I found this little bottle of Dieu du Ciel! Derniere Volonte hidden in the back of my fridge when I was cleaning it out the other day. I seriously don’t remember purchasing it, and have no idea how or when it found its way onto the beer shelf of my fridge. All I know is that this particular bottle was bottled all the way over in Montreal in January of 2011. So after around three and a half years of completely accidental ‘cellaring’, it’s finally been cracked open and becomes beer number 167 marked off the epic list.
What’s on the bottle?
My bottle of Derniere Volonte seems to have a different label to the current one – another indication of just how old it is. On mine, there’s a picture what looks like an angel, rising into the heavens, carrying in it’s arms…a severed head?! Wow, that’s kinda creepy, and it may explain the change in label design.
What’s in the bottle?
The initial aroma is ridiculously sweet, like peaches bathing in cherry cordial. This quickly becomes a more malt dominant apricot-and-honey effort, with just a whisper of hops in the background – defs showing an old school pale ale pedigree here. The taste though is a little muted. There’s a citrus tartness, which doesn’t feel like it’s meant to be there, with a slightly dry boozy finish, and remnants of a long-lost bitterness. All of the tasting notes that I read regarding this beer mentioned the intensity of the hop profile, something that I could hardly even detect in my glass. The hops have obviously softened to the point of non-existence in the three and a half years since it was bottled. It’s obvious that something is missing from my bottle – I fear my unintentional cellaring may have been a bad thing.
One of the things I’ve learnt during my beer journey is that it’s best to drink hoppy beers as soon as possible after bottling, because hops and ageing don’t really go together. Unfortunately, I probably hadn’t learnt this handy little factoid at the time that this particular bottle made it to the back of my fridge. While I’m disappointed that I missed the hoppy goodness, and while I still enjoyed the beer, I definitely feel like I’ve missed out on something here. My bad.
Fact from the book…
Derniere Volonte was one of the first four beers that the crew at Dieu du Ciel! decided to bottle as part of their year round offering once they opened their brewery just north of Montreal.