Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Now Drinking: Daas Ambré

I've got a vague mistrust of organic beers. It always seem to me that their flavours are somehow compromised by their reliance on organic ingredients*. And it's not just me - this article about birds preferring non-organic food to organic is food for thought.

I've tried the two other beers in Daas range (Blonde (6.5%abv), and Witte (5%abv)), and they've left me a bit cold. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with them, but they seem to have sacrificed body for elegance, and rightly or wrongly, I attribute this to their organic credentials. To me, they are a touch lightweight, although the importer tells me that the beers have been reformulated and now are a bit more full-bodied. Only tasting them will tell.

However, body is something of which Daas Ambré (6.5%abv) has plenty. This copper-brown beer has a big aroma of slightly scorched caramel, and a faintly spicy, yeasty note. On the palate, caramelly sweetness is the order of the day until a little earthy hop character shows up late in the day to keep all that malt in check.

For me, this is the pick of the Daas range, although I should say I haven't tried the new Blonde and Witte. It's a big, uncomplicated slab of Belgian abbey ale, perhaps a bit too big to drink in any quantity, but sure to shine if paired with food - I'd suggest bread with paté or rillettes (and a pile of gherkins, for preference). Best of all, I didn't even suspect it was organic.

*the exception to this rule is Manchester's Marble Brewery, whose beers are organic and uncomparably delicious.


  1. i had this the ohter day, i really enjoyed it too, only problem is i could have sat and supped loads of it and only had the one bottle

  2. I agree that in the main organic beers are disappointing.

  3. Spezial of Bamberg, Black Isle of Ross-shire and Pitfield of Essex all make outstanding beers that are not compromised by their organic-ness. I find many non-organic beers very disappointing too.

  4. Andy - I'm not sure I could drink a lot of it, But I thought it was pleasant enough.

    Barm - you're right, and perhaps I was over-generalising. But equally, I do find that the majority of organic beers I've tried have seemed compromised on flavour, especially when compared with non-organic beers in the same brewer's portfolio.

  5. Compromise is the important word. If being organic is treated as more important than making a good beer, it's going to be a mediocre beer.

    Bear in mind that some beers marketed specifically on their organic-ness are targeted at consumers who would be happily drinking Beck's otherwise, so you might well find they are bland and generic by design.

  6. Barm - "If being organic is treated as more important than making a good beer, it's going to be a mediocre beer". My point exactly.


Sorry about the word verification - the blog was getting spammed to bits.