My partner and I did Beer Gazetteer, a 5-week course to “Roll Out the Barrels for Great Craft Beer.” Their synopsis says, “America’s breweries make beer for every conceivable occasion: a crisp refreshing pilsner to lower the summer heat; a rich, warming barleywine for cold winter days; a quaffable session beer, suitable any time. Join us for the next round, as we showcase some of North America’s finest brews, from US craft beer-makers and one Canadian Brewery. Meet some of today’s leading artisanal brewers and taste some of their varied and flavorful brews as they talk about the process of creating some of their best beers and how they went about staking their claim in an industry dominated by giant corporations.”
July 7, 2008, we got to taste the fantastic beers from Unibroue (pronounced uni-brew) from Chambly, Quebec, Canada.
Their description, “This quirky, Belgian-inspired brewery specializes in ‘beer on lees’ – beer with a yeast added to the bottle to spark a secondary fermentation. Brewmaster Jerry Vietz talks about the brewery’s hard-to-pigeonhole beers, including Quelque Chose, a cherry ale that’s best when heated to 160 degrees.”
Ok, so now you have that background, here are my notes! Enjoy! Unibroue’s Web site is pretty comprehensive. Most of my notes are there. If you want something more in depth, please take a visit. Send them a message. They’re really fun! (My partner went drinking with them the next night – great set of guys!)
Blanche de Chambly – 5% ABV, White ale
First brewed: 1992
Slightly more flavorful than a blonde, a little sweet. Has light, smoky notes. Smells of fruit, cloves. Very light in color. Best served 41-43 degrees F (5-6 C). Pair with shellfish.
(More after the bump)
400ieme – 7.5% ABV
First brewed: 2008
Stronger and darker than Blanche-de-Chambly. Notes of Cardamom.
My personal notes: Less sweet.
Chambly Noir – 6.2% ABV
First brewed: 2005
Deep black. Mellow, but full flavored with hints of smoked malt. Pair with smoked fish, grilled foods, seafood, chocolate-based desserts. Best served from 43-50 degrees F (6-10 C).
My personal notes: Lighter than a normal noir.
Maudite (the damned) – 8% ABV, Strong red ale
Mahogany in color. Spicier. Tastes of coriander, hops. Best served 46-50 degrees F (8-10 C). 5 year shelf life! Pair with red meat, pasta, deli, stews, and spicy dishes.
My personal notes: “I LIKE!”
Fin du Monde – 9% ABV, 3x fermentation triple ale
Blonde with a golden hue. Wild spices, malt, hops. Best served 50-57 degrees F (10-14 C). Pair with gourmet dishes, fine cheese, desserts.
My personal notes: My partner liked it. I didn’t.
Trois Pistoles – 9% ABV, Strong, dark ale
Refermented in the bottle. Dusky black in color. 3 year shelf life. Notes of wild fruit with an aftertaste of port wine. Aroma: ripe fruit with chocolate. Best served 50-57 degrees F (10-14 C). Pair with fruit, sweet and dark chocolates, good as a pork marinade.
Terrible – 10.5% ABV, Abbey style dark ale
Toffee flavor. Pair with grilled or smoked meat, blue cheese, black chocolate desserts. Only available in the US.
My personal notes: I do NOT like it. Terrible is right!
Unibroue 17 –
My personal notes: Gross! Partner loves it. I must have really hated it. These are my only notes.
Quelque Chose – 8% ABV, Very special cherry ale
First brewed: 1996
Deep reddish brown color (similar to port wine). Rich, spicy beer, reminiscent of cherry pie. Aroma of sour cherry and spices. Serve on ice or from 122-158 degrees F (50-70 degrees C). 15 year shelf life. Serve with fruit desserts or after dinner.
My personal notes: It’s a lot like a mulled wine. Very spicy and warm.
The following we did not taste, but we saw a presentation about them.
La Fringante – 10% ABV, Triple
First brewed: 2002
Subtle bitterness and lingering spicy notes. Aroma of malts and citrus. Best served from 50-54 degrees F (10-12 C). Serve with smoked fish, soft cheese (brie, chamembert), poultry
Seigneuriale – 7.5% ABV, strong amber ale
First brewed: 2005
Copper colored. Sweet caramel flavored, spicy with distinctive character. Aroma is malty, spicy, and slightly sweet. Best served 8-12 degrees C. Pair with ham, apricot glazed duck.
Raftman – 5.5% ABV
First brewed: 1995
Brewed with peated malt. Smokey notes balanced with whiskey notes and a dry finish. Pair with smoked meat and fish, grilled foods, nuts, and cheese.
Eau Benite (holy water) – 7.7% ABV, Belgian Ale (Abbey Style)
First brewed: 1996
Blonde with a golden hue. Malty, yeasty, spicy. Aroma of brown sugar, honey, malt. Best served 46-50 degrees F (8-10 C). Shelf life 2 years. Pair with poultry, rabbit, fruit, desserts, spicy dishes.
1837 (honors the dead)- 7%ABV, Ale
First Brewed: 1997
Blond and slightly cloudy. Strong beer with refreshing sensation, effervescent. Blend of cereals, spices, white pepper, yeast. Pair with seafood, fish, chicken in a sauce, white meat.
Don de Dieu – 9% ABV, Triple Wheat Ale, refermented in the bottle
First brewed: 1998
White with orange hue. Smooth, rich, creamy bodied flavor, delicate spices. Aroma is fruity and hoppy. Best served 43-50 degrees F (6-10 C). 3 year shelf life.