Review: Avant Garde Assemblage Sauvage "On n'apprivoise pas les chats sauvages"

It's been a while since I was able to take a vacation, so I decided I need to go back to Montreal for the 26th annual Mondial de la Bière. This year it's taking place on May 22 to 25 at Gare Windsor, making it the first time the event has been hosted at the old train station in several years. I've never gone to the beer festival back when it was at Gare Windsor, so it should be a real treat! Also, the last time I went to Mondial de la Bière in 2017, it was the first time I ever met the awesome Shawn & Renaud over at Avant-Garde! So I'm looking forward to reporting on my favourite samplings while there, chatting with brewers, and taking photos for here and for my First Draught column in the Brandon Sun!

After a few years of brewing over at Oshlag Brasserie & Distillerie, my buddies Shawn & Renaud over at Avant-Garde Artisans Brasseurs are opening up their brand new brewery at 5500 Rue Hochelaga in Montreal.. a literal stone throw's away from the famous Stade Olympique.

Renaud saved this beer and a bunch of others when I made a visit to Montreal back in August but I've finally gotten time to review it. Mon ami Stéf has a bunch of the beer I couldn't bring back with me because I was already well over the limit for beer I was bringing back to Manitoba.. awesome friends, am I right?!

Today I'm checking out Avant-Garde's Assemblage Sauvage. The beer is a blend of Saison en enfer, Wild 1 and Funk et la furie aged several months in wine and tequila barrels inoculated with a rich and diverse microflora of wild yeast and lactic bacteria. Glass: Yes, Aging potential: sure! Tasting notes: A beautiful, tart, fresh, very, very nice product!

I already like my odds from the description!

Appearance: Pours a very hazy lemon yellow with a light to moderate amount of carbonation, light amount of sediment that ends up at the bottom of the glass, and a nice finger's worth of white head on top.

Aroma: This is beautiful, the first thing I got was the sourness of the wild yeast mixed with a bit of a peach fruitiness. My nose is already letting my mouth know that this is going to be a very dry beer so I'm salivating a bit. Notes of barnyard funk, lemon, a good deal of oakiness from the wine/tequila barrels used.. I do get a bit of a red wine aroma to it as well as a hint of tequila spiciness to it. Quite sour yet quite aromatic

Taste: Holy hell, this is sour the second it gets to my lips, it's face puckering sour.. in a good way! It's sour with a definite note of tequila right from the beginning. There's notes of lemon, barnyard funk, mildly fruity.. a  bit of pear and maybe apple. Good amounts of oaky woodiness, a nice amount of red wine to give it a bit of a dark fruitiness to it. This is a good beer just to sip on and enjoy the day with.

Overall Thoughts: It's beers like this that I want to see more of, but unfortunately Manitoba Liquor Marts would never bring in a product like this. It's sour, it's funky, it's oaky and it's something worth drinking on a lazy Saturday. Light amount of fruitiness to it, definitely will age well.

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