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Beer Reviews Dorelei

So you’re in France, you’re fed up with the limited choice and poor quality of the wines and you want to sample some good French beer. There’s Bierre de Garde from close to the Belgian border, but more readily available is Bierre d’Alsace with it’s faint German influence. Of course the French don’t bother with all that Rheinheitsgebot palaver.

So it was that I sampled Dorelei Grande Bierre Ambree d’Alsace.

The Fischer brewery was founded in 1821 in Strasbourg, in the Alsace region if France, and moved to Schiltigheim in 1854, apparently because of the good quality of water there. In 1922, they took over the neighbouring Adelshoffen brewery and became Groupe Pcheur (the French translation of the German Fischer). Groupe Pcheur was in turn taken over by Heineken in 1996.

The package is very attractive with a porcelain swing top and an embossed ‘art deco’ design on the 650ml, brown, tapered bottle.
On the back label the ingredients are listed as: beer (duh), spices, vegetables and vegetable extract.
Hmmm. It’s going to taste a bit different I suspect!

As you might expect from a bierre ambree, Dorelei pours to a rich amber, copper colour. There’s lots of carbonation with a thick, white, rocky head that lasts well and leaves plenty of lace in the glass.
This one is not shy when it comes to the nose. The first sensation is of raw vegetables, possibly carrots, followed by more fruity aromas. Banana is the dominant fruit but there are other, more subtle fruit notes there too. There’s a little ginger spiciness and a feeling of treacle and custard….strange!

It’s full-bodied, not too gassy with quite a soft mouthfeel. At first it’s very sweet, almost sickly sweet, before turning a little more balanced. Quite sticky, there’s a butterscotch quality and some fruitiness – bananas and pears. After the initial sweetness there’s a really strong spicy kick – I’m guessing coriander, before finishing slightly dry with a relatively bitter aftertaste.

At 6.3% ABV, this has quite an alcohol kick to it to go along with the spicy hit. It’s quite pleasant and a nice beer to sample but it’s far too quirky for my taste. Too much like a novelty. I can’t see this going very well with any type of food as the aroma and taste of the beer would completely overwhelm most flavours.
The bottle is a minor work of art though!
Would I drink it again? – Mibbes aye, mibbes naw*

* I’m undecided