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: 635 |  Reviews: 387
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 Hallertau
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of beerhawk41
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of WCKDVBZ
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of sdm9465
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of vipera
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of Whiskeydeez
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of benzalman
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

not really my style of choice, tough to drink. The pepper and spice are very, very prominent.

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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 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.'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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Photo of brewandbbq
2.86/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle date 12/07

Pours clear amber, with a slight chill haze.
A full three-inch head of off-white builds to the rim.
Lacework aplenty as the dense foam recedes.
Aromatics are pretty non-eventfull.
Fairly malty and caramel-laden, with some mild citric tinge and toasty. Akin to a British pale ale.
The mouthfeel is medium and has bristling carbonation.
The pallet starts off with straightforward malt, some crisp bitterness, and toasted malt.
After the second sip, something odd happens. My throat begins to burn!
There is a strong, building heat as each sip finishes the next.
A blast after blast of finely ground black pepper, and perhaps paprika.
No wonder the dude on the label has what looks like peppercorns for a beard.
The heat from the pepper detracts from the subtle nuances of the rest of the beer, to the point of being astringent.
Rye in itself does not add this amount of pepperyness.
Finishes with lingering heat and eventually leaving the back of the tongue somewhat numb.

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Photo of ZorPrime
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Tasted on March 15th, 2009.

Tasting notes:

A: Amber color and very clear. Nice head but the head disappear pretty quickly leaving only a thin line.
S: I get in the nose pepper. Hot peppers.
T: Again peppercorn... The beer to me appear salty, probably due to the peppercorn taste. Strange and intriguing.
M: Thin bodied.
D: I can't see myself getting more than one bottle per session.

Not a bad beer, but not my beer style. Glad I tried it 'tho!

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Photo of maddogruss
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a bottle of this from the Cloverleaf Tavern.

A: Pours a red-amber body with no real head to note, so no retention to note and very minimal lacing.

S: A fairly sweet, malty which was not too evident of the upcoming taste.

T: A kind of sweet taste with peppercorn evident in the taste an in the back of your throat on the swallow. The spiciness is quite evident and soon takes over the complexity of the beer overall, which was not too enjoyable. No earthiness or dryness came out from the rye, but there was definitely a pepper spiciness all over this beer.

M A fairly light mouthfeel that seemed a little on the watery side. Could have been a bit fuller.

D: Ok drinkability, but the peppercorn takes away from the beer a little bit. The pepper aspect does not seem to blend very well with the malts and takes away from the rye aspect of the beer. Ok, but nothing really impressive.

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Photo of KevinBrewer
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Hazy rusty brown with a creamy tan head that lasts, leaving moderate lacing.

N- Big malty caramel aromas up front with plenty of oxidation. Some subtle vanilla woodiness and spicy rye underneath. Every so often I get a whiff of the peppercorns, but they are very soft and fleeting. As the beer warms up, I get aromas of dried fruit and nuts. After tasting the beer, the oxidation in the aroma gets more distracting.

T- Subdued maltiness with lots of oxidation. I can taste the thin remnants of caramel masked by wet cardboard. Since the US labels have no freshness date, there's no telling how old this bottle is. I would definitely get confirmation from the store owner/employee that the bottle is fresh before buying it again. A tingling spiciness from the peppercorns shows up in the middle and lasts through the finish. Plenty of peppercorn flavor as well, which is pretty tasty. I'd like to try this with a nice steak if I can manage to find a fresh bottle.

M- Medium-light mouthfeel with moderate carbonation and a dry spicy finish.

D- Overall, an interesting beer that is in desperate need of a freshness date.

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Photo of corby112
2.96/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very dark amber/ brown color and a huge foamy tan head. Very spicy pepper aroma with some maltiness and dark fruit. Malty flavor with some dark fruit up-front followed by a HUGE spicy peppery lingering finish. You can feel the heat when you take a breath after drinking. This is not like a novelty beer with a green pepper floating in it. This is very coplex with an intensely spicy kick.

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Photo of mdaschaf
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to korguy123 for this one. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours brownish/red with a small beige head. Decent lacing.

S: Some toffee/caramel, also a hint of coffee. The rye and peppercorns play a big role here. A little bit of chocolate as it warms.

T: Got a lot of the rye upfront and the spices/pepper on the back end. After a while got a slight burning sensation in the back of my throat.

M/D: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Slight burning sensation due to the spices. As it warmed I found myself liking it less. Overall it is a very interesting beer, glad to have to tried it. Not bad by any means, but not really for me.

 643 characters

Photo of djcreepshow
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Route Des Épices (Ale Rousse Au Poivre) from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.68 out of 5 based on 635 ratings.
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