Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's La Fin of Du Monde as we know it, and I feel fine.

Beer: La Fin du Monde
Brewery: Unibroue (Chambly, PQ)

War...war never changes.

If you are reading this post, then congratulations - we have survived the Scourge of the Mayans.  The battle was bloody, but in the end, the victory went to the humans, and with it goes the spoils - a world bereft of resources and habitable ecosystems.   Radiation stalks the Earth like a plague, forcing the rest of the 'survivors' to live a bitter, psychologically demanding life in a series of poorly-designed vaults that litter the badlands.  The future is bleak; the possibility of a return to our former lives is negligible.  But it was not all in vain, for the wisest of the surviving humans saw fit to bring with them into the vaults the finest ales and lagers of the once great civilized world, so that those who would carry on the struggle at least have something worth fighting for.

It is the end times.

It is humanity's greatest challenge.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it has been a privilege drinking with you.

We have seen....La Fin du Monde.

If tonight is truly humanity's last night, one could not have picked a more appropriate ale, nor a finer one.  Fin du Monde is one of those brews that stands the test of time, consistently impressing with every repeat tasting.   It's one of Canada's best known and most beloved craft brews, and for good reason.  Indeed, you would be hard pressed to find a better Belgian-style Tripel around - and that includes Belgium itself.

Nice thing about La Fin du Monde, and indeed all Unibroue offerings, is that its label shows you exactly what kind of glass to serve it in and what temperature is ideal for tasting.  This bright coloured ale is best served in a tall goblet to really let that billowing head hit some serious elevation.  The colour is light honey-golden, with a bit of haziness.   Sheets of lacing grace the sides of the glass, while the head - initially about three inches of it, settles into a thick pillow.

Nose is dry, fresh, and citrussy.  Lemon peel, clove, mild yeast, and lightly medicinal hops.  For a 9 percenter, this one is impeccably dry, which is how I'm finding I enjoy my Belgian ales best.

La Fin du Monde starts off sweet, with some wheat malt and cracker, before transitioning to a citrus and spice finish.  Lemon, coriander, light pepper, clove, peach, and only the faintest hint of traditional Belgian yeast.  Finishes dry and slightly medicinal.  Superb stuff, very thirst-quenching, and without the any of that high alcohol content hitting your tongue, save for a pleasant warming feeling.   FDM has some lovely, vigorous carbonation that does not overpower the brew and set off a chain reaction of Eudora Welty-esque belches, but rather it enhances the light citrus notes and makes for a damned good thirst-quencher.  Slightly creamy, medium bodied.

If this is my last beer review ever, I'm honoured to have La Fin Du Monde beside me at the bitter end.  It is a stalwart companion and a true champion of Canadian ales.  (Grade: A)

Oh, and Happy First Day of Winter, and First Day of Yule too.

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