Skip to main content

Beer Advent Calendar Window Seven - Super Des Fagnes Christmas

I have a problem. It's a damp problem in my cellar. It isn't a huge issue as you expect cellars to take on a little damp characteristic, but I use my cellar, presently, for little else than storing beer. If a little black mould gets here and there it shouldn't be a problem, unless it can somehow affect the beer. Still, I imagine it can't after looking at many articles about beer. 

Super Des Fagnes Christmas has spent nearly two years on my hoard; one year in a cosy upstairs bedroom environment and a further year in a dank, damp cellar. It has finally made it to Beer Advent Calendar 2015 beneath Window Seven. 

However, I am torn between a continuous wonder as to whether Belgian yeast sometimes takes on a damp characteristic or whether it is beer somehow infected by its environment. 

Super Des Fagnes, incidentally, is a series of beers from Brasserie Des Fagnes in Belgium. I have no further experience with any of their beers apart from their Christmas beer today. We've all learnt something today.

"Oh I wouldn't worry about Peter - you might say the situation is in the bag. Ho Ho Ho." 

Brasserie Des Fagnes  - Super Des Fagnes Christmas - 8.5% 

Dark murky orange brown with little head, the beer smells super rich and fruity, like boozy Christmas pudding if you will pardon the cliché. There's plenty of mince pie aromas including a buttery biscuit base - and something that smells a little like damp in a cellar to ruin the whole thing. The taste is practically the same as the scent, it's big, boozy, port-like with lots of Christmas fruit, rich pudding juices and a touch of brandy. I think this could be a strong, solid, Christmas beer, if it weren't for an underlying problem. 

This beer strongly brings about a black mould musk. It isn't an infection I'm used to and only makes me think of my cellar. However, I would be lying if I didn't mention that I've had Belgian yeasty beers before with similar underlying flavour problems after being left for a bit, so I cna't be sure what it is. 

So either this is a decent Belgian Christmas Ale that has been left too long. Or I am going to have to drink my entire beer hoard that is ageing before it all becomes a musky, mouldy mess. Who knows? 

Mince Pie Pairing Rating: 6/10 - beyond the musk, there are some solid dark fruit flavours brought out. 

Best Paired With: A strong blue cheese - is it off? Is it wonderful? Is it to everybody's taste? Nobody is quite sure.


Popular posts from this blog

Children and Dogs in Pubs and Bars

  I once took my niece to the pub. She was either 1 or 2 years of age. I often looked after her on Saturdays and on one of our weekly walks, for the first time, I stopped by the local pub, mainly because my friend was there with his daughter of similar age. The two kids got on well together and it was a lovely couple of hours; a perfect showcase of adult friends and their children existing in public houses. But my sister was furious. She didn’t rant or rave but her lips were purser than a 90s children’s show teacher. It was here that I learned of the effect that our childhood had had upon her. She recalls many an afternoon being bored in the corner of pubs that our Dad had dragged us to, arms folded in the corner with nothing to do, and she doesn’t want the same for her children. The idea of her first born being taken to pubs infuriates her; fearful that they would be subjected to the same unhappy experiences that she was.  I don’t recall those times in the same way as my s

The Ten Pubs That Made Me - Part 3: Dr Okell's / My Foley's Tap House and Leeds

A pint in Mr Foley's Tap House from December 2022     This is Part 3 (the fourth post) of an ongoing project. Please see the beginning of Part 0 for details.    Come the end of this journey, there may be a lesson in procrastination that I am unlikely to heed. These posts stem from a list that I made three years ago and a series that I embarked on 18 months ago. We’ve only now reached a 30% completion rate and with this post we are back to fail for the second time.   This odyssey began with a trip to Mr Foley’s Tap House in February 2022 – named Dr Okell’s bar on my first visits in 2005 – only to discover that it was closed. It did reopen by the time that the post was coming out and I managed a brief visit in December 2022. However, my July 1 st 2023 trip to Leeds, on which this post is based, is met with this sign at the door of the bar:      A quick check of social media shows an Instagram post from the day before (June 30 th ) announcing the closure of the

"They Had Their Issues, So..."

      There’s a set of garages to rent as storage units near my workplace. One of them is taken by a local florist that uses it to store flower arrangements for various events, that are more often than not funerals.   As such, at least once a week at 8am I will pass a car being loaded up with flowers arranged into heart shaped patterns or the letters M U M. It is a grounding reminder that, as I mentally grumble my way through the upcoming arbitrary grievances of my ordinary working day, a group of family and friends locally is going through the hardest time. It provides much needed perspective on days when I could do with being reminded of all that I have to be thankful for.   These little moments explain to me why it is possible for us to share a communal loss when a celebrity passes away. Grief is often a personal and lonely experience, shared between a minority of people in your life. When a co-worker loses a relative or friend, it has little affect on me, bar signing of