"Keep my distance, but you still catch my eye,
Tell me, baby, do you recognise me?
Well, it’s been a year, that doesn’t surprise me"
La Goudale is an interesting French enigma. I searched for this under the label Brassee a L’Ancienne believing this to be the name of the brewery. After some fruitless searching, I learnt that this is not the name of a brewer, but rather a French saying that, roughly translated, means “Brewed in a Traditional way.” La Goudale is actually from the Brewery Gayant based in Douai, North-east France that aleso houses other well-nown brews such as Amadeus and La Biere Du Demon.
The real reason I find them an enigma though is for the discovery the other day that two of their beers – the Abbey and Wit – are sold in Aldi. They are in 750ml bottles and are £2.49 and £1.99 respectively. Housed here, the repugnant snob in me thinks they look cheap and unappetising on these shelves and managed to slightly put me off my La Goudale de Noel, purchased online last year and behind Window 14 in my Beer Advent Calendar.
I’ve swallowed that uppity side of me and purchased the two Aldi beers to try at a later date. Let’s move on though to the beer in front of me.
Poured from a corked 750ml a lovely, clear russet colour with decent carbonation, this beer hits you on the nose like all the darker colours from a Starburst packet. There's plenty of strawberry and blackcurrant over drier sultanas and raisins. There's a thin layer of mulled spice in the background and this thinness leads into the initial taste. A light hop bitterness swilling over thick yeasty flavours starts it off, but then all those fruits from the nose combine with a huge doughiness to create tastes of panettone, brioche and Soreen. A sweet caramelisation by the finish brings all the fruit to the forefront as this huge bottle warms. It's body is big enough to make this a supper and, whilst I may not be dying to see this appear in Aldi alongside the others in the range, I enjoyed it whilst it was there.
Christmas Spirit Rating: 60%. I've got the dried fruit. Pass the nuts.
Revisit: Underlig Jul from December 14th 2012