07 April 2006

Unibroue Maudite

The local wine shop has begun offering "big beers" from the esteemed Quebec brewery Unibroue. A pack of four 12 oz. (355mL) bottles runs around $7.50, which is a good deal for a well made beer. This isn't the kind of thing that you throw back after a long day of yardwork. This is something you pour into the appropriate glass in the Belgian style and savor for a long time.

Pictured at the left is the Unibroue Maudite, a strong dark red beer. My dog Wolfgang looks on approvingly. What's fun with a beer like this is that you can close your eyes and try to pick out all of the subtle flavors and aromas. The Maudite (French for "The Damned") has a lot of nutmeg, with a little orange peel and maybe just a touch of cinnamon. More than anything it reminds me of a really well spiced tea blend. It's mildly bitter, and despite the 8% alcohol, not as strong as you might think.

You can't easily see this in the picture, but the beer itself is a little cloudy. This is due to the presence of yeast, which permits a secondary fermentation in the bottle and will allow the beer to improve with age, much like a fine wine. I'm probably going to do some more reviews of beers like this (including some amazing barleywines I've tried). Seriously, these are beers that a wine lover is really going to appreciate, and there are certain meals where beverages such as the Maudite are going to be a better fit than a particular wine.

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