Recently, the folks at Bockor changed the name of the brewery to Omer Vander Ghinste, a name harkening back to the founding of the brewery. While the brewery changed names, they left the names of all their beers the same except for the Bellegems Bruin which was renamed Vander Ghinste Oud Bruin. One of the beers that retained its name is the Cuvée des Jacobins.
Cuvée des Jacobins is one of the brewery’s spontaneously fermented beers. Much like the famous Lambic beers, the freshly brewed wort is cooled in a shallow container where it’s inoculated by wild yeast and bacteria floating in the air. It’s then moved into giant wooden vats known as foeders. The brewery started brewing spontaneously fermented beers in 1970 when they created their first Gueuze. It was named after the famous French Dominican monastery built in 1218 to house religious pilgrims. The street became known as Rue des Jacobins which was later a gathering spot for revolutionaries druing the French Revolution.
Omer Remi Vander Ghinste stayed on the Rue des Jacobins during WWI when the family mansion had been confiscated by the Germans. At one point, the confiscated house played home to Kaiser Wilhelm when he visited the front. It was while he stayed here that he got the idea to name a beer after the Jacobins.
Appearance: Ruby brown, tan head, ok retention.
Aroma: Malt vinegar, cherries, apple cider, balsamic notes, some oak, cocoa, hint of vanilla.
Taste: Vinegar tartness, light notes of brown sugar, touches of oak.
Overall Impression: Cuvée des Jacobins is on the more tart side of Flemish red-browns with just a hint of sweetness. This is an excellent example of the Flemish Red-Brown Ale and available in the smaller 330ml size, making it an excellent choice if you don’t want to invest in one of the larger bottle formats. Seek out the Cuvée des Jacobins, it’s super tasty and should be reasonably easy to find.
Availability: Imported by Artisanal Imports, this beer should be available most of the time in most parts of the country.