Beer: Péché Mortel
Brewery: Brasserie Dieu du Ciel (Montreal, QC)
Style: Stout – Imperial/Double Coffee
9.5% ABV / 76 IBU
Hands down, this is one of the best coffee stouts you will ever taste. Péché Mortel (“Mortal Sin”) is like the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge – everything that you have experienced before this will cease to be significant, and everything that you sample after may pale in comparison. From its elegant nose to its mouthfeel and overall drinkability, Péché Mortel offers ample evidence to support its inclusion in the pantheon of the World’s greatest beers.
First brewed in 2001, Péché Mortel is the keystone of Braserie Dieu du Ciel’s line-up. Over the last two decades, the Montreal brewpub has turned out infinite variants of the imperial stout, aging it in different types of barrels and/or adding additional elements (cocoa, cassis/currants, strawberries) to the stout base. But the O.G. formulation of Péché Mortel is where it’s at, because you can experience the dramatic push/pull between the robust roast-y notes of the malt and the equally bold bitterness of the hops. And with this beer, the addition of coffee accentuates both sides.
Péché Mortel is an exemplar of the imperial stout style, and due to the relative high gravity and aggressive hopping, it stands up particularly well to aging. The bottle I sampled was about a year old and poured with minimal carbonation and no sediment. The single digit ABV is worth noting here, too. Similar beers of this style – like Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout and Epic Brewing Company’s Baptist series – typically clock in at about 12% ABV. We’ve grown accustomed to the idea of an imperial stout having an alcohol burn, but the finish with Péché Mortel is easy like Sunday morning.
For more info, check out Brasserie Dieu du Ciel here.