An outstanding example of drinkable complexity
A Review of Maudite by Unibroue
Posted on 11/16/2011 by Chops
Unibroue is a very unique brewery. I can best sum up their approach like so: imagine if a small Canadian car company went over to Ferrari headquarters in Italy and said, ''we can make cars as good, if not better than you.'' And then they did. That is essentially what Unibroue, a brewery based in Qu├ębec, Canada, has done to Belgium breweries. These guys are putting out some seriously competitive brews. There is no Belgian purist that can take a sip of the Maudite Belgian Strong Ale and not recognize its greatness. Canada shmanada, this is one amazing Belgian.

In the glass, Maudite has a deep burnt orange color with a decent haziness and frothy white head. It's light enough to notice some standard yeasty floaters swirling around in the brew. The coloration is somewhat light for the style, but not out of bounds. On the nose, you take in all those wonderful dark Belgian aromas that make these beers so delectable. I immediately noticed a thick bready quality along with spice notes and some dark fruitiness. The alcohol burn is present as expected, but not overwhelming in the least.

The first sip yields you absolutely nothing, but not because there is nothing to be had. Quite the contrary, this is one seriously complex brew, so it takes a few sips to get your flavor bearings. I was able to pick out, in no particular order: caramels, cloves, orange rinds, spiced breads, earthy pines, various peppers and an array of dark fruits. Truth be told, it's not going to do you any good to describe the flavor train because it's probably different for everybody. I would imagine that the next time I have this brew, the flavors will be the same, but the sequence will be totally different. And this of course is why we love Belgians, they always keep your brain busy.

To my own amazement, Maudite remains remarkably balanced despite the flavor complexity. The alcohol burn is quite manageable, the hop bitterness is nicely tame, and the overall mouthfeel is pleasantly clean and even creamy. This beer is an outstanding example of drinkable complexity. It's a beer that can be studied intently without being overrun by strength.

Overall, Unibroue's Maudite is an exquisite Belgian that I can recommend to any level of beer fan. And just as a disclaimer, I must warn novices that this beer packs a flavor explosion, but it's not a harsh one. Go into it with an open mind and enjoy the array of flavors a good Belgian can yield. Belgian purists and newcomers alike will adore this beer, so I definitely advise you get your hands on one.

I was fortunate enough to get my Maudite fix at the 2011 World Beer Festival in Durham, NC. By the time all was said and done, my co-founder and I were on a first name basis with the Unibroue booth. Well worth every trip!

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Maudite by Unibroue
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