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Diebolt Brewing | Biere de Triomphe

Diebolt Biere de Triomphe
Scott Grossman

If a beer and wine ever had a drunken one-night-stand, the resulting spawn would be Diebolt Brewing Biere de Triomphe. This tasty brew marries Diebolt’s brewing expertise with wine-barrel aging for a beer that encapsulates some of the highlights of both beverages. Flavor-wise, it is truly a seamless union of beer and wine.

Complex and Unique

Although technically classified as a Biere de Garde, Biere de Triomphe is a difficult beer to style-box due to its complexity. The brew is unique in the Denver craft beer scene. As owner Dan Diebolt acknowledges, “It’s not a popular style to successfully make.” In this case, Diebolt has succeeded wildly, making a beer that covers a lot of ground with its flavor profile, but is also refreshing and easy to drink.

Father's Day Series Diebolt Brewing
Dan and Jack Diebolt having a moment. Photo courtesy of Scott Grossman

Bridging the Beer/Wine Gap

At first, the beer’s coppery color and moderate head don’t really hint at the flavorfulness lurking in the glass. The nose, however, gives a definite preview of what’s to come. Fruity grape esters and red-wine must notes combine with an astringent oakiness to produce a complex and enticing aroma.

At its most basic, the medium-bodied brew drinks like a bright kettle sour, but with much more going on. This overarching sourness holds the beer together and provides a bridge between oaky tannins, spice, fruity grape notes and dark currant flavors. It also seems like there’s a solid malt backbone providing a good foundation to support the diverse flavors. The dry finish is certainly reminiscent of a nice red wine.

Diebolt Brewing Biere de Triomphe
Photo courtesy of Scott Grossman

Thoughtful Barrel Aging

There’s certainly no missing the Cabernet barrels that Diebolt uses for a seven-month aging process. The grape and wine flavors come through loud and clear although Diebolt says, “We wanted to use wine barrels not to be winey but to be oaky.” Regardless, the distinct wine flavor pulled from the barrels works. The subtle interplay of flavors tastes like a Farmhouse Ale mixed with red wine and pulls in the best elements of each.

While other breweries also age beer in wine barrels, Diebolt Brewing Biere De Triomphe stands out because of the exceptional balance and blending of the two styles. The beer and wine flavors subtly complement each other and nothing feels gimmicky or like an afterthought, as sometimes happens. The overall package seems very intentionally and thoughtfully designed to pull critical characteristics from each beverage style.

French styles have always had a place of pride on Diebolt’s taplist and for me are always one of the highlights. Biere de Triomphe is no exception and is well worth checking out.

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