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Blanche du

A surfeit of microbreweries in Southern California would be an easy explanation for my developing interest in beer, but that would be incorrect. Not excited by the hopped out IPA’s that have seen many of my peers swooning over San Diego, rather a wine drinker first, I look to the Old World (Northern European style) to fill my glass.

One of the first beers that made me a convert was a Belgian white beer—never mind the producer, the recipe leans heavily on wheat enhanced by liberal dashes of coriander with bitter orange peel—the main seasonings—producing a crisp and harmonious beverage. Enticing from the first sip.

That style has been mimicked with great success and I don’t have to leave North America to find a great Continental domestic example, like the bottle of Blanche du Paradis that I recently enjoyed from Dieu Du Ciel Brewery in Quebec.

Tradition-minded and balanced from the start, the white beer showed lovely carbonation and a deep golden hue.  With an expressive perfume that flashed a peel’s worth of citrus, Indian spice and a slice of ontbijtkoek (breakfast cake), producing an aroma worth eating! Medium-bodied but full in character on the tongue, the blanche flaunted an ethereal medium-plus finish of orange zest, toasted cereal, delicate spice and baked bread.

Impressive! From a wine buyer’s perch this is relatively inexpensive (four dollars). No matter the price, I can confidently say is that it was satisfying and worth tasting again.

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