We’ve enjoyed DON DE DIEU for several years, and when it came to which Unibroue beer was going to be the first we were going to BrewView, our choice was a toss up between Don de Dieu and La Fin du Monde. We chose Don de Dieu, knowing that we would BrewView La Fin du Monde in the future. Read on…
THE HISTORY OF “DON DE DIEU”
Don de Dieu (Gift of God) was the name of the ship that Samuel de Champlain sailed on his mission to “explore and discover the vast and perilous land of America” in the name of the King of France. His travels led to the founding of Quebec City in 1608 (a modification of the Algonquin word “kebec” which means “where the river narrows”). Inspired by this great adventure, Unibroue created Don de Dieu an abbey-style triple wheat ale refermented in the bottle. (Source: Unibroue)
From the very beginning, Unibroue has carved out a special niche in the beer world with top quality products and a brand rooted deep in Quebec culture. It made history by becoming the first North American beer maker to use a brewing method inspired by the two-centuries-old tradition developed by Trappist monks in Europe—particularly in Belgium. Over the years, Unibroue has remained faithful to its origins even as it has grown to become an icon of the brewing world. Unibroue products take you on a journey filled with legends and fabulous tales. (Source: Unibroue)
Unibroue was founded by business partners André Dion and Serge Racine who had acquired 75% of La Brasserie Massawippi Inc. of Lennoxville in 1990. The two purchased the remainder of the shares at the end of 1991 when they transferred their interest in La Brasserie Massawippi Inc. to Unibroue.
By 1992, La Brasserie Massawippi Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Unibroue. Afterward, it changed its corporate name to Brasserie Broubec Inc. and in July 1993 merged with Unibroue. It was bought by Canadian brewer, Sleeman Breweries Ltd., in 2004. Sleeman, in turn, was purchased in 2006 by Sapporo. Unibroue’s beers are distributed globally. (Source: Wikipedia)
Unibroue is among the most highly awarded breweries in North America. Its beers have earned over 240 international medals to date.
UNIBROUE’S MASTER BREWER- JERRY VIETZ
In 2007, Unibroue promoted Jerry Vietz as its brewmaster. Jerry brings a wealth of technical and practical knowledge to the company. He joined the brewery in 2003, and began to work on such projects as R&D and automation. He also holds a certificate in Brewing and Malting from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a Diploma in Brewing (Institute of Brewing & Distilling U.K.).
As Director of the Brewing Department and Brew Master, he has been responsible for all aspects of Unibroue’s brewing department, including among others, process optimization, staff management, planning, maintenance, maintaining and improving quality standards, and ensuring the consistency of the liquid. He has also been in charge of new liquid development since 2007.
Jerry states, “I’m very passionate about fermentation in general. I’m not afraid to mix all kinds of stuff, to try new things. I’ve had the chance to experiment with a wide range of raw materials. I really believe that anything that contains carbohydrates can turn into something very interesting when it goes through the fermentation process, depending on the way you manage it. Each cereal, fruit, or sugar has a different profile and they need to be processed and managed differently in order to get a liquid with the desired characteristics.
I tell people I make “flavorful beers”—that’s the category I brew. For me, the important thing is to express myself through the beer. I brew with passion and I hope that people take as much pleasure to taste my beer as I have to create them!” (Source: Unibroue) To learn even more about Jerry, click here.
BEER STYLE AND COMMERICAL DESCRIPTION FROM UNIBROUE
Style category: Tripel wheat ale
Color: Orange-golden hue
Clarity: Lightly cloudy
Head: White, creamy
Nose: Complex aromas of vanilla and fruitcake, flowers, and honey
Flavor: Smooth, complex flavor that is slightly fruity, malty, nutty, and yeasty, with a hint of unfiltered sake.
Suggested serving temperature: 6ºC –8ºC, best at 10ºC / 43°F – 46°F, best at 50°F
Suggested glass: Tulip & balloon
Gold- 2015 – Chicago Beverage Tasting Institute
Gold – 2011 – Mondial de la Bière (Montréal, Québec, Canada)
Silver – 2011 – World Beer Championship, Chicago Beverage Testing Institute
Gold – 2005 – World Beer Championship, Chicago Beverage Testing Institute
Gold – 2010 – World Beer Championship, Chicago Beverage Testing Institute
Gold – 2001 – World Beer Championship, Chicago Beverage Testing Institute
Silver – 2010 – Denver International Beer Competition
The best American wheat beer – 2010 – The World Beer Awards (Londres, U.K.)
OUR BREWVIEW ON UNIBROUE’S DON DE DIEU
APPEARANCE / THE POUR:
9% ABV. Served at 48°F in the Unibroue tulip-shaped taster glass. Between pale and deep gold in color. It poured and easy 3- finger head that had almost a cotton ball density with large and small bubbles (we ensured this was a “beer clean glass”). 5 minutes after pouring, Don de Dieu still had a 3/4″ head on it, which is remarkable due to the beer’s effervescence level and ABV percentage.
The lacework that the head leaves behind is even sheeted, the meniscus is slow rising, the rim color variation is slightly lighter. When held up to the light, you could see gentle champagne like bubble streams throughout the beer. If you put your ear up to the beer, it has that signature Unibroue sparkle. The clarity was cloudy due to the yeast suspension, as it is (as is with all Unibroue beers), bottle conditioned (beer on “lees.”)
Unibroue is very big on making sure that the yeast in the bottle is distributed throughout the pouring of the beer into the glass. For an illustration of their “pouring ritual”, visit this link.
AROMA / BOUQUET:
The yeast strain really shines through with this beer. Intense aromas of vanilla, buckwheat honey, Marzipan, young peach, apricots, loquat, and notes of lemon. If you breathe in deep, you’ll get the fresh baked “sourdough” bread aromas. Rounding out the bouquet is a very faint white flower aroma. This is another one of Unibroue’s beers whose aromas develop and improve as the beer warms up. Around 20 minutes into drinking time, (and the beer temp being close to 60° F) Don de Dieu expressed very heavy honey notes. Imagine taking a floral honey varietal (Alfalfa, Basswood, Clover), sticking a cup in the microwave for a minute or so, and then taking a whiff right after taking it out! Imagine fresh baked buttermilk buckwheat biscuits, and pouring that microwaved honey over the biscuit… you’ve got it. 🙂
The honey and vanilla flavors are immediately evident upon your first sip. There are notes of poached peaches in candi sugar, golden saltana raisins, with a yeasty, bready wheat backbone. Slight white pepperiness from the spicy phenols.
MOUTHFEEL / PALATE:
Medium bodied, this is one of our favorite styles to drink- very lively, Don de Dieu fills the whole mouth with a champagne-like fizziness. It tickles the tip of the tongue with it’s effervescence. Yet at the same time, it has a certain creaminess / fluffiness to it that coats the middle of your tongue. The finish is a tingly carbonation that lingers at the back of the mouth and throat- inviting you for another sip. The aftertaste is dry hibiscus or lavender honey, and very young apricot. It is perfectly balanced. For a beer being 9% ABV, the drinkability factor is very high, due to the balance of sparkle and silkiness.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
APPETIZERS: Goat cheeses, washed rind cheeses, Salade Liégeoise, Charcuterie platter with sausages and salted ham.
ENTRÈES: Chicken Marsala, Waterzooi, pasta dishes with white sauces. Layered Salmon pie with Don de Dieu, Wild Turkey breast with Cranberries and Don de Dieu, Moules-Frites.
DESSERTS: Poached pears in Belgian candi sugar, vanilla, and DON DE DIEU, pears sabayon, light ice creams, Liege waffles. Caramel Pudding Cake with Don de Dieu, Cinnamon Peach Upside-Down Cake with Don De Dieu.
THIS IS one of the best Tripel wheat beers out there. Very complex and a very sophisticated ale. Not for the uneducated or faint of heart. This is one of those ales that creates good memories.
If you’re looking for a refreshing beer with a potent kick at the same time, the Don de Dieu is an obvious choice. We find this beer to be a perfect guest to your summertime party, but can also accompany you to holiday meals. Its effervescence can help cut the richness of heavier food dishes. Very versatile, it is excellent to cook with.
This is a prime example Master Brewer Jerry Vietz’s signature brewing style. We picked up our bottle at our local Liquor Barn in Redding, California, where they carry a wide range of Unibroue’s beers. Don de Dieu is available year-round due to Unibroue’s excellent worldwide distribution network.
We feel that the aging potential is excellent with this beer- up to 2-5 years, with the fruitiness becoming more intense as it ages. This is a liquid brewed at world class level- our hats off to our good friend Jerry Vietz for brewing a beer that is welcomed all year round. It’s another must have from the line of Unibroue beers, seek this one out for sure… it is most definitely a “Gift of GOD.” Santé mes amis!
Video is in Canadian French
La vidéo est en français canadien