Herbe à détourne (Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!)

Style: American/New World Tripel

Known Hops: Citra

10.2% ABV

From: Montreal, Quebec

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Brewer’s Note: “This beer was brewed in the Belgian Tripel style… with much exageration! An enormous amount of Citra hops was used, giving to the beer a powerful bitterness and obvious hops aromas. This beer had been fermented with our Abbey-style Belgian yeast, but at low temperature in order to limit the production of fruity and spicy esters. Aromas of mango, cantaloupe melon and passion fruit exhale all along the tasting, and match without complex with the strong alcohol content and hops./ According to the legend, the Herbe à détourne is a plant that makes you loose your way if you step on it. This beer finds its roots in the tradition of the Belgian Tripel style, but was designed in the New World way. Citra Hops is used without restraint, giving the beer an intense bitterness. Aromas of mango, cantaloupe melon and passion fruit exhale all along the tasting, and match without complex with the strong alcohol content and hops.”

DSCN4761 The beer’s label is beautiful and funky.  To tell the truth, I’ve always had a thing for Dieu du Ciel!’s labels, and I really am not sure why this is the first beer I’ve purchased from them.  This, honestly, isn’t my favorite of Dieu du Ciel!’s labels, but I think it has all of the key characteristics that I love.  I’ll start with the fonts, which are simple and stark.  This simplicity really works in some parts of the label, but comes off as cluttered or boring in others, which is unfortunate.  There is also a fair amount of clutter on the sides of the label, which is too bad, since it is such a beautiful label.  The label’s graphic is really what makes this label amazing.  Its colors are dark and dream-like, and the man with flowers blotting out his eyes is stylized and interesting and a great representation of the herbe a detourne.  The moon in the background is simple and the forest is beautiful.  I like this label and I love Dieu du Ciel!’s use of mythology and folklore in their beers.  This beer is worthy of shelf space or labeling.

DSCN4777The beer pours a deep and oranging yellow, with a head of medium sized bubbles that eventually fades to a scrim. In body the beer is opaque and hazy with no sight of the other side of the glass.  The beer leaves a light lacing of droopy bubbles on the glass, and a slick set of alcoholic legs.  On the nose, the beer smells like a bristling DIPA.  Huge, popping citrus and pine gushes over the nose with light hints of sticky, hot alcohol and a little bit of catty scents. Grapefruit pith and pine sap really stick on the nose from this beer, but I only get a light touch of pineapple funk from the Belgian yeast. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet and then drying and bitter with big, hot alcohol which is nicely cushioned by the other flavors. Citric acidity plays in alongside the booze, and provides a nice wetting on the tongue. The balance of this beer is a little boozy sweet, but the hop bitters do pull the beer together nicely.  In the mouth the beer feels on the plus side of medium in body with a slightly oily mouthfeel.  Carbonation is a little chewy, but bites at the start of the taste.  The mouth is left sticky with a bitter, resin feeling and a dryness on the back of the tongue.  In flavor, the beer begins as sweet citric grapefruit and pine resin, this unfolds into slightly cloying alcohol, spicy hops and some nice finishing bitters.  Slight clove notes linger in the finish and aftertaste, reminding me that this is an American Tripel, and not a DIPA, but overall this beer is a nice blend of booze and bitters.  The tripel character really comes out in the mouthfeel of this beer, but lacks a little in flavor, which isn’t horrible.  I do wish the booziness was turned a little down and that I could get some banana/clove/Trappist funk and other nice phenolic notes.  The phenols in this beer are gentle beneath the bitters and alcohol, but as the beer warms they do come out a bit and add a nice spice to the beer.  This is a great boozy sipper that will feed your bitter-beer desires.

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4.03/5,  B+ in Style

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