4.3AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
People who are passively familiar with stouts tend to know beers of the style tend to have a coffee-like flavor due to their roasted malts. Some breweries have taken it a step further by literally infusing coffee with the beer for a more prominent, sweeter taste. But Dieu du Ciel’s Péché Mortel takes it yet another step further by making an imperial version of a coffee stout. The result is a very tasty and highly drinkable beer that’s probably as good as you’d expect.
APPEARANCE AND AROMA
I poured a 11.5oz (341ml) bottle into a tulip glass. This beer pours to a black-as-night body and forms a light brown, creamy head reminiscent of something you’d get from a cappuccino or espresso. It leaves some lacing on the glass as it goes down.
The aroma was initially quite strong with a noticeable coffee and chocolate aroma, although these scents seemed to diminish as the beer was drank. There is also a mild scent of roasted malts. Alcohol was also noticeable, but took a back seat to these aromas.
Robust dessert stouts are among my favorite styles of beer and if you’ve ever had something like Péché Mortel you’d know why. Really, what’s not to like? The main components of the palate are dark chocolate and coffee which initially form a sweet, almost candy-like taste. It’s almost like liquid fudge. As the beer finishes the palate becomes very bitter and warm which I’d attribute to the alcohol. The aftertaste is quite pleasing with a prominent flavor of gently roasted malts.
Drinking this beer is very pleasurable as all the flavors are in such perfect harmony. The only bummer was the fact the coffee taste wasn’t nearly as strong as I was expecting. Friends told me it’s almost like beer-flavored coffee, but I’d say it’s a chocolate stout with some coffee flavoring. Not that what I got was bad, just not quite as mind-blowing as I hoped.
Although Péché Mortel might sound like a huge beer on paper, in reality it’s anything but. The mouthfeel is velvety, soft and goes down extremely smooth. The alcohol makes its presence known at 9.5% ABV, but it doesn’t outshine the palate’s genuine flavors. It’s also surprising at how light the beer feels on your system as I barely even noticed a buzz after drinking this.
This is a great beer to have after dinner as an alternative to dessert and coffee.
I have to say I really enjoyed Dieu du Ciel’s Péché Mortel, but it just didn’t knock my socks off as the hype lead me to believe. Not that it’s a bad beer at all, but rather a "flawed masterpiece". This beer retails for $6.39 per bottle and at that price is justifiable as a rare indulgence, so go ahead and treat yourself if you can find it.