Tuesday, 3 January 2012

DeuS 'Brut des Flandres'

Happy new year everybody. I finally got round to cracking open the DeuS which I've had since the middle of November. It's been a rather hectic time of year, and I'm hoping (cash permitting) to be able to get some more tasting and blogging done now it's all calmed down a bit. Anyway, this seemed a good place to start after the rather unpleasant drive back from Yorkshire in the pouring rain on New Year's Day.

Pale amber, with a slight haze. It was extremely lively, a lot more beading than you would expect from a sparkling wine, which meant it had good head consistency. I didn't serve it quite as cold as they recommend (they say ice cold, but I did want to actually taste it) which probably contributed to how frothy it was. The initial smell on opening (pre-pour) was of hops, but once poured and smelled it was more yeasty, with a zestiness and a distinct herbal aroma (oregano) and ginger.

The texture is really excellent, and that carries the full body well. There was a hop-bite on the sides of the tongue but the biscuity yeastiness, and particularly the ginger came more to the fore on the palate, with a faint touch of piny soapiness. I thought the spice/ginger was a little overpowering, meaning it lacked balance.

So there we are. A beer unashamedly making itself out to be Champagne-like in style, but I felt it lacked the balance of many good Champagnes. In terms of the price it's hard to compare it. I got given some Champagne on New Year's eve which was probably at a similar price range to this which was hardly even drinkable (I didn't drink it) and so it's better than that, but if you compare it to most beers than it's really expensive - and it certainly isn't as good as, for example, Krug NV (OK, that's unfair, but it does say Prestige Cuvée* on the label).

The acid test is usually whether you'd buy it again, and I think for me the answer would be no. If I were buying for a celebration there are plenty of excellent sparkling wines about (even I, with my limited wine tasting recently, tried two really good ones at an Australia trade tasting back in November) and if it was just for me to indulge myself, then I think I'd rather go for a couple of bottles of something else. Still, I'm very glad I tried it.

11.5% abv. £14 from Waitrose

* Begs the question, blend of what? I'm assuming they must blend together different beers prior to the secondary fermentation.


  1. I got an informative wee leaflet into how the beer is produced. Its a champagne beer as they use the methode champagnoise (decoction of beer from yeast, etc) to carbonate the beer in the bottle.

    I found it enjoyable but a little cloying and couldn't manage all that much of it.

  2. Careful, the Champagne police'll be after you Steve ;)

    'Méthode champenoise' as a term is only allowed for use in Champagne making. In '94 the EU outlawed the term for elsewhere, hence others (Cava et al) call it 'méthode traditionelle' or a variation on. ie. No matter how much manufacturers want a product to be associated with Champagne they can't use the actual name. Pedantry or clever marketing?