03 December 2010

First "Open It!": Corne de Brume Biere des Iles

I've decided to up the ante just a bit by pulling out well-buried, seldom-used beer glasses in which to pour the beer.  First one of those: a thistle-shaped Unibroue Raftman glass, for their long-discontinued peat-smoked ale.  (Ah, the memories of that one....)

Corne de Brume Biere des Iles ["Foghorn Scotch Ale"], as the name implies, is a beer from Quebec.  That's literally all I know about it.  At first glance I thought it was a beer brought back for me by a friend who went to Quebec City and asked me for suggestions before he went, but that was a 500-ml bottle as I recall--I can't find that at the moment, and if I do it's another prime target.  This has a sticker with the U.S. government warning and the address of an importer in Virginia, so I'm guessing I got this during a visit to the Loose Caboose gourmet store
in Ashland, Va. while my friend was bidding on vintage motorcycles on eBay at the nearby library. (I talked him out of the running after he'd exceeded his price by $500.)

DEEP mahogany red, bright and clear with no lees--color-wise, one of the prettiest beers I've seen of late.  Average head retention, not great or sorry.  Nose of rich malt, tobacco leaf, dried stone fruit, molasses, and a hint of fall leaves burning.  (My wife says "Samichlaus?")  Flavor is rich malt, semi-dry with a lot of smoky hints/character and indistinct woody spice tannins.  Distinct alcohol burn in it, no mistaking that this is a 9.0% beer.  This would go brilliantly with a nicely grilled leg of lamb or steak, with green beans or Brussels sprouts.  But its smokiness and dryness demands that something else follow it, such as a sweeter, heavier beer or a dessert.  (Wife says, "Well, give me some chocolate, then!")

Website for the beer and brewery here. RateBeer.com page here (99th percentile, #4 Scotch Ale as of this posting).  I guess it's all downhill from here.
The Google translation of the French description is a hoot:
The foghorn is a Scotch ale at 9.0% alcohol. From a deep brown with hints of ruby, she dons a mocha mousse aspects. In the mouth reveals Fog Horn all its depth. A wall caramelized flavor stands before us and envelops us warmly language. This dance caramelized and lascivious binds with bitterness deaf to form a waltz which combines heady wild fruit and malt. Shortly thereafter, bitterness loosens its grip on our taste buds to slowly bring us back to reality.  Beer to age very well

1 comment:

Jake said...

Unibrou still makes Raftman, but for whatever reason has stopped exporting it. The Raftman page on their website notes it's only available in Canada. A shame. I had one during my last visit to Montreal in May 2009.

http://www.unibroue.com/en/beers/raftman1/product