An article by Noah Forrest
Dieu du Ciel! has had one hell of a year, and I for one know this because lately I’ve written a stupid number of articles about them. I just can’t help myself! They keep releasing new beer after new beer, and I’m having a hard time keeping up! They’ve had two huge bottle release parties, showcasing a slew of barrel aged wild ales alongside big luscious offerings, and then it feels like every month a new beer has dropped. It’s pretty fantastic. So, as usual, I want to tell you about their latest creation, called Genèse. It’s a Belgian Trappiste inspired Tripel, made with apricots. It’s Dieu du Ciel!’s “Momentum” for the month of September, and it should be arriving on shelves next week.
Fruited beer is becoming more and more common place these days. Traditionally, the fruit seemed to be the star of the show, often at the forefront of the flavour profile. However, more and more we are seeing fruit used as accents, wielded in such a way as to enhance and compliment the existing flavour profile with subtle and nuanced notes that lend character and not dominance. Both approaches yeild delicious results when done right. And when done wrong? Well, you can certainly end up with a cloying mess, or a slew of off flavours.
Trappiste inspired ales aren’t traditionally fruited, however, every single beer style is being messed with at this point, so it seems to be fair game. Sometimes this means clever or brilliant flavour innovations, but sometimes it means breweries want to create the next gimmicky thing that ultimately ends up being a sad failure. I have the utmost faith in Dieu du Ciel!, so I expect Genèse to be great, if not fantastic.
Although Tripels are not traditionally fruited, the yeast produces aromatic compounds called esters that lend beautifully fruity accents to the aroma and general flavour profile. You often get notes of stone fruits, citrus, and pears, that dance alongside the spicy clove and peppery forward phenolics. Adding real apricots to this mix should compliment all these components quite nicely. I guess we will just have to see how prominent the fruit will be in this one. So let’s try it!
Genèse pours out a beautiful bright and foggy orange colour with some yellowish highlights. The nose bursts forwards with soft Belgian yeast phenols that provide some herbal aromatics. This blends beautifully with a bit of light apricot, pear-like esters, and some floral hops. The aromas are truly a fruity delight, with each piece adding a new layer that balances with the other – none fully dominating.
Wow, this is a truly original creation. It’s robust and round, punching the palate with a fruit forward explosion. Yet, it somehow remains delicate, soft and approachable. The flavour profile matches the nose perfectly, throwing apricots, peaches, plums and pretty much all kinds stone fruits at my palate; very juicy. The beer also carries a nice, seemingly dry-hopped presence that further lends fruity character, tossing in more tropical offerings to this fruit punch. The phenols are there, with a light spicey backdrop that nicely complicates the overall profile, adding light clove, coriander, and some drying tannins.
The 9% is well hidden and integrates perfectly with everything. The finish carries a nice long bitterness alongside some tangy apricot and ample tannic dryness. Any sweetness is masked by the phenols and hop bitterness, making it beautifully dry and highly drinkable.
The apricots are very much present and noticeable, to the point where you can pick out the specific fruit. It somewhat reminders me of those “Nectar” drinks I had as a kid. However, instead of dominating, the fruit simply functions with the beer as a whole. This is certainly a very modern take on an abbey Tripel, with a more subtle phenolic presence, and well, apricots.
I’ve said this before, if you don’t like fruit in your beer, that’s fine, but I hope you’ve actually tried a range of offerings, and not just relied on that Bud Light Apple you had last week. Yes, adding fruit to beer was contrived by big beer corporations as a sad attempt to pander to non-beer drinkers. And yes, the”fruit” in those “beers” is God-awfully disgusting. However, real fruited beer has existed for centuries, lending amazing character to the overall flavour profile. And in our current, more modern craft-beer landscape, fruit is being wielded in all kinds of amazing directions; one of which being Genèse, and I highly recommend it.
An article by Noah Forrest
photography by Noah Forrest