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Dieu Du Ciel Rigor Mortis ABT

September 1st, 2009 beckel

I have not managed to sample many brews from the Canadian Dieu Du Ciel Brewery but those that I have were complex and enjoyable. To add to their creative brews they tend to have mythical and magical themed labels that depict nature and fantasy and this bottle surely emphasizes this with one intense portrait. Rigor Mortis ABT is a Quadrupel that is inspired by the strong brown ales brewed by Trappist monks. This ale pours a very dark brownish amber hue that appears black from a distance but a rich dark amber when brought to light. The head of this opaque brew is a fluffy off white hue and consists of tight bubbles that open up quickly but last for many minutes and retains a small puddle on the surface almost indefinitely along with some nice lacing. Aroma is quite nice. Malt aromas are dominate but not overly sweet and actually quite dry. Alcohol comes in and out but is not particularly strong considering its 10.5% ABV. Decent bitterness is present but seems to be coming more from dark malts than hops. Everything from dark fruit to coffee to tobacco are present in the aroma of this beer but all are amazingly subtle and balance off one another quite well. Additionally yeast notes are very dull but still add an additional herbal component. Tastes largely of gentle dark pitted fruit, clean malty sweetness, a hint of caramel and a gentle dose of alcohol. I find the flavor of this brew incredibly interesting. On one hand I am a bit surprised there are not more distinct flavors playing off one another as one will often find in many Belgian Strong Ales, particularly Trappist Ales. However at the same time there is something quite enjoyable and comforting about the basic flavors present and the power of simplicity. The mouthfeel of this brew is well carbonated and somewhat creamy yet quite clean. Body is a bit heavy but appropriate for the style. Less yeasty than I would expect for a Trappist inspired brew but likely more similar to traditional Abbey Ales of the past, if only I could go back in time. If you enjoy Strong Belgian Style Ales you will most definitely enjoy this simple yet delicious brew. As far as food pairings are concerned I think this beer might actually be an amazing candidate as it will not overpower the flavors of your food yet cleanse the palate wonderfully. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Dieu Du Ciel Rigor Mortis ABT

Dieu Du Ciel Solstice D’hiver

May 8th, 2009 beckel

Here I have what is sure to be an interesting Barleywine from the brewery Dieu Du Ciel from  St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada. I saw this beer on the shelves of The Four Firkins when I was there for the beers you can’t get here tasting and though it was rather pricey for a single 11.5 oz bottle the foreign Barleywine called to me, perhaps it had something to do with the barren tree on the label or the person curdling inside the tree like a womb (and being pleased our surroundings finally don’t look like that). From the description it appears that this beer is only brewed once a year and then aged for 4 to 5 months before distribution. This beer pours a very dark reddish brown that looks almost black until you bring it to light and is incredibly opaque. Head is creme in color but only a couple millimeters fading within a minute or less. Aroma contains quite a bit of alcohol as well as dark pitted fruits and a bit of malt sweetness, though it is less obvious because of the intense alcohol aroma present. Presently this beer is just a bit below room temperature as it has been sitting out for over an hour. Taste isn’t as alcoholic as the aroma though it is still a bit more apparent than I would prefer. Further you can detect dates, plums, cherry and a good deal of malty sweetness though still not nearly enough to hide the alcohol. After three or four sips my palate is starting to get used to the alcohol and the nice balance between gentle pitted fruits and sweet caramely malted barley is becoming more and more apparent.  This really is one tasty brew I just wish the alcohol wasn’t so intense initially even at 9.8% ABV. Some vanilla and sweet cream flavors are present in this beer as well but are much more subtle. Mouthfeel is very smooth and the body is medium for the style. Over all this really is a very tasty brew I just wish the alcohol was a little less apparent, additionally I wonder how it would present itself when poured colder though I’m not sure it would necessarily be “better”. If you are into Barleywines that are obviously brewed with quality ingredients and a good intention you will likely appreciate trying this beer though don’t bother if you can’t get beyond some serious alcohol initially. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Dieu Du Ciel Solstice D'hiver Barleywine