Bread & Belgians : Unibroue Maudite

First impressions.

According to professional development training I’ve done for my job, it only takes seven seconds to make a good impression and direct a conversation with a customer in a positive direction.

According to Katherine Heigl movies, making a terrible first impression ensures you will live happily ever after with the gentleman you embarrassed yourself in front of.

In real life, we know that first impressions are important, but not the lifeblood of getting to know someone. Most people worth knowing give others a few chances, mainly because most of my friends can be about as awkward as I am. We’re pretty forgiving folks. Thank goodness, otherwise I’d be up a creek.

I came this close to letting this beer make a bad first impression, but it would have been my fault for making snap judgements, and I would have missed out on another good beer.

If you could tell from this and from my bread recipe Sunday, it’s been a Unibroue type of week. First, because I love their beers. Second, because I’ve missed French like woah and it’s been really satisfying to say their names and see the way letters fit together in the language again. Like Don de Dieu. And Blanche de Chambly. Ahh they just sound…right. Now I know some French (and even French-Americans) snub their nose at or brush off Canadian French, but I’ve always been fascinated by how different français and français québécois can be. Back to the beer…

Back to the basics
Unibroue
Belgian Strong Dark Ale (Beer Advocate), Belgian Strong Ale (Rate Beer), Strong Amber Red Ale (Unibroue)
8% ABV
Bought at Friendly Package Liquors

All in all…
I was silly with this one and started drinking it right after I removed it from the refrigerator, so the carbonation/fizziness was just too much for me, totally took me aback, and distracted me from any underlying flavor. It was borderline soapy, and I was nervous it was not going to get any better. But, I gave it a few minutes, another try, another chance, and as it warmed it really started to shine.

After the Maudite had relaxed for a few minutes, it smelled like walking into a brewery (yeasty) and crushed cloves (the ingredient. not the cigarette. ew). The carbonation didn’t steal the show anymore, and it became a wholesome dark ale – instead of tasting and smelling like rising bread dough, it was more like baked dark raisin cinnamon bread. I didn’t find it bitter or dry, and I didn’t sense much of the “crisp hop finish,” their description listed. But I did love the orange rind flavor in the background – not bright like orange zest, but more biting. I also enjoyed that even at a warmer temperature it was still fairly carbonated, but was smoother (not creamy, though). At that more appropriate temperature it simply felt softer. Like the sh sounds in Blanche de Chambly. Prettiness.

Be advised of yeast settling in the bottom of this glass when you go for to pour.

Recommend to a friend?
Hmmmm. I’ll get back with you after I’ve had a few others in this style.

Safe for lightweights?
Hah, no. We’re at 8% ABV on this one.

Six pack worthy?
I’ve only had a few Belgian Strong/Dark Ales so I would like to try a few others before I come back to the Maudite.

But don’t take my word for it…

The Feisty Foodie

Two poems from Hoosier Beer Geek

On aging Maudite


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