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Hidden Gems: trois pistoles

May 5, 2010

Even the label is awesome.

Though it is difficult to choose a favorite among Unibroue’s exceptional line of craft beers, this dark ale stands out from the crowd for the way in which it bridges the gap between beer and fine wine, yet remains unmistakably an ale. Brewed in Chambly, Quebec in Canada, “trois pistoles” clocks in at 9% alcohol by volume, but has a rich, fruity smoothness that nicely masks the bite of the relatively high alcohol content. With its very dark color and subtle hints of fruit (fig and plum come to mind), this ale pairs perfectly with food, and as it says on the label can almost be compared to an old port wine.

The main reason for the complexity and strength of this ale has to do with the yeast sediment that is added to the brew, which provides for additional fermentation after bottling. The yeast adds considerably to the flavor, helping it to retain those qualities that make it undeniably a beer, while at the same time allowing it to age well, almost like a red wine.

This dark ale is recommended for people who have an appreciation of wine, but are interested in seeing what the craft beer world has to offer. This brew is complex, smooth, and approachable without being too heavy, and is a shining example of just how versatile and unique craft beer can be.

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