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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
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"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: Lefebvre Abbaye de Bonne-Espérance (Ambrée)

Abbaye de Bonne Espérance Ambrée

Abbaye de Bonne Espérance Ambrée

ABV: 7.8%
Origin: Quenast, Brabant-Wallonie, Wallonia
Websitewww.bonneesperance.be/fr/la-biere
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.

This beer is now an officially recognised Belgian abbey beer bearing the Erkend Belgisch Abdijbier logo, though it’s no longer brewed by . In early 2015 it was moved to Brasserie La Binchoise in Binche, Hainaut. The abbey website makes no reference to honey being using, but does say the wort is boiled in a direct-fired copper and the beer is dry hopped and bottle conditioned.

I sampled this soon after this Brabant brewery’s dark honey beer, Barbãr Winter Bok, and though the latter has hints of Styrian hops and honeysuckle, the scent of this abbey beer is overwhelming when first poured: not only honeysuckle but real, country honey. You can almost see the bits of honeycomb in the jar.

The beer is a lightish amber, and pours cloudy, though the label has no reference to bottle conditioning.  As the head diminishes more drying, herbal hop notes come through, and the beer proves notably well-hopped in the mouth, with orange, lychee, a honeyed yeastiness and a slightly cloying alcoholic taste that persists into the cheek-puckering, tart and mildly soapy finish. The conclusion is firmly in the direction of dry, bitter hops.

This is one of those beers that smells great and is very flavoursome but doesn’t turn out to be as satisfying as it should be, perhaps because the flavours could be better integrated.

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