An article by Noah Forrest
When the leaves start changing colour and falling off the trees, we all know that Halloween is around the corner. And sure, I guess that’s fun and all, but more importantly it’s also the time of year when Brasserie Dunham releases a bunch of barrel-aged beers.
Yes, that’s right, this coming Saturday folks from around the province will be driving out to the beautiful town of Dunham to line-up for their allotment of crazy bottles. And as usual, not only will we be able to pre-purchase bottles to pick up on site, but there will be an array of delicious onsite beers to drink.
- Brasserie Dunham Fall Bottle Release
- October 26th, 2019
- 3809, Rue Principale S, Dunham, Quebec
- 11:00AM – 6:00PM
- Event Details here.
- Order your bottles here.
As usual, Dunham has delivered a list of interesting and fun bottles to choose from. From big barrel-aged stouts to mix fermented fruited saisons and blended sours, there is certainly something for everyone. There are ten bottles to choose from this release, but I only had time to cover a select few. Let’s dive in.
EON is “a collaboration with Revel Ciders located in Guelph, Ontario. We co-fermented apple must and pommace that they brought with them (Hyslop and Cortes Jersey) and a Saison with the native yeasts present, then aged the resulting beer in barrels during 1 year.”
The nose wafts perfect funk, delivering dusty layers of barnyard and old books alongside grapefruit pith and some pressed apples. Light acidic layers come through as well and there is a Gueuze meets cider quality happening here. The nose is exceptional.
The palate matches, but is more soft a subtle. The apple must and pommace is the star, delivering layers of cider-induced acidity and sweetness. This is coupled with a slew of wild funk and oak tannins. The beer is dry and complex but incredibly easy to drink. Notes of pear and tart grape skins com through as well, and are complimented by the spicy barrel funk through all the apple layers. The body is perfection; slick and soft, carrying a fluffy head that never dissipates, making each sip almost creamy. This is impressive.
Funk Écarlate is one of Dunham’s “…foeder beers (rye Grisette) refermented on local morello cherries. A red beer with fruity and spicy notes, showcasing a fresh acidity. We used 350 grams of fruits per litre!”
The nose is fruit all the way, with amazing cherry pie aromas mixed with dusty phenols and spicy oak. Notes of marzipan and bright acidity add further layers aromatic complexity to this very inviting nose.
The palate matches, delivering rich cherry depth alongside an accessible and easy drinking base. There is acidity, but it’s subtle, allowing the Grisette to still come through. The cherries add sweetness, but mostly mouth puckering tannins, creating a brilliantly dry profile.
Thoughts of almond cake and cherry pie go through my mind as I sip this. Instead of any sweetness however, there is a wild phenolic funk that cuts through it, leaving a long dry finish. Delicious.
Petite Mort 2019 – Barrique de Sauce Forte
Petite Mort 2019 is Dunham’s “…old-style imperial stout, aged for 6 months in barrels previously holding our Man Gose Pickled. The spicy character from the hot sauce comes out and plays with heat from the alcohol.”
The nose is a big mix of berries, coffee, mango, and chocolate, with some underlying earthy notes as well. It’s an odd mix of aromatics, but still comes off pretty inviting.
Well, this is certainly different. On the palate it’s rather salty up front, with a dark chocolate presence that is cut quickly by a manageable peppery heat. There is a bitterness that cleans the finish up as well, leaving earthy and slight vegetal notes. It has a Mexican mole thing going out, but without the spice addition, coming off as salted dark chocolate and heat, with a dry and bitter linger.
Everything is balanced, and the flavours work, but this isn’t really my thing. There is just too much going on and the saltiness mixed with how dry the whole beer is ultimately throws off my palate. But that could just be me.
Jane Doe #10
Jane Doe #10 is a “…blend of saison and sour beers aged in barrels, re-fermented with acerola, a Brazilian fruit that looks like an hybrid between a crab-apple and a cherry. The beer showcases fruity notes reminiscent of cherry, and it’s balanced and easily drinkable.”
The nose begins with bright fruits – cherries in particular, with a touch of strawberry and apricot as well. Slight apples notes come through, but it’s very cherry-forward, in a different way than usual. It’s hard to describe.
Wow, the palate is completely different. I’m no longer getting the cherry as much, and instead there is a bitter grapefruit presence alongside very tart under-ripe apple – but not cider-like at all.
The acidity is quite present, but not too aggressive, allowing you to really dive into this one quickly. The barrels add layers of oak tannins and some nice vinous qualities, but the star here is really that acerola.
Wow, what a character this fruit brings. It’s earthy and bright, delivering layers of juiciness that feels familiar yet so different. Impressive.
At this point it’s unsurprising that Dunham continues to do their thing and manages to make it work it at almost every turn. Their seemingly fearless approach to ingredients and techniques is commendable, especially given their success each time. They produce a slew of bottles at each release, and at each time things get tighter and tighter. Congratulations on another amazing bottle release. Do yourself a favour and head out to Dunham.
An article by Noah Forrest
Photography by Noah Forrest