Microbrasserie Charlevoix's Dominus Vobiscum Lupulus Sainte-Réserve (SR) 2012

So... Cody, why are you opening up beers that are really old? Well.. BeerCrank.ca reader - I'm a beer hoarder who doesn't know when to open up a beer. I also like to see how a beer changes over a certain period of time.

Today I'm checking out Microbrasserie Charlevoix's Dominus Vobiscum Lupulus Sainte-Réserve, bottled on January 31, 2012, making this just nearly 6 years old. I've had this beer in the fridge the entire time since I purchased it in spring of 2012. Lots has changed in my life since I purchased this beer - I'm still single as always, but I've been gainfully employed for the most part since September of that year. It's crazy how time flies. Actually, I reviewed the 2010 edition of the beer back in 2012, so it wasn't quite fresh even back then.. I guess.

Appearance: This nearly six-year old bottle of beer still has an amazing head to it, it has a thick, frothy white head to it, which is exactly what I remembered from when I first tried this beer. Actually, as I open the bottle, I get a bit of a fizzing and a light amount of beer gushing out of the bottle. Not quite like a Unibroue, but definitely enough to need a paper towel to clean up some spillage. Oh.. this beer also has a heavy, cloudy orange smoothie appearance to it. After nearly six years.. this still looks pretty drinkable.

Aroma: Definitely doesn't give off the freshest hop aromas, but I do get a surprisingly fruity presence of orange peel, pear, banana, and lemon popping up throughout the entire time I'm trying smell this beer. Actually, these aromas are reminding me of many New England IPAs I've had.. but this Belgian IPA pre-dates NE IPAs by a couple years. Light amount of caramel, light amount of earthy hops.. since this has been in my fridge for 5.5 years, it has done better than if it was near sunlight the entire time.

Taste: The very first impression I got was that it was a bit too heavy for my tastebuds.. I gagged, so I gave it a minute or three to try it again. Actually, this beer doesn't taste bad at all for being nearly six years old! The hops are present but it mostly gives off a hint of leafy bitterness and then mostly just gets mushed in the malt, leaving a caramel sweetness to it. This IPA is pretty fruity and surprisingly reminiscent of NE IPAs - there's a huge presence of citrus fruitiness popping up in every sip - pineapple, banana, lemon and others. In 2012, I stated that this beer was Champagney - well, this one definitely loses the carbonation in the mouth feel compared to the 2010 Edition (in 2012), it defintely has a sweet, familiar taste that I could see why I felt that this tasted like many of the Champagne-style beers I was drinking back then.

Overall Thoughts: You know what? I'm pleasantly surprised this beer held up for this long. This was never a bitter-forward IPA so I knew this had a better chance of aging than a bitter, hop forward DIPA, but I honestly thought I was going to write this beer off saying "this is why you don't age IPAs". This is an exception.. Perhaps it's because I had it in the fridge the entire time. I think I have a bottle of this edition of Dominus Vobiscum Lupulus in my warm beer hoard. The aroma definitely has the notes of not-so-freshness, but the taste reminds me of what every brewery is trying to accomplish for IPAs now days. 10% ABV

For my review of the 2010 edition of Microbrasserie Charlevoix's Dominus Vobiscum Lupulus: http://www.beercrank.ca/2012/01/review-microbrasserie-charlevoix.html

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