French Beauty | Five Seasons North

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5 Ratings

Brewed by:
Five Seasons North
Georgia, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by gford217 on 06-29-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 5 |  Reviews: 4
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dispensed a black body with a fast growing, foamy, beige head with good staying power.

Smell: As with the range of aged Beauties, it has a deep, hefty maltiness; semi-sweet chocolate, molasses, and dark malts seem standard. Others, like the Zen, then launched into a dizzying fruitiness. Sure, there's some fruitiness here, but not nearly as much, like a distant whiff of homemade plum jam. Nicely subtle, but noted spicy French oak wood quality.

Taste: Chocolate and molasses coating a smooth roastiness joins the aforementioned vanilla and dark brown sugar. Again, there is some fruitiness, still plum-based, but it's not the main focus here. Invitingly sweet throughout. Like a finger held down on a keyboard, you get a sustained note of French oak that carries you through the whole taste. Well carbonated, sweetish finish with lingering Jack Daniel's accents.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-plus carbonation. As I believe I've said on all of my [fill in the blank] Beauty beer reviews, the spirited carbonation is key, keeping the beverage from being a gloopey mess.

Overall: A tasty tipple that, on this occasion, was paired with the remnants of the blood sausages and cheese plate paired with the prior beauties (Zen, American). Perhaps my favorite of the Beauty series thus far, as I've still yet to try the Island Beauty. On a side note, this is incorrectly labeled a dubbel, as it was never brewed to any particular style (the more broader Belgian Strong Dark fits better, I feel) and, according to the brewer, is more in the 10-10.5% ABV range. Just sayin'!

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Photo of jophish17
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Five Seasons. Black Beauty was phenomenal so I have high hopes for this one.

Pours black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of brown sugar and molasses with large amounts of boozy fruits - figs, plums, and raisins. Also present are light amounts of oak aromas with even lighter amounts of spiciness.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Dark malt flavors that are heavily on the sweet side kick things off and are joined by light molasses and robust fruit flavors, all dark as in the aroma. Midway through the sip the sweetness subsides just a bit, allowing mild amounts of earthy oak to enter into things and carry through to a sweet and crisp finish.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I have to say that the normal Black Beauty is preferred. This is very good but I feel as though some of the complexity is taken away by the oak. Still, it's very much trying both for yourself in order to form your own opinion.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to the Ratebeerian who lugged this down from Atlanta. Not sure how you got it out of the restaurant, but it was much appreciated, even if I'm the only one at the RBWG that had heard of it. From an unlabeled bottle, served in my tulip taster glass.

A - This is a perfect looking dubbel/Belgian strong dark ale. In the smaller glass there was a finger-plus of creamy tan foam that had incredible retention and coated the glass with solid lacing. A transparent, dark, dark brown color when held to the light.

S - Toasted oak, candi sugar, light cocoa, a touch of bubblegum Belgian yeast. Somewhat muted, but the alcohol is hidden masterfully. I didn't know this was 12.5% when I was drinking it, and had assumed it was 8-9%.

T - Similar taste to the nose - toasted oak and malts, candi sugar. There's some cocoa and molasses as well, but it's not cloying in the slightest. Again, not much in the way of obvious alcohol. There's some mounting tannic bitterness from the oak after 6-8oz, but it's on the moderate side of things.

M - Smooth, spritzy carbonation that is style appropriate, medium body, light residual stickiness follows a dry finish. No obvious heat.

D - I was only going to give this a 4.0, but when I discovered it was ~4% stronger than I believed I figured it deserved a small bump into solid A territory. One of the best dubbels I've had, with well-integrated complementary virgin oak flavors. If you're ever in Atlanta this one is worth seeking out.

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Photo of gford217
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL cork and caged bottle. The bottle opens with a very small hiss, but the pour is highly carbonated and has a huge cream colored head on top of the dark opaque brown body. Tons of lacing and legs on this one.

The aroma is massively sweet with tons of dark fruits, chocolate and molasses. The oak is definitely present in the aroma with a slight dryness in the nose to balance the massive sweetness.

The taste is even better than the aroma with lots of flavors balancing together perfectly. It's got the sweet dark fruits with raisins and plums especially. Lots of sugary character and dark malts in the backbone. The finish is spicy with yeast and oak and the alcohol finally makes its presence felt in the finish though I wouldn't have said 12.5%

The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of things for the style and super creamy with lots of carbonation and a relatively dry finish.

Another fantastic Belgian beer from Crawford, and one of the better Dubbels I've tasted. Very complex and way too drinkable given the ABV.

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French Beauty from Five Seasons North
Beer rating: 4.43 out of 5 with 5 ratings
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