There aren’t too many non Trappist beers that find themselves a regular place in my beer store. One is most certainly Moinette blonde from the Dupont family brewery in Tourpes; I reviewed it back in October 2013 and christened it ‘swamp beer’ as its name is derived from the old French word for marshy land – moëne – and the area around Tourpes is anything but dry.
The blonde was so good that, for me, it stands alongside Duvel in the category Strong Pale Ale. It has a brune sibling; should this also deserve a place on the shelf reserved for Strong Dark Ales?
It pours a dark brown amber with a medium beige head. The aroma is spicey and fresh dark bread together with an apple fruitiness. Whereas the malt was restrained in the aroma it comes right through with the taste; toasted grain, nuts and coffee.
Fruit elements follow; dark plum as to be expected but also. apple and grape and a little unexpectantly, grapefruit. The latter together with the dryness of the dark malt tone down the sweetness to such an extent that some could ignore it. The hops blend in nicely and give a medium bitterness that lasts into the finish together with the malt.
A very nice beer if a touch too carbonated; not as good as its blonde sibling or a number of other non Trappist dark ales that I’ve tasted; the similarly strong ( 8,5% alc. Vol.) Gouden Carolus classic, for example. Space is limited in the cupboard so it won’t win a place but try it if you can, you won’t regret it.
Happy beer drinking!