Belgian farmhouse ale (in a can!), unfiltered. 6.5% ABV
St Feuillien Brewery, LeRoeulx, Belgium
By Bill Lau
Posted October 17, 2014
I’ve gotten used to buying beer in cans again with the explosion of canned craft offerings, and have even previously reviewed a canned Saison, but was still caught a little off-guard when I saw this canned Belgian ale. It had just not occurred to me that our dear brewing friends across the pond might also be employing this packaging method for some of their wonderful products. As with many Belgian beers, this comes in a slightly unusual size, 11.2 fl oz (about a third of a liter).
I’ve touched on the benefits of cans before, but for those who may have missed it, cans provide perfect protection from both sunlight and air (and boy, both of those have been known to wreak havoc with imported beers over the years; nothing worse than laying down money for a premium product only to find it’s skunked or oxidized!). I have yet to notice any off flavors from the new generation of cans, too, so had no reluctance to give this one a go.
It presented a clear, deep golden hue kissed by a hint of amber. Bits of sediment floated in suspension throughout (hey, they weren’t kidding when they said “unfiltered”!). The near-white head started out around a quarter inch thick and slowly faded to wispy traces.
The aroma was very Belgian and inviting. A mix of spice notes (coriander, cardamom, whiff of clove), some tangy fruitiness, a bit of yeast, and light caramelly malt were all present.
Mouthfeel was rounded, light, and very finely carbonated, leaving a resiny touch on the tongue. Velvety.
Light spices early, mostly coriander and cardamom, then a touch of pepper and hint of clove; this was joined by yeasty and fruity notes, followed by some bitterness with a touch of astringency, and earthy, woody, and tangy tones. This evolution of flavors and complexity got a little muddied in the finish, though. Needed a late bite of something to leave behind on the palate.
Started out strong but faded a little coming down the stretch. Not quite a Derby winner, but still pretty good!
Rating: Appearance: 3.5/5 Aroma: 8/10 Palate: 4/5 Flavor: 7/10 Overall: 15/20