In homage to the seasons (just passed) here’s a delicious brew that, admittedly, I’m a few weeks late in reviewing. I bought it at BroueHaHa with the best of intentions, but it was a busier season with less imbibing than I forecast … and cross-country ski season has arrived, so hours are in shorter supply.
First, let me say, if it isn’t already too late, run out and buy a couple of bottles of this. You’ll most certainly find an occasion in the cold days of January to quaff them, I promise.
I will admit, I was a bit leery to buy this bottle, but on our last trip to my candy store (aka: BroueHaHa), Anne insisted I buy something seasonal and this was recommended. The time before, I had gone in pursuit of St Ambroise’s pumpkin ale which I was disappointed to learn had finished its season a few weeks before Halloween. Instead, I had “settled” (emphasis on “settled”) for BDT’s pumpkin ale which was a watery disappointment.
I’m happy to say, BDT improved their record with their Xmas brew. At 9% and with an almost iridescent “cowboy coffee” hue to it, this beer drinks like and is almost certainly a Porter, born and bred.
Now, let’s face it, a huge porter isn’t to everyone’s taste to begin with. No chauvinism intended, the porter was brewed for those burly men that port pianos. You know, the one’s that drink a six-pack as an aperitif and eat an extra large pizza as an hors d’œuvre. And as much as I’m type casting, I’m also revering: really, “We’re not worthy.” Where am I going with this? This “minuit” has no Chopin to it – it’s a big beer. And, unless you move pianos for a living, this big bottle needs to be shared.
Yes, anise (i.e. Chinese licorice) is pronounced from beginning to end – but there is a delicious bit of clove and allspice to it that I think any French Canadian is going to love. This beer is “comfort food” – it’s tourtiere and creton and all things big and yummy. But I’d wager most English will love it too as it is figgy pudding all the way. The spices are strong – and perhaps a wee-bit too heavy, depending on your taste. But the brewmaster is clearly of a “go big or go home” philosophy. But like with those foods above, when done well, a little piece is all the palette needs.
Personally, for a seasonal beer, this creates a wonderful tableau: me curled up in front of fire, a bit of Dickens in hand and some good toutiere or some braised Asian short-ribs beside me … I think this beer is a good accompaniment. The only thing better would be Anne herself ….
My only advice to you all: at 750ml, find someone to share it with – this beer is way too big (and the bottle bigger) for one person. A pint-sized bottle would have been a smarter choice. Still, well worth the adventure. Enjoy … and happy belated holidays to all …
Stats: Porter/Seasonal Beer. 9% ABV. Gatineau, Quebec.
Colour: Dark (dark) brown
Mouth Feel: heavy, hard carbonation which overpowers a bit.