Worthwhile French Beers: Agent Provocateur

9 10 2010

Agent Provocateur

It almost feels like cheating to call this a French beer, since Agent Provocateur is brewed by a Scotsman.  Craig Allan studied the science of brewing and distilling in Edinburgh, and after a decade of brewing for Scottish microbreweries, as well as working in the whisky trade and on Burgundian vineyards, he struck out on his own to brew fine craft beers in France.  It may seem like a strange choice of locale, but his aim is to prove that good microbrew has all the merit of fine wine.  If he can win over the French, mission accomplished!  Besides, he’s got the Auld Alliance (which has been in effect since the 13th century, and until the early 20th century gave all Scots French citizenship) to back him up.

History aside, this is a fantastic beer.  Nick’s family visited us for a week and a half in September, and his brother Casey is quite the beer enthusiast.  (This is putting it mildly – his beer bottle collection could fill a small museum.)  Nick directed him to a couple of our favorite beer stores, namely La Cave à Bulles, near the Centre Pompidou, and Terres de Bières in the Marché St. Quentin.  He came home a few days in a row with a selection of beers to try (and, if possible, bring home for the bottle collection).  One of said beers was Agent Provocateur, which was recommended as hoppier than most.

We poured it into three glasses and noted the pillowy, cream-colored head over a hazy, dark-golden liquid.  The aroma was quite hoppy, with fruity hints of grapefruit.  On the palate, it exhibited strong hop bitterness balanced with a very lightly sweet malt background and flavors of fresh-cut grass.

“This is the first good beer I’ve had since I’ve been here,” Casey declared.  I found it incredibly refreshing, and hands-down the most West Coast American IPA-style beer I’ve had in France.  That’s a good thing.

* * * * *

Just a quick reminder, if you haven’t already, to enter to win a $75 gift certificate to CSN stores!  I’ll be choosing a winner at random from the comments tomorrow, Sunday October 10th, at noon Paris time.  The announcement will follow shortly thereafter.

On this day in 2009: Kir Bourgignon

Originally published on Croque-Camille.

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11 responses

9 10 2010
Barbra

This is the style of beer I miss most – I guess I don’t need to any longer!

9 10 2010
george

Scotch whisky is spelled without the “e”. You are using the spelling associated with the Irish heresy “whiskey”

I hope it is cheaper than the other “Agent Provocateur” as well.

10 10 2010
Hannah

You are such a hussy.

That said, this sounds like my kind of beer: malt, grass, and bitterness. Alas for non-existing-in-Australia-ness!

10 10 2010
croquecamille

Barbra – Me, too!

george – You’re absolutely right, I’m fixing it now. (In my defense, it’s also the preferred spelling for bourbon whiskey, and as an American, it’s a habit to spell it with the “e.”)

Hannah – Maybe you could get the Curious Chocolatier to create a chocolate with those flavors for you? ;) Alas for non-existing-in-Europe-or-America-ness!

10 10 2010
Hannah

Touche, my dear. But would you believe that one of the new flavours of hers DOES involve beer? Oh yes, Camille. Oh yes.

10 10 2010
Nanan

I love how you write about beer in France! – I remember how I used to enjoy drinking beer when I was there much more than wine as a college student… – but then again – that is where I started to appreciate a good table basic red table wine with my meals… ooohhh – I just had a memeory of going to those Booms! the University dances hahahaha

11 10 2010
onlinepastrychef

The Beloved would love this beer–he is quite the Hop Head, as it were. Me, I’m not too fond of a “pointy” beer. I mostly just get the bitterness. I can’t even eat grapefruit:(

Didn’t know about the Auld Alliance. I have learned a New Thing. Thanks! :)

11 10 2010
hungry dog

I sure like the look of that beer bottle.

And I hope I win that contest!!

11 10 2010
croquecamille

Hannah – What do I have to send you in order to get some of that in my grubby paws?

Nanan – I definitely learned to appreciate wine in France, too, but it’s fun to explore the lesser-known world of French craft beers!

Jenni – It’s definitely an acquired taste. But once you acquire it…

hungry dog – It is a really cool label, isn’t it?

12 10 2010
riceandwheat

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog Camille! I think I actually might be coming to Paris soon, so I plan to raid your archives and get some Paris tips from you, starting with this beer recommendation. Cheers! :)

12 10 2010
croquecamille

riceandwheat – Thank YOU for dropping by! I hope you find some useful information here. Be sure to check out my Google map – it’s linked on the sidebar and in the About page. It has addresses, phone numbers, and hours for all the places I’ve written about, and some I haven’t!




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