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: 629
Photo of JG_brew
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pepper! Very nice pepper taste. A bit of pepper in the aroma but Really hits you at the end of the palate. Really nice copper color. Fairly dry. Descent mouthfeel. Nice different beer. Pepper is not over powering, definately taste it but complements beer nicely.

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Photo of Levich
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.5 ounce bottle into a shaped pint glass.

Route des Epices pours a rich red tinged brown color with two fingers of light beige head that settles leaving half of an inch and a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma is delicate with hints of maltiness as well as apple cider. The initial flavor is mildly sweet with hints of rye bread flavor. This is followed by a bit of relatively nondescript bitterness and finally a lingering peppery tingle on the back of the tongue. This beer has a thin mouthfeel with just a bit of carbonation, although the peppery finish beefs up the body a little. The pepperorns seem to work in this beer, giving an otherwise bland beer some character without overpowering the subtleness of the rye.

Overall, this is a pretty interesting beer. I would drink it again, but I wish it had more powerful carbonation. I think that would play nicely with the peppercorns.

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Photo of Seanniek91
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Grimbergen goblet.

Appearance- Very hazy amber/copper color with zero head. Very mild looking carbonation.

Smell- I get a little bit of rye/peppercorn spice and vanilla. Mild cherry I think as well. Malty backbone.

Taste- Very dry with a strange bitterness that doesn't taste like a hop bitterness. Absolutely peppercorn flavors. I get the spice at the back of the throat. Not much else though.

Mouthfeel- Dry. Carbonation is mild. That spice hits everywhere in my mouth.

Overall- Kind of a strange beer. Bought it on a whim. It's good, but I would not seek it out anytime soon.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. Poured a deep ruby red-orange with a three finger very light tan head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, bread, earth, pepper, and orange peel. The flavor was of sweet malt, bread, earth, earth hop, and orange peel. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I really wish this brew had quite a bit more complexity to it. There were some good notes going on here with the orange peel, but it just wasn’t enough to make it stand out in the style. If it just had a little more going on it could have been a pretty good brew. Definitely worth your time trying at least once to judge for yourself though, but not super high on my list of must tries.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: growler from Pinocchio's, FREE, won by Meester Lo, who guessed what was in the mystery bag (Flying Dog Disobedience). Thanks, Meester Lo!

Decanted into my City Tap House "Sour Saturday" mini-stem glass, a hazy, chestnut brown color with a small off-white head that receded to a wispy layer of bubbles; spots of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is somewhat distant, caramel malt and rye "spice," toasted bread and light peppery spice. Pale biscuity malt taste, toasted grains, a little bland and not too sweet, stiff peppercorn character, and a bitter herbal hop finish. Medium body, moderate carbonation, drying. Not bad overall, but nothing great or memorable. It was free, so, giddyup.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, dark amber, with deep brown tones. There is about a half finger of fluffy off-white head that fades quickly. There is a really good amount of lacing left on the glass as it drinks.

S: The nose is sweet malt, caramel, and pepper. I also get some date notes in there as well. Really nice.

T: This beer starts out sweet with a nice kick of caramel. A bit of rye spice mixes in with the sweetness in the middle. As it reaches the finish, the peppercorns make their presence known. It's got heat and great spice.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's smooth and silky from start to finish with a great hot peppery kick in the back end. Lingering pepper heat.

O: Love this beer. I like rye beers, and I love peppercorn beers! This is right up my alley. Really good. I will be buying much more of this in the future.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - poured a one finger thick creamy tan head into a tulip glass that left nice lacing and sheeting throughout. the head also billowed nicely. the body was a dark mahogany color.
s - peppery with a hint of raisins or red grapes.
t - very spicy and peppery.
m - bubbly. a little thinner than i would have liked.
o - really interesting take on a rye beer. much more spicy than others i have had.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours hazy red orange color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some decent spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of caramel, toast, biscuit, rye, toffee, pepper, herbal, chocolate, and light plums. Very nice aromas with good balance, complexity, and strength. Taste of caramel, chocolate, pepper, rye, biscuit, toast, herbal, toffee, and light raisin. Lingering notes of pepper, rye, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of flavors and complexity; with no cloying sweetness at all. Pepper heat flavors seem to build up in intensity as you drink. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and lightly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish as expected. Overall this is a damn nice spiced rye beer. Nice balance of malty flavors with pepper; and quite smooth to drink. The pepper heat flavors build up on the palate, so I don’t see myself having more than one at a time. Very enjoyable though.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear, dark brown with flecks of granite in the light. The thin, tannish head that forms upon pouring is weak and falls flat quickly...leaving very little lacing. The nose is intensely peppery, specifically black peppercorns, with a sweet underlying maltiness. The taste doesn't disappoint with malt and yeast upfront and a distinct and spicy, peppercorn finish. I believe the rye may be completely masked by the pepper. The back end spiciness doesn't linger long after sipping and the beer does admittedly leave a funky, slightly undesirable, building pepper-rye aftertaste.
Overall, this is a reasonably priced peppercorn ale that meets the description. However, isn't nearly the best pepper beer I've ever had.
I think this beer would pair exceptionally well with the right meal (maybe a montreal style brisket?), although I'm not sure I'll ever try it again.

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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 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 +5.2%
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 +5.7%
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 -3.5%
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 -3%
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%
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 -1.4%
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 +7.3%
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 -1.4%
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 +2.7%
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 -3.5%
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 -7.6%
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 +1.9%
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 -3%
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 +14.1%
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 +1.4%
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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Route Des Épices (Ale Rousse Au Poivre) from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.68 out of 5 based on 629 ratings.
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