Friday, 26 June 2015
Brazilian Brew: Colorado Demoiselle
A buddy of mine, the impossibly charming William Newcastle, has spent the last several months in Brazil. While there, he's found the opportunity to knock back the occasional brew, and in a show of generosity, has sent me a couple of reviews. Here's the first:
As you know, I’m in Sao Paulo for a few months. I thought your readers might like to hear about some of the more interesting beers that paulanistos like to drink.
The people here mostly drink four or five brands of domestic light pilsners, along with Budweiser, and Heineken. These beers are entirely predictable. Luckily, a reasonable variety of dark beers (cerveja escura), including several German brands augments that limited selection.
While the pilsners here are nothing to write home about, I will mention one neat thing about how they are consumed. In the many cafés and barzinhos here, people order 900 mL bottles of beer that come to the table in cozies or ice buckets. The locals then watch the street or the futebol match while sipping their drinks from 200 mL glasses. A most convivial way to drink socially.
The first beer I’ve picked to review is a strong porter called Demoiselle from a small brewer in Sao Paulo state named Colorado. Another Canadian here named Eddie helped me finish a bottle and write this review.
A rough translation of the back-of-bottle description of the beer says:
“This porter, robust and laden with the aroma of coffee, has national and imported ingredients of the highest quality, used with artisanal method and with an exotic touch. The coffee used in making the beer comes from the Alta Mogiana region and was cold processed before being added to the beer, keeping intact all its complexity and wealth of flavor”
The beer pours with a light tan head that quickly dissipates. In the glass, the beer has a flat, off-black colour, somewhat darker and more opaque than cola.
Its nose is heavy on chocolate and coffee, with a subtle burnt sugar presence.
Unsurprisingly for a beer that advertises where it gets the coffee that it uses (an area close to the brewery in Riberão Preto, in the northeastern part of the state) the strongest taste to present itself is coffee.
This beer is sweet for a porter, but is far from syrupy. It is sweet-ish. It is also refreshing with bright carbonation. Paradoxically, its finish definitely lingers – leaving notes of chocolate, smoke and woodsy-ness behind.
At 6% ABV, this strong beer is warming without being boozy.
It was worth picking up for its label art and local status alone, and it was definitely worth the try. However, given my limited time here I am not sure I’ll get it again in the face of all the other beer available.