Beer of the Week: Unibroue – Maudite

Maudite is a bottle conditioned Belgian Strong Ale, produced by Unibroue in Quebec, Canada. Featuring a signature Belgian yeast on a pilsner malt and wheat foundation, candied sugar, spices, hops and citrus deliver a great combintation of flavors, bolstering a deceptively stong alcohol content of 8%ABV. Immediately noticeable on pouring into a glass is its dark red mahogany shade with heavy carbonation forming a thick and artful tan head full of attractive lacing. The noble hop choices compliment a bubbly and sharp sweetness bringing together a spicy zest over roasted barley notes.

Unibroue claims that Maudite gets better with age, between five and eight years if stored appropriately, so go out and by a bottle for now, and a bottle for later. In the pacific northwest, Maudite is available at most Haggen locations, as well as Trader Joe’s.

Unibroue first brewed Maudite in 1992. Maudite means “Damned” and the label art tells the legend of a group of Quebecois voyageurs that made a deal with the devil so that their canoe would fly and help them get home before winter storms hit.

Vintage Cocktails #29: The Blue Paradise Cocktail

Up next we have the curiously named Blue Paradise cocktail, which was created by Belgian barman Emil Bauwens. I’m not really sure about the naming of his drinks, as it is not blue in any shape or form. The forgotten spirit in this particular drink is Parfait Amour.

Parfait Amour is a purple liqueur, usually created from a curacao base and flavored with rose petals, orange blossom, vanilla and almonds. While Parfait Amour is not too common, it is produced both by the House of Lucas Bols in the Netherlands, as well as Marie Brizard in France.

Blue Paradise
2 oz Cognac
1 oz Dubonnet Rouge
4 Dashes Parfait Amour

Vintage Cocktails #28: Pink Gin

The next drink in my series, is the Pink Gin. This cocktail is a serious fireball. It contains only gin and bitters, and you had better be a fan of both if you are going to enjoy this drink. The secret to this drink is to use Plymouth gin. Plymouth is not a London Dry gin, and it’s style is a suitable backdrop for the Angostura Bitters.

For me, while the drink was ok, I felt as the spicy notes of the bitters didn’t come through quite enough. Even though I really like both gin and bitters, it was not a winner for me.

Pink Gin
3 oz Plymouth Gin
6 dashes Angostura Bitters

Pacific Distillery

This last Saturday my wife and I had the opportunity to go down to Woodinville and bottle at Pacific Distillery. Pacific Distillery is a small, family owned and operated distillery that produces single batch, hand made Voyager Gin and Pacifique Abisnthe. Marc Bernhard is the owner/master distiller and is super passionate and knowledgeable about what he does. Both his gin and absinthe are excellent products, and it was great to be able to chat with him about the history behind his products, as well as to see the process happening. Saturday was the first time that the distillery has utilized outside help for their bottling, and it was a super fun experience. The entire bottling process took about 3 hours, and we bottled, labeled, and boxed around 800 bottles.

Both of the distilleries products are excellent. Voyager Gin is a traditional London Dry Gin, which includes 10 different botanicals placed into a hand-hammered copper alembic pot still and distilled to insure that the finished flavors are excellently balanced. The gin is not a super junipery gin, which is great for those who do not like the super bold flavors of some gins. I have had several bottles of Voyager, and although I have many brands on my shelves, I would not hesitate to recommend Voyager.

Their second product is Pacifique Absinthe. While I am not an absinthe connoisseur by any means, I have tasted a few different brands of absinthe, and the Pacifique is by far the best of them. While many absinthes are overly anise flavored, and artificially colored, Pacifique has a great balance between the botanicals that it is distilled with. It also is excellent in many classic cocktails that feature absinthe. Marc has put a ton of research and development into his absinthe, and it is distilled in the classic 19th century franco-swiss style. Marc truly has the knowledge and passion to create some of the best spirits out there, so if you have a chance, give them a try.

Disclaimer: Pacific Distillery products were purchased by myself for my own consumption.

Vintage Cocktails #27: The Rose Cocktail

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, due to some kitchen remodeling, world cup watching, bar building and general business. I’ll be trying to put up several posts this week, so stay tuned.

Up next in our Vintage Cocktails series is the Rose Cocktail. Hailing from the year 1920, this cocktail features a fortified wine base, accented with a dry cherry eau da vie and a dash of raspberry, which creates a great looking drink. The cherry and raspberry complement the vermouth nicely.

The Rose
2 oz Dry Vermouth
1 oz Kirschwasser
1 tsp Raspberry Syrup