Tuesday, April 12, 2005

En garde!

Dining out last night, we ran across a mysterious bottle listed on the menu simply as L'Amalthee, in a 750 ml bottle for $15. Apparently they'd already run out of them, having only had a few in stock, so I wrote the name on the back of my blood donor card (you never know what paramedics might have on hand in an emergency) and went home to do a little researchin'.
Old man Internet didn't have much information about this French farmhouse ale, but I do love this curious write-up from the Paul Marcus Wines newsletter:

Charles was introduced to Pierre Lebbe by one of his wine producers. Pierre is a goat cheese producer whose family hails from Belgium, which of course has a great beer-making tradition. So he decided to make beer - from organic barley that he grows and malts himself.
[JB] I like beer.
[MM] This one is a cloudy, yellow-gold. I smell a wheaty note, and it tastes malty rather than hoppy. Also lemony. After I swirl it a bit, the aromatic hops start to emerge from behind the barley. There's a little mint/cilantro in there, and a distinct whiff of pine.
[JB] I like beer.
[CA] I definitely get the lemon and the pine and the wheat-esque flora. But better bet is barley. To me, that green bit suggests Italian parsley. It's got great length. Aromatic hops, wild yeast, and a goat on the label - what's not to like?!
[JB] Ummm...Beer.

If that doesn't get your curiosity up (especially JB's intriguing insight), I don't know what will. Grows and malts himself? Goats?The reward for finding me a bottle of Éphémère Cassis has now been doubled for whomever out there hunts me down a bottle of this puppy: Brasserie Lebbe, Organic Beer, 'L'Amalthee' ($7.99, 750 ml).


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