Brasserie Grain d’Orge

I think I picked these up in a Carrefour in Fréjus, on the French South coast (it may have been in Trans-en-Provence though, I can’t quite remember). It took a while to work out who brewed them, as Brasserie Grain d’Orge isn’t some little microbrewery and shouldn’t be confused with the similarly named micro in Belgium. The brewery appears to have originally been named something else, but was bought out by Brasserie de Gayant, purveyor of La Goudale, and renamed. Evidently brewing ceased on the original site in 2005 and it’s now just used as a logistics base.

Neither of these beers are what you’d call craft, but they make a change from macro lager stubbies. I think they look pretty good in their swing top bottles, which I still have and use for keeping my sloe gin in. As a homebrewer, I’m always happy to see beer in 750ml swing top bottles, as they’re easily reused.

The Giant is, according to the website, a recreation of an original recipe from 1898, when the brewery was called Desruelle-THEETTEN. It poured a crystal clear amber colour, with a good fluffy white head. The head lasted for quite some time, before dropping to a patchy covering.

While the nose wasn’t overly powerful, once you got your face into the glass, there was quite a lot going on. I thought there was sweet grainy malt notes, with a hint of orange about them. My wife sniffed it, sniffed it again, wrinkled her face up and said whisky.

It was quite full bodied in the mouth, with enough fusel alcohol to feel all of its strength. There was a bit of effervescence up front, which swept the sweet malt flavours through the mouth, past a tiny hint of bitterness and into a lingering sweet after-taste. It wasn’t bad, just really, really sweet.

Evidently this triple, is a secret of the monks and bottle conditioned. It poured a really pale golden tinged yellow, almost looking lager like with its large fluffy white head perched on top. The head dropped fairly quickly to a good covering.

It was interesting on the nose, giving both the perception of being powerful, with strong sweet light malty notes and at the same time, of being light and fresh; which I can only assume is from a touch of hop aroma.

It was pretty full bodied in the mouth, but not overly so. It was sweet mainly and got sweeter the more the bottle emptied. There was a touch of mouth burn from the alcohol and slightly warming after-taste, which was a bit grainy and sugary. The mouth was left with a faint spicy orange taste to accompany the slight alcohol burn. Not bad, but nowhere near the best Triple I’ve ever had.

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