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

385 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 385 | Ratings: 629
Photo of TMoney2591
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Hirter stange.

Pours a somewhat hazy amber brown, with a minimal amount of off-white head that leaves a trace of lace. The smell is mostly malty toffee with a glint of pepper and breadcrust. The taste starts off with the same amltiness, but then eases into an array of spices: cracked pepper, cinnamon, mustard, even possibilities of salt and cumin. Needless to say, a unique flavor, but not all that bad. The body is nice and medium, though the carbonation is a tad high, leaving this brew to be drinkable, but not overly so.

 539 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, now! I seem to be delving, at least briefly, into the Rye Beer area of the Chez Woody Bottle Backlog. My Achilles heel is rye, which is why I have numerous bottles of rye whisky here and very few of any other distilled spirit. Man, I am so excited that this has become both a style & a routine brew for many brewers. Rye malt is tricky since it breaks down VERY easily & quickly & can create a sticky oatmeal-like mush that requires a hammer & chisel to remove from the mash tun. I have known a couple of homebrewers who, upon having procured an upgrade system, went whole-bore & then just threw out the mash tun afterwards. The resulting beer was to die for!

From the bottle: "Rye beer brewed with peppercorns"; "Route Des Épices (French for 'Spice Route') is a rye beer brewed with both black and green peppercorns. Initially, the beer reveals flavours of fresh grain and malt, which give it notes of chocolate, caramel, and fruit. The pepper flavour and aroma is fully revealed in the finish, which leaves a pleasant, spicy, tingling sensation on the tongue."

I Pop!ped the cap, only to realize that it was a twist-off! Quelle domage! I know, I know, all reviews MUST be done in English, but that just slipped out. Likewise, the beer just seemed to slip out of the accursed bottle & into my awaiting glass. It must have thought that it was getting off easy as it just sat there, but I gave it a hard swirl, followed by a light spanking. This raised both its ire as well as a finger of fizzy, foamy, light-tan head with modest retention. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with Deep Amber highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose was a bit heavy on the caramel, but the spiciness was still evident. Mouthfeel was medium. The burning taste of the combined peppercorns with the rye malt was both unexpected and unabating! It was like of those cinnamon jaw breakers that lights you up and never stops until you spit it back into the wrapper for another try. Okay, time for a shot of Rye Whisky. OMFG! What was it that David Bowie sang about "Putting out fires with gasoline"? Whoosh! Beads of seat broke out on my forehead, my eyeballs began to tear and water uncontrollably, my tongue was rendered insensate. Yummy! Finish was dry and peppery, but it was on the finish that the cool mintiness of the rye began to shine through. The conundrum begins when I attempt to rate to style, as opposed to taste. I liked it just fine & I know a local who would really dig it, but the rye malt was wildly overshadowed by the peppercorns. Phew!

 2,549 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. Served in a half pint glass.

Appearance - Amber body. Mostly clear. Excellent creamy white head. Beautiful lacing and a thin layer of foam.

Smell - Muted aroma. Might be the glass. I had this in a snifter and it smelled much better. Rye aroma is bombarded by peppercorn.

Taste - Tons of rye. No hop. Creamy rye and malt midrange. Peppercorn builds slowly and peaks in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Very creamy. Almost like it's on nitro. Low carbonation.

Overall - Better in a more aromatic glass, but a delicious rye beer.

 547 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy deep copper bordering on brown with a huge bubbly off white head that dissipates to a cap. Bready biscuity malts, incense, and pepper make up the majority of the aroma. The smell reminds me of walking into whole foods. Taste starts off with a quick caramel and biscuit which quickly fades to a spicy rye and incense which segways into a spicy peppery finish that heats up for a minute or so after every sip. Body is medium, carbonation is high, mouthfeel is watery/spicy. This one is different! I really enjoyed this one, especially that spicy peppery finish. The incense type taste and aroma that I got from this one was a little overpowering at times.

 677 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fogged amber brown with a crème head. The flavor has quite a bit of pepper influencing things. At first it seems not so abrasive, but it really builds up over time. Eventually there is a pretty constant burn going on in the mouth. It causes the feel to be impacted by it as well. By the end, the carbonation (and not much else) is un-noticeable from the pepper burn. This beer shouldn't be enjoyed on its own. Pair it with a steak I say.

 446 characters

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.

 346 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real tiny bubbled and creamy off tan head is made through the pour. It forms very creamy like. Body is a dark amber red and somewhat clear. Real nice color and great head formation. Some real nice lacing of claw like.clumps while always keeping a solid puck. Just lovely.

Nose is green peppercorn sense kind of soft with a good malt backbone. Pepper at first pour is not as strong or noticeable, but after sitting it clearly dominates.

Wonderful spice finish and pepper in the palate. At first it seems like that is all there is to this beer as the pepper lingers constantly after the swallow. Slowly though the malt creeps in with sweetness and baked bread. Body though is a little wet just a bit watery.

This is a great combination and use of rye with pepper. This is a hot beer but tolerable without an alcohol burn. I really like this it is soa far thefor best example of pepper dominance in a beer that I really enjoyed.

 979 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a tan head that becomes wispy.

The smell is of black peppercorn and caramel/toffee.

The taste is of caramel/toffee with a hint of smoke. Black peppercorn starts off relatively mild, but soon grows to give a strong spiciness, reminiscent of Montreal Steak Seasoning, remaining strong through aftertaste...This would pair well with a good steak, I'm thinking...

It has a creamy medium body.

A zesty little brew here - very spicy/peppery with caramel...A unique brew that works well... I'll have to grab another bottle to put my steak pairing theory to work!

 576 characters

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

Hazed, deep orange color, decent umbre head, soon gone.

Nose is spice and dark fruit, plus Belgian yeast ...pepper, cinnamon...raisins and plum...quite lovely.

Peppers really spring forward in the taste and take over the palate, sending heat to the back of the throat. Nice, juicy bed of malt below, but the heat stays in command. It comes back and blazes anew with each new sip.

This would be quite a tasty amber ale or such without the peppercorn. Not tasting the rye, though. Oh, wait, ...there it is.

Heat maintains, but it's the unique flavor and combination of spice that draws me in. Medium bodied, long finish. Delightful.

 635 characters

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

Poured from a bottle into a nonic, the beer is a muddled, opaque, brown coloring with a halo of white head and a steady flow of carbonation bubbling throughout the body. Aromas of rich caramel, hints of chocolate, heavy pepper spicing, bitter toasted grains, and earthy notes. Flavors are sweet caramel and bitter grains forward, followed immediately by the pepper spice. Smooth and mid-bodied, with a tingling pepper spiced, muddled sweet aftertaste. The finish is light, smooth, and slightly watered down. Tasty beer, and an interesting twist on a rye, but just lacking something for me.

 589 characters

Photo of Tone
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, brown color. 1/5 inch head of a white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of pepper strongly, slight cinnamon, slight sweet malt, and slight tomato. This does not seem to be a Rye beer to me, but perhaps it is. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pepper, yeast, slight sweet malt, and slight other spice. Overall, a rather interesting beer, but the rye is too little.

 434 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks Mike, served in a snifter.

Beer is brownish with an off white head of small bubbles, some lacing, decent retention but low carbonation.

Aroma is yeast and peppery.

I didn't know this beer had pepper in it before it was served to me, it was served blind, but I called it from a goddamn mile away. The pepper wins in the palate and the nose. Rye? For reals? I couldn't tell. This beer was a pretty big let down, very peppery, and that's all. Nope, not again.

 466 characters

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!

 457 characters

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

A: poured a reddish brown with brown highlights that had a very thin head and left very little lacing as well.

S: you can definitely smell some spice, rye, peppercorn, and brown sugar but also had some underlying caramel toffee in the background.

T: there was also spice notes in the taste but not as potent alongside, brown sugar, rye, earthy, and caramel accents but was also a little pepper spicey as well; very intresting.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a spice, sweet, spicy, and herby finish.

D: it drank good and liked how the peppercorn add some dimension to this rye style beer. I'm glad I picked this one up.

 675 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: hazy amber orange in color with a one finger head.

Smell: rye and pepper spice is easy to detect.

Taste: rye, honey, green grapes, and huge pepper presence. Nice bitterness here too.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp from start to finish. Super long pepper filled aftertaste. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: the heavy pepper spice grows a bit tiring after a pint of this. Not a session beer but it has a unique flavor.

 429 characters

Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared a bottle with a friend. The body is a clear, darker amber with a short, white head.

Man, this beer is all about peppercorns. I can tell there's a bit of rye and hops in the background, but it mostly just a big pepper flavor and aroma. It's a good taste, but there's just way too much of it. Call this a pepper beer, it just happens to have rye in it.

 358 characters

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.

 398 characters

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

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

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

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

 457 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome!!! It has a wonderful mix of rye and crystal malts along with a kick ass peppercorn aroma; very unique indeed. The taste is good. This is some kind of weird ass beer. I like it, but it's way out there. It has a solid rye beer flavor of spicey rye and caramel malts. It goes down smooth and finishes with an excellent peppery taste. It really hits you in the finish like having someone crack black pepper in your beer. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is truely unchartered territory. Big ups for the effort on this one. I'm in!

 694 characters

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

Thanks goes out to gford217 for this brew.

Pours a nice golden brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy/foamy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some spice notes. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, peppery, slightly bitter. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad brew, but would not seek out again.

 350 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

More Dieu du Ciel has arrived, and this is the one with peppercorns. I'll drink it with dinner tonight. On to the beer:

A hard pour develops a chestnut brown color with reddish hues. The head whips spots of lace to the glass. I don't smell a lot from either the empty bottle or the glass that the beer currently sits in. It has a little rye base and caramel to it, but overall very low powered.

What did the taste come from? After a weak nose, this tastes like a beer with a greater alcohol than on the label. There's a strong caramel-like sweetness from the malt, and whoa there, there's the peppercorn really spicing things up, though not overdone. Maybe it works for me because I like pepper. The beer feels fat and chewy in the mouth, something I like, and pleasant pepper and heat linger in the aftertaste.

Strange beer, but I dig it. This might be a fun beer to drink with spicy food, so this will likely get another try in the future.

 945 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

 888 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

 432 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger tan head. There was good retetion and lacing.

The smell featured a grainy malt with some rye spice.

The taste was upfront grainy with a light caramel sweetness. However, once swallowed an overpowering pepperiness developed. Very spicy.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness with an uncomfortable heat.

Overall a very unique but difficult to drink rye beer.

 403 characters

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.

 2,137 characters

Route Des Épices (Ale Rousse Au Poivre) from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.68 out of 5 based on 629 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.