Good evening, my friends! I bid you welcome. I hope everyone heard that in Bela Lugosi’s voice. If not, that’s alright, I’ve got a mighty tasty beer coming up for you. Starting off the 13 Beers of Halloween is Unibroue’s Maudite, with a name and label perfectly capturing the spirit of Halloween. Why is that, you ask? Well, Maudite is from Quebec, and means “the Damned” in French. The story behind the name is that back in the day, a group of French traders became lost in the Canadian wilderness. In order to get home, they made a deal with Satan, who turned the traders’ canoe into a bitching flying canoe, which carried them to safety. At the price of their souls, of course. If this beer is half as epic as that story, it should earn nothing less than an A. But, there’s only one way to find out. Everyone go put on their Jason masks and French Furrier raccoon caps, and let’s go drink. [Creepy Organ Music].
Starting out in a massive bomber bottle, complete with cork and cage, this beer feels ominous even before I’ve started. I like that. The initial smell is a fresh bloom of pie cherries that immediately transitions into a spiced wit beer cloud. In the middle are fresh grass clippings, mingling with those spice drop candies that wit style beers love to accentuate. At the back end of the initial aroma is a sweet brown sugar glaze that ends the profile on a crisp sweetness. The second and third smells reveal some sweet and bready malts underneath everything else. It’s crazy how many layers there are just in the initial smell. I’m beginning to think that this beer sold its soul to the devil, in order to achieve such tastiness. It’s not that far fetched. Greatness isn’t easy. Some sacrifices must be made, right…
The first taste from the bottle reveals just how complex this beer is about flavor. Cherries and spice drops begin immediately, followed by that unmistakable spice of wit beer. Bready malts chill out underneath, pushing the flavors upward. Bursts of sweet citrus show up every now and then, complimenting the variety of spices. All the while, a sweetness flows throughout each taste, dragging you deeper and deeper into the dark heart of this beer. Below all of the flavors is a lurking alcoholic kick, watching you from the shadows with an evil smirk on its face. It know’s it has you. It’s only a matter of time before you realize it as well. Remember, evil is infinitely patient…
There is so much going on with this beer, I need to start a second paragraph to finish up the bottle taste. There are two ways to drink this. The first is to drink fast, taking big mouthfuls of beer. This will emphasize the base level ingredients, like the spicy wit beer and the bready malts. Drinking this way is delicious, and totally viable, but by doing so, you’re sacrificing more than your eternal salvation. You’re also missing out on about 37 other flavors that are found within. By going slow, you’ll unlock an entirely new realm of taste. Sweet fruit peels, bubble gum, and holiday spices dominate here, appearing on the tongue slowly, after the initial spiced wheat and malts have come and retreated. Apples make up the major flavor of this nether realm of flavors, a mild fall-like freshness that appears and disappears at random. It’s fantastic. The aftertaste is a nice combination of apple peels and pears, settled atop a base of lingering malts. It lasts forever, with blooms of fruit showing up randomly. It’s a delightful flavor that most mortals can’t possibly comprehend.
Poured into a snifter, the initial aroma is a new burst of scents, just as complex as the bottle smell, but offering some new sacrifices to the Dark Lord of Craft Beer. Lemon juice and fresh apples bloom upward immediately, closely followed by the spice drop wit beer that dominates in every aspect of the beer. Banana’s mingle in from the sides, while a base of sweet bread malts provide the perfect stage on which these aromas are presented. The color is a deep, dark combination of blood-red and burnt amber, pouring opaque and slightly cloudy from some disturbed yeast that resides at the bottom of the bottle. The head is tall and white that bubbles away fairly quickly until it becomes a thin white line.
The poured taste is the same as the bottle, but now it’s fully under the control of the Devil himself. Spiced wit beer pushes up from a matly base to create a mouth-dominating flavor. Cherries, apples, pears and bananas bring fruity sweetness into the mix, constantly swirling and growing in flavor before retreating back into the shadows. The spices, fruits, and malts mingle nonstop, forming a flavor profile that can and probably will be different from one drink to the next. And, each drink is just as delicious as the one before. The feel is wonderfully creamy, and masks the potent alcohol perfectly. The aftertaste is spices and fruit, mixing with sweet malts that stretch the flavors to infernal lengths.
This is one of the tastier beers I’ve ever had the privilege to enjoy. I don’t know if that statement has anything to do with the total control that the Dark Lord now has over my soul, or just the pure perfection that exists within that bottle. Either way, the combination of ingredients in both the aroma and taste are magnificent. Spices, fruits, and malts join up to form an army of mouth and soul dominating awesomeness. The flavors pour super smooth over the tongue, masking a mouth-tingling alcoholic potency. Each taste reveals more and more flavors, like peering into a dark abyss of deliciousness. The aftertaste is a perfect combination of sweet fruits and spiced malts, continuing the flavors well after you’ve stopped drinking. It looks potent and powerful, and when I poured it, the foam swirled into the head of a demonic goat-wolf..thing, confirming my darkest fears: Evil is here, and my soul is no longer my own. The only negative I can manage to summon is a knock against the price, but really, if someone is willing to sell their soul, what’s a few dollars extra in order to taste liquid bliss, courtesy of Lucifer himself. Drink this slowly, and let every flavor burst forth and consume your mouth and soul. Trust me, you’ll love it.
The best day to drink this is on a fall day, with a bowl of hearty beef stew in front of you. Also, if you happen to find yourself lost in the woods with five of your closet friends and one awesome canoe, be sure to have a bottle or 12 on hand. Finally, my horror movie suggestion is a demonic or satanic possession flick, complimenting the pending sale of your life. But really, by the time you finish this beer, you’ll be too busy running errands for your new dark master to watch movies any more. Unibroue’s Maudite earns a soul-damning A+. See you in Hell, everyone.
Lasting Strength: 10/10
Overall: 9.8/10 A+