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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Ratings: 636 |  Reviews: 387
Photo of case4816
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured very dark brown and quite cloudy. Very little head, but it did linger with a little lacing.

S- Very nice Rye smell with light roasted malts with a hint of Caramel. Also some Vanilla detectable, with the smell of some dried fruits. Can also detect the peppercorns in the back.

T- Heavy Rye taste with nice Caramel malts. The beer is quite sweet with the Caramel, Vanilla, and dried fruits coming through and blending very well with the rye. The peppercorns don't really come through until after you swallow the beer. They kick in with a wonderful spice that goes all over the mouth with a wonderful warming feeling.

D- Very delicious. the peppercorns were a welcome surprise when they kicked in, which brought a nice complexity to the sweet malts and the heavy Rye.

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Photo of WeedKing4
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle pours a very dark red brown colour with a little amount of head. This tastes just like hot Makes your tongue tingle, thats for sure. That takes away from the drinkability, but its kinda cool that it could make your tongue tingle in that way. Very interesting beer though. Just the flavour isn't all that impressive.

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Photo of BigMike
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a brownish red color with a small amount of tannish colored head that isn't there very long.

S: Not much else in the does but peppercorns. Black peppercorns and white peppercorns. A small amount of spice In the background.

T: Wow. This is like liquid pepper. Pretty tasty though. A tiny amount of rye spice but mostly nothing but pepper.

M: Medium bodied. Good carbonation. The pepper/spice
make the finish a bit "hot".

Overall: Ive heard so pretty bad reviews about this beer. Is it a verygood beer? No. Is it drinkable and unique? Yes. This beer would be kicked up a few notches paired with a nice steak or roastbeef dinner. I'm not much into food pAirings but this beer just screams Steak!

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Photo of heebes
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part five of the Dieu Du Ciel feature at the LCBO.

Pours a dark amber, medium bodied and hazy in colour. Very little head to speak of. Looks like it has good carbonation.
The nose is overly spicy, hints of malts. The peppercorn stands out the most.
The taste is well balanced. The spices linger a bit into a strong aftertaste. The experience of a rye beer is a first for me and I find it good, having said that it isn't standing out too much as an amazing style. The peppercorn flavour comes through strongly.
Medium-bodied mouthfeel, feels a bit coarse.
Overall this was an interesting beer, excited to see this brewery experimenting with flavours & styles. However I dont see any returnability to the Route des Epices...

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Photo of korguy123
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on 07/2010

A- Murky brown pour, thin white ring for a head, lacing is phenomenal.

S- Fresh baked biscuits, cloves, cane sugar, the pepper is starting to tickle my nose.

T- Huge pepper tastes ravage my tongue, biscuit malts, and subtle yeast. I have to admit, that I've always hated pepper, still do, but this isn't too bad!

M- Quite smooth, the pepper leaves spices in your mouth the more you drink, making your cheeks and tongue tingle the more you sip.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear amber with a smallish head of foam.

S - Kind of a muted spicy aroma. Maybe this one needs to be quite warm?

T - A bit of caramel and definitely spiciness that sticks around. Hops are there, but kind of generic in their bitterness.

D - The beer sans pepper a bit generic but the peppery bite is very interesting. I'd be interested in trying this at various temperatures and carbonation levels.

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Photo of zachariaIPA
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A very nice dark rye ale. Amber, deep red in color. A thin layer of white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

A sweet smell that bites you with peppercorn and spices right at the end, almost like cinnamon.

Lots of peppercorn in the aftertaste. It's not a burn, it's a tickle. It's hot. I'm feeling the heat. When you exhale you can feel it, like hot wings! Would also go quite well with a Montreal smoked meat sandwich. It's a steaky beer that would be excellent for all kinds of food pairing.

Nice carbonation. Not too bitter. Spicy, meaty, overall very pleasant mouthfeel.

Could definitely drink a couple of these at a nice steak dinner, just not on the regular.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown, with a think white head, some lacing.

Smells of pepper and various spices, sweet caramel malts, somewhat nutty. Not a very interesting aroma.

Tastes nutty and malty upfront with a nice spicy bite too finish it off. Very interesting, not sure if I like it though, somewhat bland if a bit too spicey.

Thin carbonated mouthfeel, not very drinkable a bit too spicey.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.5 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark red with a mild off-white head, solid retention.

S: Definite pepper smell (did someone slip Cornas in my beer?), grassy herbal notes and nice malt character.

T: Dark Belgian style malt with lot of pepper flavour which I really enjoyed, spicy and delicious.

M: Medium-bodied, easy spicy aftertaste, smooth light carbonation.

D: As for the pepper beers that I have had, this one is definitely the most overt. Nice brew.

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Photo of BBP
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

EDIT: May have had a newer version of this. Mine had an ABV of 5.3%.

A- Semi-translucent chestnut brown. Low carbonation. Minimal head.

S- Pepper, pepper, pepper. Some malty sweetness beyond that. Quite strong. Wasn't all to pleasant for me, but interesting to say the least.

T- This was the first beer of this style for me to try, and I have to say that I was worried about the taste. After my first sip, I found it to be far more smooth than the smell would indicate. Initially you get a slight sweetness which is tamed by the spicing. After my first sip, I noticed a little bit of pepper taste left on my tongue. After a couple more, I found that it kept stacking and stacking on top of itself. Leaves you with an intense aftertaste/afterfeel. Once you're done your sip, the sweetness takes off for the most part, and you're left with a spice coated tongue.

Some hops are noticable in this one, but I suspect they're only to balance out the hot peppery sweetness.

M- Leaves a somewhat dry finish soon after each and every sip. Slightly sticky. Light to medium body and a feel of robust carbonation which actually comes from the spicing. Very smooth however.

D- This beer is good on drinkability if, and only if, you take your time and drink it slowly. The spices add up if you don't take your time with this one.

I think it would be quite interesting to try having this beer with food, rather than as a standalone drink. I think I could come to get quite used to this one, but my first is a bit more than I expected.

I also find that the sweetness improves as it warms up, which made it more pleasant for me. I would recommend drinking this at cellar temp.

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Photo of mintjellie
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Medium brown body with fiery red highlights. Tan foam laces a little bit but doesn't retain well. A faint rye bread aroma is trapped beneath intensely aromatic cracked peppercorn. Heavy peppercorn flavour withthe tangy rye really only coming through as it warms up. Smooth mouthfeel contrasts with the peppers tingling spiciness. I think I would have liked this a bit better if it had some of the weizen-like esters and phenol I caught in the Mill Street Schleimhammer Roggenbier. Perhaps the failure lies in my expectations, but for me, this is a good beer that could have been great.

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Photo of uno99
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from the LCBO. Bottled July 2010.

A: A sort of mahogany colored beer with not much going on for a head or lacing. I really wish appearance wasn't worth %20.

S: Wow. first thing you smell - and I think because its not a normal beer smell, is the pepper. Its not enough to make you sneeze, but it reminds me of smelling one of those little pepper packets. Very unique.

T: As other reviewers wrote; the pepper burn really builds up... Sort of like a good Indian curry. Aside from the pepper, there is a taste of the rye, and some fruit. hops seems to be present but mostly concealed by the spice.

M: Mouth feel is spicy of course. slightly dry, but a little sticky on the lips.

D: Well this is an interesting and unique beer, but unfortunately not the most pleasant one to get through. A curious and gimicky beer.... however - it is well executed.

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Photo of shamus
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one has a unique head that is slightly darker where it meets the body and is lighter at the top. It smells of pepper, cinnamon and roasted malt (Shreddies?). If they put a pumpkin on the label and called a pumpkin spiced beer it would be one of the better of that sort I have had. It has a cumulative pepper effect which I like but for those who are adverse to such spice " Beware!"

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I do like a good Rye beer -- and one brewed with peppercorns? Well that just sets off my novelty alarm. Let's go.

Pours a pleasant deep red-brown colour, with a coarse-bubbled head of off-white foam that almost has a greenish tinge to it. Lacing is a bit foamy and loose. Body looks pretty solid and heavy for a 5% beer. Pretty decent all up.

Yup, there's pepper all over the nose, freshly cracked corns of spice, overlaid on a rather sweet smelling malt-base. Certainly not much in the way of rye, although I generally find rye giving a slightly peppery overtone to the aroma of beers in any case. It's very pleasant -- the pepper, while obvious, is a nice touch.

Taste is pleasantly done. Here, the hops come forward to add a pleasant bitterness which mingles almost indistinguishably with the pepper character. Perhaps a hint of rye astringency comes forward too. Finish is very light and dry, just leaving the prickly pepper residuals to dance across the back. Quite a sharp ending, and the more you drink, the more pepper spice builds up on the back of the throat.

Still, it is as I expected, a very interesting brew, and one which is surprisingly approachable. The bite of the pepper becomes a bit much after a while, but it's quite the unique brew. Certainly something to look out for if you're after something a bit different.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

And now for something completely different...

Picked up at the Uptown Waterloo LCBO as part of their recent DDC release set. (Why wasn't Peche part of the mix? Grrr...)

Poured into a Duvel chalice because, not knowing what kind of glassware best accentuates a peppercorn beer, I stuck with my default. A rust-copper brew, chestnut when out of the light. Not much head, just some patchy streaks of lace and a few islands of foam. Not the most attractive beer, kind of looks like a limp dubbel.

The nose is caramel malts, with only the finest hint of nutmeg, cinnamon and peppercorn to be had. Remarkably deceptive.

The peppercorn taste is not entirely unlike a ninja. You don't even know it's there at first, with the less potent notes of malt, caramel and fruit providing a distraction, until POW! It hits you with a shuriken in the darkness, knocking you over! The finish is an unmistakable peppery explosion, which to me is comprised not so much of 'peppercorns', but rather 'table pepper.' The finish is incredibly bitter, spicy, lingering, and provides my esophagus with a thorough wakeup call. There might be other spices in here, but pepper really steals the show. I can't say I'm really enjoying it, but neither can I say I'm not fascinated with it.

One of the more intriguing beer experiences I've ever had. Credit to DDC for making a brew that challenges my beer perceptions by giving me something totally new. Is it a beer I'm likely to get again? Probably not; in fact, I doubt I could finish more than one bottle. Still, kudos to the brewmaster for making such a unique product.

Definitely worth trying!

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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 brentk56
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear chestnut color with a huge head that leaves clumps of foam on the side of the pint glass

Smell: Caramel malt and rye, with an astingent, burning sensation from the peppercorns

Taste: A bit of caramel malt, up front, with the spicy rye and peppercorn flavors taking over by mid-palate; after the swallow, the hot peppercorn sensation overwhelms the flavor profile

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation and a prickly, hot sensation that lingers across the tongue

Drinkability: Clearly a controversial and extreme brew; I can see why some like it but it doesn't do the trick for me

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Photo of LittleDon
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice thick off white head with great retention. Cloudy red amber color with little visible carbonation. Malty, slightly sweet aroma. Malty, slightly sweet up front with no noticeable rye flavor. Medium bodied through the middle. Finish is similar to start except a peppery burn that builds to a mild intensity. Couldn't tell this was a rye beer, struck me more as a malty pale ale (with the exception of the pepper).

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Photo of biegaman
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Route Des Épices looks like it might have a little spice to it; a fiery amber lining kindles under and runs up the sides of the glass while an uncanny Tabasco coloured liquid sits between them. It's not exactly pretty and I can't think of anybody who'd be too enticed by the sight of it (the fact that it's nearly completely flat doesn't exactly help either).

Despite hearing heedful warnings from fellow beer drinkers that this is aggressively spicy, the aroma doesn't seem to throw up any flags. I was expecting five alarm but this is two, two and a half at best. While a faint must of cracked peppercorns is noted, its bouquet is comprised more so of the generic and familiar toasty grainy scent of rye malt.

That being said, if you so desire, swirling acts like a dial that can be used to turn the heat up (and once you let a little air through it the temperature is quickly cranked). Similarly, the peppercorns don't play out much in the flavour - at least not initially. Toasty, caramelly rye malts start things off but the pepper is definitely what's remembered...

What the brewery calls "a pleasant, spicy, tingling sensation on the tongue" I find an irritating itch in the back of the throat. My tongue feels fine, if anything pleased by the rye flavour, but the back of my throat feels as though someone put out a cigarette on it. I wouldn't consider it "spicy" - seasoned, pungent yes. Peppery, obviously.

From what little I've watched of those food network chef competitions, one of the judges' main complaints always seems to be under/over seasoning - I'd be curious to know what they think of this. I think the seasoning is fine but it's definitely under malted. Pepper aside this is fairly tasteless and too light-bodied, both for the seasoning and in general.

I'll give Dieu Du Ciel! credit for making something far more agreeable with peppercorns than I thought possible. I don't care for it enough, however, to understand the motivation for year-round production and distribution, especially when the brewpub has better offerings. Whether I liked it enough to buy again we'll have to see, but I'm good for now.

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Photo of MattyV
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy chestnut with ruby highlights, the fluffy off-white head laced reasonably well down the glass.

The rye is subtly detectable in the nose with light spiciness and hints of pepper and smoke.

The slightly bready and caramel malts are well-balanced with the bitter hops, and are accented with the spiciness from the rye and pepper that lingers into a loong peppery finish.

Rather light-bodied and moderately carbonated. The unique flavour profile hurts the drinkability of this one slightly. Nevertheless, this beer definitely stands out from the crowd and may prove to a great beer to pair with food.

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Photo of trbergman
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.5oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Slightly cloudy chestnut-colored body with approximately one finger of sticky, taupe head.

S - Smells of rye bread and peppercorn, with lemon/orange zestiness and something savory.

T - Crusty bread, toffee, and a touch of chocolate with a clear citrus flavor in the mid-palate. Earthy and piquant, with peppercorns coming through in the finish and lingering with a gentle prickle on the tongue. A bit weird, but definitely tasty.

M - Medium, chewy body with restrained carbonation. Almost creamy.

D - It's tough to get through a bottle alone, though I think this really begs to be paired with food - a Vosges Mo's Bacon Bar would be great. One of the more distinctive beers I've tried, and worth sampling, to be sure.

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Photo of harpus
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours fairly thick, a mohogany color with hints of crimson when held to the light. This beer does not settle well; no head of any significance forms despite extensive carbonation bubbles rising to the top, and at rest it looks much thinner than the pour seemed to indicate. It resembles ginger soda more than anything. Decent lacing is left behind as I drink, though.

S - Molasses, dark rye bread, a hint of allspice.

T - Very complex at first, with the rye and syrupy molasses rising quickly, but just as quickly replaced by hot, burning spice that is not very pleasant. The peppercorn dominates the finish, leaving an aftertaste similar to a middle-shelf bloody mary.

M - The one strength this beer has. Very creamy and full-bodied, with moderate to high carbonation. Not at all what I expected given the pour.

D - A real chore. The lingering pepper aftertaste just gets worse as I drink

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Photo of kwjd
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown colour with thick head. Ok lacing down the side of the glass. The smell of peppercorns is huge, but I love pepper so this is great. Some bready malts compliment the pepper. Flavour has a little dash of hop bite, but the pepper is the star of this beer. I could see this being too much pepper for some, but I enjoy it. I wouldn't want to have several of these in a row because of the intense spicing, but I certainly enjoy sipping this.

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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 ritzkiss
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from the DDC feature at the LCBO - bottled on 07/10, label reads 5.3% ABV. Pours a dark auburn with hints of ruby, a finger of creamy khaki head on top.

Nose is a little uninspiring, earth and caramel malt, a hint of pepper. A touch of cocoa and nut, a'la an English Brown.

This is obviously an unique beer and it's a little hard to rate. Personally, I love the burn that is growing in my mouth, the nice touch of green peppercorn, a balanced sweet maltiness with a hint of metallic twang, a touch of rye, earth, cocoa. I can also see how others wouldn't.

Smooth carbonation, a real earthy dry finish blended with the heat, but still surprisingly easy drinking. It makes me excited to see what it will pair well with. Superbly crafted, unique - going back for more.

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Route Des Épices (Ale Rousse Au Poivre) from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.68 out of 5 based on 636 ratings.
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