Organic Grain

For beeradvocate, this is a “Euro Dark Lager”; for ratebeer it’s a “Specialty Grain”, which is not at all incompatible. The grain discussed here is buckwheat (blé noir or sarrazin in French), which despite the name is quite different from wheat. Several gluten-free beers use this “pseudocereal” in place of barley. It’s used traditionally in Brittany, where this beer comes from. Gastronomically, there’s no escaping it in that region of France.

I had already tasted this beer, and I found it a little below my remembrance this time. Just for information, the Lancelot Brewery (Roc-Saint-André, Morbihan), launched in 1989 by Bernard Lancelot, was sold in 2004. But given the quality of the range, I think that the cause is more due to a change of recipe than an owner’s change of mood (even if they’re inextricably linked).

At that time this 4.5%-ABV Telenn Du (“Black Harp”) was brewed with raw buckwheat, which made it prone to contamination. That’s no longer the case, but the product retains its fullness, and it draws well on its malted barley (Pilsen, I think) to avoid making it too syrupy. Moreover, it’s less roasted, less caffeinated, and almost unhopped.

It’s a flavourful and low-alcohol brew (a combination that’s often a challenge), maybe a little thin, not too complex, and lastly, easily drinkable. In short, a bottom-fermented, clean taste to try out of curiosity.

(See our other post: “Drink a Shot with a Duchess.”)