Name: Route des Épices
Brewery: Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
Country of Origin: Canada
City & State: Montréal, Quebec
Style: Rye Beer
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5%
First Brewed: 2002
The aroma offers fragrant black pepper mixed with notes of cocoa and light, dried fruit. In the body, the pepperiness initially subsides, replaced by a mocha and caramel maltiness.
I have had this beer before. I actually had this beer back in Indiana… I saw it on sale somewhere and grabbed two bottles. I then realized it was on our list. Anyway, the first time I had this I was blown away. It is loaded with peppercorn and basically pepper notes from the aroma all the way through the beer. When researching this brewery, I learned that the recipe they use today was the first recipe created for this beer. The brewmaster must like grabbing random ingredients and just seeing what will happen. Success was born when this beer was finished! Let’s stop talking and start drinking.
In the Glass: It pours nice, and leaves a deep brown thin look in the glass. It has a nice white head, and produces a smooth and consistent lace. The beer, coming from a brewery I was unaware of before having tasted this beer the first time, makes some pretty neat beers. They have some awesome labels, too.
Nose: Imagine a pile of peppercorns… now stick your nose in them. Breathe deep… that is what this beer tastes like. Yum! Man, this beer smells incredible. It reminds me of the FFF I had earlier this week. That is a basil beer, and pretty much smells like a bag of basil smacked you in the face. But this one is overwhelming and that’s OK. Beers like this, extreme beers, are expected to smell like this.
Flavor: I just took a shot of vodka… I hope that doesn’t change my opinion of this beer. And it doesn’t! It’s not the same flavor I remember, but it’s because I am thinking about it and it would be impossible to produce the same flavors that I had weeks ago when I tried this beer. But the peppercorns are still there, and the flavor is as enjoyable as I recall. Man, this is a tasty beer.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice. It starts off without many flavors, but then the bubbles take over and the finish is strong. It almost reminds me of how a cheap barleywine would drink. It’s hard to compare the two in terms of flavor, but the consistency on the tongue is similar.
Aftertaste: The aftertaste is nice, too. Imagine eating a spoon full of pepper. The flavors that are still there five minutes later are what this beer leaves in your mouth. The heat is there too, and not from the alcohol, but from the spices that this beer is known for. I haven’t had any other beers from this brewery yet… but I can’t wait to try more!
Like I said, it doesn’t taste the same as I remember… but man, this is a good beer. The spices are obvious, and I am digging the peppery aftertaste. I like this beer a lot, and we have it at Total Wine… I actually recommended this to someone tonight! If you are looking for a good, unique beer with awkward flavors… look no further than the Route des Épices. Bottoms up, people!
Route des Épices – The bottle says: “Route des Épices (French for “Spice Route”) is a rye beer brewed with black and green peppercorns. Initially the beer reveals flavors of fresh grain and malt, which, give it notes of chocolate, caramel, and fruit. The pepper flavor and aroma is fully revealed in the finish, which leaves a pleasant spice, tingling sensation on the tongue.”
I have to say, that I am tired tonight, so I’m not sure how good this review will be. Just a fair warning. Ricky said tonight’s beer has peppercorn in it. I’m curious to see what that tastes like. It looks kind of like a brown in the glass, dark brown (but not black), and pretty thick. Not transparent at all, but not much head either. Ricky said he could smell the peppercorn, but to me it smells more like cinnamon. Let’s find out how it tastes.
This beer does taste a bit spicy, but I don’t really taste much pepper to it. It’s hard to describe the taste. In a way, it’s a bit like a barleywine (I’m not sure why I am comparing everything to barleywine lately), but it is more flat, and less sweet. I’m honestly not sure what else to compare this too. But, like the beer last night, it is growing on me as I drink more of it. And maybe I can taste just a hint of pepper in it. It’s very subtle, and mostly just in the aftertaste. This isn’t a beer I would drink every day or buy regularly, but if it was available somewhere, I would consider it.