The Motherlode: Dieu du Ciel – Route des Epices

Dieu du Ciel means “Oh my Gawd!” in French, and the Muntreal, Quebec, brewery of the same name certainly gives several reasons to evoke their name in vain.

The first was the sticker shock of the price of their beers. And the second was the flavor of one in particular.

I purchased a twelve-ounce bottle (someone help me with the metric equivalent) of their Route des Epices (translated as “Spice Route”) for $4.19 at the Beverage Den and Smoke Shop in Bennington, VT, a beverage store best known for putting beer and porn magazines right next to each other for my convenience. I hadn’t heard of the brewery, the beer, or Canada at this point — and I didn’t have my Droid, and it’s RateBeer.com app at the time — so I was flying blind, spending so much on a single bottle. But I figured if it costs that much, it’s gotta be good, right?

Well it pours an ordinary clear orange color, with decent amounts of carbonation, leaving a decent head and lace. Certainly nothing wrong with it, but nothing all that extraordinary either.

The aroma, however, let me know this was going to be different. The first thing I could smell is the roasted rye malts. They are burnt and lovely, and dovetail beautifully with the woody hop aroma therein. Oak and pine come through, but are sweet and not bitter. The malts are grainy and gritty and dark, and I love it.

I’ve never tasted habanero in a beer before, but I definitely sensed it here. And if it wasn’t habanero, it was some kind of a peppery spice. (The label says peppercorns.) It has the same burn on the way down as curry or Indian food, but not in an over-the-top sense. It fit perfectly with the burnt malts, which carried some of the rye characteristics, but also gave off hints of chocolate and walnuts, and more resembled a porter malt. (There was a bit of an astringent/battery aftertaste to it, but it doesn’t ruin the experience.)

I found this to be a very intriguing beer, and one that lingers on the palate long after you take the last sip. Get on it.

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~ by William H on July 1, 2010.

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