Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A Gift Of God

My obsession with wine has pushed beer aside for the most part, but not completely, and with beautiful patio weather it was time to crack open a (rather atypical) cold one.

One of my greatest-ever New Year's Eve celebrations was a Belgian beer tasting at the Brooklyn Brewery (including a magnum of Chimay Grand Reserve at Midnight), and since that time I've always had a soft spot for the Belgian-styled beers.

Quebec's Unibroue is a unique "micro-brewery" in North America, perhaps the first and certainly one of the few that have adopted Belgian, not British or German, beermaking traditions. They even sell some of their beers in 750mL bottles, sealed with a cork. Tonight's "Don de Dieu" is a beer made in the style of the Trappist beers, and wears the label "Triple".  Yeasty wet barley and scotch whiskey on the nose, sweet and creamy on the palate. An incredibly soft mousse, a beautiful mouthfeel, and a delicious hint of bitterness, but it quickly vanishes on the palate. A great Belgian imitation and certainly easier to find (and cheaper) locally than the Belgian stuff.
cork. 9% alcohol
Price: C$4.50 (750 mL)

Note: if you are a pilsener/lager fan and have never tried these Trappist-styled beers, they are VERY different from anything you have ever tasted - you will probably retch and pour the rest down the sink the first time, but keep at it and I think you will grow to like these.



Edward said...

I've obviously been drinking the wrong sort of beer. How did they get this to 9% alcohol?

Joe said...

Hi Ed - I wonder how many "Australian Standard Drinks" are in a bottle of this beer?! Triple fermentation - more malt, and they run the fermentation longer - you're a science guy, no need to explain...

I take it you haven't had a Belgian beer? You should be able to find the Chimay series of beer (Grand Reserve my favourite) at a specialty store - pour yourself a glass, and enjoy the way you would enjoy a bottle of wine. They even taste nicer as they warm up (more white wine temp, but not refrigerator temp). Cheers!

Shea said...

Yes Ed, you must have a Belgian beer. Chimay blue is pretty available. But if you can, try the other trappists - Rochefort is my favourite. And 9% is relatively mild - there are beers out there at 24%!!

Joe said...

Never had the Rochefort - 24%?! That can't be true - i once read that the strongest beer in the world was 13% (some crazy Belgian beer). You can't run the fermentation that high - you would have to fortify with spirits, which isn't beer in my mind.