… Continued from Mondial de la Biere Review Part 3
Not the festival is in full force with crowds of beer fans pouring in from every angle. To get anyways you are constantly squeaking through tiny passageways of air between loads of beer thirsty patrons. The beer though – still flowing! I couldn’t believe how much beer I had enjoyed, yet how much more there still was to taste. After the cigar I needed some crisp and quenching to sooth and refresh my palate; I knew just the spot.
Dieu Du Ciel: Routes des Epices (5.3%)
More often we should see beers brewed with peppercorns. It is an awesome spice used hugely in cooking, and should also be in brewing. Dieu Du Ciel’s Routes des Epices does exactly that and shows it right away on the nose brining fresh and crisp pepper to your senses. The flavor mirrors the nose with greater richness, complexity and a unique refreshing and crisp sensation. It shows great spice, dry pepper, light pale malts and crisp hops. It is a clean and transparent beer with amazingly unique that pairs succulently with red meats, anything from the grill, cheeses and absolutely anything with pepper in it.
Dieu Du Ciel: Imperial Black IPA
At 9.5% a good black IPA is quickly becoming one of my favorite summer beers. The combination of rich and zesty hops with smooth creamy roasted malts is a wonderful sensation for me. Dieu Du Ciel makes an Imperial Black IPA to my excited surprise, so I had to try it. The black beer builds a tan to light brown dense head and is loaded with fresh piney, earthy and citrus west coast hops and soft malts. The beer comes in with massive west coast hop IPA sensations. It’s all citrus hops, crisp pale malts, touches of sweet light caramel and lots of fresh bitter. It is very raw in a supremely delicious manner.
Unibroue: Terrible (10.5%)
The Terrible is not available in Ontario, and I have only had it out of the bottle. So when the opportunity came to experience it on draught I just had to – no question really. The Terrible is a big Abbey-Style Dubbel with rich and complex malt flavors and a crisp and distinct spicy and yeasty finish. But a lot of this beer’s power comes from the bottle conditioning – how would the draught be? Um, big surprise – it’s excellent! The nose is packed with dark fruit, vanilla, caramel, rich malts and lots of figs and prunes. It opens into your palate with heavy malts that penetrate your mouth and seal themselves along the top backside of your throat. It washes into dark malts, plums, prunes, raisins, with hints of vanilla, oak and toffee. A soft clove and cinnamon presence is there, but not the typical powerful snap that I would expect from the bottled version. It is smooth and mellow bringing big favors softly, rather than intently. On draught it was colder than I normally would serve it, but it came out amazingly quenching and extremely fresh.
Le Saint-Bock: Sacrilege (15%)
One brewery that severely impressed me, and I wish I spend more time earlier in the show at, was Le Saint-Bock. They had a wide range of their own beers and other at their booth, and the first I went to proved to be by far the most unique, and one of my favorites from the entire show. Their Sacrilege is a beast of a beer aged in port barrels for 8 months. Unfortunately though, because I speak no French, that’s about all I know. I do know what it tastes like though.
It poured out oily and densely forming absolutely zero head on the dark purple almost black beer. The nose is powerfully rich with sweet malty port, chocolate, coffee and sweet toffee. It did make me say wow. It was like a sweet creamy barleywine with a rich oaky flavor and sweet port like raisins and prunes. The beer is packed with port flavors everywhere – you can taste oak, grapes and wine right away. I was also able to try the same beer that had not been aged in port – it was much closer to beer than the first version. The aged Sacrilege really tasted more like port than beer, and had a similar consistency. This non aged version however showed much less rich raisin and oak sweetness, but greater mellow malt balance. It also had head, and more carbonation. It was a hard choice – the original was very raw and had a touch of roast to it, whereas the aged version was very refined but extremely sweet. As I read my notes from the show, I did prefer the original compared to the aged version. Nonetheless, both beers are exceptionally unique and delicious beers. I am already planning on Quebec trip to visit this brewpub!
With the Mondial now over I am able to look back on it and reflect how I spent my time there – drinking beer. Pretty obvious I guess. But I was able to taste some amazing beers which I had had my eye on for a long time, and also was surprised and delighted by many beers which I never knew existed.
The Mondial was another eye opening experience for me proving the great wealth of beer that exists in the world. There is amazing beer everywhere and there are amazing people who are exciting to celebrate it. I will absolutely be coming back to the Mondial, but next time for three days, not one!