#306 Green Flash – Rayon Vert

Name: Rayon Vert
Brewery: Green Flash (San Diego, California)
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Source: Galbraith’s Alehouse
ABV: 7%

When I was little, someone told me about the green flash. Not the beer – I was only drinking the foam from my Dad’s Guinness back then – but the green flash of light that can appear just after the sun slips below the horizon.

It was probably Dad, and maybe I was drunk from the Guinness foam, but somehow I interpreted it to mean that every time the sun set there would be a green flash. To this day I have spent every single would-be romantic sunset looking for it, and not once, not bloody once have I ever seen it.

Thank you for nothing, science. 

The good news is that this beer (who’s name means Green Ray in French) was as wonderfully weird as that optical phenomina, although it did take me quite a few sips to properly warm up to it.

The aroma was strange – it seemed medicinal at first, but then I recognised it as that same dusty, horsey smell you get from lambic beers – caused by the wild yeast brettanomyces.

In the mouth  it tasted of fruity hops (lemon, orange and grannysmith apples) and of a horses stable (the leather saddle, the hay, and the horse itself). It wasn’t really sour – lightly tart perhaps, but bitter and very dry at the finish.

The Rayon Vert reminded me of one of my favourite beers, Orval, but it was a little more intense in both brett and bitterness. And speaking of bitterness, here’s a picture of the phenomena that I’ve wasted approximately 598 sunsets trying to see:

Green Ray

Not even that cool is it?
OK fine it is.

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Published in: on June 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brettanomyces

    Science is your friend! Brett makes a bunch of chemicals, some of which smell just like band-aids and antiseptic. So it’s totally horsey *and* totally medicinal. Your mileage my vary, given the vagaries of the glass, your nose, your brain, the room you’re in, etc., etc., etc. — my first-ever Orval was so overwhelmingly fresh-pack-of-band-aids-y that I was nearly put off it (and other Bretty things) for life. But only nearly.

    • Yeah! Band-aid and antiseptic is exactly what it smelled like at first. And I’ve had the same experiences with Orval – sometimes totally bretty and odd (in a good way) and at other times quite ‘normal’. It keeps things interesting I s’pose…


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