Dieu du Ciel – Rigor Mortis

How do you decide what beer to buy?  I know there are a few different things I look for when I walk in.  A lot of times I like to look at something from my favorite breweries.  Maybe there is something they are offering I’ve never had, or something I have really wanted for a while now.  I also look at different styles.  Is there a style that I haven’t tried yet, or did the brewer create something I’ve never had?  However, there are always beers where the label or name just jump right out at you.  This bottle had both of those qualities.  Dieu du Ciel doesn’t create a fun or practical label for any of their beers; they create a work of art.  But they don’t stop there, they also throw a name like Rigor Mortis in on top of that.  How can you pass up a beer that looks like that and has the name Rigor Mortis?

If you follow along, you know I’ve been delving into Canadian beers now and then.  Well this is an inadvertent edition.  This wasn’t picked up in Canada, but it was found right in Hyattsville, MD.   Dieu du Ciel is a clearly serious brewer that creates a serious product.  Their site doesn’t give you a run down of their history. Instead, they give you their “Act of Faith”.  Essentially it is the pillars on which they stand.  One of them states, “We scorn the latest trends and brew beers that seduce us primarily by their intrinsic qualities”. Like I said, they take brewing seriously.  Their line up is extremely interesting.  They take pretty standard beers, but a lot of the time, they add some kind of twist.  Some examples are their Hibiscus flower Wit and Peppercorn rye beer.  Both sound really good to me.

This particular beer is labeled as a quadrupel.  Now, I know I have had a quad before; however, it isn’t something I’m well versed in.  I actually thought I was buying a brown ale because the label states it is an abbey style brown ale.  Quads are definitely a Belgian style ale that is akin to the tripel and the dubbel.  They have a higher abv and, as a result of longer brewing, do end up a darker color as well.  This is due to the use of fermentation taking place four times.

The color of this beer was a little surprising.  I know the bottle states that it is a brown ale; however, I really thought it would be a little lighter because it’s a Belgian.  This one pours out a deep rich mahogany.  It looks pretty dark in the picture, but I assure you it is more red in color than that picture depicts.  There really is no head development on the pour.  I know you can see a little head in the picture, but it is really only around the edges of the glass.  You can see beer right through the middle of the head.  Swirling the glass really only results in the same amount of head.  The lacing does last on the side of the class and is very significant.  It seems like a strange dichotomy to have lacing that lingers but no head.

The most glaring aspect of the smell profile is the extreme amount of booze that comes out of this one.  The bottle clearly states that the Abv is 10.5%, so it really isn’t a huge surprise that there is a boozy scent here.  Hidden behind the booze is the scent of a large amount of citrus.  There is almost a slight raisin scent also scent in there as well.  The malts are also really present in the smell profile as well.  I really don’t think there are any hops in this one.  You can’t really pull any of them out of the smell.

There are two very apparent things in the taste of this beer.  First there are some very deep and rich fruits you pull out immediately.  The other clear flavor in the taste is the large amount of booze.  The booze on this one is just so strong it’s almost hard to get by.  The flavor profile does start with nice citrus and deep fruits, the middle section is where you really pull out the rich malt flavors mixed with some nice caramel flavors, and the end is nearly all booze.  It is definitely a tasty beer.  There are some very clear chocolate notes that add some depth to the flavors on this one as well, but booze invades the palate throughout.

The mouthfeel of this one can be summed up in one word: boozy.  It strange how it comes across almost syrupy at times.  The carbonation is totally adequate and actually helps to make the booziness more drinkable.  The only issue in the end is that the carbonation almost extends the booze flavor.  It just lingers far too long in the aftertaste.

I think there are both negative and positive things to this beer.  Overall, I do really like this one.  I don’t think anyone is ever going to want to drink more than one of these in a sitting; however, one every once in a while would be great.  Dieu du Ciel created a beer that has some great flavors and won’t let you forget your drinking alcohol for sure.  If you see this one at your local store, you might not be able to resist buying it.  Just be ready for a very boozy drink.

Teacher Grade: B

Some more great artwork

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