Once again, fatherhood has launched me on the 401, as I do every other week end when I make my way up to Montreal to see my kids. To many, the road between Toronto and Montreal can be long and painful but life, folks, is about perception and I can tell you that my wife and I spend that time very wisely. After all, when can a husband and wife get to sit for 6 hours and touch base on their marriage, vacation, children and everything else that make for good (or spicy) conversation. The 401 is sort of a day at the spa for our married minds. Sounds sad? Don’t knock it until you’ve lived it.
The end of our travel is usually where it gets less therapeutic. We hit the Metropolitan highway in Montreal, and that’s where everything jams up in traffic. “Terrific”, I find myself mumbling every time, I’m incorrigible. By the time I’ve entered the Belle Province and gotten home, I am in need of a good massage and / or a cold beer. That’s exactly what I did Friday night. I opened a bottle of Estrella Damm Inedit and almost bastardized this review.
I was eager to refresh myself and figured I can quench and review all at once. Wrong! I neglected to do my homework. Turns out this beer is the product of a collaboration between the Estrella Brewery and famous Chef Ferran Adrià. The two collaborated on crafting a beer to pair some of the most difficult dishes, and little did I know, on my first pour, that this beer needed a little bit of love before getting spanked on the bum.
Let me tell you about Ferran Adrià. For those who don’t know him, Adrià is a world renown Chef considered by many to be the best in the world. He is especially known for his famous restaurant, El Bulli which currently holds Restaurant Magazine’s record for being the best restaurant in the world 5 times, until it closed down in 2011. Adrià would open his restaurant for no more than 6 months per year for which reservations for the 8 000 meal it served per season sold out within a day. At 325.00$ average per meal, Adrià served up the most imaginative molecular meals prepared with N2O cartridges amongst many other techniques, yet despite the hefty price tag, couldn’t maintain the 42 chefs required to keep up with the restaurant’s artsy molecular-physic-driven and extensive menu. When it closed in 2011, it had reported a loss almost every year prior.
That being said, my first mistake was not to read the label. With that came the mistake to pour this beer in a tulip type glass; it should be poured in a white wine glass and the bottle should be kept in an ice bucket, the way you would a Champagne.
At last, here the review…
Look: Hazy pale yellow yet not opaque. Good head with fine retention.
Smell: I didn’t think it had much of a smell, but the little I picked up was quite floral and spicy. Malts, coriander and jasmine were barely detectable. Once I read the label and poured my second glass, in a white wine glass, the bouquet really stood out. It’s crazy what difference a glass makes. A sommelier is known to have served the same brandy in 5 different types of glasses and by the end of the experiment which had been conducted on a half dozen people, everyone one of them said the brandy in glass X or Y tasted better than the “other” brandy. None knew it was the same. That my friends is proof that our taste of food is broken down to 10% taste buds, 90% nose (aroma). We eat with our mouths yet taste with our nose. Anyhow, the second bouquet from the wine glass was much more revealing; hops, zest, coriander, malts and some more intense floral notes came to life so much more. Note to self; read the hangtag before quenching. Better yet, quenching and reviewing don’t go hand in hand.
Taste: Personally, I still found this beer a little too bland. The taste is much like the nose and it definitely makes for a good slow session beer but to go as far as calling it an “Inedit” with such a celebratory bottling for this taste left me disappointed. Further, I wish the chemist Chef shared (or at the very least) hinted his brewing method because I’ll tell you this, what stood out in this beer for me was its consistency between the first and last sip. The subtle notes of spices and zest where so well balanced that it made me wonder what they meant by “brewed in a unique way” on the hang tag.
Finish: As I said, consistent throughout.
Context: Yes. This is a quality wit beer.
Repeater: Sure, why not.
Pairing: Fish, sea food, grilled meats. Cheese platters.
Beer type: White beer
Country / Region:Spain