St. Feuillien Brune/Bruin

The bottle itself is very heavy. I don't know if it's just extra thick or what, but this bottle is not normal. I got three beers from this brewer (who I never heard of before) and they are colored and sized the same way that the Chimay beers are. Are they just trying to introduce confusion to the market? Are they trying to ride someone's coattails? Let's find out.

The beer is a very dark red-hued brown and the bottle simply overflowed with foam as soon as I cracked it (so, nicely bottle conditioned as the monks do so well). During the pour, I expected one hell of a head, but it's pretty much the perfect size, so again, bravo. The aroma is boozy. It's got a distinct liquor smell with cherry, caramel, and grains punctuating that this is a beer, but this is a beer that produces some alcohol and enjoys it.

First sip is very rich. I thought it might be too much and would result in an overwhelming aftertaste and that solid hit of raisins and dates that often smacks you in the face with an overdone beer that some brewers wind up settling on when they want to hit a beer out of the park and may have slightly lost their taste for subtlety as a result of too many nights eating their own charred barley malt. So, first sip is pretty good, but I need a swig to separate the men from the other men who don't swig.

Tip-in is almost fruity with a lot of grains and some yeast to round it out. It's solid, but it doesn't knock me over, so it is well-balanced. It's sweeter than I would have expected, and I think I can taste a glimmer of raisin. As the middle trots along, the taste remains the same, but it gets lighter. The dark fruits give way to maybe apples and pears quite nicely. The finish arrives with a bit of a tart wave, and then the beer simply trails off. It's possibly the most consistent beer through this process.

Bottom Line: An excellent beer that reminds me of Chimay, and that is very good company to keep.



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