Saturday, June 2, 2007


I've never been a big stout fan. While other posting-members of this blog are content to pass their evenings swilling Guinness, I usually go for Harp or something or have a Black-and-Tan or Half-and-Half when I want to join the Guinness fun.

Anyway, getting to the business at hand, after having prefaced this review as "Not-a-Stout-Fan":

Oc'Ale is brewed in LaFrançaise, Tarn-et-Garonne, France, which is basically equivalent to East Bumblefuck, Kansas by Jack Courmont. I'm pretty sure that this is more or less the same as if Wagner started selling his brews. They're definitely barn-made, each batch probably tastes slightly different and I doubt they're pasteurized. There's nothing wrong with any of this and I would rather drink 10 beers that I don't like from artisan brewers than allow one fucking AB product touch my lips.

It comes in a 50cl bottle with the manual closure, like Grolsch or Fischer. I don't fully understand the process of beer-making, Mr. Wagner, care to weigh in, but I think, if it's possible, that this continued to ferment in the bottle. A loud pop was heard upon opening and a huge number of bubbles were present after first pouring.

First sniff, holy Molasses! First taste, sweet, no sour, no sweet, no dry...umm wait. Holy christ this stuff is strange. First off it's very "light tasting" (not to be confused with Cold Tasting) on the tongue...unlike other stouts that have always given me the impression of being more than just liquid. Oc'Ale is quite watery. The first taste is extreme lemon zest to the maxxxxxx! Then get ready for the sweet and sour ride of you life. The lemon and molasses kind of compete (in an ungood way) for your attention as it passes through your mouth. I can't say that I like it, but the after taste is better than anything that precedes it...what other beer can say that. With such a dry finish, you're really only left with the taste of lemon (it's a good thing) when the beer is gone. If they notch down the lemon extract/zest in the next batch, I think this beer could really have promise...It'll still be too sweet, but you won't be blown over by the sweet and sour/tart mix that you are now.

You'll never find it in New York or Paris for that matter, but if you happen to be at my local beer store in Merignac France, pick up a bottle to try.