Our second beer we are BrewViewing for JULY 2016 BREWERY OF THE MONTH is ST. FEUILLIEN BRUNE. The flavor profile is quite unique, not typical of many Abbey Brune style beers on the market. NOTE: The bottle date stamp indicated June 18, 2015.
BEER STYLE AND COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Style category: Belgian Abbey Brune / Abbey Dubbel
This brown ale has a marked ruby brown colour with a generous and lasting head. It has a distinctive aroma reflecting the wide range of ingredients used in its production. The fruitiness resulting from its fermentation blends harmoniously with a dominant liquorice and caramel flavour.
The body is decidedly malty. The bitterness is the result of a complex alchemy between the fine hops and special malts used. These give St-Feuillien Brune Réserve a typical dark chocolate appearance.
This beer creates an endless variety of sensations with a lingering taste and powerful aroma.
• The World Beer Championships, 2009.
• Brussels Beer Challenge, 2012, category Dark Ale : Abbey/Trappist.
Meilleure bière brune, Best Belgian Beer of Wallonia 2014, category Bière brune supérieure ou égale à 8% vol.
OUR BREWVIEW OF BRasserie ST. Feuillien bRUNE
APPEARANCE / THE POUR:
8.5% ABV. We poured it at 50°F (verified with a VacuVin snap thermometer on the bottle) in the signature St. Feuillien chalice. It poured an amber-brown color, with an SRM value of 18. The dense, 3-finger head was a light tan color with tight bubbles. Rim color variation- medium amber, SRM value of 12.
The meniscus is medium to slow rising. The Brussels lacework the beer leaves behind as the head collapses, is even sheeted (We ensured this was a “Beer Clean” glass). After 10 minutes, the head did retain about a 1/4″ height, and during consumption time, it does sustain a 1/8″ height to the end.
NOTE: as usual, this BrewView is with the yeast dump, which is why you see the haziness in the picture. Also, the St. Feuillien chalice has a special etching at the bottom of the glass which resembles their Coat of Arms. This etching creates an aggressive center stream bubbling from the bottom of the glass. You can really “hear” the stream if you put your ear to the beer.
AROMA / BOUQUET:
Signature St. Feuillien yeast esters- very bready. Aromas of raisins, chocolate, toffee, light brown sugar, and marzipan. There are notes of sarsaparilla as well- almost a “root beer” type bouquet. Very unique!
Classic St. Feuillien bready yeast flavors, dark molasses, black pepper, dark baker’s chocolate, treacle toffee, rich caramel malt sweetness, followed by a burnt toast character to round it out.
MOUTHFEEL / PALATE:
Hits the very tip of the tongue with its spicy phenolics, but also has a nice creamy texture that fills the entire mouth. The spiciness does cleanse the palate a bit, and invites you for that next sip. The effervescence level is moderate, with the finish having a dark chocolate and toffee aftertaste.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
APPETIZERS: Cheees- A wide variety of washed rind cheeses such as Epoisses de Bourgogne, or Gruyère. Saint-Feuillien, of course! Like the Blonde, a Charcuterie platter with assorted meats and pâtés would do nicely.
ENTRÈES: The classic Moules-Frites, (cook the mussels with St. Feuillien Brune to give it a rich, sweet malt flavor). Roast beef with St. Feuillien Brune and portabello sauce, Braised Lamb shanks, Confit Rabbit, Maple ribs.
It had been quite a long time since we had the St. Feuillien Brune last, and was a very nice revisit.
Rich and sumptuous, drinking this beer is like attending a well anticipated event. For dark beer fans, the flavor profile uniqueness in St. Feuillien Brune will please a wide variety of palates, and will exceed expectations of the most seasoned Belgian beer drinker well familiar with this beer style.
Our sample we tried was a little over a year old, and still had a great deal of liveliness to it. The aging potential of this beer is excellent- 3-5 years, possibly more. Yet another world class beer from Brasserie St. Feuillien, you’ll want to seek this one out for sure- it’s another must have.
Our next BrewView for the JULY 2016 BREWERY OF THE MONTH will be on the St. Feuillien Abbey Triple.
BrewView author GORDON A. PONCE is the main driving force behind Belgian Beer Journal.com. Since 1983, Gordon recognized that beers from Belgium were special, set apart from the typical craft beer.
He views beers from Belgium (plus Belgian-style and Belgian Inspired beers from other countries) great examples of the brewer’s art. Gordon and his wife live in beautiful Northern California- a great place to enjoy Belgian beer! Ecclesiastes 8:15