Monday, December 5, 2016

2016 Advent Beer 5: De Mons Belgian Abbey

Today's beer has very little to do with the New World, being a Trappist-style Belgian ale brewed in Perth, England. Both of these locales are fairly Olde Worldy, but I am far less committed to theme than I am to well executed beers.

Early signs are good; I poured De Mons (clever name, that) into a suitable glass, and was rewarded with a golden-coppery beer, much clearer than the previous couple of offerings, and with only light carbonation. The head dissipated quickly, leaving the telltale ring of pearls about the perimeter of the glass.

The label describes figs and raisins, but the fruit that comes through for me in the scent is more apple-ish. There is also the bready yeast aromas characteristic of this style, so I might be getting my fruit signals crossed by the esters.

A light, clean mouthfeel, almost reminiscent of an off-dry Riesling, carries the breadiness through to the palate, followed by the promised fruits. There is less apple and more the fig/raisin flavours, and the slight bitterness of the yeast is offset by the sweetness of the finish, unsurprising in a 6% beer.

As the beer warms, the fruit scent becomes a bit more pronounced along with the sweetness, but not in a cloying way, just richer and more complex.

Not exactly a winter warmer, but a step along that road, I see De Mons as less of a meal accompaniment and more of a slow sipper to enjoy with some nuts and cheese, and some good company of course.

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