Microbrasserie Le Castor - Le Moine Féral
I was lucky enough to visit Microbrasserie Le Castor during a bièrcation back in January 2016, I might post photos one day but I didn't really capture many photos that visit. Le Castor is highly regarded in the beer scene as making one of the best Canadian IPAs outside of the West Coast and also one of the best organic breweries in the world. I reviewed their Yakima IPA only about a year after they first opened and while I haven't been able to try many beers by Le Castor over the years, I've been satisfied with the few I've tried.
Today, we're checking out their Le Moine Féral, a blonde Belgian-style Abbey Ale brewed with Brett yeast. I'm not a fan of Brett-styled beers but since they're non existent in Manitoba, I'm actually now getting cravings for the danky, barnyard experimental yeast for some reason.
Appearance: Le Moine Féral pours a heavy, cloudy orange juice-like body, a sort of thick amount of frothy white head on top to start off with but eventually diminishes to a light-to-moderate amount of head mostly concentrated around the side of the glassware and a bit of beer foam skim everywhere else on top. As I got the beer out of the fridge I noticed a very liberal amount of yeast sticking to the bottom of bottle - unfortunately it didn't make its way into my glass.. even with a bit of um.. shaking.
Aroma: I'm finding this beer pretty complex as I'm getting a bunch of different flavours all hitting me all at once. The first thing that I noticed was a mild sourness from the Brett yeast which gave off a light presence of dill. I also got a bit of Dove soap in there, the typical barn yard ickiness we all love in a beer brewed with Brett. There's a good deal of citrus notes (lemon, orange peel) and a surprisingly floral hop presence which shocks me as I bought this back in June! Fairly bready, sweet and even a bit of earthiness popping out here.
Taste: The beer tastes starts off with a combination of the Brett yeast and the hops, giving off a moderate amount of barnyard flavours, a bit of woodiness and a nice amount of light floral hop presence. The Brett is pretty tame in this beer compared to just about every other beer I've tried with this yeast... perhaps it's because a lot of it is at the very bottom? Mild notes of lemongrass, a sweet caramel maltiness, surprisingly smooth and quite dry. Compared to many of the Belgian Abbeys I've drank over the course of the past few weeks, this one is surprisingly insanely smooth and easy to drink, no overly boozy bite in there and not much of a lingering aftertaste at the end.
Overall Thoughts: If I didn't know that this was a Blonde Belgian Abbey, I wouldn't have known. It does have a presence of your typical Belgian Abbey but smoother, not as heavy on the booziness and much drier than what I'm used to from this style - also the Brett makes a difference as subtle as it seems to be. I like this a lot! 8.0% ABV