BREWVIEW ON UNIBROUE’S ALE 25TH ANNIVERSAIRE / ALE GÂTEAU FORÊT-NOIRE
DECEMBER 23, 2018
On December 22, 2017, I traveled down to the Bay Area in California to pick up a very special shipment from Unibroue. This shipment was in preparation for the upcoming SIP, SAMPLE, AND SUPPORT fundraiser for Camp Hope Shasta on January 20, 2018. Amongst all the different specialties and rare ales sent, was the newly released 25th Anniversary Ale from the brewery. The 25TH ANNIVERSAIRE (BLACK FOREST ALE) was released in the Canadian market first, thus making our first tasting on December 25th, 2017, nearly 10 months before it would be released as Ale Gâteau Forêt-Noire in the US market, as documented in our Instagram post:
We had two of the 25th Anniversaire precious bottles sent to us. Our second bottle tasting was in July 2018, when the pictures of the 25th Anniversaire ale (shown in this BrewView) were taken. In early November 2018, Unibroue sent a bottle of ALE GÂTEAU FORÊT-NOIRE to us, (along with the Teku Sommelier glass) very shortly after it was released in the US. The photos of that version seen in this BrewView, are from November and December 2018.
It was no question that we would wait to publish the BrewView on these two versions as close to Christmas Day as we possibly could. Here’s to you, your family, and all your loved ones- Merry Christmas, and enjoy this BrewView!
BEER STYLE AND COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Style category: Unibroue -Style Strong Dark Ale
25th Anniversaire – Brewed Since 2007 / Ale Gâteau Forêt-Noire – Brewed Since 2018
Origin: Chambly, Quebec
To celebrate our twenty-fifth anniversary, we created a unique sumptuous ale and renewed with our tradition of brewing Unibroue anniversary beers. Our master brewer unleashed his creativity to dream up this special brew, with this idea in mind: “You can’t have an anniversary without a cake”.
This anniversary brew offers roasted malt aromas, dark chocolate flavors (from the use of organic cocoa nibs) and delicate fruity accents that lead to a slightly tart finish. Our liquid “Black Forest Cake” is bound to offer a tasting experience made up of pure delight. Let’s toast to this celebration.
Ale Gâteau Forêt-Noire is a seasonal anniversary ale available for a limited time. It is brewed with spices, tart cherry juice and with natural flavor added.
Fermentation – HIGH
Color – BLACK WITH REDDISH HINTS
SRM – 35
Clarity – LOW
Head – PERSISTENT AND THICK
Bubbles – FINE
Effervescence – MEDIUM
IBU – 20
Body – MEDIUM
Aftertaste – MEDIUM
Version 25th Anniversaire – RELEASED IN CANADA NOVEMBER 2017
Version Ale Gâteau Forêt-Noire – RELEASED IN USA OCTOBER 2018
OUR BREWVIEW ON UNIBROUE’S 25th anniversaire / ALE GÂTEAU FORÊT-NOIRE
APPEARANCE / THE POUR: ALE GÂTEAU FORÊT-NOIRE: We served it at 50° F in the signature Unibroue Teku Sommelier glass.
The pour gave an easy 3-finger height head which was very light tan colored, creamy, large and small bubbles, and super dense. We did ensure the glass was “beer clean”.
The Brussels lacework the head left behind once it collapsed- it took (we timed it) 9 minutes to collapse to an 1/8″ height. It was thick and patchy on the sides of the glass. We do recall the same for the 25th Anniversaire version back in December 2017, and again in July 2018.
The color of the beer is very dark brown, with deep burgundy hues when shown in the right light. The meniscus is medium to slow rising.
During consumption, (as with previous Unibroue BrewViews) it held that 1/8″ height until the bottom of the glass. This is consistent of the Unibroue products.
TASTE: The aromas definitely carry over into the taste, along with well balanced notes of bittering hops and tartness from the cherry juices added.
MOUTHFEEL / PALATE:
Upon first sip, there is a mixture of sensations in the mouth- creamy from the malt and yeast, but also slightly acidic at the same time. The finish is pleasant, and has that “Cherry Cordial” finish. Very complex ale.
Tart Cherry Glazed Spicy Meatballs, Butternut Squash Goat Cheese Dip with Tart Cherry Compote, Cherry Goat Cheese Bites, Baked Tart Cherry Cream Cheese Wontons.
Meat loaf, Cocoa-based Mexican dishes (mole), Kale Quinoa Montmorency Tart Cherry Salad with Salmon, Grilled Lamb Chops with Tart Cherry Sauce, Open Faced Tart Cherry Prosciutto Sandwich, Tart Cherry Glazed Salmon, Crockpot Cherry Balsamic Glazed Pork.
It goes without saying, the first dessert to pair this ale with is the highest quality Black Forest Cake you can find! Other suggestions would be: Montmorency Tart Cherry Funnel Cake Sundaes, Cherry and Chocolate Cheesecake, Tart Cherry Amaretto Pie, Tart Cherry Chocolate Galette, and last but not least, high quality Cherry Cordials!
As I mentioned in my first tasting 364 days ago, this beer is a close to tasting a liquid Cherry Cordial as it gets! We were honored 3 times by Unibroue to taste this magnificent liquid.
Even though it is not marketed as an ale for the year-end holidays, the flavors certainly lend themselves to a great pairing at your next holiday meal gathering. Available on retail shelves now, get as much of this one while you can in it’s limited release. Another future medal winner from Unibroue!
Huge thanks go out to the following individuals for making this BrewView possible:
Andrew Murphy of Unibroue in Portland Oregon, Al Spina, and always, Unibroue’s Master Brewer Jerry Vietz, for brewing a liquid dessert that will please all those cherries and chocolate fans!
BrewView author GORDON A. PONCE is the main driving force behind Belgian Beer Journal.com. Since 1983, Gordon recognized that beers from Belgium were special, set apart from the typical craft beer.
He views beers from Belgium (plus Belgian-style and Belgian Inspired beers from other countries) great examples of the brewer’s art. Gordon and his wife live in beautiful Northern California- a great place to enjoy beer! Ecclesiastes 8:15