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Guess what. Tomorrow is Bastille Day, France’s Fourth of July. When trying to figure out which beers I wanted to feature, an array from French beers. Seeing as I was thinking about this on Tuesday, the only beers I had available to me were those on the shelves of Top Ten. We have only three French beers currently in stock. A cider, a beer that I’ve already reviewed, and a light beer that, to be honest, I just didn’t want to drink. So, I got a bit creative with it. The beers below are not French, but they do have some ties to France. The first, a Belgian beer, umm… well, it’s next to France and some parts of Belgium speak France. Check! The second beer has a French name, La Folie, and is aged in French oak foeders. Check. Finally, the last beer is brewed in Quebec, and they speak Frech-Canadian. Check. Three checks and three beers to celebrate Bastille Day with!

Vive la France

– Tyler

And Now, the Brews


 

Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers | Oerbier | Belgian Strong Dark Ale
de-dolle-oerbier_1
Oerbier has an interesting history. This beer was originally a homebrew by two brothers in Belgium. They took over an old brewery in 1980 with the stipulation of making sure it survives because if they didn’t, no one would. Oerbier, which means “Original Beer” is brewed with about 8 different malts, Golding hops which are grown locally in Poperinge, and their own house yeast. The yeast went from their original yeast which resulted in a lightly sweet, acidic dry beer. Their yeast strain died in 2000. In order for them to try and replicate their old strain, they used a commercial strain combined some lactobacillus, but the resulting beer was sweeter and less acidic. As of 2005, they were able to develop their own yeast stain that replicated the original recipe. Beer nerds rejoiced. The nose is chalk full of dark fruit, plum, fig, cherry, and blackberry as well as brown sugar and caramel. The taste is similar, rich with sweet notes of cherries, plums, anise, nuts, caramel, raisins, mixed with some earthy bitterness, and some warmth of booze. A perfect companion for Bastille Day.
330 ml | 9% ABV | 16 IBUs

 


 

New Belgium | 2015 La Folie | Sour Brown Ale
new-belgium-la-folie It’s always a treat to find a vintage sour on the shelves. They age well, and, if you’ve had it before, it can be exciting to see how a beer develops, especially when it ages well. This 2015 vintage, three years later, is delicious! Aromas of green apple, tart cherry, raspberry, caramel, malt, yeast, and a touch of vinegar. The first rush of sour that hits your tongue results in an immediate pucker, but once you’re past that, flavors of plum, granny smith apples, cherry, oak, and tannins. A dry sweet sour that is still just as good as it was in 2015. I imagine it could easily last another two or three years. Get three, have one tomorrow for Bastille Day, and have the other two during the next two Bastille Days. Take notes, track the changes, and have some good old fashion fun. Also, the packaging is changing this year. It will be coming out in 375 ml bottles that are corked and caged. This could help with its aging. We shall see.
22 oz | 7% ABV | 18 IBUs

 


 

Unibroue | Éphémère Cranberry | White Ale aged on Lees
Unibroue Ephemere Aged on Lees. What are Lees? Simply put, its’ bottle conditioned. Lees are pretty much dead yeast cells that are left over after fermentation. This helps add carbonation to the beer. It can also add some flavor. So, this hasn’t been made for a while, so I am not sure how old this bottle is, but it has aged pretty well. The smell of cranberries fills the glass. With the age, aromas of lychees and a bit of yeast also come through. The tart cranberries you would expect are a bit subdued allowing more of the lychees flavors, coriander, a touch of orange peel, and bready malts, with an aftertaste of cranberry. Slightly tart with a slightly dry finish. It has aged into a unique beer that is still tasty. If you find some, give it a try and let me know what you think of it!
750 ml | 5.5% ABV | 9 IBUs

 


* Please Note that not all products are available at all locations. Do you want one of the beers mentioned? Ask your local Top Ten Liquors to carry it!
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