À L'abri de la tempête - La Corne de Brume (December 2011)

I've had this in my hoard longer than I expected, I believe I bought this at Dépanneur Peluso during my first visit in April 2013.. that was a very interesting trip, I saw a lot of old friends, ate a lot of poutine and missed my flight back home because I was hungover.

I've enjoyed À l'abri de la tempête out of Les iles de la Madeleine ever since I first tried their beer in Quebec City in 2012.. their beer is absolutely solid, even if they have a Barley Wine that may have traces of herring.

This will not be the oldest review I've ever done as I have a review of a Unibroue beer brewed in 2006 coming in the coming months.. but a review from a beer bottled in December 2011?! That's not something you'll see here every day. À l'abri de la tempête's Corne de Brume is a a Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale that tops out at 9.0% ABV.

From their label: "Brewing using a recipe dating back to the XVIIth century, Corne de Brume is a strong beer, akin to those beverages long aged in oak barrels, which sailors would bring with them on their long voyages on the cold and foggy waters of the North Atlantic. À l'abri de la Tempête invites you to have a taste of the sea and of its Corne de Brume."

Appearance: This beer has been in this bottle for the better part of a decade.. since December of 2011.. that's a long time. This has a bit of a dark near-black stouty appearance to it but it also has a bit of a brown cola hue near the bottom of the glass. The head is light and yellowish beige in appearance, doesn't really go anywhere but since this has been in my hoard for nearly 7 years now, I'm surprised there's ANY head to this beer.

Aroma: I was expecting a severely oxidized aroma from this beer but it only had a slight oxidized aroma to it. Yeah, this beer is old so it has old beer aroma to it but it doesn't smell flat or anything. This beer has a very winter spiced aroma to it with notes of caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg and Christmas music that only plays at retail stores I happen to work at. This is decently spiced with a bit of raisin and syrup to it.

Taste: Definitely reminiscent of a Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale as it has a good deal of caramel malt sweetness that gives off a sweet, syrupy presence in every sip. There's notes of raisins and figs, and notes of Autumn/Winter with light notes of cinnamon and nutmeg.. though nowhere near as present as the aroma. It's decently sweet and definitely boozy, there is some "this is not fresh" presence to the beer but in reality.. it's not like an expired IPA, seeing that this is over seven years old, this is quite sweet and syrupy.

Overall Thoughts: I've had a few beers recently that were over half a decade old and most of them tasted very off - this wasn't perfect either but it was a REALLY good Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale that's been around longer than I've been working. It's sweet, boozy and has notes of autumn/Xmas time.. how time flies... In coming days you'll see me review another À l'abri de la Tempête beer from the hoard, but I seriously feel that this brewery may be one of the most underrated breweries in Canada, absolutely great beer in a very isolated part of Canada!

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