Worthwhile French Beers: Val’Aisne Blonde

16 10 2010

Blondes have more fun?

We sampled a lot of beers, French and otherwise, while my brother-in-law, Casey, was in town a few weeks ago.  Somehow, we only got tasting notes and pictures of two of them.  I guess sometimes it’s just more important to enjoy the company and the beer in your glass than it is to try to document every last moment.

This beer, Val’Aisne Blonde, is brewed by the Brasserie Val’Aisne, located to the Northeast of Paris and just Northwest of Reims, the heart of Champagne country.  All their beers are top-fermented (read: ales as opposed to lagers), unfiltered, and undergo secondary fermentation in the bottle to produce the carbonation.  The brewery is open to the public for tastings and sales, and they even sell kegs for special occasions!

Upon pouring it into glasses, Nick, Casey, and I noted its lofty khaki head and sweet, malty aroma which gave way to more complex smells: sour-citrusy, banana ester, and warm spices such as ginger, nutmeg and coriander.  The first sip was very effervescent, with a tangy finish – the sort of acidity that leaves your mouth watering just a bit.  As we drank, a thick Belgian lace formed on the sides of the glass – unlike so many French beers, this head had some staying power.  Unfortunately, at the end of the day the Val’Aisne Blonde was kind of nondescript.  It was pleasant and all that, but not particularly memorable.  Still, I think it is a well-made beer, and wouldn’t hesitate to try another of their offerings, if the opportunity presents itself.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.

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