Review: Trou du Diable Le Sang d'encre

Sometimes I don't know why I write about beer.. Sometimes writing on here just feels like the song Utilities by the Weakerthans. Aside from the Quebec beer scene, I never felt like I belonged anywhere. Then.. I remembered.. I started this blog as a way to keep my mind focused during one of the worst periods of my life. AND!! TO TRY NEW BEERS! Whenever I remember trying new beers, I get excited again.. so that's why I continue to write.

The other day I got a mysterious package in the mail, it was a toque and a bunch of beer labels from the folks over at Microbrasserie Le Trou du Diable, one of my favourite breweries! Unfortunately winter was basically over by then, but when winter returns in October, I'll be ready and strutting around town with the awesome toque! The last time a Trou du Diable beer was available here in Brandon was back in November with their La Buteuse tripel, so as you could probably tell.. I was craving for something new (to me) by the brewery. With the Manitoba election taking place, I was hoping that the Shawinigan Handshake would finally make its way into Manitoba.. no such luck but Sang d'encre stout made it into town today!

Sang d'encre loosely translates to "to be worried sick", and Jean Leloup has an awesome song with the same name.

Apparently I've never had Sang d'encre before, but I recall buying this beer a year or two ago.. so I guess one of my asshole roommates drank it on me. I love Trou du Diable's naming of styles on their labels, instead of the beer being "Irish Dry Stout" (which this beer is), it's being called an Epic Stout instead. To me, it's too late in the year for stouts.. but with there being snow every few days, spring may never arrive!

Appearance: Sang d'encre pours a very dark brown stout with a bit of a caramel/nutty brown hue to it. A bit of a light beige/cream head on top that's pretty frothy at first but then settles down leaving some residue on the side of the glassware. Heavy.

Aroma: The first thing that pops in my mind is how lactic this stout is, it reminds me of the milk stouts I've had recently - Charlevoix La Vache Folle and Black Bridge Milk Stout.. quite milky even though it's not a milk stout at all. There's also notes of roasted malt which gives it a bit of a coffee aroma to it and a hint of dark chocolate. Oh and just a hint of wet dog.

Taste: Burnt malt which gives it a bit of a char/smokey taste to it. Notes of dark chocolate, a good deal of coffee and it leaves a bitter metallic aftertaste on the tongue. Somewhat creamy for the mouthfeel.

Overall Thoughts: Quite a roasty stout with a bit of smokiness to it - though the smokiness dies down as it warms up a bit. Somewhat bitter. Not bad but if this came out two months ago rather than now, I'd probably enjoy it more. I want a wheat ale!

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