Brassin d’Hiver Brasserie de Saint-Sylvestre
In northern France, winter beer is often dubbed Christmas beer. It’s a tradition for many crafty breweries who wish to show off their skills and passion to beer aficionados everywhere.
I briefly mentioned this beer in my review of Garrison’s Winter Warmer beer and was quick to make it sound like it failed in comparison to Garrison’s but truth be told, this is a fine beer. It’s just not my benchmark to winter beer anymore. I guess I hadn’t noticed the lack of spices in Brassin d’Hiver until I tested more of these winter beers.
Look: Brassin pours thick and creamy with a tenacious strong tasting head. It has an amber color with medium head.
Smell: It has wonderful aromas of sour cherry, hops and spices.
Taste: Despite the notes of fruits, mainly dried types of fruits, I found it could have used more wintery spice notes like cinnamon or clove. What can I say; I’m a sucker for Christmas spices. One thing I didn’t do right was to consume it at a slightly warmer temperature, perhaps then the spices would have jumped out more. But then again, as I drank on, the kicking alcohol taste and high fermentation process, left the flavors I detected fighting for their fair share of attention..
Finish: The finish is a little dry with too much of an alcohol lick but some nice floral notes make up for it.
Feel: Medium heavy with medium carbonation.
Context: Right on.
Repeater: Not really.
Pairing: Good meat and fish. Shell fish as well. Pairs well also with strong cheeses.
Availability: All year round.
Beer type: Biere de garde
Brewery: Brasserie St-Sylvestre
Country / Region: France
Overall it’s still a great beer, no doubt about it. Side note; I appreciated the cork bottling.