Wine and Food Diary of Giles MacDonogh

Bordeaux Odessa

Written by Giles MacDonogh

Bordeaux Odessa

Posted: 3rd April 2017

A month without travel, and a month without glory; but there were a few consolations. I had some nice Belgian ales from Petrus that boasted their degrees of sourness on the label. Petrus is made by De Brabandere brewery in Bavikhove, somewhere between Ghent and Dunkirk, and aged in huge oak tuns. I liked the Aged Pale best, which was the most uncompromisingly and refreshingly sour, but both the Oud Bruin (Old Brown) and the cherry-flavoured Red were delicious. The two-year old Pale also acts as the mother to the others. In Oud Bruin, the Pale is mixed with a younger brown ale while the Red has the attraction of cherries – like a Kriek, but not fermented spontaneously, like a Kriek, if you know what I mean. All these beers are available from alesbymail.co.uk.

While we are on the subject of barley brews, I also had a nice new malt: Bacalta from Glenmorangie. I have a little reservation about modern malts, which seem to be all about bling-bling and not really the taste of the product as it comes off the still, but rather more the way you tart it up. Of course, to some extent this was always so – the whisky tasted different from a sherry butt, a new-from-Kentucky ex-bourbon ‘hoggie’, or a second use cask; but each distillery had its own style, and that style was represented by one or two or three ‘expressions’ that defined the malt whisky, and was generally identifiable by an ‘age statement’ (10, 15, 20-years old etc). Now there are bedevilling numbers of different malts with fantasy names from even quite indifferent distilleries, some of which, until very few years ago, you would have crossed the glen to avoid.

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Giles MacDonogh

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