Well I decided to extend my Beer of the Month Club membership for another two months. I changed my subscription to the international only plan. For June they shipped me this and Dieu de Ciel - Rosée d'Hibiscus. Both beers were interesting and just awesome for very different reasons. However, I think I made a mistake by only getting the international plan because I receive two beers a month in the 12-pack as opposed to four with the domestic-international plan that I had before. There were two domestic beers I would have liked to tried that were offered this month.
Back to the beer, I give this brewer a lot of marketing credit because the label design for the bottles are just awesome. Even better is the quality of the product. This and Dieu de Ciel - Rosée d'Hibiscus are really fine quality beers. This brewer was much like Canada's other micro, Unibroue (Unibroue - La Fin Du Monde Ale and Unibroue - Chambly Noire) in producing high quality products.
Route des Épices is a rye beer and you can taste it along with black pepper.
This poured a rich brown amber with a nice beige head.
The aroma was floral and smelled like fresh cracked black pepper and rye bread right out of the oven. When the beer warmed caramel notes developed.
The flavor was all about the pepper and the rye. The pepper even added a nice amount of spiced heat to the experience that does lingers. This reminded me of the Crazy Ed's Cave Creek Chili Beer as they both were imparted a good amount of "heat".
Initially the rye seeds and black pepper corns sat on top of the base. As the beer warmed the caramel developed rounding out the pepper and rye notes. Served cold right out of the fridge, the caramel is lost in the pepper. There were some light smoked wood notes from the pepper along with some coriander and clove like notes.
The body was medium to light with a medium amount of carbonation.
The first one I drank without food and the whole time I kept thinking this needs a steak. Route des Épices was the beer equivalent of Steak Au Poivre. I eventually did have one of these with nice BBQed ribeye and wow - a perfect combination. The caramel malts were stronger, the pepper subdued a bit and the beer really brought out the sugars in the meat.
Personally I would recommend drinking this beer after it warmed a little and had a chance to breathe as the flavors need to develop. Served warmer a deeper character is apparent. I really hope to find other beers from the brewer, as they are a class act.