Review: Trou du Diable's La Grivoise de Noël

Tonight I was planning on doing a long review about Trou du Diable's Shawinigan Handshake as the election campaign is in full swing and I wanted to have a bit of fun on the blog for once. Unfortunately, one of my jackass roommates (or one of their sketchy friends) stole my second bottle of Shawinigan Handshake, so I won't be politicking and drinking political beer at the same time tonight.. hrmph...

I did find a bottle of La Grivoise de Noël, another Trou du Diable in the door my fridge purchased a few months back at Dépanneur Peluso in Montreal. So I'm going to be checking that beer out instead!

La Grivoise de Noël is a Belgian-style dark ale with a winter spiced and dark fruity notes. Complex but warm finish. Perfect for winter time. 7.5% ABV/600mL bottle

The label is a bit provocative

Appearance: La Grivoise pours a ruby red dark ale with a hint of purple to it. It's incredibly foamy at the beginning as it foamed up immediately as I opened up the bottle. Disappears into big beige bubbles. Mildly carbonated afterwards. You can see a bit of light through it, but it's not clear in any sense.

Aroma: Spices and fruits dominate the aroma. I get notes of cherries, a bit of nutmeg, freshly stopped candle (notes of wick smoke and wax - quite a wintery smell to me). A bit of a peppery spice and decently herbal. Oh and cinnamon too!

Taste: Immediately tart on the palate the second it hits the tongue.. damn, it's almost like a Belgian sour, but then my palate realizes that this isn't a sour after all. I'm still getting rich flavours of cherries, cinnamon, nutmeg, hint of earthiness and even more notes of dark fruits. Has a bit of a Belgian Dubbel yeast in the background, as well as light herbal and spice notes to it.

Overall Thoughts: Outstanding! It's not winter yet on the prairies (thank goodness) but I'd absolutely LOVE this when November snowfall hits. Not as heavy as the standard wintertime beers as it's more of a sweet, tart and dark beer that really gives off notes of family gatherings and candles. Yep, candles, especially the ones that smell like apple pie.

PS if anyone could get me a Trou du Diable toque like what Mathieu at Le Shack à Boisson has, I'd be happy!

Edit: La Grivoise just won the gold medal at World Beer Awards for Canada's Best Strong Dark Beer!

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