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

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Route Des Épices (Ale Rousse Au Poivre)Route Des Épices (Ale Rousse Au Poivre)

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Popsinc on 06-10-2003

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Reviews: 385 | Ratings: 626
Photo of MrMonkey
1.9/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I've pretty much loved or at least enjoyed everything I've tried from these guys, but with this one I had to ask, "What the hell were they thinking?"

Pours a dark amber/light brown with a one finger light tan head that fades slowly to a thin cap. Spotty lacing.

The nose has a hint of chocolate and some bready malts, before a strong smell of peppercorns.

Taste is nothing but pepper; no rye, no other malts, certainly no hops. Just pepper. Hot spicy pepper.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

Sadly, a drain pour for me. I couldn't get past three sips before tossing this one in the kitchen sink.

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Photo of KarlHungus
1.96/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This beer pours a hazy amber color. The head is a quarter inch in height, and recedes within seconds into almost nothing. The aroma is pepper, and some light caramel malt. But really it is all pepper, and that is not pleasing to me. The taste is much the same, and just as repugnant. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this beer is a drain pour. I can think of no ideas as to how someone could possibly like it. It is straight up nasty.

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Photo of pkalix
1.97/5  rDev -46.5%
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 ummswimmin
2.01/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Should I start out with the appearance or smell (which I rated good or average)... sure why not. I like the shading from the top to the bottom of the glass (a pint glass). It starts out brown at the top (like a weak porter color) and the color shifts to a nice orange at the bottom. There is very little foam and I see some carbonation, but not a lot of bubbles coming through the body. It looks interesting.

The smell is interesting. I pick up the rye with the peppercorn seasoning blending in the smell. It is different. I have had spiced beer before many times, but the spice has rarely come out of the savory style.

Now the taste. It is not good. I pick up a lot of peppery flavor through the entire taste. I sense a little of the rye beer trying to come through. I pull air across the beer to see if I can pick up more, but that seems to increase the pepper in the beer. Even in holding it in my mouth, the pepper comes through the front and the rye in the back. Then the peppercorn flavor moves straight back. For all three flavor types, it was very unpleasant.

The pepper burns my mouth and throat. It is like the after-effects of a pepper, and not in a good way like in a well balanced chile beer.

And yes, I tried the beer at multiple temperatures to see if the flavor evolves. It didn't evolve. The unpleasantness in the flavor evolved to an even stronger impact over time. I couldn't finish this beer... it was the first sink pour I have had to do in months.

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Photo of bylerteck
2.03/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

A - This meets the definition of crayola brown. Minimal carbonation and minimal head.

S - Pepper. Pure pepper. Slight malt too. I sure as hell don't pick up any rye.

T - Malt up front then smack with pepper that doesn't go away. It lingers for literally five minutes. Pepper all the way.

M - Medium body with minimal carbonation. Feels nice.

D - Woah, no way. Just give me the pepper shaker instead. I respect the effort but damn, this is too peppery for me.

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Photo of midaszero
2.08/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

A - Hazy deeper amber with one finger of tan head that leaves okay lacing

S - Pepper ... with some nice malts in the back

T - Some maltiness up front and then all of sudden in the back you get hit by a pepper bomb which crawls back up your throat and insist on burning you. This is not the after taste I want

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - No no no no. I don't see why you would buy this unless you just had an unusual love affiar with pepper

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Photo of BeefyMee
2.1/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

this beer sounded like a good idea but the finished product doesnt quite work. i didnt get the pepper at first, then after a few sips it kicked it and was soon in high gear. my tongue was actually burning after a while. i dont gert any rye at all. the flavor seems off and is reminiscent of a maibock in a bad way. maybe this ones just not for me but im gonna have to say this beer needs some work.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.17/5  rDev -41%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to pieper for this 11.5 ounce bottle ('08 vintage), poured into a small snifter.

Pours a muddy caramel color, with a skim of off-white head that almost immediately disappears, leaving behind only a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Minimal lacing.

At first (poured cold out of the fridge), there's a prickly peppercorn presence that provides an interesting contrast to baked apples/pears and sweet caramel. As it begins to warm up, though, the pepper begins to drown out everything else.

The pepper is even more powerful in the mouth. There's some sweet, plain malt presence and no discernible hop flavor, but the pepper simply overpowers any other qualities this brew may have. Medium bodied with lowish carbonation and an incredibly long (and distracting pepper finish. Flirting with drainpour territory here.

Overall impression: Interesting beer, but the overwhelming pepper severely limits enjoyment. Would love to try this same beer with about half the spice.

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Photo of cratez
2.26/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

341ml bottle from the Richmond & Fanshawe LCBO. Part of the Dieu du Ciel! Brewery Feature Release. Pours a deep copper orange with ruby hues, a thick off-white ring, and speckles of lacing on the nonic. Smell and taste are faint cocoa and vanilla, touch of cinnamon, dried fruit, a HUGE black pepper spiciness, some caramel and mocha undertones, slight bitterness, and a very hot and astringent finish. Rye aromas develop as the beer warms. A big blast of peppery heat lingers in the throat for quite some time, and I find it a little overwhelming, even unpleasant. Mouthfeel is dry, grainy, medium, spicy and peppery body, bitter and tingling astringency to end. This is a struggle to get through. I respect the fact that DDC has used an innovative, experimental recipe here, but for me it's just not an enjoyable beer. Now, what to do with these last two bottles?

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.32/5  rDev -37%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This was speaking to me (and by the beer man in the store) as a spice, peppercorn hinted beer. It was far from it.

This beer was not good in my opinion. It was flat and had no hints of spice whatsoever. Sweet and stale caramel dominate the palate. Syrupy finish didn't leave me wanting another, or even finish the 11oz bottle. I choked down a half pint a went for another beer.

This was just very average and had no spice, which is the reason I bought it.

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Photo of sstackho
2.48/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz single bottle purchased for $2.49 from somewhere in Montreal - that "King of Beers" depanneur near the brewpub, I think. Pours a dark ruby red with little head. Not much aroma to speak of. First taste is tangy and spicy - and definitely a pepper bite going down the throat. It is difficult to discern any particular flavours while it's in the mouth - but there is an unmistakable, and unpleasant, pepperness going down the throat. I think I need another beer to have along with this in order to wash it down. I gotta say I'm surprised at some of DDC's choices of beers to bottle.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.53/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Dark ochre with more brick red than brown. The upper half of the glass filled with ecru colored foam following the pour. The cap looks good at the start and gains even more character as it melts. It's also nice and sticky, with pulled taffy bridges appearing between head and glass. Attractive and abundant lace.

Just as Peche Mortel smells more like coffee than any stout I have ever had, this offering smells more like pepper than any beer I can imagine. These guys don't mess around. They must have dumped the green and black peppercorns into the kettles with something approaching reckless abandon. This could be interesting.

Wow! Double Wow!! Route des Epices tastes like liquified pepper corns. While that might be appealing to some people, it isn't appealing to me. With a spice this powerful, a little restraint is called for so that all of the beer's flavors can work together in harmonious fashion. Brasserie Dieu du Ciel blew right past restraint, didn't give a second look at generous, and decided not to stop at excess.

The flavor profile includes pepper. That's it. I have no idea why the brewer(s) decided to make this a rye beer since there's no way that rye malt can be appreciated amid the blast of heat that scorches the mouth, tongue and throat each time the glass is upended. Most chile beer isn't this fiery. Not pleasant.

The mouthfeel, along with the appearance, is a highlight among lowlights. It's at least medium in heft and is as smooth as possible given the raspiness of the peppery heat. Carbonation is neither a positive nor a negative.

I enjoy hot-spicy food and use Tabasco liberally in chili and a few other things. I even like the idea of a pepper-flavored beer, as long as the pepper is an accent and not an 800 lb. gorilla, as it is in Route des Epices. Sorry, pass.

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Photo of potownbill
2.59/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I picked up a bottle at the State Line in Maryland (great store). Appearance is a nice amber brown. Lots of suds!
At first opening, there was a good balanced smell, but after the pour and a few minutes, the pepper became much stronger. The pepper continued to dominate the taste, and there was no balance. Average mouthfeel. Due to the dominance of the pepper, I did not enjoy this beer.I really had thoughts of doin the drainpour, but stuck it out.
I have had a few other Dieu Du Ciel beers, and I have enjoyed them all. I would take this one as an anomoly.

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Photo of akorsak
2.63/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A 12 oz bottle picked up at Capone's a long time ago.

A: The ale is a red ale, amber to orange in reality. A thick head erupted on pour, overflowing the glass. Lots of lace.

S: The nose is pepper and not just a little bit. We're talking freshly ground peppercorns. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't taken a sip of the overflowing head.

T: Sometimes the term hot is used to describe a very hoppy ale. That term appears to be blatantly misused after the first sip of this beer. Freshly ground black peppercorns make this ale hot, lively and biting on the tongue. Each sip reignites the heat. Bready rye appears on the back end of a sip, but only if you look for it. I just can't get over the pepper. This ale is almost too hot to rationally enjoy.

M: You better like fresh pepper! My tongue burns for a few minutes after each sip.

D: One and done. Too much heat for me.

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Photo of marvin213
2.68/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

This is a murky brown beer. For a rye brew, it's really dark. I half expected this to be a chile or fruit/vegetable style beer, but I guess peppercorns are more rye than that? The head is thin but solid, and what's there at the pour remains as it sits. Big bubbles and impressive lacing make it look stronger than the 5% indicated on the bottle.

The nose leaves little doubt that this is indeed a rye beer. It's reminiscent of rye toast. Are peppercorns what make rye toast rye? Admittedly more familiar with black and white, this beverage smells a lot like green peppercorns. I wanted that DFH BA Select beer (w/ maple syrup and green peppercorns) to be called Peppergreen Forest, and that name fits here as well. It's very malty and more like candy residue (think lollipop laid down) and licorice than chocolate or caramel.

It tastes like a marzen or scotch-style ale with its malted barley predominance. The zing of its feel, however, is more like a barleywine. This beer looks, smells, tastes, and feels much stronger than it actually is. The feel is thick and chewy enough to think you're biting deer jerky. The peppercorns offer a neat sizzling sensation. The whole mouth experience with this liquid is an interwoven combo whose parts still retain identity. It tastes sweet strong and feels spicy, but its real punch (ABV) fails to justify its effect. In that regard, it's like a worst-case scenario: sizzling sweet sensations without an ability to make meaningful impact. It's like Viagra not working. Though your might respect the effot, it's not compelling enough for frequent revisiting.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.68/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ

A: Pours a dark amber color with a thin layer of off-white foam.

S: Even without knowing this is a beer "au poivre" you would figure it out very shortly. Intense black pepper aroma which dominates all but the little hints of malt in the form of bread and toffee that you can pick up.

T: Just like with the nose, the pepper is dominant to the point of being overbearing. It's amazingly dry as a result and sort of chokes you toward the back end of the sip. Just a slight bit of toffee sweetness to help you out.

M: Medium in body with a low to moderate carbonation.

O: I had some serious cottonmouth after drinking this. Just far too peppery to really be enjoyable as a beer.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
2.71/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a deep ruby with a two inch head with some serious staying power. Great lacing and retention.

Smells mildly sweet, with a hint of milk chocolate and fresh ground black pepper.

Taste is grainy, chocolatey, sweet juicy caramel malt with a slight white pepper, and starts off nice but the more I drink it the more I get hot peppers and hot peppers and more hot peppers and boy is it peppery. I like eating spicy food with a cold beer to cool me down, but I've never drank a beer before that made me wish I was drinking another beer with it just to cool me down until now.

As for drinkablilty, I like a lot of spicy foods that are traditionally spicy (wasabi is like crack to me, and I could eat a vindaloo for breakfast) but I don't like making food hot for the sake of making it hot (I can't stand hot peppers on a burger or spicy hummus, for instance) and this beer kind of falls into the latter category for me. It's heat that doesn't belong. Heat for heat's sake.

I can certainly see how this beer might appeal to pepperheads who like their mouth to burn like molten lava no matter what they consume, because, underneath the heat are some really nice malt flavors. Too bad the pepper all but completely stomps them out.

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Photo of IdleAaron
2.72/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Ruby red hue, very nice looking beer. A slight head.

Smell: Hmmm... well the first thing that comes to mind is sweet urine. Not too promising at first sniff. My second sniff shows a hint of raspberry.

Taste: A nice spicy start which builds into a burn. This gets hotter with each drink. It's a little like drinking a good malty ale mixed with Tabasco sauce. Not my idea of good but it is interesting.

Mouth Feel: Highly carbonated but that could be the Tabasco sauce tricking my mouth. All is lost once the burn is on.

Drinkability: Not too great. Too spicy for beer, but on the other hand this could go really well with spicy Chinese food. I'm not sure how I feel about this beer.

I wasn't going to try another until I thought of the food paring potential. Maybe it's a bad sign that I'm looking for something to offset the taste of this beer???

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Photo of maximum12
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A recent impluse buy while walking past the singles section of a local purveyor of finer beverages. Anything with rye in it is calling my name these days.

I pop off the screw-top with a bottle opener, & nothing shatters. Good start. Pours a light brown color with a deep, mysteriously glowing red heart. Smell is a mash-up of rye, with a slight peppery sidekick.

Route des Epices loads up on the peppercorns, whatever color they may be. Peppercorns jump to the fore, but the rye comes in a strong second. Spices leap all over the place. Peppercorns wash over everything almost immediately, & that's what your left with. This is heartburn in a bottle, my friends, especially after a hearty dinner of pasta, mushrooms, & cresent rolls.

I can't see drinking more than one of these. A decade. As the beer warms a bit, the peppercorns are getting more & more aggressive.

Decent beer, but can somebody make a beer with peppercorns where they don't run roughshod? Please? This is too one-dimensional: a slug of pepper & the fading rye. I'd love to see it used as a complementary ingredient & not have it bringing on a case of acid reflux.

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Photo of mwilbur
2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 330 mL bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a dark caramel brown with 1/2 inch light tan head that quickly dissipates.
S: Grains (rye), sweet caramel malt, and a hint of black pepper.
T: Rye with overly sweet caramel malt and off-putting peppery spice...not a fan.
M: Light body. Oily feel. This one is too sweet and when combined with the peppery spice becomes just not good.
D: I guess a redeeming quality here is that this beer is at least interesting...but that's about it. Poor balance, oddly constructed, and just doesn't taste good. DP.

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Photo of Slynger
2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1


Slightly hazy orange amber with a fizzy head of light tan. Smells fruity with very light caramel sweetness and toasted grains with rye and distinct peppercorn. Tart aspects of dark fruit in the flavor, with some toasted grains and spicy rye. Lots of fresh green and black pepper spiciness. Unspectacular medium body. Very unique, and probably enjoyable for some. I however found the pepper a bit overwhelming.

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Photo of weeare138
2.81/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appears a semi-transparent, deep crimson toned amber with a luscious, 3 finger, light tan head that simply doesn't want to fade away...it just floats there like the head of a frothy rootbeer. Solid streams of lacing quickly rise to the top of the glass. Massive amounts of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of rich caramel, cinnamon, black pepper, and crushed red pepper.
Taste is very spicy with a mix of peppers, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. There's a burning sensation on the lips and in the back of the throat that makes me feel like I've just eaten some Atomic Hot Wings without any blue cheese to cool it off. Ouch. The mild hint of caramel that was there is buried way in the background due to this pepper blast brew.
The mouthfeel is...Burning! It's medium bodied, and smooth aside from the annoying burn that is becoming quite overkill at this point. It's like torture at points to bring it back to my lips.
Jesus...it's just too much. It started out alright until my mouth became numb. If there was that caramel sweetness in the beginning, it's way overtaken by the ocean of peppers that it becomes.
If you enjoy very spicy Asian, or Indian food, try pairing this with those foods. Otherwise, prepare yourself for the burning sensation. I couldn't even finish the whole bottle. I can't believe I paid 8 bucks for that!

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Photo of doktorhops
2.81/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This has to be - without a doubt - the first beer I've had from the state of Quebec (the people otherwise known as "those poutine-eating surrender monkeys") and for my first Québécois brew I picked something close to my tongue/heart - rye beer, why? I love rye is why. Brewed with peppercorns as well? Sounds brilliant, let's do this!

Poured from a 341ml (what an odd size for a) bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Presents a cloudy light brown/rust body with a tan ring of lace.

S: Interesting, I'm not detecting any peppercorns, there is a chocolate, ginger and sweet malt fragrance, not much else. Here's hoping there is a bit more going on in the taste department.

T: Flavour is a tad disappointing - tastes like a watered down ginger beer, was expecting a bit more than that. Some mid palate caramel malt sweetness only adds to the whole "ginger beer" illusion. There is a light spicy hop bitter finish but otherwise this is one big glass full of dismay.

M: Light bodied, a lot more watery than expected with a light carbonation.

D: Usually when you add ingredients to a beer it adds to the flavour profile, in this case the rye content is decidedly weak and in the immortal words of Simpson's character Rainier Wolfcastle: "Ze peppercorns, zay do nothing" [that's not the actual quote in case you were going to call BS on me]. So many missed opportunities with this dimensionless, sad ginger beer tasting brew that my suggestion to Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel (if indeed they do read my reviews which they probably don't) would be to go back to the drawing (brewing) board and add more rye, lots more rye, right? Ryeght.

Food match: The gingerness of this brew made me think of dishes with ginger such as the Burmese "Gyin Thot" and the Thai "Gai Pad King"... now I have ginger on the brain.

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Photo of veinless
2.82/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark murky brown with a tinge of green. Translucent cloudiness the whole way through. About a finger of light tan head that doesn't retain well but leaves lots of lace.

Smell is of a bit of caramel, a distinct peppery scent, and that distinctive rye-beer aroma which I got from Founders Red's Rye PA recently. This is mainly thick, toasted bready malt though.

Taste is a bit disappointing, as it is weak and a bit watery. Pepper comes out excellently at the finish, and is a new sensation in a beer for me. Malt on the other hand isn't very assertive; it kind of sits there, too weak to allow differentiation of flavors. It is a placeholder until the pepper can take over, and while the pepper is unique, its novelty fades quickly. Very disappointed in the taste of this beer.

Mouthfeel is way too thin and watery, and drinkability is actually hurt by the pepper being so pronounced. It's decent, but could be way better, as any number of flavors could have lent some balance to this beer.

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Photo of tbeck
2.86/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark amber/brown with little clarity. Two finger white/brown head that develops a nice collar and some laciness. Aroma is yeasty with a mix of malt and cereal grains. Taste was all pepper with some malt. The taste was not overdone, but any other flavors are drowned out. Decent body and average texture. The beer was enjoyable and different. The taste was not one I enjoyed and would not pick this beer up as a session beer.

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Route Des Épices (Ale Rousse Au Poivre) from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.68 out of 5 based on 626 ratings.
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