Domaine Des Moines | Court Avenue Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Court Avenue Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BuckeyeNation on 04-17-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 1 |  Reviews: 1
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The brewpub calls Domaine Des Moines a Biere de Mars (literally 'a beer of March'), although I don't believe that's an actual style. I think what they really mean is a Biere de Garde, which isn't a very well-defined style in its own right. According to no less an authority than Phil Markowski, a Biere De Garde is France's malt-accented, drier, hoppier, higher alcohol answer to the Saisons of Belgium.

Hugely murky tawny with a core of caramel brown, edges of waxy dark orange and a sliver of amber along the bottom of the glass. The petite head was light toffee in color and was nearly gone by the time I reached a bar table. Not much lace, just a few smeary vertical streaks. The beer itself looked great though.

The nose was comprised of well-toasted 'brown' malt, bruised apples and indeterminate spices. The beer wasn't yeasty, musty, or funky in the least. No surprise since it was brewpub fresh and not poured from a cobweb-encrusted, corked bottle that had been in someone's cellar for a few years. I have to give Court Avenue credit for brewing outside of the box though.

My first impressions upon drinking were: too sweet, too syrupy-full and too bubbled. I don't have an iron grip on the style, but I'm pretty sure that none of those characteristics are appropriate. There was definitely a malt accent. Like the nose, the flavor was well-toasted malty with plenty of sugar syrup-soaked, bruised apple and pear.

Cinnamon was the spice that came most readily to mind, although I doubt that any was actually added. The beer wasn't all that hoppy--perhaps some herbal, English variety--but was still impressively bitter. Was alpha acid extract used? It's amazing to me that some brewers manage to pull every IBU out of a load of hops without unlocking much of the hoppy flavor. Too bitter by far.

The body was medium-full with a lightly syrupy slickness that resulted in a fair amount of mouth-coating. Not the typical Biere de Garde body/mouthfeel, I don't think. The carbonation was finely fizzy; too much so. Unfortunately, thanks to state law, 'higher alcohol' is not a characteristic that Iowa brewers are free to build into their Biere de Gardes (all one of them).

Domaine Des Moines (literally, 'the area of Des Moines') is a decent, drinkable effort, but I didn't really expect anything more than that given the particulars of the style and the fact that it's ill-suited to being accurately recreated in an average brewpub in the American Midwest. Again, points for trying something different, but this is not a beer that I'll eagerly await every Spring.

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Domaine Des Moines from Court Avenue Brewing Company
3.53 out of 5 based on 1 ratings.
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