24 January 2009
La Fin Du Monde
First, I apologize for the lack of updates. I have been doing a ton of overtime at work that has interfered somewhat with my free time, and by extension has inhibited my ability to evaluate these fine and not-so-fine products. Of course, if someone would like to pay me, I would be more than happy to dedicate myself (and my liver) to this blog full-time! Now, on to the subject of today's entry.
Beer should not come in wine bottles. When it does, it is almost a guarantee that you are not going to enjoy it much. This assessment started to form back in my youth when we all went to Toronto to get tattoos. After getting tats, we all went on a drunken pub crawl that finished at some pub in the basement of Toronto's iconic Flatiron building. I ordered some kind of French beer who's name escapes me, and in my drunken stupor thought they had given me a bottle of cheap wine instead. It came in a wine bottle and tasted like a really winey-tasting malt liquor. Since that day, I have never trusted beer in a wine bottle. Looking back on my reviews of Chimay and Mort Subite Framboise there seems to be a very good reason for this, and I am happy to report that La Fin Du Monde continues that tradition beautifully.
When I arrived at Brian and Michelle's, they were wary of the LCBO bag. I handed it to Brian and he remarked something along the lines of "oh no, not another wine bottle". Apparently, he shares my lack of enthusiasm for beer in champagne-type packaging. We decided to put the bottle in the freezer and get it ice-cold for the tasting. La Fin Du Monde (literally "the end of the world"), is a strong beer made by Unibroue Breweries (or as I call them, Unibrow Breweries) in Quebec, Canada and has a 9% abv. Of course, being from Quebec this beer spawned a lot of new questions (or perhaps fears would be a better word). Judging by my previous run-ins with French and Belgian beers, would the tradition of horrible brewing carry over the pond to the Province of Quebec? What bottled nightmare awaited us in the freezer? We would soon find out!
After the beer had chilled down, we set out some glasses and sat down to try it. Much like its Belgian cousins, La Fin Du Monde came complete with the champagne cork/wire contraption that had to be removed to open the bottle. Honestly, why not use a simple bottle cap like the rest of the world? I untwisted the wire and pushed out the cork. Unlike Chimay, the cork did not shoot across the room like a paintball, but this may have been due to the temperature of the beer and not the pressure it was under. We poured out three samples and were somewhat taken aback by the cloudy-looking yellow-brown brew. I raised the glass and got an involuntary shiver as the pungent scent of this "beer" came into contact with my nasal passages. We all looked at each other nervously and drank. I can't even begin to quantify the flavour that hit my palate. In a way it was akin to Chimay, but with a vile spiciness running through the flavour profile that attcked your tastebuds like the Blitzkrieg over London. Michelle was the first to comment that "this is the worst one you have brought over yet!" In fact, she went further to state that this was even worse than the god-awful Corporal's Bitter Brown Ale (an assessment that I myself am not in agreement with - in my opinion the Corporal isn't fit for neither human nor animal consumption). Brian had to be talked into taking another drink from his glass, and immediately stated that this was absolutely hideous and tasted like "bio-sack juice from the bottom of the green bin". At least it lived up to its name... As we poured this one into the toilet, we all agreed the horrid taste would definately last until the end of the world.