I picked up a can of Brewery Vivant's La Lapin Que Fume (The Smoking Rabbit) when I visited the brewery last month, while I was there I tried it on tap. I thought it was good and I'm interested to review it and give it a proper review so lets see how it goes. It's also a 4/20 Easter today so I thought this was an appropriate beer. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a tall 16oz can into a Belgian tulip.
A- The can looks nice, it's their typical special release can with a custom sticker that works well with the name, I think it's eye catching. It poured a slightly hazy pale yellow color that took on more of golden color when held to the light with a fingers worth of bubbly white head that quickly faded to nothing and it didn't leave any lacing behind. This was an OK looking beer, I thought the color was nice, but i wish there was some actual head retention and lacing
S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by a very apple like aroma that has a light green apple aspect to it with some apple juice aromas seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes some bready malt aromas with slight bit of brewery vivants yeast showing up. Towards the end comes the smoke which is a little on the lighter side, but it blends well with the apple aromas. This beer had a pretty nice aroma, It was unique and interesting.
T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by that same apple aspect that I got in the aroma and it's followed by some some bready and doughy flavors. Up next comes the smoke which shows up on the lighter side of medium and I think it just shows up just enough and it has a slight smoked meat like flavor to it. On the finish there's hardly any bitterness followed by a apple juice, light bready, and light smokey aftertaste. This was a pretty nice tasting beer and I thought the smoke wast at just the right level and it worked well with this beer.
M- Smooth, clean, pretty crisp, slightly prickly, strangely a little refreshing, on the thicker side of being light bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation. I thought mouthfeel was pretty nice and I thought it worked well with this beer. .
Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and I thought it was a nice and pretty unique example of a Rauchbier, I thought the fruit aspect worked well with the lighter medium smoke and the combination was somehow a little refreshing which i liked, it's like a smoked beer for the summer. This beer had pretty good drinkability, it was smooth, pretty crisp, slightly crispy, strangely refreshing, not filling at all and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I don't think I would mind drinking a couple pints of this and like I said i think it makes for a good warmer weather Rauchbier. What I liked the most about this beer was that the smoke was at just the right level and I also thought the mouthfeel and drinkability were pretty good, those were the highlights of this beer. What I like the least about this beer was that more of those Vivant yeast flavors didn't come through, I think that would make this beer just a little better. I would buy this again if I had the chance, it's just the type of Rauchbier I want to drink in warmer weather and I would recommend this to most people, I think it's worth trying at least once. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, it was just about the same as I remember it and I just think it's another tasty and unique beer made by Brewery Vivant. It isn't my favorite Rauchbier, but it might be the most drinkable one I've had and it's the only one that I would call a little refreshing. It's not my favorite Vivant beer, but it's got a solid place in their specialty lineup. Nice job guys, this was a very solid and unique Rauchbier, keep up the good work.
Appearance: pours almost clear with a whitish haze to it. once in the glass is a extremely pale. crystal clear not a touch of haze. non-existent head. extremely odd looking beer.
Smell: smoked meat, no particular meat. blends with other indistinct smells to form an almost socky smell. some light pilsner malts as well
Taste: opens up with a light pilsner malt base. quickly smothered by salty and smokey meats. the rest is just straight smoked meat.
Mouthfeel: light, ends fairly sweet but with some salt.
Overall: I am not a huge fan of smoked beers but i seem to enjoy them more with a dark beer base. this beer is just way too dominated by the smokiness and saltiness. I also don't enjoy how meaty the taste is.