>Three from a selection we picked up at La Cave à Bulles, a superb beer shop near the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Simon, the owner, seemed to know more about beer than anyone I’ve ever met, and his English was so good he could tell I was from Yorkshire by my accent. A much more pleasant experience than going to Utobeer at Borough market, about the only decent beer shop in central London. On our visit the brewer from the Leireken brewery in Opwijk was trying out a new fruit beer on some of the customers. I haven’t opened my bottle yet – I’m saving it along with a scary-looking Belgian 9% brew for nearer Christmas.
20) Brasserie Uberach Doigt De Dieu (France) (bottle): Very effervescent and noisy pour, murky light toffee body with a faint spicy whiff. A bit thin in the mouth but tangy with hints of stewed fruit and distant smokiness. Some black toffee and treacle. It sort of tastes like it looks, sticky and toffeeapple-y. Overall, a bit dull. I like the cheeky label apeing Leffe’s dubious abbey “heritage”.
21) Sornin Clugny III (France) (bottle): Dark amber with explosive frothy head and a sherbert-y nose. Lots of mellow marmalade and honey, (my original notes say ‘old honey’ – whatever that means), brandy, orange peel. Complex, summery, enjoyable and satisfying. Doesn’t taste like 6%. Great.
22) Corsendonk Agnes (Belgium) (bottle): Butterscotch body with a snow-white, good three inches of head. Very fragrant – lots of sweet, baking bread. Spice, caramel, brown sugar and a brief hop bitterness giving way to burnt malt and more spice. Very enjoyable.