Alengrin (3240) - BELGIUM - APR 24, 2015
1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 3/20
One of the six BS beers from this French brewery, made with génépi, which is either of two species of wormwood typical for the Alps; most brewers in that region, though there aren’t many, have some or other beer using this herb, so I guess you could call this ’terroir’... Clear ’old gold’ colour with no fizz worth mentioning, resulting in a very thin and loose, yellowish white head losing the low amount of retention it had in instants (I guess it suffers from the presence of so much herbal oil?); the only remainder of it after a short while, is a small rim. Very strong ethereal, herbal aroma, the génépi speaking, reminiscent of aniseed liqueur with tons of sugar (I’m thinking Elixir d’Anvers or anisette) but in between aniseed, heavily sugared tea, peppermint and eucalyptus syrup; some hints of roots, chicken broth, rotting hay, tooth paste and grains, but (luckily?) totally overpowered by the génépi, I don’t even get any fruity esters. I taste it in fear, and I get a resiny, sweet spice effect immediately, low fruity esters as expected, (very) low carbonation as expected, with a chemical kind of wryness already apparent at the start and not becoming more subtle in the end; the aromatic herbal effect overpowers even the malts, there is some vague malt sweetness somewhere, but it takes an experienced palate to pick it up. Finish stubbornly emphasises the exagerrated ’herbalness’, a bit resinous, restrainedly sweet in a very liqueurish kind of way, some plastic-like phenols too, with that chicken meat effect returning retronasally; hops are very background and dull, no real bitterness. All that time the mouthfeel is thin and watery, which becomes ever more apparent in the finish due to the lack of hop bitterness for balance. A resinous, sweetish kind of taste is left in your mouth, as if you have been eating toothpaste. This is my second beer in this series, and I loathe the fact that there are four more to come - they instill a certain fear in me. This is absolutely abominable, or drain pour, as we are supposed to say; makes a good chance of ending up in my top ten of worst beers ever. It’s about time the craft beer revolution reaches France, but seen their affection for (their own) wine, I don’t think this will happen any time soon and so far I haven’t seen any attempts to start it there. As for style: herb beer indeed, but herb ’ale’? Though this brewery’s website claims their beers are top-fermented, this is the second time I am seriously beginning to doubt this. I could swear this is a bland pale lager heavily pimped with génépi herb - in which case it would end up at the same quality level as, say, Cave Creek Chili Beer. I’d rather have a génépi liqueur then please, thanks.
gegwilson (2119) - North Yorkshire, ENGLAND - MAR 17, 2015
1.3 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 5/20
Bottle from a supermarket in Samoens, France. Golden with a white head. Strong lime disinfectant aroma. Lager and lime flavour, but lacking sweetness. Pretty awful. Herb and aniseed notes too.
crlnts (385) - SWITZERLAND - AUG 13, 2014
1.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 5/20
Almost flat. Can’t really feel anything other than wormwood. Tastes of cleaning product. Meh.
czar (5723) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 27, 2013
1.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
bottle from stepdad - thanks. drain pour. almost clear with a small white cap, little retention. gingered malts, peppery yeastiness, bretts, soda pop, herbal, powdered candies. sparkling carbonation, light body.