Monday, July 30, 2012

Dieu Du Ciel Péché Mortel (2010 Bourbon Barrel Aged Edition)

I acquired this beer in a trade with Marc Olivier Lesperance out of Quebec. It essentially cost me $33 for this one bottle! Would it possibly be worth the money?!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Chad9976 (702) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 29, 2012
I received a 2010 vintage 341ml bottle in a trade with a blogger in Quebec (thanks, Marc!). I poured it into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Black as night body with a brown, soapy head which is fairly quick to dissipate, but does leave a bit of lacing and never completely evaporates.

Smell: Black licorice and black coffee dominate the nose. Interesting synergy of sweetness and bitterness. A hint of bourbon sweetness and smoke as well.

Taste: A lot of craft beer enthusiasts hate the "trend" of bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts. But if the result is a beer that tastes this great I don’t see a problem. I liked but didn’t love the original Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel, but now it’s at least a candidate for conversation for contention with Hall of Famers like Founders KBS and Firestone Walker Parabola. Massive coffee flavor and accompanying bitterness right from the start, plus an underlying taste of black licorice which imparts both a confectionary sweetness and a touch of astringency. Dark chocolate begins to emerge after a few sips and becomes so prominent that the beer would be better classified as a mocha stout than a coffee stout.

The bourbon character is noticeable, though. There’s a subtle vanilla flavor that emerges on the second half along with a burst of straight up boozy heat and rubbing alcohol taste right as it finishes. You can call it distracting, but I’d consider it part of the character (it’s easily tolerated). The aftertaste contains a faint coffee bitterness and a slightly sticky/cloying black licorice taste. But despite all that it’s actually relatively clean considering what’s in the beer. A delicious and impressive palate all around - but I’m not quite sure it was worth the equivalent of $33 I spent on it in an international trade.

Drinkability: Any barrel aged imperial stout is something to handle with care, and while Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel Bourbon Barrel Aged is far from the strongest beer I’ve ever had at 9.5% ABV, it’s still quite strong after two years in the bottle. There’s definitely a noticeable alcohol presence in the palate and an accompanying warmth in the throat after each swig. The carbonation is low enough to make it go down smooth, but it’s far from tepid, too. A fantastic beer for a special occasion considering how rare and expensive it is.

Grade: 10/10

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