Mordue Brewery Panda Frog Project Ce n'est pas une bière de noel
OK this might be breaking the rules a little having two Mordue beers. But this is a Panda Frog beer, which is technically a Mordue beer so call it shameless self promotion. The name Ce n'est pas une bière de noel, or 'This is not a Christmas beer' in French originates back from the various attempts to name the beer. The office/higher powers that be wanted to label the beer as a Christmas seasonal and I was trying to explain that the beer wasn't originally conceptualised as a Christmas beer.
It's been nearly three years since Mordue Brewery launched its experimental arm named after my very own home brew kit. In 2012 our first beer, Pandazilla was launched at Newcastle Beer Festival, a less than conventional black IPA. Since then my four annual brews have tended to keep things varied and a little less than predictable. Not really following what anyone else is brewing, or what anyone else wants me to brew. This year Panda Frog was proud to win the public voted beer of the festival at Durham Beer Festival. We are also chuffed with our new crazy branding courtesy of Oliver Fowler.
Ce n'est pas une bière de Noel is an all-malt 7% deep reddish-hued Belgian strong ale. No spices are involved and the beer is hopped with Bobek and Belma hops and blended with blackberry, strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant juice post fermentation. Despite this the intial taste is all sweet, boozy, cherry rasin and caramel. There's some spice, banana and a brisk strawberry-like bitterness with some phenolics. There's an echo of Scotch Heavy going on but it's more obviously Belgian style. I am rather chuffed with it and have a marginal preference for the bottled/kegged filtered version with its more refined character.