Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Unibroue Maudite

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (875) - Albany, New York, USA - MAY 8, 2013
I 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. 
Grade: 9/10