23 February 2011


Unibroue 2004 “La Fin du Monde” Ale (Québec) – Vintage (stamped on the back of the bottle) included because, obviously, this is not the current release. Cellared it myself, in fact. (Why? Curiosity.) A bottle tasted in 1999 showed little development but fair degradation, and that has continued. Acids have come to the fore, there’s a soapy detergent quality, and the dominant fruit quality is of slightly spoiled lemon. There’s still texture, spice (though less than there was), sweetness, and a long finish that’s the beer’s primary appeal at the moment. But if any of Unibroue’s brews are capable of aging – opinions differ – I’m more and more sure that this is not one of them. And just a warning: these things throw a dozen snow globes’ worth of swirly sediment, so they need a good long standup before pouring. (2/11)

Unibroue 2004 “Trois Pistoles” Ale (Québec) – Not the current release, and aged my me, myself, and I. Unlike the same year’s “La Fin du Monde”, this has seen some changes rather than just erosion, though I don’t know if the net effect is worth the time and energy expended. It’s darker and moodier than at release, though the flavor profile is more or less along the same molasses-meets-spice-barrel continuum. On the other hand, it’s both broader at the bottom and more angular up top, creating a palate impression more triangular than the roundness of its youth. Since I think that angularity is the first sign of degradation to come, I’m going to finish the rest (a might stash of two more bottles) over the next short while. (2/11)

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