Nose: PEACH! Oh my God! Like a fresh picked peach! Slightly sour, malty aroma typical of a Belgian brew
Mouth: PEACH! Thick, a bit creamy. Tangy. Sweet. Slightly malty. If there are hops, they are barely noticeable.
OK, first off, what the hell is this? Well, Dubuisson describes it as this:
Created many years ago by students as a cocktail, the Pêche Mel’Scaldis was originally a mix of equal parts Scladis Amber and peach gueuze.
OK, so what’s a “Scaldis”? Well, it’s not so much a beer as it is a brand from the Dubuisson brewery. Wikipedia says this:
Bush 7%, green label, also known as Scaldis or Clovis for export, was first brewed in 1994 to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the brewery. It is made of aromatic Czech hops, coriander and caramel malt.
So, Scaldis is a hard core brew from Dubuisson in Belgium meant for export. So take the flavor profile of the Scaldis and add in the peach juices and you end up with Pêche Mel’Scaldis.
OK, I know, ANOTHER fruit beer? C’mon! I had this at Monk’s in Philly from the tap and it was an elixir of the gods from the tap! I had to find it in bottles and I did. I also had to tell you about it! So I am!
This is an incredible brew! It’s peaches in a bottle. And not like the juice from a can of peaches. This is like the juice at the bottom of the bowl after adding the sugar and other sweeteners for Peach Cobbler. The smell is just like if you picked a peach from an orchard, rubbed the skin gently and put the peach to your nose to take a big whiff of nature’s bounty. The mouth feel is thick, like the syrup used in peach pie. The taste is, well, I already told you, sweet peaches!
That’s a predominant flavor profile here. There is a distinctive sourness like a Belgian ale will typically have. Yeasty hints pop through as well. There are hops but, it’s very faint and mostly present in the after taste. With all the sweetness of the peaches, this has a tangyness to it that gives it a delightful pucker factor as well. It’s like biting in to a fresh peach you just plucked off a tree. There’s sweet, sour, tart, tangy and malty profiles here.
As beer, the quality of this brew is top notch. Even with the peach, it’s well balanced and everything I’d expect from a Belgian brewer. It’s surprisingly hard to explain this though. Yes, there is a peach presence that is noticeable from the first “pssht” of that top popping. This is a beer though. It’s a distinct type of beer with a unique flavor profile. Like a Flemish sour ale, it’s like other fruit beers or even Lambics but there is a uniqueness to this brew that just has to be experienced. It blew me away and it sky-rocketed to the top of my favorites list. It’s a hearty beer and honestly, I couldn’t think of a better time to have this than with a dessert on a hot summer night. In fact, that’s what it reminds me of.
One smell and I can hear the crickets and see the fireflies. One sip and the fire crackles while the screen door slams one more time as yet another Pêche Mel’Scaldis is brought out to my lazy butt sitting by the fire and soaking in the mid-summer’s embience. There’s passion here. There’s a skill to brewing. Like fine art, when it’s done well, it strikes you. Plucks a few strings or dusts off a few old memories.
See, beer, like wine, is an art form. There’s no other reason for it to be tried by so many and some are so great while others fail miserably. Not everyone is cut out to make it. Just like wine and art and music, it takes a special talent to make something that provides an experience that words can’t describe. You can try with anecdotes or you can try with platitudes and hyperbole but it’s not quite the same as having a look or a listen or a sip for yourself. Music is the ultimate expression of the human soul. It’s our emotions put into a consumable form. It makes us cry, it makes us smile, it makes us angry and even indifferent. Art is the ultimate expression of the human condition. It is conflicting yet harmonious. It is tumultuous yet serene. It’s damaging yet nourishing. Fine wines and beers, they are an expression of our community with our natural world around us. There is a beauty in man’s mastery of his environment. There is also horror at times. The ultimate expression is how we have managed to come out ahead and find a way to balance forces of nature that can make something so lovely as beer or wine that can also destroy any attempt at it. To make something as unique and inspiring as Pêche Mel’Scaldis, it takes a true talent. A master at the art of brewing. An artist of the highest caliber. Sure, a bunch of students started making this themselves but what’s to say that art has to come from a singular person?
The brewmaster that made this is a visionary if only in the idea that he saw the beauty behind this simple thing and applied his craft as best as he could to it. That’s the same as painting a Mona Lisa or making the best Pinor Noir in the world. The thing is, art doesn’t come from just one person. Every artist will gladly list influences and inspiration. Even scientists, who are artists in a way themselves, will list a number of influences of their own. So why can’t a brewer list a whole slew of students as his inspiration?
So yeah, try this beer. Even if you don’t like fruit beers. Expand your horizons and partake in the work of an artist. Profit or not, the greatest rewards for any artist is to see you expand your horizons and their work bring a smile to your face! Hell, I’m smiling right now! I’ll be frowning in a few minutes ’cause this Pêche Mel’Scaldis is almost gone but I’ll still be happy I had this experience! Even if the memories and experiences it brings out are my own.
Makes me wish I had a screen door to slam.