Happy Halloween my friends! We’ve reached the end of our terrifying journey. Over these past two weeks, we’ve suffered goblin attacks, child-eating witches, tasty pumpkin beers, and even a werewolf. And though our Halloween fun has arrived at its final destination, there’s really only one to go out – Daily Beard Style. What does that mean? Nothing less than the end of the world. Literally, tonight’s beer is Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde, French for “the end of the world”. If you recall, Unibroue also started us off with the Devil’s Flying Canoe, also known as Maudite. Who doesn’t love a story that comes full circle? Now, I know you’re all ready for some costumed debauchery and candy thieving, but come along with me one last time this Halloween season as we face the end in the most awesome way possibly – drinking a beer.
Freed from its corked in prison, the aroma starts us off with hints of apple, bubblegum and straw, exploding into a base of full, sweet, bready malts like a cataclysmic ingredient meteor crashing into a city made entirely of malts (what an awesome mental image). Notes of black licorice, plums and cherries arrive next, complimenting the apple and bread malt sweetness, and adding even more layered complexity to the mix. After time, the aroma subdues a bit, like the calm before a non George Clooney perfect storm. Each breath ends with a lingering apple freshness that leaves your mouth watering even though you know the end is nigh.
The first flavors are just as huge. A delicious cacophony of spicy malts and sweet fruits burst against the tongue. Cherry, apple, and grape notes flow down a river of lemon juice, bringing a tart sweetness that supports from the bottom of each taste. Hints of nutmeg and a faint dash of allspice create a bubblegum bloom of spice that drapes across the malts. It’s basically like a grown up version of LEGOs, except instead of using those little bricks that kill your feet when you step on them, it’s different beer flavors, and you build by drinking. Ok, nothing at all like LEGOs. The malts themselves are sweet and bready, staying super fresh and bright despite a huge, mouth filling flavor. The back end consists of spiced bananas and a few apple peels scattered amongst even more malts. There’s a sweet alcoholic wave under everything, masked and barely noticeable for the most part, allowing only a wonderful warmth to shine through. It rolls crisp and bubbly over the tongue, finishing with a tangy smoothness the clings to every inch of the mouth. The aftertaste is a big base of bread malts, layered with apples and spices that stretches out the drinking process long enough to see the last dying ember of the world, bravely flickering on in the face of nothingness.
Poured out into a snifter, a big bloom of spicy malts and lemon juices starts almost immediately. Apple peel shows up next, bringing in some fresh sweetness. Straw and bubblegum return as well, contributing hints of earth and spice as the complexity continues to skyrocket. There is so much going on within this beer, and every ingredient is not only working at full capacity, but doing so in absolute perfection. It’s a super fresh, bright and spicy bouquet that screams “drink me!” before force gripping your face and demanding you comply. Visually, it pours a hazy, glowing pumpkin, with an initially fluffy white head that bubbles away within a few minutes.
The post-pour taste begins with big bread malts, forming a perfect backbone that supports the same spices from before, now steeped in apple peels and lemon juice. Plums and cherries dive in next, lending some tart fruity sweetness to the mild earth of the malts and apples. The back end is once again rich in bananas and spices, with a healthy serving of apple sauce for good measure. It begins crisp and bubbly before it condenses into a rich finale, clinging for dear life and hugging the tongue as malts, spices, apples and bananas. Another added bonus is its slow building strength. Like a tsunami born from the deepest ocean trench, it seem a calm and gentle beer until its alcoholic potency suddenly envelopes you. It’s almost masked too well, sneaking up as a growing warmth and slow mouth tingle. Needless to say, go slow with this. You wouldn’t want to rush the end of the world, so take your time, enjoy, and stretch out each of the billion different flavors to their absolute limit.
This is basically perfection in a bottle. It somehow manages to balance huge, eternally lasting flavors with controlled taste and wonderful cohesion from drink to drink. Nothing overpowers or hides itself away, creating a robust, mouth dominating flavor bomb. The aroma is just as full, like a cloud of sky darkening potency every time your nose enters a 12 mile radius of this beer. Bread malts, lemon juice, apples, cherries, plums, grapes, and bubblegum spices are just some of the flavors you’ll find within. That’s right – be prepared for each taste to show up a bit different from the one before. Additionally, with its crisp, bubbly beginning and its smooth, rich end, each drink will be undoubtedly refreshing and drinkable. Consider yourself warned – the huge 9% ABV is almost completely masked from start to finish, and you wont realize the monster that lurks beneath until your tongue begins to fall asleep. Go for the big bottle version and take your time with it. Sure, it’ll set you back $8 or $9, but what’s money really worth after the world has ended?
My recommendations for drinking this are whenever and wherever you’d like. It’s refreshing for the summer, and it’ll keep you warm in the winter. My horror genre? Apocalyptic/ post apocalyptic/ whatever sounds awesome after you’ve gotten through half a bottle. It’s the end of the world, go out with a bang. Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde earns The Daily Beard’s first 10/10 A+. Happy Halloween everyone! Have fun, be safe, and stop back tomorrow for more tasty, presumably non Halloween related fun.
Lasting Strength: 10/10
Overall: 10/10 A+