Friday, January 8, 2010

192. Gavroche French Red Ale

This is our first beer from Brasserie de St. Sylvestre, which is in St. Sylvestre, France. This is the Flanders region of France, famous for its brewing traditions.

Gavroche French Red Ale has a soft clean lightly caramel nose that carries just a touch of something wild and slightly exotic with the yeast esters. It has a hazy copper color and a white head that laces the glass well. Gavroche starts with a light fruitiness and some yeast esters before moving into a light caramel middle and then finishing dry with a hint of tartness. Light-bodied with spritzy bright carbonation, it is clean and refreshing on the palate. Overall, it is a well-balanced and very drinkable beer—it’s not quite Belgian, but not quite French either—it’s a bit too neutral. It would be better if it further developed some of the tart and wild notes that are present.

Doing the good work...

From the Brasserie de St. Sylvestre website: “Gavroche is a character in Victor Hugo’s 19th century novel, Les Misérables, a rebellious yet always generous little urchin, living by his wits on the streets of Paris. Gavroche is a strong, red beer, in which the deep malt flavour and brisk hoppiness are very well balanced; and the whole is gracefully accentuated by fruity flavours derived from a special top-fermenting yeast. This is a rare French example of an ale refermented in the bottle. Gavroche must be served with care (leaving behind the fine yeast sediment) at about 10°C.”

ABV: 8.5%


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