Le Trou du Diable La Grivoise de Noël – Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Le Trou du Diable La Grivoise de Noël Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 7.5% ABV ($7.50 from Sherbrooke Liquor, 600ml, bottle date 7-Nov-2014)

Pours clear deep amber with one finger of dense light tan head, good retention, minimal lacing. (4/5) Nose is toffee caramel, dark fruit, cinnamon and other spices, herbal leafy hops in the background. (7/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, moderate bitter, mild spice. (7/10) Medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, and a slightly sticky, mildly spicy and bitter finish. (3/5)

“The Ribaldry of Christmas,” huh? Guess that explains the nekkid ladies on the label. The spices tend to dominate, making it a fairly standard winter warmer, albeit with a bit of Belgian character and a well-integrated ABV that emerges only as a gentle warming as the bottle progresses. The smoked peppers start to become apparent after a while as well, adding to the “warmer” characteristic. A bit sweet, but I guess that’s to be expected for the style. Decent enough, if a touch pricey. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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