beers with hints of wood and age, give this a try.