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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)
639 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 639 |  Reviews: 388
Photo of kwjd
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
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 -38.3%
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 +12.8%
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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Photo of laituegonflable
4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a rude ruby colour, with great beige head, visible bubbles, but nicely fluffy on top. Body is clear, showing steady thin bead, while head sinks slowly, leaving some nice - but thin - trails of lace around. Pretty damned nice.

Pleasant nose. Quite sour with that definitely-tart-but-beer character. Not sour like a lambic but that tart gristy grain character. The peppercorns definitely hit you on there, green and mildly spicy with a nice piquancy, a slight briney note to the spice, also kind of chilli-esque. Very intriguing, but also very pleasant.

Taste begins largely malty with a fair caramel and barley grain flavour on the front-to-mid, just a slight acidity from the rye that becomes more prominent towards the back. Some slight cocoa notes and vanilla sweetness takes us through to the finish. Now the main event - the pepper. Starts late-mid and complements the slight gherkiny tartness wonderfully, then gives a noticeable peppery bite right at the end that remains as a slight heat, just pleasantly spicy. This is my kind of beer; I love that spice sensation, and the rye gives it a great bite that really develops the palate well toward that end. Great and interesting flavours, used well, balanced, very enjoyable beer.

The mouthfeel is moderate, and sadly a little flat. Most of the sensations are that spice at the end - which I enjoy, but it could use a little more body and a little bit more sparkle from carbonation.

A bold flavour like this I can imagine putting people off, but I am a spicehead and it's just a hugely enjoyable, unusual sensation to me. I just love this beer to bits and could drink it all night.

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Photo of strangemusic
4.09/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark, rusty amber colour with a thin tan head. Looks alright but nothing really special, it could be any number of red ales or pale ales.

Smell is definitely spicy and peppery, with notes of campfire smoke, cedar and cinnamon. Unique!

The taste is malty and has a very distinctive and spicy black pepper kick! I like it a lot, but I could see it becoming divisive. It's more than just pepper though: the grainy, caramelized rye flavours are there too, as well as lemon peel, some red fruit flavours, fresh ginger and earthiness. Complex and again very cool and unique to my palate!

This beer is soft in the mouth, but a little bit thin. It does, however, drink well! The peppery punch is something that both keeps lingering on your palate and nagging you to have another sip.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. A very spicy, inviting smelling beer. The flavor is heavy on the white pepper. I get a little bit of heat from the pepper - which mainly shows up in the aftertastes - but what really stands out is the great pepper flavor that is the beer has. I also get some caramel malt and some other spices. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

355ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - pours a cloudy amber red/orange colour with a good size foamy/fizzy off white head. Can't see much carbonation, and a fair amount of lacing. The head dissipated fairly quickly.

Smell - It has a woody and smoky scent. It also smells like it packs a spicy punch; perhaps black pepper and cinnamon and cloves.

Taste & Mouth - wow, another Dieu Du Ciel beer that has a taste that I've never encountered before in a beer. This beer has a musty ,smoky ,warming flavor. At first I can pick up on some hops, and then the beer has a full flavor taste, but before you know it the spicy flavour kicks in and takes you to the finish. Even minutes after the sip, the warming feeling is still there.

Drink - I can applaud the fact that this beer is different, and also could possible see myself enjoying this at a ski chalet in the winter, but for the most part; it is not my sort of thing.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Somewhat murky dark caramel, small off white head that leaves fast to ring. Small, sudsy lace near rim.

S - Rye and peppercorns really stand out but malt in the background. Strange combo, but not bad. At first it just seemed smoky.

T - Rye is dominant, followed by sweet malt, finished completely by pepper. I LOVE pepper. I am not sure about pepper beer, but it is intriguing.

M - Light carb, medium body, balance heavy to the pepper and very dry at finish.

D - Not a session. Though low ABV, too much flavor... Wear you out!

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Photo of Riccymon
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a purple-red color with about a finger and a half of white head. With peppercorns and rye advertised as prime ingredients, I was expecting a spicy assault on the senses. Only after smelling delicious chocolate and caramel malt and an orange note do I begin to pick up a good dose of black pepper, however. Later, the rye really comes through; at first it strikes me as a boozy note, but it's definitely the rye.

Tasting and smelling Route Des Epices leaves me thinking it resembles a barleywine-lite. Loads of sweet, tasty malt with orange and strawberry jam stand out in each sip. Peppercorns really dress up the flavor like no other beer I've had. The spiciness of the beer leaves my mouth warm throughout the duration of the glass. Not tingling, exactly, but there's a heat. On top of that, the pepper and rye leave my mouth pretty dry.

For such a spicy beer, Route des Epices drank pretty quickly. It was unique, complex, and definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of Pencible
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: This poured clear copper with some light tan head.
S: It smelled like strong rye and roasted barley, with some sour cherry and earthy ginger and a little caramel.
T: It tasted like dry rye and earthy ginger with some black pepper, and a little caramel and copper. The aftertaste was dry and earthy and lasting bitterness.
M: It was thin with moderate carbonation.
D: This was a nice rye beer that really showed off the unique flavor of rye better than most beers in this style. The body was weak, but it was easy to drink. Recommended to try for the experience, even if it's not a favorite.

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Photo of busternuggz
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a chalice-type glass.
A nice 1/4" bone white head which recedes to a thin layer. Beautiful brownish brick red color.
Smells of dry caramel, chocolate, and bready malt. Makes me think of pumpernickel bread. A little hint of peppery spice.
Rich rye malt, caramel and light chocolate that mellows out as it warms. Very rich for the ABV. A pleasant peppercorn bite on the end that tickles the throat and lingers for a while after drinking.
Medium bodied, comes on kind of thick and fades away. Works nicely with what's going on with the flavors. Pretty smooth for the spicy character.
Demands a little more time than a traditional rye beer, but goes down nicely. One is enough but that one is very good.
I would have liked a little more rye-like spice, but maybe it's drowned out by the peppercorns. Still, very nice. Maybe the best use of peppercorns in a beer that I've had.

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Photo of eclaycamp
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Picked this up on a whim because I've been on a bit of a rye beer kick lately and I really liked the label design. Pours a darkened amber with little to no head whatsoever. Spicy nose with a clear chocolate and caramel rye smell. Raw black pepper hits your tongue first, and rye makes the beer quite hot. The pepper gives way to some smooth caramel malt character, but there's no hops there to back it up. A huge, almost overwhelming, burst of pepper finishes the entire experience. As you continue to drink the pepper just lingers on the palate. This is a very complex and very interesting beer but the pepper aspect will likely turn away the casual drinker. That said, I enjoyed it quite a bit and wouldn't mind it again - though it's one I'd have to have a single of, any more and the pepper would be just too much.

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Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured cloudy brown in color with a thin beige head that quickly died down into a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are strong aromas of peppercorns in the nose, along with some hints of citrusy and floral hops.
T: Like the smell, spicy flavors of peppercorns really stand out in the overall taste and linger through the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and the finish is rather spicy, leaving some heat on your tongue.
D: This beer is very drinkable if you like spicy foods (like pepper steak). I would definitely try this again because it's unique.

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Photo of dbossman
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Redish brown; quite red when held in the light; thin head that dissipates almost immediately

S: Rye graininess as well as a spicy black pepper quality do permeate as the name of the beer would suggest; a sweet citrus quality pervades as well

T: Pleasantly peppery and spicy--actually lots of black peppercorn paired well with the rye; the peppers tend to dominate a bit much, however

F: A tad thin but fairly decent mouth coating

D: Good for what it is; though I really like the peppercorn flavor paired with the rye, the pepper proves to be a tad much after a few sips

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another darker amber beer. Was impressed the aroma of rye and maybe peppercorns. Unique.

An interesting hodgepodge of flavors, none of them other than the rye/pepper flavor is anything more than a fraction of the flavor profile, chocolate, coffee, toffee. Can't really tell to what degree the hops are involved, the pepper confuses my tongue.

Doesn't really weigh heavy, pepper and carbonation probably help with that. I hear its expensive, had it at the SD fest, so I dunno if I'd try it again, just depends on the asking price. Was happy to have checked it out this time though.

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Photo of Shadman
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice to have this brewer readily available in Alberta...

Dark cloudy brown with a nice tan head that receeds slowly into a tan cap.

Nice rye & crystal malts with a very fragrant peppercorn aroma. Never have I experieince such a beer aroma.

Peppercorn flavour is quite a shocker @ first. Luckily smooth rye malts help wash that away. Finish is slick and peppery.

Nice medium body. Carbonation is lower which helps with the pepper heat.

Interesting take on a beer. I like peppercorn sauces so I found this to be quite an enjoyable experienc, but I can see others being turned off.

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Photo of dgilks
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich malt aroma with notes of clove, pepper and banana.

Good clear mahogany colour with a big, dense, creamy, off-white head.

Tasty, smooth malt with light toffee notes. Good spiciness too from the peppercorns. The fruitiness is muted but present. A moderate bitterness complements the beer well.

Medium body with moderately-low carbonation.

A really tasty beer. The pepper probably means that this is a better food beer than it is a simple drinking beer but as a beer it is good and I really would like to try this again with a nice steak.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark caramel colour, foggy with very little head. Some lacing on the glass.

S - The peppercorns are immediately noticeable, but can also smell some chocolate malts.

T - Peppercorns... There isn't the heat from the peppercorns, but the flavour is rather overwhelming. The chocolate malts come through with a bit of sweet caramel as well. The finish is rather bitter.

M - Quite light and bubbly on the palette. Goes down smooth.

D - Definitely could not toss back a 6-er of this stuff, but it was good for a taste. Would recommend this one to anyone searching for a unique and memorable experience, but wouldn't recommend it as a sessionable beer.

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Photo of liamt07
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 341ml bottle into a tulip, thanks to freud for this one! Pours a clear deep brown/auburn, with little head (mostly carbonation) even as a I try to aggressively develop some. Thin layer of head retains and I'm left with almost no lacing by the end of this. Smell is malty, fruity, spicy and complex. Interesting, this is my first rye beer however. Taste is of rye and very malty, no bitterness in here at all. Peppercorn is really present, and other than being involved in some taste, leaves a strong burning sensation on my tonsils after the fact; not something I particularly enjoyed. Pretty full and warming mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, but that tingling from that pepper really takes away from it on the whole. An interesting beer to be frank, but not something I could ever have more than one of, and certainly not something I'd be looking for given the opportunity.

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Photo of dardan
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Clear, darker than expected, similar color of a barley wine.
S: Very slightly fruity, dominated by spice/peppercorn, not malty
T: Initially semi-sweet/neutral followed quickly by the pepper heat and bite, no alcohol bite detected
M: Moderate, neither heavy nor overly light, appropriate
D: Heat from the peppercorns reduces the enjoyability, too much lingers for too long

Give it a try - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel makes an unusual set of beers that, if not perfect, are at the very least novel and perfectly drinkable. If the peppercorn heat drops out with age, this has the potential to be a very enjoyable beer a year or two out from now.

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Photo of AJacob81
3.22/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured into a New Belgium globelet.

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, very nearly making this my first drain pour. If it had been a less expensive brew, it almost certainly would've been.

Wow, I expected a challenging drink with this, but it provided very little pleasure. I'm not sure who the target audience is, because the craftsmanship is apparent, but it's not me.

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Photo of Xul
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a semi-hazy amber with shades of orange, capped by a frothy, one finger off-white head. Retention is decent and a thin layer of lacing remains once the head is gone.

S: Roasted malts are the first to be noticed, followed by the rye's spicy characteristics. Lots of dark malt notes with some dark fruits, chocolate and hints of coffee, along with some earthiness.

T: Dark malts are stronger than roasted malts, with more fruit and more of a caramel base. Chocolate is still barely present but some of the nuances of the nose are gone. Rye comes in later and sticks around, yielding a spicy finish.

M: Moderate body with good carbonation, goes down smooth.

D: Interesting characteristics but the spice takes its toll after a while. Would go well with Indian food, but not something I'd want more than one of.

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Photo of juju7
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Some beers are just for very particular occassions. This is one of those beers, although I have no idea when I would want one of these beers again except to show someone else that this kind of beer exists. This is sooo peppery it's insane. I'm halfway through but I'm starting to worry about messing up my palate for the rest of the evening. This burns. There are some other light dried fruit like aromas and soft malt flavours but pepper is right there at the front-and back for that matter. It's not terrible; it's the red-headed step-child of the Dieu Du Ciel brand for me.

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Photo of zhooker
4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From the tap to a 12oz white wine glass. Medium dark amber color, translucent and clean. Small amount of head with little lacing.

Peppery smell that overwhelms any roasted maltiness you might expect from the appearance. Spicy!

Has a porter-type dark ale taste. Dark roasted malts are up front. Was surprised to see this is a rye beer -- I didn't feel a particular graininess in that first glass. There is a little bit of sweetness to the malts. The bartender repeatedly emphasized that the beer is brewed with green peppercorns, and you really sense this right after the swallow. The peppercorns seem to function much like hops, adding a distinctive punch that builds on the back of the tongue with each swig. The peppercorns add a spiciness and very sharp bite that really sets in as you work through the glass, without becoming overbearing or off-putting.

Very full-bodied mouthfeel, almost a tad creamy, but the peppercorns add a crisp bite that bounces off the tongue.

This was a very unique beer. Doubt I would order it again, but I'd be interested in experimenting with food pairing given its pepper spiciness. Would recommend only to adventurous beer drinkers.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Source/Serving: 11.5oz. Bottle

Smell: Plum jelly, light cider, caramel apple.

Taste: Interesting, as expected. Up front its got a lot of dry caramel and graininess but isn't very sweet or bitter. Very natural tasting. In the middle some juicy, slightly sour fruits and caramel emerge and has some underlying grain complexity. Also a little grassiness that might be my perception of the pepper - though there is an underlying spiciness. Moderate carbonation and mouthfeel. Finish is light pepper which lingers on the back of the throat and tongue forever - and its very interesting - along with more caramel.

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Route Des Épices (Ale Rousse Au Poivre) from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 639 ratings
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