They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor

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From the cellar: Gayant La bière du Démon

Gayant La Démon

La Démon

ABV: 12%
Origin: Douai, Nord, France
First published: 5 February 2001

Another review from the  written for the pioneering Oxford Database (OBBD). I’ve left it uncorrected — so please read it in that historical spirit.

Founded by a merger of several breweries in the Douai area in 1919, Gayant (named after the giants of Flemish folklore) has been under the same ownership as the brewery since 2010. Though La Démon is still strong stuff, its claim to being the strongest pale beer in the world is long lost.

Spotting the origin of this beer from the label is not straightforward: it claims to follow a recipe from the Boxer Brewery in Lausanne, Switzerland (does this establishment still brew?), but it’s actually made by Gayant, a small brewery in Douai, French Flanders, that’s also known for its apricottish bière de garde La Goudale.  The label still claims that the beer is the strongest pale beer in the world, and though this claim has in fact been substantially challenged in recent years, it’s still best to avoid swigging back pints of the stuff.

The colour is very blond and crystal clear (it’s not bottle conditioned), with a light malty aroma.  It doesn’t taste anything like its strength, having a clean malt palate with warming citric hints and a developing grapefruity dryness. Only a late, oily whiff of spirit-like alcohol on the swallow gives the game away, but blink and you’ll miss it in the onset of the dry slightly herby finish.

Not unpleasant, but to be honest, there’s very little to it, given the gravity and compared to some other ultra-strong brews like Bush.  Since there are so many much weaker beers with much more interesting flavours that can be enjoyed in greater quantities, this is probably one for headbangers only.

 

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