Posts Tagged ‘Boon Mariage Parfait’

Thanksgiving Sour Ales

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

The Huffington Post has an article with Thanksgiving beer suggestions by Justin Philips from Beer Table. Three of the six are sour ales: Rodenbach Grand Cru, BFM‘s Abbaye de Saint Bon Chien, and the Leipziger Gose from Bayerischer Bahnhoff.

My family had Thanksgiving early this year, and it occurred to me that sour ales are particularly suitable for Thanksgiving. In many ways a sour ale is much like a fine wine, seeming to balance the food in a way that a lot of beer doesn’t. Also it’s a really good chance to challenge your family and friends’ expectations about beer. The large (wine-sized) bottles it’s sold in encourage sharing.

Here are several sour beers I think would make a good addition to a Thanksgiving table. Mariage Parfait, the oude geuze from Brouwerij Boon in Lembeek, Belgium, compares favorably with champagne. I’ve written about the rich aroma, which seems light but draws you in, and the bold yet approachable flavor.

Another good choice to match a Thanksgiving meal is Duchesse de Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe in Vichte, Belgium. This is a richer beer, with a strong flavor reminiscent of balsamic vinegar. It also has dark fruit and port character. This is one of my favorites; you can read more about it in one of my two reviews.

My last suggestion isn’t actually sour, but it is brewed with Brettanomyces wild yeast. It’s Alive from Mikkeller, the gypsy brewer, also has a bright champagne-like quality. But It’s Alive is a little stronger and has a healthy infusion of hops to boot. The balance between the hop bitterness and the earthy character from the brett is masterful.

Sour Week: Oude Geuze Boon Mariage Parfait

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Mariage ParfaitBrouwerij Boon moved their brewing facilities in the 1980s from their original location where beer had been made since the 1680s. Frank Boon, who has been very helpful to “outsiders” wishing to learn the intricacies of lambic brewing, has owned and operated the brewery since 1978. They produce a faro, a framboise, a kriek, an oude kriek (old or aged kriek), a strong brown, and two gueuzes. Their Oude Gueze is a blend of six month and two year lambics. Their Mariage Parfait is the blend of the best individual casks and is intended as the brewery’s finest product.

As with a number of selections for Sour Week, I obtained this bottle at Lush on Halsted in Chicago. It is a vintage 2003, bottled, I believe, in 2007. In case you were curious, the best before date is 3 Feb 2027, totally beating my previous furthest-in-the-future best-before-date of sometime in 2013 (on a case of Unibroue Quelque Chose).

The Mariage Parfait pours a lightly hazy saffron. The head is a generous creamy long-lasting white.2009-08-16-date The nose is delicate, dry, and dusty, the aroma that of a farmhouse attic, with barnyard character drifting in through an open window. Grass and straw, dust and must, wood, horse, and goat. Subtle, complex, and elegant, the aroma on this beer seems light at first but will fill and tantalize your nose.

Initially fruity, the taste quickly turns strongly tart. A mostly clean lactic acidity is supplemented by shades of acetic. Tastes much like champagne on the middle of the tongue but with kiwi, pineapple, and grapefruit on the front and malt on the sides. Just a bit of horsey and sweaty funk. A hint of husky astringency and hop bitterness. The flavor is bold yet balanced and complex yet approachable. A quite active carbonation offsets the lingering acidity.

This delicate masterpiece is the beer to give to your (crazy) friend who loves wine but thinks all beer is gross.

++Oude Geuze Boon Mariage Parfait

4.5 (4-9-9-4-19)

Note: Both gueuze and geuze are acceptable spellings for the style.