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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)

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada | website

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: 381 | Ratings: 620
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 dbmernin83
3.32/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a burnt dark amber with a quickly falling head.
Huge rye on the nose. Pepper.
Rye and more rye at the front. Pepper sits on your tongue and stays. This beer has a slight kick to it.
Decent carbonation, thin, on the lighter side.
Interesting to have pepper in a beer, but kinda just one note. Cool idea though. Do like the heat on the back end, but thats about all this beer has.

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Photo of 2Cents
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer deserves a better rating then an 83. If you warm it up a little, you get a variety of tastes. A malt profile that has a scotch ale thing, only. with rye. There's a nice caramel taste that fuses with a mild hop bitterness and a peppery rye taste. The pepper corns add a lot of heat that coats the roof of you mouth. For me, this is a delightful treat!

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Photo of SeanRedd
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thick syrupy body, peppery on the nose and tongue. Reminiscent of spiced meat; proscuitto, corn beef, smoked ham. Major malt dominance, hops hiding as an undertone. Thick, pillowy head sits atop and oil spill of toasted rye grain. A warming ale with a smoky attitude and some aged wood to top it off. A delicious change-it-up ale but can't session it or lay back and refresh.

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Photo of wschmit
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a Perfect Pint.

A: A smoky, ruddy brown, slightly cloudy, topped with a beige head that fades quickly. Not much apparent carbonation, and a bit of lacing.

S: A bit of rye spice, but mostly malty sweetness. I maybe get a hint of peppercorn in the back, but not quite sure.

T: Sweet up front, with some nice caramel and toffee notes. The peppercorns, as per the bottle's description, really do hit you at the end. It's not at all bad, however; I quite like it. Similar in function to hops, but obviously with different characteristics. Nice.

M: A bit thick and syrupy for a relatively moderate ABV.

D: One's enough. A very interesting drink, and not too heavy to have a couple, but the flavor is not so awesome that I'd want to spend an afternoon with it.

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Photo of Parrotshake
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a dark reddish brown with a finger of coffee-crema head with spotty lacing.

Caramel, orange peel and pine in the scent, as well as some spice hanging about in the back, but not necessarily pepper.

Opens citrussy and a little sweet, which is soon overrun with crazy spiciness - the natural, dark spiciness of rye followed by the pepper. A real taste sensation at first but the longer you drink it the more pepper you get. Starts to burn the tongue and the back of the throat. Wow.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium, not a lot of carbonation. Goes down smooth with a warm (non-alcoholic) kick at the end. Right about what you want for a Winter beer... not sure if the brewery markets it as such, but it's ideal.

Drinkability is where the beer loses marks. The intense peppery heat builds as you drink and by the end your palate is just about ruined. Would be awesome to finish up a roast dinner with in the colder months, but despite it being only 5% ABV, this is one of the least sessionable beers I can think of. Delicious in it's own right, though.

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Photo of sk8man121
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.5 oz bottle ($4.49 at Whole Foods in Portland, ME) poured into an Allagash chalice. Best by 03/2012.

A: Pours a semi-opaque russet-brown with cherry and mahogany highlights. 2-finger rocky caramel head with nice retention settles slowly and leaves nice lacing.

S: Caramel, rye and dark fruit. Smells quite sweet.

T: Rye and sweet malts up front, with a hint of chocolate. Transitions quickly to a VERY spicy finish. Peppercorn is omnipresent and burns the tongue and throat, lending an interesting numbing sensation that I've never gotten from a beer before. Hops come through in the finish as well, adding a nice bitterness to the mix.

M: This beer is all about the mouthfeel. High carbonation melds with the pepper to create an unforgettable tingling sensation. Creams up very nicely in the mouth as well.

O: Brasserie Dieu du Ciel never fails to amaze me in terms of what they're able to do with adjuncts. Anyone wondering if you can actually "taste" the peppercorns will be blown away by what they do to this beer. Although I don't think I would drink this often, it serves as a great example of just how interesting beer can be when a little creativity is thrown in.

I smell heartburn.

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Photo of bminor7
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.5 oz from Pearl St Beverage in Burlington VT.

Huge rye smell, caramel, almost a sour odor. I like my rye whiskey, but I haven't had a beer with flavor like this before. Very interesting compared to other beers that have claimed to be rye-based. Strong caramelly-rye malt flavor, but still a little dry overall. Honey ham. Otherwise the taste unfortunately thins out at the end, but not before the nice peppery burn shows up, and lingers for a while (almost like eating thai/indian food). This contributes to MF as well. This is a pretty interesting beer, and I would recommend to anyone looking for something different. Super smooth, goes down really easy, even moreso than my old crusher standby, PBR.

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Photo of jakon
4.53/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.5oz bottle purchased $4.49 on 7-23-8 at Whole Foods Portland.

This beer pours a brownish/garnet color with an ample tan colored head.

The aroma brings spiced marshmallow, rye, and just a hint of pepper.

Upon tasting, I still don't get much pepper until the finish. And wow is it most definitely there. I knew there was peppercorns in this beer, but I didn't expect it to come through so cleanly and meld so beautifully with the other ingredients. Rye was the perfect choice to complement the pepper.

The mouthfeel is very nice. Above average carbonation mixes with the peppery feel to create a very light pop-rocks type effect on the tongue.

There's a "sweet spot" temperature-wise that I'd estimate was between 50-55 degrees. If consumed too cold, you'll miss out on a great beer. As it got toward room temperature, the overall flavor declined.

If this beer weren't so expensive, I'd buy as much as I could find. Truly unique, great stuff.

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Photo of LittleBreeze
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I like. And, I applaud the brewers for "going for it".

The appearance is half way between a brown and an amber. The head is creamy white. The malt is offset more by the peppercorns than by any hop signature, resulting in more of a heat to the palette than a bitterness.

Glass matters. I got a different experience with drinking from a pint, tasting and rock glass.

This beer begs for a good pairing. Pulled pork (any bbq), smoked meats (including poultry) and pineapple/dessert cheese. Salmon or crab legs.

This is not a beer to session. This one is for food.

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Photo of Nick3
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured into my rochefort chalice is burnt orange in color. No head or lacing to speak of. Nose is peppery with some caramel malt. Wow, quite interesting here. Upfront and through most of the drink the beer is thin and dominated by malts. The finish leaves a spicy tickle at the top of your throat. That tickle then morphs into a spicy and peppery lingering taste across my entire mouth. This takes some getting used to as the feeling is similar to what your mouth feels like after some spicy salsa. Only problem here is that the more beer you drink the more prounced the spicy lingering becomes. I guess I should have expected this since it's brewed with peppercorns. I enjoyed trying this unique beer but it isn't something I'd recommend to anybody unless they really want to try something different and they like spicy food.

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

pours a regal dark amber with slight red undertones and active off whiteish head

rye and peppercorns dominate the palate. its like smelling a jar of peppercorns, seriously, but in a somehow mystifying and enticing way

on the palate it starts with malty sweetness followed by dry rye notes and then spicy, hot hot pepper notes for a spicy spicy finish. dry chocolate notes on the sub-palate and a touch of sweetness as well

starts malty upfront and then the hot peppercorns endure on the finish, yet still very tasty and refreshing

a beer like no other, very weird but every sip gets more interesting. oddly refreshing and extremely memorable. would be absolutely amazing with a honey baked ham, thanksgiving dinner, or big fat juicy steak

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

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Very brown in color with minimal head.

Bone dry upfront. Very noticeable that this is a rye beer. The back end of this beer is very peppery. It creeped up on me and lingered in my mouth.

This is a weird one. The spiciness of the peppercorns takes from the drinakability and session nature of this beer. In the same right the strange spiciness on the back end really draws me to it. Reccomended.

Another innovative beer from these guys up in Montreal who in my opinion are the most cutting edge and consistent brew pub I have ever seen.

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Photo of THORN
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.5 Fl. OZ. bottle poured into DT snifter. Served 40-45 F.
A: Pours a cloudy Mahogany brown. Thin brown lacing with small bubbles. Small blotches of lace left behind.
S: Peppercorn dominates, but rye is slightly noticeable. Sweet brown, cocoa,and sugar. Fades with a peppery warmth
M: Medium light on tongue. The warming sweeps across mouth and extends to throat. Leaves tongue dry and ready for more.
D: A very interesting take on the style. It is intense in flavor, but doesn't overwhelm.

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Photo of calcio360jrd
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle had at WOB Clematis.

Now this beer is one of the reasons i love dieu du ciel. This is a rye beer brewed with peppercorns, pretty interesting sounding when i read the bottle. Taste was traditional rye style beers i've had in past, but the peppercorns stole the show as the beer passed to the throat, almost felt like i just had a big bit of a steak au poivre!

Will for sure be having this one again.

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Photo of brc
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy reddish brown, off white head with nice lacing.

There's a hint of peppercorn in the nose, but it's faint.

The beer has some definite waves of flavors, starting with a quite sweet caramel or milk flavor, with some toasted bread alongside. Then you get spice notes - black pepper with just a hint of cayenne, perhaps, maybe caraway. The rye flavor is somewhat unusual, almost a bit sour. A medium sweet finish. No apparent bitterness, but there is balance from the pepper notes.

It's on the thin side, although you get a bit of spicy tingle in the mouthfeel.

The flavor doesn't build on you and tire your palate like some spice beers. It's unusual, probably not for everyone, but it's actually very drinkable for a spiced beer.

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

Once again, blindsided by Dieu du Ciel. Peppercorn overload. Peppercorn overload. Had on draft at Church Key with brunch. Made the horrible mistake of having this alongside a New Luther (fried chicken inside a brioche-deep-fried-donut sprinkled with pecans). If you are eating something that requires refreshment, this is not the beer for you! It was like a mirage of a beer, one that I would turn to in a time of need only to find that it offers no refreshment.

Medium-brown color, mostly translucent with little to no head. Peppery smells like those that come from Peppar vodka. Refreshing, sweet, and malty at first, fueled by some toffee and caramel notes. Then come the peppercorns. Intense black-pepper. The refreshing tide rolls out and the aeration hits hard.

Not much body, but even if there was, it would be hard to detect among the spice of the poivre. What a unique beer. This is one of those few times that, despite lower rankings across the board, the beer gets a higher overall ranking. That, sirs at Dieu du Ciel, is for your gusto and your cunning in putting together such a challenging little drink. Well done, even though I may never order another.

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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 abriggs1
4.85/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers in the world. I have to admit when I heard about a beer brewed with peppercorns I was not expecting good things. They do it so tastefully that the rye flavors give way to the tingly aftertaste in a way that is sublime and near perfect. I paid just over $4 for an 11.5 oz bottle and I think it is worth the premium price. This is my favorite beer from Du De Ciel and I think it blows Peche Mortel out of the water. Have this beer with a good steak and you will be in heaven.

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

Pours a deep brown with a nice off-white head that crackles as it dissipates to lace.

Malt and pepper on the nose - lots of sweet malt and rye character in the intial whiff - spicy on the end.

The palate has malt and chocolate as the first two characteristics on the attack. It finishes with a green peppercorn flavor that gradually ends in black peppercorn bite. Slight burnt coffee character hits the tongue. Great pepper kick - not overwhelming in the least!

As I drink this, I really want to have pappadums, samosas and all sorts of good Indian snack foods. Sev poori would be delicious with this beer!

I could easily drink this beer all night!

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Photo of grandq
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazelnut brown with a fluffy two finger just-off-white head. Not much scent coming off this, sweet and a little nutty. Biscuity malt, some slight belgian yeasty notes, a touch of caram... wait, it's turning a bit sour as it twsits into rye. Soon the pepper pipes up and could initially be mistaken for a hop bite, but then dials the spiciness to 11. The pepper is pretty intense but not searing, mellowed by a bit some floral hoppy notes. This coats the mouth nicely, though I can't feel it dissipate as my tongue is still being pricked by little peppery devils. After a while, this gets a little rough but its an impressive little show of brewing creativity - so boldly spiced but still pretty drinkable. Good craftsmanship that pushes just to the edge of pallate overload. Another nice one from this brewery.

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Photo of Rijtjeshuis
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a stange.

LOOK (3.5/5) Pours a copper/gold color, which looked to be about 15*SRM, with some nice auburn tones. It's hazy and not truly opaque. The head creamy and off-white; it raised to about a single finger, but it sticks around for a good while.

SMELL (4/5) The beer is surprisingly delicate for a brew spiced with black pepper. The main players are the spicing and the rye, obviously. The rye has some nice rye tartness and a hint of fruitiness (apricots or dates). The pepper comes through at the end and balances well with these other flavors. No real hopping to speak of.

FLAVOUR (4/5) Has the same balance as the nose - some frutier malts come with the rye tartness and play off each other well. The rye, though, is a bit weaker on the palate than on the nose. I'd have liked a bit more rye. The finish was filled with pepper spiciness and this was really nice. No real hop flavor and light bitterness.

FEEL (4/5) Both carbonation and body were in the medium range. The rye makes for a bit of gummy feel. The lasting spiciness is really interesting and very unique. I liked it a lot.

DRINK (3/5) This is pretty poor, despite the great flavors. The pepper, though really tasty, has a tendency to build to become pretty spicy. The real problem, however, was that I felt that entirely too much in my belly.

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Photo of StarshipPoopers
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Rich, dark copper appearance. Not much head forms with a hard pour, not a lot of retention either. The lacing is decent though.

S - Very sweet. Smells dominated by malts, with a sweet caramel and rye smell. Hints of spices as well, though no particular one comes to mind.

T - Not a whole lot of complexity in the taste, but it's not nearly as sweet as the smell had led me to believe. There doesn't seem to be a uniform taste to this drink, each sip presents slight variations. The dominant flavours are the rye and peppercorns. The rye malt provides some slight sweetness, and the peppercorns are nice and even. Spicy but not aggressive, which helps the drinkability.

M/D - Surprisingly drinkable. Light bodied.

Didn't know how much I would like this, but it's a great beer.

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Photo of strangemusic
4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
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 ghetto90007
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 11.5 oz. bottle into a narrow Goose Island 312 weizen glass.

Pours a brownish-ocher color, a finger or so of off-white, pillowy head with slight hints of brown and red. Lively carbonation. Head is resilient and lacing is significant.

Aroma produces hints of bread, that unique, spicy smell rye beers always seem to have, hint of the peppercorns though not sure I would have identified them had I not known they were there. Probably, actually - they become a little more apparent as the beer warms.

Sweet and gentle up front with some dark fruits, a soft hint of caramel. A little bit of complexity here. Probably a decent brew before the peppercorns. Peppery kick comes in slow but sure on the back end. The rye actually takes a back seat on this one, but is certainly present.

Medium bodied; despite the peppery flavors, mouthfeel is fairly gentle.

An interesting beer and reasonably well-crafted.

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Route Des Épices (Ale Rousse Au Poivre) from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
83 out of 100 based on 381 ratings.
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