poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It had a "best before" date of
4/10/15 (is a two year freshness window really that helpful, though?).
Appearance: One of the few beers that is truly brown in color. Extremely
hazy, opaque body but fine, spastic effervescent can be seen crawling
along the side of the glass. Forms a large, beige, foamy head which is
slow to dissipate but doesn’t lace the glass.
Smell: Plenty of dark fruit, dried fruit and autumn-like spice notes.
Taste: It’s been a long time since I’ve had a beer where I literally
said "wow," after the first sip. Thankfully, Unibroue Maudite has broken
that streak. I’m not usually a fan of the general "Belgian Strong Dark
Ale" style, but for whatever reason this beer makes it work quite well.
It’s a complex, robust body that doesn’t overwhelm the palate.
There’s a lot of different flavors happening in this brew. It begins
with a light fruit note. Red apple, plum, fig and raisin are all quite
prominent immediately. I taste a sweetness reminiscent of applesauce and
cinnamon. There’s a slight rum sensation at the crest of the swig,
quickly followed by dry bitterness and additional spice. This is a
delectable palette to say the least, and I especially enjoy the fact
it’s not sticky, cloying or boozy.
Drinkability: While Unibroue Maudite might not be the most chuggable
beer ever, but it’s remarkably smooth for what it is. The carbonation is
very fine and energetic. I did get some CO2 stuck in the throat, but it
was easily tolerable. The aftertaste is slightly spicy and a tad dry.
At 8% ABV it’s quite efficient for the style, as others of double-digit
strength have about as much flavor. There is minor alcohol warmth
throughout, but it’s complementary, not distracting.