Not for the first time, and likely not the last, I approach today's advent beer with a heady mixture of anticipation and trepidation. I have never had a beer from French Guiana before. I know not what 'Gueule' means, nor how to pronounce it. The label depicts the unsnarling face of a jaguar (probably), and says the bottle contains a flavoured beer, but gives no hint as to what sort of flavour that might be.
My native guide is also unsure of the pronunciation, so I do my own research, and it turns out that gueule (pron. "gœl") (thanks for nothing, interwebs) means "face", making the name of this beer 'Young Face'. Further perusal of the label reveals one of the ingredients as natural orange flavour, so I am no longer quite so apprehensive about the possibility of discovering what jaguar tastes like.
In the glass, Jeune Gueule presents a pale, cloudy yellow, with about a finger of white foam, buoyed up by lively carbonation. A hoppy nose accompanied by another sort of citrusy tang that I don't initially associate with the hops; perhaps the oranges?
It's taste is well balanced, with a tendency towards the bitter, and an almost acidic tang to the affair before the orange comes in, almost more as an aroma than a taste. It is not dissimilar to the orange in yesterday's Marmalade Porter, making me wonder if their proximity was by design. Refreshing and exotic, this is one of the better candidates for a session beer from this year's calendar.
In terms of setting though, a suburban Alberta kitchen is the last place to enjoy such a beverage, but with only a little imagination, you can perhaps imagine drinking a bottle of Jeune Gueule in a dimly lit wharfside dive in Cayenne, waiting for the tide, or perhaps the arrival of a parcel, or person of interest.