Wow – so this is a bit of a fortuitous moment. I’ve had this beer from BroueHaHa in my fridge for going on 3 months waiting for the mood to strike me. At 8% alcohol and 660ml, I figured I needed to be ready to open this one. The label will certainly catch the eye of every man, feminist, chauvinst, and hedonist the world over (not for the same reasons, I grant you), and I’ll confess the label is the reason I bought the beer (insert look of shame here), but, well, it had me convinced I was getting into a hard drinking type of beer. And after a decidedly unfortunate bout with a six-pack of La Fin du Monde some 15 years ago, I’ve learned my lesson with ‘big’ French beers, and I come at them like a dog to a wounded porcupine:
very interested but even more carefully.
My recommendation: share this bottle with a friend.
Let me say that, again, this is not the beer I expected when I opened it – and I consider myself an idiot for being surprised given I saw a pun in my previous maple beer (L’Érabière) and missed the more obvious one here. (Damn distracting label …)
This beer pours and looks like a rousse and is as absolutely gorgeous a golden-amber as I’ve seen in a beer. Indeed, it doesn’t look that different than a medium to dark maple syrup. Go figure because it’s a maple beer – something I figured out before I even poured it (but not before I opened it). Taking a page out of my last tasting, I thought I’d smell the immediate aromas that came out of the neck when I flicked the cap of this bottle … and at this point I thought: “Strange, it smells like maple walnut fudge again.” I was sure my nose was still fixated on yesterday’s beer until I poured it and was smothered in a maple glory of aroma.
I knew, this was going to be good.
My only regret is that I couldn’t sample the two beside each other, especially given that one was like honey and 4.5% and the other like syrup and 8%.
It’s hard to truly compare a beer based simply on one person’s taste when beers can be such dramatically different creatures. To compare this to an IPA would be foolish and unfair to both. A beer really needs to be compared in its class and so I feel decidedly lucky that I pulled this beer after yesterday.
… and, yummy is consistently what comes from my mouth when maple is in the room – as we’ve already determined, I’m a maple slut, so it’s going to be hard to get me to dis the maple. Just sayin’. Back to the beer now …
It’s pretty simple actually – this is a maple ale. It’s very low on the bitter scale, much less than even L’Érabière whose hops made it a “pale ale.” And, as with L’Érabière, the carbonation is quite low and the head falls away very very quickly with absolutely no lace residue. The aroma is sweet buttered caramel (beautiful, beautiful malts in here) and lots of maple and while it still reminds me of maple-walnut fudge, it also reminds me of Cracker Jacks.
The alcohol is mysteriously hidden in the taste but don’t be fooled – two bottles of this
would leave you feeling like you’d been smacked in the back of the head with an empty and left for dead tied as a Bavarian pretzel around a frozen maple sapling in the Gatineaus. You might think you’re drinking maple syrup beer – but it’s more like drinking mead which this probably has a lot more in common with than you’d guess.
The downside for me is that it is a sweet beer. No question. So if you like a sweeter Riesling, icewine, or, like I say, mead, this will ring very pure on your palette. It’s a very well-balanced beer with just a lot of maple flavour.
Indeed, this Desérables is poetry (like the words on the side of the label) … it is art … it is that which you hope to see and drink, like being united with one’s promised love … it’s love at first sight … it is all good things desirable … it is maple in a bottle.
Stats: Maple Ale. 8% ABV. Granby, Québec.
Colour: Dark, golden amber and clear
Mouth Feel: Clean, creamy, with low carbonation and little to no head