Friday, 5 February 2010

Now Drinking: Lefebvre Hopus

Belgian beer can be really lively on the tongue. I've sort of got the hang of pouring it from a bit of a height to knock some of the carbonation and, according to a video that I can't currently find, "activate the flavour compounds". I use speechmarks because I don't think that a carbonation-removing pour activates flavour compounds, but it does leave more of the beer in contact with the tongue when you drink it. Rather than a mouthful of froth, you actually get some beer. And it's better to taste beer than taste froth.

I like quite a bit of Lefebvre's output, my favourite perhaps being Barbar, their honey beer. Oddly, this has quite a similar flavour profile, with a lot of honeyed esters and a faintly phenolic edge. I'm not totally convinced by how it tastes - it sort of falls between two beers, being half Barbar and half Duvel, but not quite as enjoyable as either of them. Although there is a lot of hop character, it isn't the usual in-you-face citrus and pine needle assault, rather a more refined effort using (at a guess) plenty of noble Saaz.

As it's the first bottle I've tried, I'd happily drink another, if only to confirm my impressions. But I'm not sure I'd go for a third.

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