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Beer #40 – February 9, 2010: Peche Mortel

February 9, 2010

Beer: Peche Mortel

Brewery: Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel, Quebec, Canada

Style: Imperial Stout / Coffee Stout

Serving Type: 330 ml (11.2 oz) bottle

Price: $5.99 / bottle

Availability: Occasional Release (not easy to find in the US)

Glassware: Brandy snifter

Strength: 9.5% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Delicious, but a strong slow sipper, quite warming on a cold winter night.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pours an opaque, dark, oily, nearly black hue, the color of deep roasted coffee beans, with a thin, frothy, cocoa-colored head.

Aroma: Fresh brewed, but spiked, coffee

Mouthfeel: Thick and oily, slightly creamy, with effervescent tiny bubbles of carbonation.

Taste: Peche Mortel starts with an intense, creamy, sweet coffee flavor, slowly moving into an earthy, woody, nutty middle with notes of bitter but savory unsweetened dark chocolate and hints of licorice.  Burnt sugar, over-roasted coffee beans, and a hint of charcoal come forward, all finishing with a subtle, but not harsh, warming alcohol.  Flavors of dark fruit and brandy become apparent as the beer itself begins to warm, the advantage of enjoying this in a brandy snifter.

Pairing: A true classic… just enjoy this one all on its own.

Trivia: I first tried this beer at the small Dieu Du Ciel brewpub in Montreal.  A seemingly unassuming neighborhood bar from the outside belies the amazing beers that lie within.  A rotating list of 8 to 10 beers that defy traditional styles, ranging on my particular visit from a creamy smooth and very sessionable Gaelique (Irish Cream Ale) to the strong and intense Peche Mortel.  These highly coveted beers, particularly Peche Mortel (ranked #21 on the BeerAdvocate top 100 beers list), are not easy to find in the US, and are brewed on a rotating basis, so even when visiting the brewpub, you’ll never know exactly what you’ll find, other than knowing you’ll find great beer.

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