Fancy Pants Sunday: Trois Dames Vieille Saison
What do Tina Turner, fondue and Honey Ryder all have in common? If you were to say, “The weirdest sex dream we ever had,” then we would suggest at least two weeks of intensive therapy. Of course, for the rest of you who don’t fantasize about Zurich resident Tina Turner and Ursula Andress, the answer is most likely Switzerland. Over the years, Switzerland has been stereotyped by yodeling, the Alpenhorn, fondue, Heidi, the watch, and bank accounts. Although, if you were to list the countries in Europe from most exciting to least exciting, Switzerland would be a few pages down — unless you’re a beer drinker. Beer drinkers would list Switzerland over Italy, Spain and Greece and many others thanks to Raphaël Mettler’s Brasserie Trois Dames in Sainte-Croix in the district of Jura-Nord Vaudois in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland. Fancy Pants Sunday: Trois Dames Vieille Saison is the perfect example of why the country is better than Albania.
In 2003, after 18 months of homebrewing, Mettler purchased a brewing plant from Kaspar Schulz in Germany. He named the brewery Trois Dames in dedication of the three ladies who tolerated his homebrewing: Sylvie, Raphaël’s wife, and Julie and Elise, their two daughters. He listened to Gernot Bratz of Kneipe Pur, Freddy Haldemann, and Jérôme Rebetez of Brasserie BFM, an expert in wood-aged beer. He tasted ales from the United States. He toured Yakima Valley hop farms. He took a one-year sabbatical in Vancouver, Canada, to study styles. He took a special beer course at Siebel Institute in Chicago with Randy Moshley and Ray Daniels.
Following the creation of hia Oud Bruin in 2008, he discovered the taste potential and complexity of sour beers and wild yeasts found in fruits and wooden barrels, opening up new taste horizons and bringing a distinct new crispness, including Vieille Saison, a strong sour ale with Brettanomyces, brewed with Abbey malts, fermented in a wine foudre, and aged in Jerez barrels in the Trois Dames cellar with house yeast for one year.
Breasting in Trois Dames Vieille Saison (8%) we find a slight funk, slight citrus, but plenty of sherry oak, sour grapes, and a clove-like spice. Taste mirrors nose at times as the aromas and flavors change as it warms. Grapefruit, for one, comes forward after a while, replacing what little funk there was, but the oak still stands firm. It’s wonderfully complex with a real fancy mouthfeel.
You fancy Trois Dames Vieille Saison
Trois Dames Vieille Saison is available in the International section of Peaks & Pints’ cooler.