Friday, July 25, 2008

MMMmm... Beer.

DW went on a shopping trip last weekend after taking some tests for her work. Part of the shopping trip was to a local store that has an excellent selection of beer, wine, liquors and gourmet foods. She brought home some of my favorite ales. Sometimes she knows me too well.

I like beer.

Really I do.

One was Black Sheep ale from the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham, North Yorkshire, in the UK. I'll delve into this ale more sometime later.

The other is a Belgian style ale from Unibroue Brewery in Chambly, Quebec. The beer is called Maudite (French for "damned") and it is a rich, fully flavored ale. They make a variety of great ales, all of which have a fairly high alcohol content because they tend to be bottled with priming sugars for a second (or even third!) fermentation in the bottle. The other unique thing about their beers is the wonderful artwork on their bottles. On the bottle of Maudite is artwork about the legend of Chasse-Galerie. (see the last paragraph in the quote.) This is what the folks from Unibroue write about their ale:

The robust maltiness and spiciness of our amber-red ale is counterbalanced by an assertive hop finish, offering a distinctive flavor that is cognac-like in complexity.

Whether it is paired with pasta marinara, a brick-oven pizza, Flemish stew, spice-rubbed pork tenderloin or dal makhani, Maudite is 'devilishly' satisfying.

Maudite (Damned) was the first strong beer to be retailed in Québec. Its deliciously complex flavor improves with age.

The word 'Maudite' has many meanings in Québécois culture. Here, it refers to the Legend of "Chasse-Galerie," a tribute to the early lumberjacks of Nouvelle-France. The legend tells of eight daring woodsmen who, during winter, yearned to be home for the Holidays. They conjured up the devil and all of them pledged their soul in return for flying them in their canoe to their village. As they sailed across the moonlit sky, one of them managed to free himself from the pledge by invoking the name of God, which caused the canoe to come crashing down to earth. They were never seen again.

Do enjoy a bottle sometime!

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