Posted by: Scott | May 18, 2010

Don de Dieu | Mini Review

I apologize for my games of deception. The new website has stalled out. In fact, I’ve barely started building it yet. But please, listen to my side. I’m not a total crapbag.

Late last Monday afternoon, just one day after I posted the Under Construction message, my cell phone began dancing across the dresser. I almost didn’t hear it. The call was from the Census Bureau, from a friendly woman offering me temporary employment as an office clerk. I’ve been wheelchair-bound and looking for a job that doesn’t require standing, so I leapt at this opportunity. There was one catch, however: I had to start the next morning.

I’ll spin the full yarn after I’ve quit or been fired. It’s a tale of temp-job terror, and it should explain why I’ve had less time for writing and more time for pondering how some “opportunities,” such as accepting a job with the Census Bureau or lunging for that grilled cheese on the bear trap’s pressure plate, should be left alone. In the meantime, I’m back for a quick mini-review (which is all I have time for with my new 3:30 a.m. work schedule) about the beer that got me through my second day of work. Unibroue’s Don de Dieu, a potent pale ale brewed like a witbier (only stronger), was the only beer in the pack I hadn’t already tried, and it helped me adjust to my new hours by getting me sloshed enough to sleep while the sun was shining. Who knew a Canadian brewery would contribute to the U.S. Census?


My glass fills with a clear, honey-hued ale, which builds a soapy cumulonimbus atop itself. The cloud smells like citrus, spice, candied sugar, dark fruit. It’s a sticky, retentive head, but once you pierce the foam the beer hits your tongue like liquid C4. Flavors of apricots, cloves, and subtle hops dart from one bud to the next like those mountaintop signal fires in that scene everyone loves from the last Lord of the Rings movie, except these flames leap and spread at the speed of sound. Each one sets your taste buds tingling, and they all come together in a pleasantly dry, crisp finish.

I’ve gotten a bit bored with witbiers, but this triple-wit assaults the senses but never loses balance, and I can’t think of anything negative to say about it. Don de Dieu works both as a flavorful experiment and as a light, refreshing session beer. Well, maybe not as a session beer – it is 9%, after all. But the beer never becomes cloying, never tries to mask its alcohol content with oversweetness — in fact it’s a little less sweet than some Unibroue beers, and yet the ABV is almost undetectable. This ale just tastes great. What more can we ask for?

Thursday: With any luck, I’ll be working on the new site. I’ll provide updates like this one here and there until it’s done, but probably not with anything resembling regularity.


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