Have you ever wondered how it must be to walk through a peach orchard in the rising sun, with the dew still hanging in the air and a cardigan wrapped around your shoulders to stave off the morning chill, a gentle breeze causing a soft rustling in the trees as you meander?
Well…ok, me neither, but that’s what this beer tastes like, and now I’ve pictured it it sounds like a pretty idyllic moment. I guess I’ll be planning my next holiday around the Google search ‘where are there peach orchards?’
Though it smells like a witbier with some oaty must there is something sparkling about the first taste. I may even go so far as to say as that upon first sip it almost tastes like the legendary Tripel Karmeliet. That was certainly my first thought, but this goes far beyond that! Different, however, from Karmeliet, is pretty much everything. The body of the beer is far fuller and far more like the 10.5% saison it is as opposed to light and fluffy, though the oats add a definite mellowness and when combined with the beech woodchips and the grassier elements of the saison almost a spiciness, especially upon swallowing. The barkiness really emerges now, with a smokiness blending with some of the peach sweetness and grassiness to create a genuinely orchard-like aftertaste which keeps you coming after more. Thanks to the oat’s softness, I’m finding that this is going down significantly easier and quicker than I would have thought upon first taste!
That spice and the peach fullness is really where this beer distinguishes itself from the Belgian beer. It starts off a little sweet, then lends some of its body to the spicy build-up in the mid-taste. We don’t find any of the peach ‘furry’ texture here, which I think is a good thing as that would have been overwhelming and contrasting to the grassy flavours and the creaminess (and let’s face it, a little weird- there’s a reason some people prefer nectarines guys!).
I was skeptical upon first drinking this beer- I was unsure about the body and its similarity, but upon second tasting I am blown away. It is complex, drinkable, and also wonderfully satisfying. Unlike many beers from De Molen recently, though, I have to say it is one to savour and drink in small sips, lest you feel a bit too full too quickly. It’s an easy, slow-drinking beer, just as one may expect from the tranquillity of an evening on the terrace overlooking your beautiful peach orchard. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?