Take, for example, Dieu du Ciel. I have only tried three of their beers, and I've loved each of them. They are bold, flavourful, and often have an alcohol level that teeters near or surpasses the 10-percent mark. But they are balanced and a brew to savour.
This week, I tried one of their offerings that I once saw in an article by Ross Scarano, about the 100 beers you had to try before dying. I had already tried 10 of the beers in that list: I can make this one my eleventh.
Péché Mortel (Mortal Sin) Imperial Coffee Stout (9.5% ABV)Appearance: a deep mahogany that allows no light to pass through, with a taupe head that dissipates to a fine lace.
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Beer O'Clock rating: 3.5
Nose: espresso, chocolate, and a hint of iodine.
Palate: bourbon, malted chocolate, and coffee, which ends in a strong alcoholic finish.
Overall impression: this is a serious stout that cannot be consumed lightly. It's well-balanced for the most part, but I found that I had to savour it in small sips, not large mouthfuls, lest the alcohol bite me. The trace of iodine gave it a slight medicinal aroma, which at first was a little off-putting, but it did ease up and allow the coffee to open up.
I picked up a six pack of this beer at Bières du Monde but I have also seen it in Broue Ha Ha and La Trappe a Fromage. It's not available in Ontario.
But crossing the border to pick this up is well worth the trip. Think of it as a sinful pleasure.