27 October 2007

Unibroue Blanche de Chambly (CAN)

You would think that in Western New York we'd be able to find decent Canadian beer, but even my local beer mega-store -- the much lauded Beers of the World -- only sells Unibroue, Sleeman, Moosehead, Molson and Labbatt's. They have a bigger selection of Ukranian beer. I'm not sure why this is.

Blanche de Chambly (Chambly being a town near Quebec) is a "white ale on lees," or a Belgian-style witbier. The brewer's website lists several advantages for not filtering their beers, including rich flavor, thicker foam, good source a Vitamin B, and "competitive advantage over other brewers." It's a list with a little something for everyone.

The beer pours a lot like a hefeweizen, only without such vigorous swirling. It's an opaque straw color with a head that is hard to control. The aroma is of spices and citrus and coriander (which smells to me like spices and citrus). I like the body, which is medium-to-full with spritzy carbonation. The taste is mostly what you'd expect from a white beer: lemony sweet rather than bitter. It's a bit more tart than I'd expected, which may be what most differentiates it from others of the style.

This is a very fine witbier which maybe would have been better drunk in the summer. (My bottle date is the distant September 2008, which is another benefit of not filtering.) I doubt this is Unibroue's best offering, though it sells for $1 less than most of the rest of the line.

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