In this edition, I present to you La Fin du Monde, a Belgian-style tripel from Unibroue, a brewery out of Chambly, Quebec, Canada. This golden ale clocks in at about 9% ABV, with a bitterness of less than 20 IBUs. According to Unibroue, the suggested serving temperature is 53-57 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unibroue started in 1990 when founders Andre Dion and Serge Racine became majority shareholders in a failing Quebec brewery called La Brasserie Massawippi. In 1991 they finalized their ownership, and by 1992 they had merged with another small brewery called Unibroue. La Fin du Monde was introduced in 1994. Over the years these two founders had gone on to create history – they were the first brewery in North America to use a 200-year old recipe inspired by Trappist monks in Europe.
La Fin du Monde is arguably their most recognized beer. Its name literally translates to “The End of the World,” and is brewed in honor of European explorers who thought they reached the end of the world upon discovering North America. As the legend goes, these explorers were unprepared for the conditions that awaited them – an unpredictable climate of humid summers and bitter winters mixed with a slew of attacking animals such as bears, wolves and wolverines, as well as infectious insects.
Over the years, La Fin du Monde has received many awards for its bold style. It has taken home the gold medal at the World Beer Cup numerous times, several platinum awards at the Chicago Beverage Testing Institute’s World Beer Championship, and gold medals at the Australian International Beer Awards, among others. Overall, Unibroue has received over 183 international awards. The whole list can be found at their website, unibroue.com.
What I really like about this beer is that the brewery’s website has a plethora of information. For instance, in one of many videos they have posted they mention suggested pairing with certain kinds of cheese or seafood, as well as the fact that it can be left to age for 3-5 years. Even better still, they have a link containing several recipes to try with this particular beer.
Once you get past opening the bottle (which, believe me, it was a task unwrapping the foil over the bottle cap), pouring the beer was a joy. Several people have recommended this beer to me recently and I was anxious to taste it. The head is very generous, settling over a slightly cloudy golden ale. As I watched the bubbles rise I was reminded of champagne a little bit. Then I took a sip. And then another, and another. I had to keep going back for more. Its is very drinkable…and “smooth”…with a taste of honey and citrus blending very well. Even when I was finished I found myself enjoying the lingering aftertaste, a sweet reminder of la Fin du Monde.