Liquid Excursion, Brasserie des Rocs, Part 2
In case you missed my musings on Brune in Part 1, please be sure to catch up here. Otherwise, you’ll be a bit lost.
Allow me to apologize that such a long period of time has passed since the initial excursion. The first edition was produced on a perfect Sunday night. I was all alone in my cellar dwelling with nowhere to be and no one to distract me. I was warm and blanketed in glorious sounds, scents, tastes and visions. I had been craving Belgian ales so deeply, and I needed a calming escape from the rigors of life. I found it that night, and it felt amazing. I wanted to recreate the night for Part 2, but the stars really have to align just so for a true recreation. It took a few weeks, but here I am, blissful as before.
I figured that I should, again, offer a score to the experience. Last time saw a pairing with an undeniable founder of the long standing shoegaze movement. Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie is a master of distortion, and some of the world’s most highly revered albums, namely My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, would not have existed where it not for him. Tonight, I again attempt to pair my mind meltingly complex Belgian ale with equally profound sounds. Though The Campfire Headphase is no Music Has the Right to Children, it’s never-the-less a pillar in the world of IDM, ambient, and downtempo. It pairs perfectly well with relaxation, and even better with transcendence of mind and palate.
Triple Imperiale fills the glass with aquarium like wonderment. To gaze upon this brown, highly carbonated, viscous mess in my glass is much like what it would be to open your eyes beneath the goopy confines of a hot bayou. The waters are muddy brown, but life thrives. Bubbles rise from the depths… something stirs on the floor of this slimy hotbed. Amidst the uncomfortable submersion, to see only briefly is unmasking evidence that there swims near endless translucent organisms, weaving in and out of every nook and cranny of the body. Are these wiggling jellyfish with stingers at the ready, or may they be amoeba like microorganisms, mutated far from any micro precursor?
We need not contemplate these things, for a blind man would surely find endless delight here. May the scents, sounds and flavors guide us tonight.
Triple Imperiale has all the complexity of nose that the world’s greatest ales possess. It’s staggering. It’s challenging… to the writer part of my brain, but completely delightful to the rest. This beer is not too different from the Brune that I last reviewed in odor. I wouldn’t say that it has a cherry tartness to it, but the esters power through the brown sugar and caramel and deep, slightly browned pie crust fumes at the forefront. There’s more of a prune and date and robust red wine scent. It smells wood aged in many ways. There is a mustiness deep within, vanilla notes, caramelized, charing, with subtly bubblegum, taffy and cotton candy. Good gracious! Again, there must be a crucially long boil with this brew to cook the sugars so fully, and a yeast strain that could go toe to toe with the very best of them. Brilliant.
I feared that the flavor could never rival the scent, and that’s mostly true, but the music and the candle light in my room and the ominous crackling of the needle against the vinyl and the Belgian masterpiece before me… this is just all too much for me right now. What a night!
The flavor is very wine like in it’s fruitiness and heat. With the glaring exception of a malty-er-than-thou finish, this is a seriously vinous, estery, fruitscapade of a beer. But beer it is. The malty, baker’s chocolatey dry finish is profound, but long before the aftertaste, all that fruit lies upon breads and cookies and pie crusts and cakes…all slightly overcooked and crusted. But like Momma used to say, the crust is the best part. All the sugars are crystallized at the edge. The peripheral is often the most exciting place to be.
This shit is super sweet, and I’m not speaking in colloquialism, but I could be. The typical Belgian candy sugar meets Belgian yeast reaction in bubblegum is present, but it’s possibly closer to creme brulee, as was Brune. Blue hot scorching of soft sugars. Male vs. female. Power vs. subtlety. Pro-fun-dity.