So far I’ve tried two beers from the Brasserie des Legendes: Hercule Stout and Quintine. Both lived up to the brewery’s name as far as the legend part was concerned and had interesting labels; the beers were good examples of their class, but not great.
My third Legendes beer, Urchon, a strong dark ale, doesn’t seem to have a story behind it but the label with an inquisitive hedgehog (urchon) should ensure that a few bottles are bought by equally inquisitive beer drinkers.
Belgian strong dark ale is, if you like, the big brother of dark ale; it has more alcohol and a fuller rounder character. Alcohol can vary from 7 up to a hefty 15% and the beers are generally complex with fruit and spice and some mild dark malt flavour and light on hops.
So how does Urchon shape up? The alcohol shown is 7,5% vol. so I’m not expecting it to bang me on the back of the head. Nor am I expecting miracles, after all the class includes two of my favourites Rochefort 8 and Chimay Bleu.
The beer pours a cloudy brown with with a medium foamy head. The aroma is balanced ; malt, spice, fruit. This continues into the taste with a touch of sour and phenol and just the right amount of bitterness. All in all, a nice hedgehog; the only negative was the above average carbonation.
A good solid beer in its class.
As a side note, in the Middle East and especially among Bedouins, hedgehog meat is considered medicinal and thought to cure rheumatism and arthritis. I’m sure this beer is just as good a medicine; drink it and save a hedgehog!