Friday, October 2, 2009
The Session #32: Eastern Beers
This installment of The Session is hosted by Girl Likes Beer and the requirements were to select a beer brewed to the east of where you live and far enough east that it is brewed in a different country.
I am in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. So the beer I picked is technically brewed east of here...but much farther north than east I suppose. But it counts!
I am picking one of the fine beers from the Unibroue brewery in Chambly, Quebec, Canada. I selected Trois Pistoles, a dark Belgian-style ale and this particular bottle I've selected tonight has spent just under 5 years in my cellar.
Canada is best known for it's widely exported industrial lagers like Molson and Labatts but Unibroue was the first Canadian craft beer I ever tries and they were doing beers in a Belgian style, something that was rare for North American breweries at that time.
This beer pours a very dark brown with a thick and creamy light tan head. As with the beer when young, lots of ripe dark fruit in the nose. Raisins, plum and currant. Almost smells more like a ruby port than a beer.
Still a bit of alcohol in the mouth at first sip. A caramel sweetness still remains but the body has thinned out considerably and it's much drier than the last time I tried it. Still the dark fruit, still there is oakiness in the body but the flavors are harder to identify as everything has blended nicely as the age has taken effect. No unpleasant flavors from oxidation can be detected. A warming as it finishes, lightly sticky in the mouth but a fairly clean finish for such a big beer (9% ABV).
So what's different with this beer after 5 years? The spiciness that you expect from Unibroue (and that this beer displayed when young) is very muted and at most times undetectable. As a result, the malt shines through more than it once did. Not as balanced but the flavors all blend wonderfully.
Get some to drink now and some to drink later. Still fantastic after 5 years!
The blog Girl Likes Beer is hosting this month's edition of The Session. Head over there to link to more entires.