Thursday, August 23, 2007

THE FIRST UNIBROUE I DIDN’T LOVE

I had all these bottles of good beer sitting around a couple of months ago, some obtained via trade, some bought in a couple of frenzies of feverish craft beer mania. I had it in my head that I what I really wanted to do was conquer the beers of Canadian heavyweights UNIBROUE, if only I could clear out that teeming collection of unconsumed bottles. OK, so I finally got that chip off my shoulder – I drank them all, and then I went shoppin’! A trip to the local BevMo and to City Beer Store, and all of a sudden I’ve got half of UNIBROUE’s lineup sitting either in my fridge or my garage. First up for sampling was this beautiful-looking 22-oz. bottle of TROIS PISTOLES (just look at that label!), enjoyed (well....) just this past Tuesday evening.

What went wrong, UNIBROUE? Why, pray tell, is this not of the high caliber of your LA FIN DU MONDE and EAU BENITE products? Why? Certainly upon opening this beast I was already sold – a wonderful smell, just a wafting boatload of goodness – raisins, maple, candy, and, um, alcohol. Perhaps that combo is where things went wrong. This extremely dark ale, called a “Belgian Strong Dark Ale” by the gatekeepers at Beer Advocate, was just a bit too sweet and a bit too harsh for what you might call pleasurable drinking. Accordingly, it felt closer to a chore than it did to a delicious bottle of beer. The 9 percent alcohol was more apparent than I’d have liked, and manifested itself in a “sticky” manner – a taste that I just really do not enjoy. Raisins were predominant in the taste, yet blended with the hops and general ingredients in a somewhat strang,e harsh manner. All this despite one of the largest foamy heads I’ve ever seen. I was hoping that I’d be weeping with joy over this one the way I did when I had LA FIN DU MONDE for the first time, but not this week, I’m afraid. 5.5/10.

1 comment:

Jen J. said...

Maybe that buyout from Sleeman/Sapporo finally caught up with the quality. Too bad, they used to make good beer.