By now I have blogged enough about the Dieu du Ciel! feature and seasonal releases coming to the LCBO, but Saturday night was the time to celebrate all these magnificent beers, try some less common offerings and tell the people running Dieu du Ciel! just how much we love their beers. Ten taps were available at bar Volo, featuring all the features and seasonals minus Corne du Diable and Solstice d’Hiver. To make a great night even better, Caplansky’s was on-site and serving up their delicious smoked meat sandwiches.
A nice smoked meat sandwich would be a good pairing with the Sieben Hügel (Ratebeer), an unusual rauchbier. A light peach colour, it was surprising at first to see a rauchbier made from pale malts. Getting past expectations, the aroma was undeniably what one expects from malts dried over a fire – lots of campfire and wood, but with a slight backdrop of butter. Quite the smoky taste, aided by a little bacon flavour. Some biscuity notes come through, but they have a hard time up against the heavy flavours. A dry finish adds some balance, but using the standard darker malts would have toned down the intense smokiness.
The main hoppy offering was the Chaman (Ratebeer), an imperial pale ale. Fairly hazy and copper coloured, it was bursting with citrus and hoppy green goodness, concentrated in a really great way. Two casks were on offer, both Volo/Biergotter collaborations. Tomas from Volo was raving about the Caustic Commencement Saison (Ratebeer) and it seemed rude not to try some, which was a smart move. How good is the CCS? Well it matched the Dieu du Ciel! level of quality, which is pretty high praise in the beer community. I’ve been limited to only tasting a few saisons so I can’t say how it compares, but it was delicious no matter the style. The tropical fruits are really strong – gu
Excellent imperial stouts, in my opinion, are those that balance the roasted malts with lots of bitterness, just like the Grande Noirceur (Ratebeer). No element stands out in the Grande Noirceur, but all parts work together to create an impeccable imperial stout. I have always found the DDC! stouts to be near-perfect when served on tap and this experience only solidified that thought. Thanks again to Ralph and Tomas from Volo for bringing Dieu du Ciel! into Toronto!