Featured Review – Maudite from Unibroue

Our next “old” beer that I want to highlight is a dubbel from Canada, Maudite and the flying canoe from Unibroue.

This is how the brewery describes the flavor, “Velvety palate of caramelized sugar and marmalade, slightly roasted with a spicy finish.”

First off, Belgian yeast esters wave over along with a nice spice profile as well. A very full mouthfeel to this beer. Carbonation adds a playful tone to the beer as well. I also pick up a bit of red apple juice. I don’t think that Unibroue makes a bad beer.

Belgian to Fruited IPA

Canada’s Unibroue, long home to well-done Belgian ales is starting a new line of IPA under the Autre Chose banner.  First up in 16oz cans (of course) is a Peach IPA.

Autre Chose means “something else”, and is certainly apart from their core line-up.

The new IPA is, according to the press release, “Dry-hopped, single-fermented and unfiltered, the 6% ABV Autre Chose Peach IPA is brewed with Cascade, Galaxy, Citra and Lemondrop hops. The beer pours a royal gold with orange highlights, boasting a bright white head that blankets a delicate bouquet of aromas.”

Belgian Hazy

Probably not the 16oz hazy that you were expecting but Unibroue has done nothing but solid beers. This is a great summer choice as well. Cool to see this classic in a new format.

Enter the Forest

A new Belgian-style dark specialty ale from Unibroue, Ale Gâteau Forêt-Noire (“Black Forest Cake Ale”) will be hitting shelves in October.

The new Ale Gâteau Forêt-Noire was created to re-create the classic Black Forest cake just in beer form. I am a fan of the beers that they brew for Trader Joe’s, and this looks to be a great fall, dessert beer.

The beer will be available in the U.S. while supplies last on draft, in four-packs of 12-oz bottles, in cork and cage 750-ml painted bottles, and as part of a seasonal variety six-pack.

de l’Enfer

Unibroue Introduces 25th-Anniversary Blonde de l’Enfer.

Here is the description of what looks to be a perfect winter beer for when you are feeling a bit devilish…

“Blonde De L’Enfer (Blonde from Hell) is brewed to celebrate Unibroue’s 25th anniversary. Staying true to our tradition of Belgian style inspiration with a touch of Québécois culture, we crafted a nonconformist take on a classic style, the Belgian Golden Ale. These ales are traditionally named after hellish demons due to their lust for power and in reference to the beer’s deceitful drinkability. Our golden 25th anniversary ale is such a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Brewed with a unique Belgian yeast strain, this sinfully smooth refermented specialty ale is artfully crafted for a delicate balance of spice, malt, and hop flavors with a fine Champagne-like effervescence.”

Featured Review – A Tout le Monde from Unibroue

The second beer from Unibroue that I want to review is A Tout le Monde – The Megadeth edition.

Not a metal fan but I am interested to see how the creativity from one artistic endeavor fits with another. Let’s taste this Saison

Under the silver foil neck wrapper is a sprightly and quite good saison. Now, would I drink this blindfolded and think Megadeth? Probably not. Only 4.5% so not a head banger. The initial aroma is floral specifically rose petal. Above average carbonation lends to a sparkle. Potpourri flavor notes. A little coriander with wheat tucked into the bottom. Even non-fans would be happy with this solid beer.

Featured Review – Lune de Miel from Unibroue


I will be reviewing the the under appreciated but always solid Unibroue from Quebec.

We start with the most recent seasonal, Lune de Miel, a summer specialty release that was sent to me to review by parent company Sapporo. The beer is a Belgian-style strong amber ale brewed with local Québec honey.

This new offering was “inspired by a tradition dating back almost 4,000 years. In Ancient Babylon, the father of the bride would provide his new son-in-law with an unlimited supply of mead during the first month of marriage, a period that came to be called the “honey month”. As Babylonians were using a lunar calendar, the honey month eventually became the “honey moon”.”

After popping the foiled cap off the elegant black and gold labeled bottle a really fragrant hefe meets potpourri nose comes rushing out. Strong beer here. Honey is here in force. Belgian esters as well. Not quite clove or banana but close. This beer is prickly in a good way. Almost like an Imperial hefe. I shouldn’t be surprised. Whenever I get their Trader Joe’s branded beers, they are top notch. This will probably show up in my year-end Best of 2017. Straightforward and superb.

In the Tap Lines for August 2017

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The second half of the L.A. summer season is here, time to load up the ‘fridge with warm weather beers and start to be amazed at how early the fall seasonals are on shelves.

~ e-visits to three breweries from with the Beer Bloggers Conference landing in Milwaukee, we visit three Wisconsin breweries.
~ special featured reviews of Unibroue beers
~ Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Dodge City by Tom Clavin
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Here are two events to get your August started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) August 1st – All Your Oats Can release at Eagle Rock Brewery
2) August 3rd – Russian River Tap Take-Over at Lucky Baldwin’s Trappiste Pub location.

Up From the Cellar – Vintage Ale from Trader Joe’s 2011

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Earlier this month, I reviewed the gold embossed 2010 version of Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale brewed by the Canadian Unibroue and now we move on to the silver embossed 2011 and see how much (if any) differences there are.

To recap, here is what I said about this beer years ago, Aroma is not malty or roasted. Rich smelling. Pours dark brown close to black. Alot of plum type flavor in here. A faint touch of spice. The cheeks warm up but only after a few sips.

Every once in a while, you end up with a cork battle. This time the cork won. Various instruments of torture were used and I finally was able to get 1/2 of the cork out while the remainder floated merrily in the bottle.

After cleaning up the mess I made in the kitchen, I brought the glass to my nose and smelled cola?  Yup, distinct cola notes in the nose and taste as well as the carbonation. Drastically different from the 2010. I also pick up rhubarb in there as well. Rhubarb pie to be precise. This us such a brighter and bubblier drink.  There are some candi sugar flavors in there which adds to the sweet overall profile.

As it warms, the clove and typical Belgian yeast components come out of hiding.

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The Verdict?  Strange and soda pop but I kinda liked it. Maybe the thrill of a fizzy aged beer has clouded my judgement but this year was fun.

Sean Suggests for June 2014

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Last month was a little light on the ABV, for June, we are cranking it up a notch.  Starting with a dry hopped beer that is not to be missed followed by a pair of collaborations on the darker side.  Enjoy!

~LIGHT

Brasserie Dupont/ Cuvee Dry Hopping 2014 6.50% ABV

“Every year Dupont’s Master Brewer, Olivier Dedeycker, makes a special dry-hopped  version of  the brewery’s world famous Saison Dupont. For 2014, he chose the famous English hop, CHALLENGER, renowned for its balance of bittering and aromatic qualities. Importantly, they were cultivated in Belgium by the farm that supplies Olivier’s Golding hops. Using only hop flowers (no pellets, please), he added them to the late boil and dry hopped in cold maturation. ”

~MEDIUM

AleSmith with Cigar City/ Ramblin’ Rye Brown Ale 8.50% ABV

“Alesmith and Cigar City have once again partnered up for our second coast-2-coast collaborative brew, a delicious rye brown ale.

Worn out and tongue-tied from rhyming countless beer-centric names with “rye,” we knew it was finally time to quit rambling on and figured “Rye bother”…let’s brew. The result is a rich, malty Roggenbier that is riddled with notes of chocolate and biscuit that perfectly compliment the soft spiciness of the rye. Grab a pint and toast to the coasts.

This balanced and complex brew pairs best with smooth cigars and life-long friends.”

~DARK

Unibroue for Trader Joe’s/ Vintage Ale 9.00% ABV

“Unique and limited edition, this Belgian style ale is crafted once a year as a special treat for those of you who appreciate flavorful, bottle-conditioned ale with character. This year’s vintage: a rich, dark and full-bodied ale with a fine and generous coffee-colored, beige foam. It’s ready to enjoy right away and you may also wish to cellar a few bottles. It will evolve interestingly well, developing more complex flavors as the years go by.”