At a piddling 9.5% ABV I was half expecting Dieu du Ciel's Péché Mortel to be a bit of a light affair. On pouring from the 341ml screwtop I got gentle whiffs of café crème, though a proper sniff reveals a distinct hoppiness to the aroma as well. On tasting, all illusions of this being the more vapid sort of imperial stout disappear.
The body is huge and treacle-thick, with just a gentle prickle running through it making the flavours dance. Sweetened coffee is definitely still at the front, as might be expected since coffee is an ingredient, though it's not allowed dominate the taste. After it, there's a hoppy bitterness which isn't citric, nor in the least metallic: very unusual in the imperial stouts I've had, unfortunately. Rather, the hoppiness is green and a little brassica-esque: anyone who knows the pleasure of a perfectly-cooked Brussels sprout -- firm and squeaky -- will know what I mean.
You may think you're done when the rich, slightly dry, roasted flavours come in, but they're followed by a wonderful warming sensation down in the lower regions. Not that low, you perv; merely an extra duvet on your stomach lining. Perfect for tucking in your dinner.
This Canadian definitely punches above its weight. I've had stouts in the 12-15% ABV range that weren't nearly as complex or tasty. Or as boozily comforting. A class act all the way.
Westmalle Dubbel - *Origin: Belgium | Date: 2008 | ABV: 7% | On The Beer Nut: October 2007* It's a longtime favourite today. Westmalle Dubbel goes back to the very beginnings...
1 week ago