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


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.

I'm hoping to go to Mondial de la Bière in May as I really need a vacation to clear my mind. Hopefully I'll end up going and get to meet up with Shawn & Renaud, always awesome guys! Their brewery should be up and running by the time Mondial comes around.

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