Origin: Gussignies, Nord, France
‘Daffodil harvest’, a bottle-conditioned blond ale with a suitably floral label full of the cheer of spring, comes from an artisanal brewery at the Baron brewpub and restaurant, Gussignies, northern France. I picked up this bottle at the London Drinker Beer Festival as one of the more unusual choices on the imported beer stand. It claims to be a bière de garde but isn’t typical for the style, being more of a light beer appropriate to the daffodil season. It’s also not meant for lengthy storage: the label informs you both of its bottling date in January 2002 and its best before date in June.
The beer is mid-blond, cloudy from a plentiful sediment and very lively: I lost some when I popped the champagne-style cork despite the fact the bottle had been standing for some days. The aroma is an inviting mix of vanilla, bananas, yeast, traces of hops and a light woody quality. The palate is lively and prickly with light vanilla-ish malt, with spreading flavours of dry and slightly flowery hops and washes of tangy fruit. Bananas and toffee are apparent on the swallow, and the tangy malt aftertaste lingers with a slight aniseed hint. Overall the beer is suitably wholesome, cheerful and refreshing, though the texture is a little thin and this bottle delivered a bit too much fizz for my taste.
Read more about this beer at ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/bailleux-cuvee-des-jonquilles-biere-de-garde/9285/