Criminelle | La Voie Maltée

18 Reviews
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Brewed by:
La Voie Maltée
Quebec, Canada

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Goldorak on 07-04-2006

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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 37
Photo of Derek
4.04/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

9.5% tall can.

Black with a light tan head. Very thin ring of retention shows some leg.

Pleasant roasted aroma of licorice and black strap molasses, which come through in the flavour as well. Good bitterness, light roasted acidity.

Fairly full body, modest carbonation so it doesn't seem too lively.

Thanks TBeckett!

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.23/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black color, creamy brown 2 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, creating very good amounts of lacing. Flavors of dark roasted grains, butter, coffee, chocolate, walnuts, oaky, berries, cherries, herbal spices. Thick dark fruity sweetness, with a dash of grassy and earthy bitter spices, balancing it all. Smooth medium body with the perfect amount of crispy carbonation. Medium to strong finish, with a long lingering cappuccino feel, with roasted malts, sweet chocolate, and a strong smoky wooden barrel aged feel. Overall superb quality craft. Doesn't smell much, while the flavors are incredibly delicious, very well balanced, and perfectly intensified. With no perception of alcohol, and a refreshing feel. Very complex finish, with tons of different flavors. Would drink this all night. I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Service: Can
Bottled on: Sep-11-2015 (Consumed Dec-30-2015)

Pours a pitch black with a hint of a ruby highlight with two fingers of brown foam that settles to a chubby film and ring. OK retention; concentric rings of lacing. (4)

Sweet coffee and cream. Leather, graham cracker, cream, wood, chocolate. (4)

Sweet, roasty and nutty. Coffee, chocolate milk, dark fruits, wood. (4.25)

Thin with a velvety creamy feel from the carbonation and a lingering sweet/nutty aftertaste. (4)

Crime que c'est bonne!
This beer pours really nice out of its flashy, matte black can. The smell is the least great part (along with its little film/ring). Lots of sweet malt and chocolatey roast flavors. The flavor follows suit managing to taste like a sweet cup of coffee with a dash of cinnamon and chocolate milk. Really good. Lots of roast flavor but little to no bitterness. It could do with a little more body in my opinion, but other than that it is a great feeling beer. I would love to see this bad boy as an Imperial Oatmeal stout. It was much better than I had anticipated and I would gladly get it again.
Worth a shot despite the steep price tag. I'm anxious to see what a year in the cellar will do to my other can. (4)

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Photo of blaje
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sniffer. Forming a troumendous mocha head, fizzy and disappearing to fast unfortunately leavind just a very small lacing. Jet black in colour and looking a bit watery...
N: Metalic up-front. Hops and some floral nose.Black current. Anise.
M&T: Carbonation is higher than expected, somewhat higher then what I like for this kind of beer and as per 1st impression at pouring, a bit fizzy . Feels thin and a bit watery for an imperial stout. Mora malt would have been appreciated here, the malt backbone is under what expected Flavours of roasted cereals, anise, coffee, somewhat usual. Nothing really special here. Bitternes is good. Aftertasted is long and bitter chocolate flavours come at the very end
Overall: Well this is a deception. Displaying “Americas best strong stout” on the label, my expectation were high and this beer is no way meeting those! Nothing comparable with those best stouts at beer events. For me, this is unfortunately not an imperial stout but just a regular stout with boosted-up ABV.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Oct 20, 2011

Beer pours black with a large, beige head. Pretty good retention and lacing.

Working with a bit of a stuffed nose, I still get lots of roasted malt, coffee and anise. Decent but a little thin.

Woah... LOTS of anise in the taste. Roasted malt is there as well, and some coffee and dark chocolate, but the anise is strongest. Not being a big fan of anise, this is not a great thing for me. Slightly bitter.

Thin for a RIS and fairly strongly carbonated.

Overall, not bad but I have no idea how it apparently won "the Americas' best strong stout" at the world beer awards.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into an oversized tulip glass.

Pours black, with several fingers of rich and foamy light mocha head. This retains with a thick rigid finger of foam that slathers the sides of the glass with some heavy swathes of robust lacing. The aroma is hop forward up front, with notes of green bitter fruit and even maybe a bit of leafy spice being present. This is backed in the nose by a tangy blend of dark chocolate and crunchy smelling acrid roast. This definitely has a touch of heft to it in the nostrils.

The taste has a thick base to it of chocolate sweetness and more of an assertive (yet still flavorful) citric bitterness, before trailing off into strong backend of lightly acrid feeling smoky roast and spicy alcohol. This finishes burnt, warm, and spicy overall with some lingering notes of citric fruit. The mouthfeel is full bodied and surprisingly creamy and slick feeling for the size but there is still an underlying crispness to the carbonation that helps pop those more assertive notes of hops, roast, and spice here as well. The alcohol has a good presence here, note only giving this some power on the palate but also adding some extra flavors of spice and sweetness to the overall profiles.

This could have maybe been a bit complex overall and the acidic roasted character could have been toned down a touch but I thought that this was a pretty decent take on an Imperial Stout. I don’t know if this cuts it as a full blown RIS but as a Double or Imperial Stout, I thought this was fine. I especially liked the use of the alcohol here and the feel of the body really helped sell the flavors to me. I’m glad I got a chance to try this one.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Marche Omni.

A - Black, nice carbonation, loose light brown two finger head. A nice half finger of lace with more gurth on the edges and some ok chunks and rings of lace.

S - Lot's of licorice and chocolate. Some roasted malt.

T - Good chocolate, a little espresso, licorice, roasted malt and burnt toast. Molasses too.

M - Good carbonation, full body, sweet finish.

O/D - Bottle says it got the WBA award for best strong stout last year. I can't see myself judging this anywhere near this. Not a imperial stout but not close to the best of 2010. Highly drinkable, flavourful, and balanced, but lacking more coffee character and roasted malt notes.

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Photo of papat444
3.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Labels proclaims this won a WBA for Americas' Best Strong Stout. We'll see...

Poured from a 500ml. bottle, bottled Dec. 15, 2010.

Appearance: Foam the color of crème brûlée fills almost the whole glass. It recedes to reveal a dark black body but i turn around for a minute or two and come back to no head :( Some lacing appears as i drink but i'm disappointed by the lack of retention.

Smell: Cocoa powder, black licorice (just a pinch), coffee beans, Kahlua and chocolate brownies.

Taste: Black licorice at first, robust coffee, hints of liquor with molasses and chocolate cookies. While all this seems fine, it lacks a lasting flavor punch.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as silk with very low carbonation. ABV is imperceptible. As it warms, it loses some and veers into thin territory.

Overall: It started out good but a true stout is measured by the transition to room temp. A decent stout but not the best.

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Photo of Glory
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Its a little over half pass midnight and I just got home from work...La Criminelle from La Voie Maltée (terrible name btw) in Saguenay is whats in the fridge for me tonight and I think the timing is pretty nice for an Imperial Stout !
Once again, I bought it at la Fromagerie du Marché Atwater.
Bottle on the 15 of december 2010..quite young.

Poured in a snifter glass
The liquid is black but light passes through and shows a dark copper color. The texture seems to be a little dense. More the Malt = More the Sugar = More the Alcohol for the same quantity of water so you get a less watery product.. I guess !?
It forms a fragile brownish foam that dissolves after a few seconds but still leaves a forever lasting foam on the edges of the glass. Looks pretty sharp !

A Very floral nose, very Violette in deed. You also get hints of black Currant and star anis without a doubt ! Dried prunes as well, it's quite an interesting nose...a bit different than what I'm used to for Imperial stouts.

The mouthfeel is very clean and refreshing. The carbonation level is great, not to many fizziness and than comes the flavors, some dark chocolate, still some star anis and molasse.
I get a gentle bitter feeling but not's 28 on the IBU scale.
The torrified Malt taste covers you whole palate and last for quite a while, up to a few minutes.
I can't smell or taste the 10 % ABV and I my opinion thats a great value in strong beers such as this one !
Well Done !
So even though the name of the Brewery is a bit kitch, they make a pretty damn good Imperial stout.
By the way, It won the 2010 award for best strong stout in America by the World beer Awards...just so you know

Cheers Lads


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Photo of Beersignal
1.91/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Haven't reviewed in awhile, and wouldn't have if I hadn't felt robbed by this mediocre brew masquerading as a Russian Imperial Stout.

I have sampled La Voie Maltée before, their Saison to be precise, and I enjoyed it very much. My beer dollars are spent judiciously as of late and I usually go for the sure thing. I thought this would be a sure thing... I was wrong.

Major snow storm outside, the bottle is decorated with the World Beer Awards crest of Americas best strong stout and I feel like drinking something that'll stick to my bones.

The pour is spritzy like champagne... odd for this style. Also odd, the colour. Poured under normal incandescent light it exhibits a surprising amount of ruby. I was expecting tar-like opaqueness (think Péché Mortel), but I get past this and begin to delve. The foam is building fast, a little too fast, and a wave of fusel alcohol stings my nose. Finish pouring to discover a lasting head of foam that delivers a complex of aromas I didn't want to find in a RIS. On top of the solvent-like character was a disturbing metallic smell sort of like a handful of old pennies. Some fruit and licorice permeate but just don't fit well with the chemical aromas that dominate.

Taste and mouthfeel were equally askew as the dominant notes on the tongue were a cloying sweetness accompanied by a very assertive alcohol bite. Not very pleasant and completely devoid of any roastiness, chocolatey notes, or coffee-like bitterness. Speaking of which, there wasn't really any proper balancing bitterness to speak of. In fact I would categorize this as lacking any balance whatsoever. Another reviewer mentions light loy which I also perceived and I usually associate with obvious defect in the manufacturing process. Overall impression in mouth was of a rather thin and runny brew with no real structure to it. At 10% alc/vol I would have expected much more maltiness and structure but instead got very little of the comfort I was so looking for in this beer.

Gave drinkability a 1.5 because I actually managed to take enough sips to construct this review. For $7.35 a pint I expect a beer to deliver on all of the characteristics for a said style. This doesn't even come close. Too bad, I was a fan before.



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Photo of bobsy
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Ladies and gentleman, we have a gusher. Black body underneath a large and bubbly tan head that aggressively rises despite a gentle pour. Light soy, dark fruit, coffee roast in the nose... not too bad. Flavour is decent, but a little overshadowed by the aggressive carbonation. Quite fruity, mixing in well with some astringent coffee. Alcohol is well-hidden. Pleasant, but with very little else going on. As mentioned, the carbonation is the killer, and results in a need to give the glass repeated swirls.

A relatively simple beer that almost seems to simple to be a true russian imperial stout. If the carbonation issues were resolved this would be a decent quaff, but as it is, its not one I'll revisit.

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Photo of kwjd
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber-brown colour with white head. Smells of coffee and chocolate with the roasted malt. Flavour has a bit of booze in it, but still tastes good. Body was a little bit thin for the style, but doesn't take away from the beer too much. Nice beer from a brewery I had never heard of.

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Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Derweg. Pour dark brown and lacey, doesn't look much like the style. Some decent but too sweet, with sugar seemingly added.I can taste graininess, cocoa powder rather than the chocolate. Mouthfeel below average for the style.A little boozy. Not a bad beverage overall, just not up to a RIS.

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Photo of flipper2gv
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown color, not as black as expected. It has a generous tan head that has very good retention. Tons of lacing too.

S: Mostly cocoa, semi-sweet chocolate. A bit of lactose maybe? Lots of mineral smell in this. Licorice and that's pretty it, very faint smell.

T: Dominated by licorice. Also, it has sweet elements of lactose that I'm pretty sure is in this brew. Some semi sweet chocolate and some herbal hops seems to be present. Alcohol is very well hidden. Not that much malts though, weird. All in all, it's an ok tasting beer, but there's nothing Imperial about this beer, smell is weak, taste is light (like a non imperial stout) and feel is...

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. With Imperial stouts, bigger body means better (well to me anyway) and this one just doesn't deliver the feel I want from a RIS"

D: Well, it's semi sweet, doesn't have a big body, alcohol is well hidden. So, very easy to drink.

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Photo of eat
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle of Criminelle is listed at 10% like on the picture above and not at 9% as entered at BA. An unknown purchased at Peluso. 10% Quebec-made Imperial stout? Of course I'm going to buy it. Happy to see the bottles are well-dated: December 2, 2009. Many breweries have a dating option set up on their labels and then proceed to do nothing with it. Also listed as best before 5 years. 28 IBU, not too hoppy.

The label stipulates that this bottle is not to be shared: it is to be consumed by an adult, all alone. I've made sure to consume it in the correct manner ;) Pours with a great one-finger cream-white head. Thick with good retention and lacing. Body looks like it could be on the thin side, with reddish-brown highlights showing through. Beer is a dark brown.

Interesting smell. Very similar to malted milk balls. I'm trying to pick out some more olfactory elements but that's about it! Whoppers. Not that that's a bad thing. The label says the nose is supposed to present licorice and violet. I'm trying to smell licorice as hard as I can but can't tell if I'm only imagining it. Maybe the slightest scent.

Not bad at all. Quite sweet (as would be assumed judging from the nose) but doesn't cross the line. Light-tasting for a 10% Imperial stout. The malted milk aspect from the smell is present but off in the background. I do kind of wish it was featured...I was looking forward to it actually. A solid showing of roasted malt, a touch of hop bitterness and malted milk. Almost seems like it could be a milk stout, it's definitely a little lactic. Though this is certainly no Charlevoix Vache Folle. Super smooth for 10%, amazingly there's virtually no alcohol to be found. This beer would really benefit from an increased intensity. The flavour already present is good...just multiply it by at least two.

Decent feel though it could use a fuller body. Lightly carbonated. It neither bothers me nor blows my mind.

Yep, this is drinkable. Pretty impressive for a random buy actually. There aren't a ton of 10% Canadian Imperial stouts kicking around of a quality like this. It's worth checking out but not one I'll be buying again. It could be interesting to age this for a few years and see what results. It's already smooth but needs more complexity and depth. For a Quebecois stout in a similar style, Charlevoix blows this one away. I think they're about the same price as well...just buy a Vache Folle instead.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear light black color stout with a great foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light black chocolate with some light dry coffee notes. Taste is lighter then expected with some light black chocolate and some very subtle coffee notes. Body is way too thin for the style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. A somewhat disappointing effort way not enough body too hold the package together.

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Photo of ZorPrime
4.23/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. On the sticker, it says this one is 10% ABV.

Color is dark black. Impossible to see through. The head has a brown color, made of big bubbles. The aroma is licrorice, chocolate and slightly floral (hops). The taste is chocolate first, then it switch to coffee grain. The bitterness is very good, and it is like coffee in a way. The mouthfeel is great. Warm due to the presence of alcohol. The taste lingers in the mouth for a long time. Medium body. Slightly creamy too. Can't drink more than one per session due to the high ABV, however this one goes down quite well.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.12/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Listed only as Anglaise noire a 9% (Black english ale), that one was easy to classify as a RIS.

Appearance: The thin but steardy grey head lasted the whole way through in the really nifty cognac snifter this Beer came in. It was as black as advertised, no reflection in the light at all.

Smell: The sticky sweet hops and roasted aromas were like strawberries diped in melted Cuban chocolate. Alcohol effluves weren't overpowering, slightly pruny/port. Absolutely solid.

Taste: Cocoa with a side of licorice, full bodied with no traces of fusels, aftertaste wasn't acrid, in fact I couldn't find anything wrong with this one, except maybe that it was a touch overcarbonated, but certainly not a cardinal sin in my book. Satisfying roasted malt flavors and just enough alcohol in the finish to warm you over.

Another awesome offering from a brewpub that derserves to be hyped.

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Criminelle from La Voie Maltée
3.65 out of 5 based on 37 ratings.
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