While most people are at their wits end with Winter and the robust, dark, spicy beers that come with this time of year, I am entering a period of mourning. Not for the cold weather, mind you, but definitely for the beers. While I appreciate bright, juicy, sessionable, summer-offerings, my heart belongs to the heavyweight class of beers: dubbels, quads, stouts, and of course: porters! So before we start to be inundated with this year’s wave of new saisons, sour ales, and hefeweizens, I’d like to feature one last beer that is sure to keep you warm while we wait for the official changing of seasons: Dieu du Ciel!’s Route des Épices.
As most of you already know, Dieu du Ciel! has been setting the bar for craft beer, basically since they opened their initial brew-pub, in 1998. Internationally recognized as one of the best microbreweries in Canada, Dieu du Ciel! has never been a company to let complacency set it. They strive to continuously reset the bar for brewing excellence, through their unique beers and dedication to propagating beer knowledge. If you ever find yourself in Montreal or St-Jerome, they are a must visit for any and all beer lovers. Luckily, for those of us who find ourselves without the means to regularly visit La Belle Province, Dieu du Ciel! is available to purchase at many retail locations across the nation.
While I was tempted to feature Péché Mortel, due to the fact that Péché Day has just come and gone for another year, I felt compelled to give notice to a beer that offers something a little different and that deserves recognition in its own right. Besides, I will always jump at the opportunity to review a rye beer!
Route des Épices (Spice Road for you anglophones) is a rye beer, brewed with both black and green peppercorns. Coppery-brown in colour, with a slight and quickly dissipating head, this beer was made for sniffing. Be careful though! For those sensitive to pepper, you might tickle your nose to the point of a sneezing fit, as the spice is prominent and domineering. This carries through to the taste, though you will be given a slight, initial reprieve, as this beer has a light fruitiness accompanied by cereal notes, to begin. Finishing with the aforementioned heavy notes of pepper, this beer is nonetheless quite balanced, ensuring that your palate will not feel fatigued while enjoying this brew. If you’re not quite ready to let wintery beers go, I recommend to pick up a bottle or two, prepare a lovely lamb tagine, and watch Casablanca as you lament the transition away from heavier suds.
À Votre Santé!