Blanche de Namur has finally arrived in the United States (and the Pacific Northwest)! This is a beer I’ve been excited to try since I’ve read about it and heard it called one of the best Belgian whites. I love Blanches/Wits. They’re flavorful, light, and versatile. You can pair them with a whole host of food options. The intense carbonation will do wonders with food!
Brasserie du Bocq was founded in 1858 and is still a 100% family owned business. As of last year, they brewed 74,500 hectolitres (63,500 bbls). This would make them a small to medium sized “regional” craft brewery in the US. Today, they brew a large variety of brands and styles ranging from saisons to abbey styles. At this time, though, it appears only the Blanche de Namur is being imported into the US.
The Blanche de Namur was named in honor of Blanche of Namur, the daughter of the Count of Namur, who in 1335 left France to marry Magnus IV Eriksson of Scandanavia. She would become the Queen of all of Norway, Sweden, and Scania.
Appearance: Pale blonde with a white head. Great retention. Nicely cloudy which provides the “white” glow that is often sited as the style’s name sake.
Aroma: Coriander, spice, orange touches. The aroma is lively, fresh, and clean.
Taste: Light with great CO2. The mouthfeel is velvety and soft with just a hint of sweetness. It has a light wheat graininess with balancing citrus notes from the orange and coriander. The licorice is not as noticeably present except it provides a counter point and smoothness to the coriander.
Overall Impression: This is a very coriander centric Wit/Blanche. This beer has everything I like about the style: great carbonation, dryness, freshness, and refreshing flavor. It should pair nicely with a whole host of spring and summer foods from salads to fish to heavier meats.
Availability: This beer is being imported by Merchant du Vin. Check with your local beer shop that carries MdV products and request this beer. It’ll be worth the effort and wait.