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After Slayer, Iron Maiden, Motörhead and many more international major bands, also one of Belgium's biggest metal acts has its own beer. To be precise, it's Franky DSVD, voice of Channel Zero, who released a strong fruit beer on the Belgian beer market. The idea started two years ago after he got his hands on a bottle of Enigma's Black Fuel (review coming soon!). Recognizing it as a tribute to the band, Franky DSVD decided to create his own beer. Through connections he came in contact with brewery Strubbe from Ichtegem. Looking at the intensity with which he is promoting the end result of their collaboration, Turbeau Noir, he plans to make this new career a success and potentially a name to stay in the large Belgian beer market. Find out if we think Turbeau Noir has any chance of surviving!
We get a thin beige to light brown head that dissipates rather quickly. The beer is dark brown with a red burgundy hue when held to the light. The nose is sweet, typical for heavier Belgian fruit beers. A heavy aroma of red berries and forest fruits, so strong there is no doubt about it that we are dealing with the addition of concentrated juices. Somewhere there is also a hint of iron. Carbonation is mild with medium mouthfeel and oily texture. When sipping we notice a typical Belgian strong dark ale at the baseline. That notion is quickly followed up, however, by the immensely fruity and sweet character of the concentrated forest fruit juice that was added to the Turbeau Noir. I'm thinking of dessert coulis, syrup, candied dried berries and the jam my grandmother used to make. Somewhere in the end you get a quick passing of some hop bitterness. The alcohol level is well hidden in the back without being dominant. With this beer it will rather be the sticky sweetness that will knock us out before the alcohol percentage.
In interviews Franky DSVD stated inspiration for the flavor came from his younger days. When they went out to party they drank 'mazout beers', a mix of a pils beer and cola, still popular nowadays with some people. It was this flavor combo Franky DSVD was aiming for. We can't say he failed in his mission. It is worth noting, though, that these lower in alcohol 'mazout' mixes were often drunk because people still wanted to be able to drive home safely afterwards. We don't recommend anyone to get behind a wheel after downing a few of these 8% mastodons!
So what's our verdict? Will Turbeau Noir conquer the heart of every metal-loving beer drinker and every beer drinking metalhead? If you are a die hard craft beer junkie, we believe the explosion of concentrated fruit juice will not be to your liking. However, if you are a fan of the traditional Belgian beer culture, we believe Turbeau Noir can hold its own among other heavy Belgian fruit beers like Delirium Red, Barbar Rouge, Keizer Karel Robijnrood and Kasteel Rouge.
Turbeau Noir comes in a steinie (Duvel) bottle covered with a plastic that features an impressive artwork. It shouldn't be hard to spot the brown color and red dragon on the shelves in your beer store/supermarket. The horned, devilish dragon spreads its wings across the beer's name that is written in two different fonts. The word 'Turbeau' is set in bright yellow contrasting with the other colors on the label. The second word 'noir' (French for 'black') is set on a small drapery flag in black and white. This makes us wonder if any future beers of Franky DSVD will all be named Turbeau with different subtitles?
The fact that there is both a Facebook page named Turbeau Bier / Bière / Beer and a page called Turbeau Noir suggests it could go both ways. One thing is for sure, with also a Twitter, Instagram and its own webpage in the making and Franky DSVD taking on all the promotion of his beer himself, I think we can expect more things to come! In interviews he stated he exclusively dedicates his attention to his beer at the moment and we should expect new Channel Zero material in 2021 at the earliest. We are curious to see how many Turbeau beers will have been brewed by then!