Sunday, 20 April 2008

Cuvée de Francorchamps


I suspect this is going to be a dodgy beer, but since it has a little race car on the label and I just spent all day driving, it seems appropriate for an evening on the sun-trap terrace. OK, I was in a Volkswagen Passat in the Netherlands not in a formula one, but as I was taking the in-laws around to look at tulips, porcelain and cheese, I thought I might find these items closer to a Dutch motorway than any speedway. But we’re back now, and, well, enough about me...

Cuvée de Francorchamps is a beer we picked up at a shop in Malmedy on our Ardennes winter retreat, but although it boasts an address in that town, I now know enough to realise that this means very little. When is comes to location of production, there are a lot of cheating Belgian beers.

It’s a tripel with 8% alcohol and a coppery colour. Strong head. The taste is a bit better than I expected, actually. Slightly creamy, good bitterness of grapefruit pith. Not as sharp and yummy as, say, Chimay tripel, but not too bad considering -- did I mention this already -- it has a picture of a formula one racing car on its label.

There’s something about having a picture of a car on a bottle of alcohol, no? I know this brand is trying to play on the F1 race at Spa, Belgium, but really, should we be encouraging strong ale drinking and fast driving? And everyone knows F1 drivers prefer champagne -- at least when it comes to spraying booze over people if not actually consuming it. Do they ever even drink it?

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