Brews in Brief: Unibroue La Fin du Monde

  Posted on February 16th, 2010

First off, it’s been far too long since I wrote a proper article (’Briefs’ notwithstanding). Expect that to change in the next week or two. I’ve got a handful of solid articles in the fermenter right now, and as soon as I have time to polish them up a bit (condition? A pun can only go so far) they’ll be here for all to see. Anyway…

Belgian Tripel
9% ABV | ~30 IBU

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Color is a hazy gold. Head rises and falls with an audible fizz. Not much for retention or lacing. A swirl releases a burst of big soda-like bubbles that bloom and pop, leaving almost nothing behind.
Smells of grassy apple with a little spice. Faintly citrusy… clementine. Aroma is faint, but pleasant.
First taste is a peppery clove with a yeast-induced ‘fluffyness’. Then a boozey warmth (9%? Yeah, it’s noticable). Sweet malt sugar and a little bit of fruit (pineapple? mango?) round out the middle. Finish is spicy and a little earthy hop.
Mouth is full, yet crisp. Bottle-conditioning lends an overwhelming heap of natural carbonation which not only enhances the feel, but brings a clean, bright finish uncharacteristic of such a big ale.
Crispness aides in drinkability, but this is still a full-bodied, full-flavored, high-alcohol beer. Not overwhelming in the least, but still a bit of a slow-sipper.

Sometimes billed as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, sometimes as a Belgian Tripel, La Fin du Monde is a remarkably well refined example of the Pale (and an interestingly strong take on a tripel). It doesn’t really knock my socks off, but it’s a great sophisticated beer.


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