Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go head-to-head tasting Vin d’Orge Noir from Brasserie Dunham.
Originally brewed for Montreal's Winter Warmer, Dunham's Vin d'Orge Noir has been generously hopped with Chinook and Calypso and partially aged in bourbon barrels.
It pours a pitch black with a small amount of tan foam that quickly disappears. There are wonderful citrus and pine resin aromas mixed with dark fruit (plum, dates, grape), roasted malt and caramel. Although it's packed full of hops the taste is a little sweet with the fruit flavour being backed up with caramel and vanilla from the bourbon barrel and finishing with a lasting bitter pine finish.
This is a great interpretation of a barley wine that caters to the hop heads. Think of it as a sweet black IPA almost.
I've been reading up on cellaring beer lately, as our 2 fridges were burgeoning with all kinds of beer and we needed to find adequate beer storage. One of the beer styles that was often mentioned for cellaring was Barley Wine.
Which is why this week's review is fitting.Brasserie Dunham's Barley Wine is the kind of beer you want to stock up on. At 8% ABV it's the perfect candidate for aging in a dark cellar.
It pours as dark as night with a very solid head, that though thin, sticks around long after the first sip.
The aromas of dried fruit are quite subtle, however, from the first sip you get a myriad of flavours – sweet toffee mixed with dried fruits paired with a punch of bitterness and slight alcohol flavour. As the beer warms, the bitterness intensifies, bringing with it more of the dark roasted malt notes.
This is definitely a beer I'd like to explore more of – especially an aged version.
Vin d’Orge Noir is available (whiles supplies last) at Bières Du Monde (181 Rue Principal Aylmer, QC and Bières du Monde department in the Outaouais Fruterie in Les Galeries de Hull) - lesbieresdumonde.com