And so we come to the final beer from the mixed (in more ways than one) stash Dave and Laura brought me back from France last summer. BAS Noire is from Brasserie Artisanale de Sabaudia in Chambéry and features a lovely bit of art nouveau styling on the label.
The beer itself is a mere 4% ABV, but I'm quite impressed with what it does with this. Light, and a little bit overly fizzed, it gives off some lovely café crème aromas from the substantial head. The flavour is sweet, full of milk chocolate, but again the lightness means it skips daintily past any notion of being cloying or sickly. Where sometimes these dark fizzy beers tail off into metal and carbon dioxide, this finishes mellow with marzipan and a wisp of smoke. Part schwarzbier, part milk stout, it takes positive elements from both.
It's actually quite a refreshing beer and I can see it going down well as both a digestif in lieu of coffee, or as a warm-day restorative in an open-air café. Finding it as a local beer in the wilds of the French Alps would be a very pleasant surprise.
Westmalle Dubbel - *Origin: Belgium | Date: 2008 | ABV: 7% | On The Beer Nut: October 2007* It's a longtime favourite today. Westmalle Dubbel goes back to the very beginnings...
1 week ago