Hercule Stout
Seeking the Truth

hercule-stout

The picture on the bottle is unmistakably that of Hercule Poirot the famous Agatha Christie private detective. Strange for a beer label, but as Poirot once said,

“It is the brain, the little gray cells on which one must rely. One must seek the truth within – not without.”

So what is the truth here?

The Brasserie Ellezelloise, founded in 1993, is located in the Walloon village of Ellezelles in the gentle “hill country” of Belgium. Ellezelles is supposedly the birth place of Hercule Poirot.

The village archives actually contain a document “attesting” to his birth on April 1, 1850 and a few memorials dedicated to Hercule Poirot can be seen in the center of the village. But he’s a fictive character I hear you say. Yes, but he could have been born here, fictitiously, of course.

In ”The Big Four” Agatha Christie implies that the family home was in this area. “But we did not go into Spa itself. We left the main road and wound into the leafy fastnesses of the hills, till we reached a little hamlet and an isolated white villa high on the hillside.”

True or false, the beer itself is somewhat of a classic, purporting to be Belgium’s only true stout; that is, a very dark beer brewed entirely from malt and hops with no addition of spices or sugar. The spicy aroma of fresh spruce comes from the yeast and the ten days spent in German oak casks.

Couple this with the smell and taste of dark roasted and caramelised malt and cocoa with some plum fruit and a nice hoppy bitterness and you have the truth; a good beer that would, I think, be even better if it had a bit more carbonation. 9.0% alc. Vol.

Happy beer drinking. Cheers!