Beer aged in apple brandy barrel wins international award

A beer that tastes like "liquid Christmas pudding," aged in an oak barrel previously filled with apple cider brandy was one of three brews awarded the highest honors at a world beer festival in Montreal over the weekend.

The Moor Beer Company in Somerset, England was recognized for its Fusion brew, a blend of two beers aged in limousine and sherry barrels that housed five-year-old cider brandy.

The 18th annual Mondiale de la bière wrapped up in Montreal June 12 and drew 96,000 visitors who sampled 609 varieties of beer, and also crowned the best brews in the world.

The idea to age beer in apple brandy barrels was inspired by the Somerset Cider Brandy Company located down the road from Moor Beer. Given that their old ale mimics the spices and notes of Christmas pudding, and that brandy is the final ta-da on these seasonal, boozy desserts, the pairing seemed a natural fit, the brewery says.

After blending the beers aged in two different barrels - one a limousine barrel and the other a sherry barrel that smelled of "fire and apple," and "apple and spice" - Fusion, a beer of 8 percent alcohol content, was created.

Only 700 limited release bottles were created for the 2009 vintage. The same applies to their 2010 vintage, which was left to mature in cider brandy barrels for slightly longer.

The other platinum award winners included Helles from the microbrewery Dieu du Ciel! in Montreal, and Saison Faucille, of Southampton Publick House in New York.

The beer that garnered the most votes from the 'Biertrotters' at the festival was Quebec's SMaSH, a name derived from the term 'single malt, single hop.' The beer is described as having notes of honey, malt and citrus.

Here's a complete list of this year's winners:

People's choice:

Gold: SMaSH - Trou du diable (Shawinigan, Canada)
Silver: Sabotage - Benelux (Montréal)
Bronze: Rosée D'hibiscus - Dieu du Ciel! (Montréal)

Platinum award - the highest honor:
Helles - Dieu du Ciel! (Montréal)
Fusion - Moor Beer Co. (Pitney, UK)
Saison Faucille - Southampton Publick House (Southampton, New York, USA)

La Pagaille - Benelux (Montréal)
Grande Armada Réserve - Benelux (Montréal)
Millésime 2010 - Brasseur de Montréal (Montréal)
Double de Bonsecours - Broue Pub Brouhaha (Montréal)
Bodebrown Wee Heavy - Cervejaria Bodebrown (Curitiba, Brazil)
Helles - Hopfenstark (L'Assomption, Quebec)
Captain Swing Barley Wine - Hopfenstark (L'Assomption, Quebec)
Big Swell IPA - Maui Brewing Co. (Lahaina, Hawaii, US)
TerreFerme - Microbrasserie À l'abri de la Tempête (L'Etang?du?Nord, Quebec)
Pike Old Bawdy Barley Wine - Pike Brewing Co. (Seattle, Washington, USA)
Russian Imperial Stout - Rogue Ales (Newport, Oregon, USA)
Chipotle Ale - Rogue Ales (Newport, Oregon, USA)
Chocolate Stout - Rogue Ales (Newport, Oregon, USA)
Don de Dieu - Unibroue (Chambly, Quebec, Canada)
Blonde de Chambly - Unibroue (Chambly, Quebec, Canada)
Fin du Monde - Unibroue (Chambly, Quebec, Canada)

The European edition of Mondiale de la bière takes place in Strasbourg, France, October 21.

For more info on Moor beer, visit

For more info on the beer festival, visit


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