They offer three distinct beers for their North American market, imported by Merchant du Vin: Discovery, Endeavour, and Quest—an Amber, a Dubbel, and a Tripel, respectively. Tonight I tried the Endeavour and am reviewing it with my “How to review?” post in mind.
Endeavour, as I mentioned, is brewed to the style of a Belgian Dubbel, and is 7% alcohol by volume. My review is below, but it may not be the full story (read on).
Smell: Bready and slightly lactic note of dark fruits—raisins, figs, black currants.
Taste: Very fruity right up front—same dark fruits as in the nose with a pleasant sour-ish puckery quality. Very light with no hint of alcohol strength; there’s also a slightly off-note of nail polish remover (ethyl acetate)—what’s weird is that it’s not bad and actually kind of complements the fruit.
Mouthfeel: Light-bodied with an almost carbonated fruit juice feel on the tongue; you can tell it’s not traditional beer from the feel.
Overall: The more I sip the more I think “sparkling pomegranate juice”. It’s different, but drinkable, and I’m not sure you’d identify it as gluten-free in a blind tasting. (Or not?) Should appeal to craft beer lovers.
Would someone with Celiac disease like it? Tough call, it’s definitely not “traditional” for beer; if they like craft brews, then definitely yes.
The full story? Interestingly, Draft Magazine ran tasting notes from just earlier this month on Endeavour; they note caramel aromas and “[t]he flavor begins chocolaty, followed by undertones of caramel; though mildly peppery, the hops are insignificant”. That’s markedly different from my experience—which makes me wonder if the bottle I had was infected? Stored improperly? The weird thing is that I thought my experience actually worked, but this sounds like two different beers.
No love lost on BeerAdvocate for this beer either; it scores an overall grade of C-, and a cursory look at the reviews seem to indicate an experience similar to mine. RateBeer has a similar outlook, with a score of 2.56 out of 5 and only landing in their 18th percentile.
I’m going to email Merchant du Vin and see if I can get to the bottom of the discrepancies.