Back in March when I was up in Vancouver for Tales of the Cocktail On Tour, I made a point to stop in at several of BC’s liquor stores to see what I could find that is not locally available to me. In addition to several bottles of liquor, I picked up a couple of beers that are not available in the US, including Unibroue’s Raftman.
This beer is billed as being brewed from peat-smoked whisky malt, and the comparison is undeniable. It pours a golden amber color with a moderate haze and a thick head that recedes to a gentle lacing. The aromas are woody, gently smoked malt, with hints of vanilla, yeast, and apricots. It has an amazingly smooth mouthfeel, with great, crisp flavors of toffee sweetness, peppery spiciness, and a hint of yeast. At only 15 IBU’s the hop flavors are very lights, but appear at the end of the swallow and provide a great dry finish. This beer is quite different than the majority of Unibroue’s offerings, and at 5.5% abv, makes a great session beer.
Raftman is only available in Canada, which is a shame because I really enjoyed it, and would probably drink it on a regular basis if it were available. Definitely worth picking up if you come across it. Cheers!
This week we are looking at Unibroue’s Trois Pistoles, and I promise that this will be the last belgian beer for a while.
Trois Pistoles is a strong dark ale, similar in style to Chimay Grand Reserve. This beer pours a very dark reddish-brown with a quickly dissipating tan head. Lacing is virtually non-existent. It has strong aromas of dark fruits such as plums and raisins, as well as roasted malt with a hint of spice. The flavors that accompany each sip mirror the aromas. Lots of dark malt, some chocolate, and Unibroue’s distinct yeast profile to round out the taste. Neither hop aromas or flavors are really present in this beer, which makes it a little lacking, and while their yeast seems to work well in most of their beers, it seems to fight the overall style in this one.
While I like most of the Unibroue offerings, this one seems to stick out a little from the rest and not in a good way. While similar in style and flavor to the Chimay, this beer doesn’t quite reach that level of awesomeness. I would drink this beer again, but there are others that I would probably choose before this one. Cheers!
I just love Unibroue beer. Every one of their beers has something different, but all are some of the best examples of Belgian style beer produced in North America. And for good reason as Unibroue employs belgian born Gino Vantieghem, former brewer at the Chimay Trappist brewery, as their head brewmaster. Of all of the Unibroue offerings, La Fin Du Monde is quite possibly my favorite.
La Fin Du Monde is a belgian style tripel, which pours pale golden with a quickly dissipating thick head. La Fin Du Monde’s aroma is strong, with candied fruit and banana flavor, offset by the spice of cardamom, nutmeg and cloves. All of Unibroue’s offerings are brewed “on lees”, which means that they are only partially filtered, and they are refermented in the bottle which produces a higher concentration of proteins and yeast. This adds a bread-like vanilla scent that ties everything together nicely. This beer has a very champagne-like mouthfeel with a dry aftertaste. Although it has a abv of 9%, this beer is an easy drinker and pairs really well with some blue cheeses, seafood, and chocolate desserts. Cheers!
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.