03 July 2013


I hoped that this Belgian blonde wasn't the worse for wear after a protracted spell in my oubliette. I only missed the best-before by a week so reckoned I'd probably get away with it -- it's 8% ABV after all. Vapeur en Folie from Brasserie à Vapeur is a darker gold than your typical blonde and smells more than anything like a run-of-the-mill extra-strength pale lager: grainy, with a slightly biscuit sweetness. Certainly no sign of the fruit and spice one expects from this genre.

On tasting it's a bit more true to form, with a bubblegum element added in, though the lagery biscuit is still present. The most interesting element, however, is a kind of white wine vinousness. Not good white wine, mind: more the slightly heavy fuselish sort served at a million 1970s tupperware parties. There's an almost sour, bitter tang to it and it curdles in the stomach somewhat.

I was faintly disgusted by this beer, yet kept being drawn back for more, out of fascination. I've no idea if the taste is intentional or a result of shoddy or brewing or my shoddy cellaring. But if you've had it with the second-rate Duvel clones normally churned out in this bracket, here's one to make you reconsider what can be done within the specification.

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