Size: 250 ml
ABV: 7 %
The Cuvée des Trolls is a curious beer which has completely marketed itself around the legend of the troll. Quite what this infatuation with trolls and beer is remains a bit of a mystery, but it is interesting anyway to depart from monasteries and breweries for a short while.
The Cuvée des Trolls website goes into a fair amount of detail with regards to the legend of the troll, and you can make up your own mind whether the small hop-helmeted little bugger on the label fits your imagination or not. My view, having travelled in Scandinavia for a while is more aligned to a two to three metre lumbering beast with a big nose and plenty of hair. It is said that the Troll originated here from Norse mythology, although many in Sweden and Norway will argue that they really do exist. The discovery of rock formations known as Krägntrolls is regularly said to confirm their enigmatic presence.
I once spent a fairly atmospheric afternoon in the dimming sun on the island of Öland off the coast of Sweden, traipsing alone through the Troll’s Forest at the northern tip. The trees were gnarled, the canopies formed macabre illusions and almost every whorl on every tree seemed to portray a monstrous façade. To be honest I was pretty relieved to emerge the other side.
The troll has been a regular part of folklore and fiction. The Moomins remain perhaps the most famous representation of a bohemian family of trolls from Finland, but anybody who has read the Harry Potter books, or The Hobbit will recall the presence of trolls.
Many Scandinavians suggest that the average human being will never see a troll as they live underground and prefer to be in the dark. In that sense of course I am beginning to see why a troll might be compared to a good beer, of which the Cuvée des Trolls could be labelled. It was first brewed in September 2000 in the Brasserie ‘Le Brasse Temps’ in Louvain-la-Neuve where it is still brewed and served unfiltered. My first taste of the beer however was from the bottle where it is brewed at Dubuisson in Pipaix and is completely filtered. The rest remains common however, with a generous handful of orange peel added to the wort to give the beer its fresh scented taste.
I didn’t really pick up the citrus flavour and thought it tasted more of honey than anything else. It was however pretty impressive, sinking very silkily down my throat on a cold night. It is probably too small at 250 ml to warrant regular buying, but I am sure there is a two litre one somewhere lurking under a rock in the forest waiting to be found.