04 November 2009

BEER REVIEW: Brasserie de Cazeau - Tournay Black

Tournay Black is a bottle conditioned, Belgian stout brewed by Brasserie de Cazeau which is a farm-brewery located in the south of Belgium.  It was originally brewed as a winter ale under the name Tournay de Noel, but later became a year-round release.  They didn't provide much specific detail about how it was brewed except to say that it is made with water, malts, candi-sugar, hops, and yeast.  It is 7.6% ABV with a recommended drinking temperature of +/- 50 degrees.  The brewer states that the tasting notes are of, "roasted malts, coffee, bitter chocolate, earth, and cigar ash."  Well, I am a prodigious cigar smoker and I can't say that I would want to consume the ash.

Tournay Black poured with a very dark brown color and produced a tall, tan head which was pretty thick and lasted for a bit, but once it laid down, it totally disappeared; although it did leave fair lace behind at the top of the glass but not so much as it progressed.  The nose was sweet and malty with what may have been subtle caramel notes.  The mouthfeel was initially very crisp, especially on the tongue, perhaps due to the carbonation and alcohol content, but got a little creamier as the beer warmed.  I don't mean as each sip warmed in the mouth, I mean as the beer itself warmed as it sat so perhaps you should follow the brewers recommendations because I think mine was a little more chilled.  The taste had a pleasant, mild bitterness with perhaps very subtle notes of bakers chocolate and a lasting finish, but overall, not much complexity.  Additionally, shortly after finishing it a residual astringent / chalky taste and mouthfeel developed which persisted for a little while.

This was a decent stout in general and I did enjoy drinking it.  I wouldn't put it near the top of my list though and probably wouldn't buy it again, but that's my opinion.  There is some suspicion however, that mine may have been past it's "best by" date, but this isn't confirmed.

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