Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Unibroue Trois Pistoles

Another award-winner beer from an award winning brewery. Trois Pistoles is an abbey-style dark strong ale. My studies for the BJCP did not particularly cover this beer style but what I do know is its Belgian influence. Abbey ale yeast or Belgian yeast provides much of the character and complexity in this high gravity beer. Enjoy!

Alcohol Content: 9%
IBU: 15.5
Malts: ?
Hops: ?

Price: $12/ four-pack
Medium: Wine glass/ goblet

Aroma: Dark, ripe winterfruits, plums, tart cherries. Strong esters balances with spicy phenols from Belgian yeast strain I presume. An unusual lemon background. It hosts a distinct house-like character from Unibroue – perhaps the same yeast for many of their beers. Sweet, vinous or rum-like aroma presents itself nicely in this high gravity dark ale. Hints of roast and brown sugar. Malty, with little to no hop presence.

Appearance: Deep reddish brown with moderate haze. Approaches a porter color but not quite as dark. 32 SRM according to the brewer’s website. Glass selection will play an important role in this beer’s presentation. Beige, tan-colored head with great retention and an effervescent carbonation. Ale on lees - therefore yeast sediment in the bottle.
Flavor: Moderately tart fruity esters and malts combines to form a complex character largely influenced by the yeast. Some spicy phenols or house yeast character from Unibroue. Hints of roast in the finish and rum-like or port wine alcohol. Rum character could be from brown sugar additions, which may also be described as molasses. Possibly some fusel alcohols noted in flavor and mouthfeel. Finishes moderately crisp and dry with a pleasant aftertaste of residual sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Warm alcohol notes, possibly some fusel alcohols but nothing solventy or “hot”. Moderate body, deceivingly lighter than the color of the beer suggests. This is intensified by high carbonation that scrubs the palate and prevents any cloying sweetness from lingering. Pleasant and spicy, from yeast and spice additions. Strong but smooth.
Overall Impression: Although the beer finishes rather crisp and dry, it’s mouthwatering sweetness in the aftertaste is a great example of an aperitif to a meal. In other words this is a great pre-dinner beer as it gets the palate ready for a savory dinner. Can be aged for up to 8 years if you have the willpower and right cellar conditions. Pairing suggestions can be found on the company's website which I highly recommend visiting for the cool stories/ legends about the beers history behind the name. Like any beer though, research should be done before indulging for the best experience and serving suggestions.

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