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Route Des Épices (Ale Rousse Au Poivre) - Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Not Rated.
Route Des Épices (Ale Rousse Au Poivre)Route Des Épices (Ale Rousse Au Poivre)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

376 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 376
Hads: 608
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 17.44%
Wants: 16
Gots: 42 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada | website

Style | ABV
Rye Beer | 5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Popsinc on 06-10-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 376 | Hads: 608
Photo of pkalix
1.97/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

i like rye. i like pepper. i like hot peppery things including hot sauces from pepperpalace.com. i like the chili beer (i know it has poor reviews- i like it as a 'finisher' when i'm done drinking for the night). i appreciate novelty beers.
but i'm not particualrly fond of this one.
A- a 'ruby' purple liquid with little or no head.
S- remember those little 'cans' of already ground black pepper that were so popular,back in the day, before 'fresh' ground peppercorn became availible?
T- remember those little 'cans' of already ground black pepper that were so popular,back in the day, before 'fresh' ground peppercorn became availible?
M- full-bodied, round(?).
overall??? blecchh. leave the spice to the food. dont pour it into your beer. it's not even a good novelty brew.

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Photo of Otterburn
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass, amber with reddish reflects,
little foam forms on top, laces. Active but very fine carbonation.

It smells spicy, not the typical everyday beer.
Strong pepper presence, caramal.

Taste is unique, the rye mixed with the peppercorns gives this brew a special taste.
Its interesting because it goes out of the path.

Mouthfeel is round and medium body, carbonation is low has the taste takes over the feel.

overall its a quality red ale with that pepper punch, really good.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had this beer before. I actually had this beer back in Indiana… I saw it on sale somewhere and grabbed two bottles. I then realized it was on our list. Anyway, the first time I had this I was blown away. It is loaded with peppercorn and basically pepper notes from the aroma all the way through the beer. When researching this brewery, I learned that the recipe they use today was the first recipe created for this beer. The brewmaster must like grabbing random ingredients and just seeing what will happen. Success was born when this beer was finished! Let's stop talking and start drinking.

In the Glass: It pours nice, and leaves a deep brown thin look in the glass. It has a nice white head, and produces a smooth and consistent lace. The beer, coming from a brewery I was unaware of before having tasted this beer the first time, makes some pretty neat beers. They have some awesome labels, too.

Nose: Imagine a pile of peppercorns… now stick your nose in them. Breathe deep… that is what this beer tastes like. Yum! Man, this beer smells incredible. It reminds me of the FFF I had earlier this week. That is a basil beer, and pretty much smells like a bag of basil smacked you in the face. But this one is overwhelming and that's OK. Beers like this, extreme beers, are expected to smell like this.

Flavor: I just took a shot of vodka… I hope that doesn't change my opinion of this beer. And it doesn't! It's not the same flavor I remember, but it's because I am thinking about it and it would be impossible to produce the same flavors that I had weeks ago when I tried this beer. But the peppercorns are still there, and the flavor is as enjoyable as I recall. Man, this is a tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice. It starts off without many flavors, but then the bubbles take over and the finish is strong. It almost reminds me of how a cheap barleywine would drink. It's hard to compare the two in terms of flavor, but the consistency on the tongue is similar.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is nice, too. Imagine eating a spoon full of pepper. The flavors that are still there five minutes later are what this beer leaves in your mouth. The heat is there too, and not from the alcohol, but from the spices that this beer is known for. I haven't had any other beers from this brewery yet… but I can't wait to try more!

Like I said, it doesn't taste the same as I remember… but man, this is a good beer. The spices are obvious, and I am digging the peppery aftertaste. I like this beer a lot, and we have it at Total Wine… I actually recommended this to someone tonight! If you are looking for a good, unique beer with awkward flavors… look no further than the Route des Épices. Bottoms up, people!

Route des Épices - The bottle says: "Route des Épices (French for "Spice Route") is a rye beer brewed with black and green peppercorns. Initially the beer reveals flavors of fresh grain and malt, which, give it notes of chocolate, caramel, and fruit. The pepper flavor and arose is fully revealed in the finish, which leaves a pleasant spice, tingling sensation on the tongue."

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from 2/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a clear orange amber, slight head and lacing. Aroma of sweet malt and pepper. Sweet malt changing to dry, spicy, earthy rye and light fruit. Definite pepper aftertaste is interesting, but overall flavor is somewhat muted. Light to medium bodied with some creaminess. Interesting to try, but fairly light flavored for the complexity.

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Photo of sennin
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazey, reddish brown. The foam gives off a light hazelnut brown color. Nothing all that special.

S: Pepper rams the nasal cavity up front, I can minutely detect something like a tomato smell and maybe some raisin- dark fruits.

T: Follows the nose pretty well, but there is definitely a large amount of a somewhat unpleasant tomato-like taste. Sort of reminds me of Short's Bloody Brew, but a better brew over all. Pepper hits later and hits hard, but I wouldn't necessarily say it is super spicy. Somewhat of a bitter after-taste on the back-end but it works with the other flavors quite well (I'm assuming this comes from the rye). As it warms though, it does lose a lot of its character and the taste leaves with it. Alcohol is mostly non-existent in taste.

M: the mouthfeel can only be described as fun- the beer comes in silky smooth but causes the tongue to tingle a bit from the peppercorn later on. The flavors in the beer dance on your tongue long after swallowing- something I really admire about this brew. It almost has the mouthfeel that you get after tasting a very spicy salsa, but its not harsh by any means.

Overall, this brew is not bad, but quite average by Dieu Du Ciel standards. And the rather acrid tomatoey taste can be rather off-putting.

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Photo of tdm168
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jtd1969 for bringing this to the tasting.

A - dark amber with a soft, white layer of head

S - bread, pie crust, apples, faint sugar

T - bread, sweet, spicy, peppery, rye, faint citrus

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is an enjoyable, complex, smooth offering with great drinkability. I'll definitely have this again.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy deep brown in color with some hints of amber and ruby red when held up to the light. The beer has a quarter finger tall beige head that quickly reduces to a medium sized patch of extremely thin film with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of peppercorns in this beer. There are some lighter aromas of rye spiciness as well as some floral and citrus hops.

T: There is spiciness from both the rye and the peppercorns which really dominate the flavor of this beer. The heat of the spice really lingers for this one - not overly hot but lingers for quite some time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. There is some spicy heat in the finish.

O: This beer is probably only going to find a niche of enjoyment and popularity - this is a flavor profile that I enjoy and really makes me think of steak au poivre. I enjoyed this beer but it is a little spicy to be an easier drinker. Very unique.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The dark and earthy character of the beer is shadowed closely with the assertive tone of peppercorn for a dryish and spicy taste that settles in early on and rides the wave thereafter.

Pouring a braised amber color, notions of ruby and garnet come to mind as an efforted ray of light penetrates. Well capped with a semi-dense creamy head, the beer shows certain retention and diced with lace that coats the glass afterwards.

Earthy and spicy, the nose wants to register Belgian-ale components, but the lace of sincere fruitiness and the hearty biscuit character of English ales sing another song. Rich with chocolate, toffee, and earthy black peppercorns the scent of the toasty ale is evident. Plumb, fig, and date give a sweeter nutty subsidiary note as the beer switches to aroma to flavor.

The taste of the beer goes quickly from malty sweet caramel to slightly scorched toffee, to heavy toast with earthy rye, peppercorn, and alcohol bitterness in finish. But there's an overlying veil that waves over the mid palate with sugar plumbs, burnt currants, and grape leaves for added depth and malt complexities. Hops only support the spice in balance of the beer and is comfortable in its hardly recognizable role.

Medium bodied to start as the malty toffee richness takes hold with a creamy texture. The peppery bite of the beer tempers the malts and starts to command the beer in the mid palate and ushers in peppery dryness, alcohol warmth, and a heated addition of spice that only peppercorn can produce.

The harmony of peppercorn and rye is remarkable as each play out in an intertwined taste and texture that's as rustic as it is playful. Yet the balance is spicy and raw to the point where it becomes a bit challenging to the palate- yet curiosity resumes...

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Photo of Lordquackingstic
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: An interesting muddy brown with a tiny off-white head. Very nice lacing.

S: Caramel malts, sweetened coffee, milk chocolate.

T: At first it tastes like a brown ale with caramel malts being dominant, but then all of a sudden your tongue starts to tingle from the peppercorns and you get a punch of heat. Definitely the spiciest beer I've ever had.

M: Capsaicin burn lingers on your palette and keeps on kicking the back of your throat. It's an interesting feeling to get from a beer.

O: I couldn't finish this one, the spiciness was just too much for me. I can appreciate it for what it is, and I can enjoy the aftertaste when drank in slow sips, but this one isn't for me.

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Photo of cyrenaica
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle
5.3% ABV

I tried this beer on May 18, 2012 at "C'est What" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer poured a dark brown into the tulip glass with very little head. The aroma was sweet malt, grains, and molasses, with some floral hops. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with medium carbonation. the flavour was grains, pepper, molasses, and some berryish notes, followed by a bitter finish. the pepper notes, while non-existent in the aroma were very pronounced in the flavour.

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Photo of tony223366
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Short review because I have chores (unfortunately!)

A: After a vigorous pour only two fingers of tan fluffy head. It already looks like retention will be an issue. Color is a really deep caramel with lighter brown notes but mostly dark. It's tough to tell the clarity and I don't have a laser pointer on me. Nice action from the carbonation.

S: Peppercorns are really apparent in... you guessed it a peppercorn way. Really deeply spicy. More chocolate than I would have thought with some caramel. It's hard to pin down the rye because it normally comes out as spicy.

T: The beginning of the beer is mostly caramel maltiness with some chocolate. Then it goes to what I believe is the rye spiciness. Finally it finishes straight up spices in a way some pepper beers do. The kind that confuses my tongue if it's the carbonation or bitterness... but no it's the spicy quality you get when you eat spicy food.

M: Really creamy, in a great way. Leaves your tongue feeling like you just ate a mild salsa. Tight carbonation.

O: An interesting beer, although not nearly as big as a hit as the hibiscus beer they brew. This isn't' something I would get normally but it's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Duff27
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thin shortly liivws head on a brown base. Collar left.

Not getting a lot from the nose, maybe some malt sweetness.

Faint rye notes...Loving the peppercorn "hot" finish. Would guess this one at around 6%abv

Medium mouthfeel and adequate carbonation, very fitting.

A bit one dimensional...peppercorns pretty much steal the show from any other flavor. Worth a try if you're looking for something different, otherwise pass. Thanks for the bday want fdkayti!

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Medium brown plum color. Just one fingers of beige creamy/frothy head. Retention is average and a decent sized ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Wow, this is peppery. Well, there's peppery and then there's PEPPERY and this is the latter. Rye earthy spiciness underneath. Toasty malts with notes of caramel. I dig this.

3.5 T: It's still peppery, damn peppery, but only a fragment of what the nose presented. Still, it adds a touch of heat on the finish. Rye is appreciated again. Toasty, grainy malts with caramel. Tasty.

3.5 M: Lighter medium to medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Could be creamier, but okay.

4.0 D: The drinkability for this becomes greater as you drink it. The reasoning is that the peppery heat builds up after every sip. By the end, I had a nice warming going on in my mouth and I loved it. Would drink again.

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Photo of SebD
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice cloudy brown/amber color to it. It has a small off-white head after a strong pour that dies down somewhat fast and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of peppercorn, caramel, toffee and rye.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a dominant peppery spiciness, with some rye and a caramel/toffee sweetness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a decent overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas but not quite what I expected.

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Photo of Firkin-Bunghole
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes
Appearance-Poured beer into a pint glass minimal head does cling to edge of glass
Smell-Malt, rye and peppercorns
Taste-If you're a chili-head or heat seeker like me (chili peppers, peppercorns) this is where this beer excels. I did enjoy the subdued use of hops and low bitterness (IBUs).
Mouthfeel-Full bodied. I really enjoyed how the peppercorn taste builds as you drink this.
Overall-At 5.49/bottle kind of pricey. Think if I have again I'll try to pair with a peppered steak or other spicy dish (Thai or Mexican). Do recommend and will buy again.

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Photo of output01x
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.5 oz. capped bottle (no date) into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a 1 1/2-finger tan-colored head that slowly fades after a few minutes to a thin dusting and thin foam collar. The body is a clear amber brown with a decent amount of slow-rising carbonation bubbles. Light lacing can be seen between sips but seems to have trouble clinging to the glass.

Pouring the beer releases great malt aromas carrying lots of caramel and toffee notes. Getting in closer to the beer reveals an overpowering pepper aroma that stings the nostrils when breathed in too deeply. The rye really gives this beer a bready quality in the nose.

Each sip starts with light flavors of caramel and toffee with an overlying herbal character. Swallowing the beer allows the rye to come out along with more herbal flavors. As these fade, the spiciness from the peppercorns sets in, stinging the sides and tip of the tongue.

The medium body and moderate carbonation give this beer a drinkable, but not quite refreshing quality. The body is like that of an American Brown Ale, which really lets the malt flavors come out. The carbonation is somewhat fizzy and foams up only slightly in the swallow.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.57/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into a goblet

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark brown/amber color with a finger of dense white head. Retention is solid.

S: Spicy rye mixed with peppercorns are dominant in the aroma of this beer. Slight fruity hops and bready malts are in the background. A get a bit of malt sweetness. Very nice.

T: Spicy rye and peppercorns absolutely dominate the front of this beer. I get slight hoppy bitterness after that with a bit of caramel sweetness, but not much. The end is all peppercorn. It stops just short of being extreme, but that is coming from someone who loves peppercorns.

M: Medium to full bodied with slightly higher than average carbonation. Great for the style.

O: I'm very impressed by this beer and a bit dumbfounded by the low scores. Yes, peppercorns are strong so maybe the beer is a bit polarizing. However, I find it complex and full bodied, yet easy to drink. I really love how the rye and peppercorn flavors work together - so tasty. Highly recommended.

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Photo of cbutova
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brought back from Montreal, bottled in December 2011.

A- Pours a dark amber-brown hue into my mini 12oz pint shaped glass. A light tan head forms to about a finger in size and retains decently. Lace blanket begins to form at the top of the glass and continues down the glass.

S- Fresh cracked peppercorns right of the bat, like I am about to dry rub some pork or something. Underneath that is some dark caramel malts.

T- Zing of peppercorn flavor right up front, it is quite intense. I even get a bit of the warm spicy feeling you get from nice pepper. The base beer is like a lighter brown ale with caramel, toasty, dark fruit and a slight rye profile. The pepper dominates the flavor though.

MF- Silky lighter-end body that foams up when it hits the palate. Pepper actually gets fairly spicy after a few sips in a row, nice warming feeling.

I don't mind peppercorn in my beer but this might be just a bit over the top. Expect it to taste like pepper straight from the mill with some caramel. I am almost deceived into thinking I just ate a pepper-crusted steak or something. Intense.

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Photo of leaddog
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341mL bottled August 2011.

Appearance - Pours a dark, murky brown (almost mahogany) with a very thin line of bubbles for head.

Smell - Peppercorns, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruits.

Taste - Starts off with the sweet flavours (picked up in the aroma), and then transforms into a spicy, peppery finish and aftertaste. Not overly spicy hot, just a pleasant black pepper flavour.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied with light carbonation. Tingly on the tongue due to the light bubbles and pepper.

Overall - This beer takes your tastebuds down an interesting path. I was surprised by the sweet start that turned into a peppery finish. Hats off to Dieu du Ciel for creating such a unique beer.

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Photo of duracell
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341mL bottle served into a tulip glass. 5.3%ABV, bottled in October 2011.

A - Pours a clear red/amber color with a 1-finger, white, creamy head which disappears rather quickly (~2min).

S - Nice blend of peppercorn and red fruits. Malt and herbal notes are also present besides.

T - Taste is really intense! I pick out some cereals up front with a relative sweetness, but hops and pepper give this brew a very spicy finish... it's really HOT! Rather than the feeling of peppercorn, the spiciness is close to chili pepper as it stays on the tongue for a long time.

M - Light to medium bodied, this beer has a very dry finish due to the spices. I would like to feel a sweeter feeling up front to balance the pepper. Other than that, the carbonation is absolutely perfect in my opinion.

O - This brew is such an experience! It is very unusual and I love it! You certainly need to like hot meals to appreciate its taste, but if you do just seek it out!

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Photo of drabmuh
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks Mike, served in a snifter.

Beer is brownish with an off white head of small bubbles, some lacing, decent retention but low carbonation.

Aroma is yeast and peppery.

I didn't know this beer had pepper in it before it was served to me, it was served blind, but I called it from a goddamn mile away. The pepper wins in the palate and the nose. Rye? For reals? I couldn't tell. This beer was a pretty big let down, very peppery, and that's all. Nope, not again.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured carfefully yielding a low boggy light brown head. Dark amber in color

S: Smells like a rich syrupy quad or dubbel. Then there's a prominent pepper aroma that starts kicking the door down halfway in that finishes as distinct peppercorns.

T: The elements in the nose are overlapped a little more and there's some salt to accompany the pepper. Wouldn't be able to tell there was rye in it if I wasn't told so, but I guess it kind of goes hand in hand with the pepper.

Edit: alcohol becomes pretty prominent towards the end and if drank too fast, especially for a 5% beer. End up tasting more like 8%+.

M: Lower carbonation is overshadowed by the pepper, although I don't think any more fizz would benefit this beer, but not sure. Pepper is left on the back of the palate.

O: This beer is about the pepper, but I love it!

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Photo of tsauce2
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a globe glass

A: SRM is nut brown. Head is light tan, 1 in, dissipates to line the top of the beer. Medium carbonation. Medium lacing.

S: Rich malt base with spices, rye, and peppercorn.

T: Creamy maltiness followed by rye notes and a nice spice and peppercorn addition. Just a touch of spiciness from the peppercorn. Aftertaste is malty and slightly peppery.

M: Malts give a creaminess that is countered by the peppercorn additions. Rye adds a bit of texture to mf.

O: Interesting, complex, and delicious. I love the pepper additions to this beer. At 5% ABV, this is a very drinkable beer and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of MrDanno96
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours deep brown in color with about a finger of off-white head and some foamy lacing.

S: Nutty with hints of chocolate in the background. A little of the rye pokes through as well.

T: Nuttiness and chocolate come through up front . . . and then the peppercorn takes over! Lots of spiciness in the finish and down the back of your throat. A little earthy hop bitterness comes through as well. I think this would probably be a better beer without the peppercorn IMO - it's a flavorful rye beer with an abruptly spicy finish.

M: Medium bodied and a lot of spicy bite from the peppercorn. Mildly carbonated, but with the bite of the peppercorn you don't really need much carbonation.

O: Kind of meh for me. I'd be interested to try the base beer without the peppercorn added. At almost $5/bottle I'll probably never have this again.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at O'reilly's at the Best Western. Served chilled in a snifter.

The color is slightly hazed reddish brown with great retention and fine bead. There is a good amount of lace collecting and the carbonation is visible. The smell is like a humidor, very aromatic and slightly sweet with a woody essence...could be the pepper but almost comes off as smoky with slight peat influence a la fine single malt. The feel is good with nice amount of carbonation and subtle spice which seems to increase midway through. The dry toasty graininess comes through a little bit but the alcohol is mild and it is about medium bodied making for a nice blend of malt and spice with good balance.

The taste is not as inviting as the aroma led on, but still has some of that cedar-like sweet woodiness with a goodly amount of malt which comes off more creamy than caramel with a light toasted and dry accent that doesn't really reach any kind of roast level yet does seem to amplify the pepper flavors in the beer. The alcohol is more noticeable because of the spice I suppose but not really sharp or out of place there is a mild heat that builds in the back of the throat which lets you know what you are dealing with. The peaty tinge is a good woody compliment to the subtle rye. Overall I like the way this beer unfolds it is very aromatic even when cold and as it warms tends to come together quite well with the malt and spice in harmony. I recommend trying this if a peppery beer is your cup of tea.

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Route Des Épices (Ale Rousse Au Poivre) from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
83 out of 100 based on 376 ratings.