Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Corne de Brume

Corne de Brume ... "Foghorn."  For those interested in history, the first automated, steam-powered foghorn was developed by Robert Foulis, a Scot who emigrated to St. John, New Brunswick, Canada.  According to Wikipedia, Foulis was listening to his daughter play the piano one night, when he realized that the lower notes were more clearly audible than the higher notes.  Foulis' invention was first installed in a lighthouse in 1859.

About 150 years later, there was the first beer named Foghorn or Corne de Brume.  The beer is named more for the murky environments in which vessels found themselves as they transported the dark beers, having long aged in oak barrels, during the long voyage on the cold and foggy waters of the North Atlantic.  It was not so much the low notes of the foghorn, blasting through the dark, foggy night.  It was more about that night itself. 

The Corne de Brume is brewed in the style of a Scotch Ale and it very much resembles the style.  The beer pours a very dark brown, almost as dark as the night. As the beer is poured, there is a thin, wavy foam, something similar to the clouds that sit high in the sky and pass occasionally by the sliver of the moon overhead.  

As for the aroma and taste, the brewers suggest that there are dark fruits and heady malts. There are some dark fruits in the aroma, such as raisins, plums and/or prunes.  The malts are also present in the aroma, as they have little competition from any hops.  The only challenge to the bready nature of the malts comes in the taste, when those raisins and plums make themselves more noticeable than the toasty, somewhat cereal elements provided by the malts. The taste also has a sweetness, reminiscent of caramel or molasses, but it stands behind the dark fruit in the beer.  Overall, the Corne de Brume provides an interesting and enjoyable example of a Scotch Ale. 

This beer could be paired with some cheeses, such as brie, gouda or Swiss.  However, I think it is best enjoyed on its own.

I bought this beer at a local beer store.  I do not remember what it cost, but I think that a 12 ounce bottle is about $4.99 to $6.99 a bottle.


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