The Unibroue Maudite gets me every time. I am always amazed by its flavors, and blown away by its masterful construction. The Maudite, which means The Damned, is a rich and spicy Belgian Abbey Style Dubbel Ale with warming caramel flavors and rich complexities of malt and hops. It is thankfully available at the LCBO in stunning 750ml corked bottles. And for just over $5, it could be the best value for beer in Ontario.
If you have the patience, I would recommended buying several extra Maudites to put away in your cellar and age. The rich, warming and spicy characters in the 8% Belgian-Style Ale will age and develop into a wondrous array of creme brulee and warm oak flavors in 4 to 5 years. This is really a magnificent beer. So much so, that since 1995 it has been awarded 11 gold, 6 silver, and 1 bronze medals in international beer competitions.
If you need a beer, wine, or any beverage to impress at a dinner party, I dare you to show up with a few corked bottles of the Maudite. Treat it like wine, and serve it in either a snifter or a red wine glass, and watch as peoples eyes and mouths open in amazement.
The Maudite should be served cool around 8 to 12C (45 to 54F), even pretty close to cellar temperature. This beer is bottle conditioned, so there is a sediment film of yeast resting at the bottom of the bottle. Before uncorking, roll the bottle gently, or turn it on end to stir up the yeast. You will want this in the beer, it brings added earthy flavors and new layers of complexity to the Maudite.
Twist off the crown, and uncork the bottle to the magnificent sound of carbonation shattering into the air. The beer will, and should be poured with a generously dense mound of thick tan colored foam. The beer will glow a deep and rich ruby red with mahogany and golden copper shining though. The nose is mellow sweet with caramel and rich toffee bursting out, and a distinct crackle of spice and pepper. This comes out richly in the flavor bringing warming and lush caramel malts and spice floating on an effervescent and delightfully soothing and satisfying beer. The finish is clean and still spicy.
This beer is a perfect pairing with strong cheeses, tomato based pastas, anything spicy, grilled meat, sausages, creme brulee or tiramisu. It is also amazing in a rich beef stew.