28 February 2008

End of the line

During the winter months I've been slowly working through the Unibroue range which has inexplicably shown up in one Dublin supermarket. I began in October with Trois Pistoles, and had a Maudite at the end of December. The evenings are starting to get a bit longer now and, while it's still chilly, the worst seems to be over, so it's time to conclude the series with La Fin du Monde.

Not being a fan of reading labels before drinking, I saw the word "triple" and assumed this to be in the tripel style. I was disabused of this by the pour: a very clear orange and a thick, snowy, long-lasting head. The mouthfeel is sparkly and full in the typically velvety Belgian way.

Closer attention to the label reveals that this is "triple fermented", which is one explanation given for the origin of the tripel name, but not the usual one. Anyway, this is no tripel. It's a much smoother, sweeter golden ale, more along the lines of Duvel or Piraat to my mind.

The dominant flavour is fruit. I was getting the sharpness of pears while Mrs Beer Nut detected bananas. This, of course, is our old friend 3-methyl-1-butyl acetate, generally known as isoamyl acetate to its friends. I had never associated it with pear flavours before, but Wikipedia tells me that pear essence is another name for this ester. Mrs Beer Nut has a degree in organic chemistry, but we don't talk about esters much for some reason.

The chemistry aside, this is a highly enjoyable beer: flavoursome, complex, yet easy going. 75cl doesn't last nearly long enough. The full-yet-effortless drinkability is something rarely found at 9% ABV, even in Belgium.

Of the three Unibroues, dark Trois Pistoles is the one I'll be running back to first. But I'd be happy with any of these whatever the season.


  1. Maybe Mrs Beer Nut fears Ester might be an old girlfiend?

  2. Oh, I've known a few girl fiends in my time...

    Mrs Beer Nut is far more likely to draw me a diagram with hexagons and lots of little Cs and Hs on it.

  3. Bailey10:00 am

    What we need more of is science, to quote Achewood.com.

    I had Fin du Monde at Quinn's in Camden and thought it was absolutely incredible.

  4. Nice post Beer Nut. I had a bottle of Fin Du Monde given to me a few years ago and gave it to a friend who used to live in Canada. Silly me!