Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dieu Du Ciel Corne Du Diable


It's been about five months since I last reviewed a beer by Dieu Du Ciel. Their Corne du Diable (or "Horn of the Devil") is an American-style IPA I've been trying to find for a while. Actually, I did find and attempt to review this last summer but the bottle at the time was expired. This time I TRIED to find a fresh bottle, but because the freshness dating system is so hard to decode I have no idea if I got a fresh or an old bottle but I did the review anyway.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (644) - Albany, USA - OCT 9, 2011
I poured an 11.5oz bottle into an elongated tulip glass.

Appearance: One of the ugliest beers I’ve seen: muddy, murky, sewer-water complexion of brown and slight orange highlights. Forms a khaki-colored, soapy head which retains and laces well enough.

Smell: Very malt for an American-style IPA. Biscuity notes with underlying confectionary sweetness and plenty of resin pine bitterness.

Taste: Beers like Dieu Du Ciel Corne du Diable are great case examples of why it’s important to put a freshness date on the bottle that is completely idiot-proof. The brewery has two 0-9 categories with one notch on each. But that doesn’t make sense because there are 12 months in a year and upwards of 31 days in a month. How am I supposed to interpret this!? Is this the bottling date or the expiration date? Or is it something else entirely. I ask because I’ve tried to review this beer in the past and one swig into it I could tell it was expired from the taste alone. This time around it wasn’t as bad but I did detect some "off" characteristics.

This an interesting hybrid of traditional English-style IPA with obvious East Coast American influence. A very malt-forward IPA with biscuity barley flavor at the beginning. A touch of caramel or toffee sweetness, but nothing too intense. The middle turns sticky and sappy with bitter pine flavor that gives way to a very quick burst of tropical fruit juice sweetness. It then fades away to almost nothing and leaves a surprisingly clean aftertaste for such a seemingly complex brew.

There’s a distinct tang throughout the palate which leads me to believe I got another old bottle (maybe not expired per se, but far from fresh). I can tell the notes here would be much better in tune and harmonize more pleasantly fresh on tap. Not that this bottle was undrinkable or even bad - in fact, I could see myself using this beer to pair wonderfully with a spicy, hearty meal.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, somewhat soft, slightly dry aftertaste but clean for the most part.

Drinkability: At only 6.5% ABV, Dieu Du Ciel Corne du Diable is a perfectly average IPA in all aspects. Despite a high bitterness factor couple with some tanginess, it’s actually comfortable in the mouth and very smooth going down.

Grade: 7/10