The first incarnation of Ce n’est pas La Fin du Monde that Master Brewer Jerry Vietz of Unibroue sent to me back in April 12, 2019 was a very interesting version. I always share my viewpoints on the special beers he sends me in a text with pictures. I jokingly asked him in my text to him, “If it’s not La fin du Monde, then what is it?” (I had an idea the base beer was La fin du Monde).
Master Brewer Jerry Vietz’s story of how this delicious nectar came to be: “I brewed this special cuvée in May 2012 in preparation for the end of the world that would occur on December 12, 2012 based on the Mayan calendar. I secured a small volume of La fin du Monde that I aged in the French Oak that was used previously in the very first batch of 17 Grande Réserve Millesime 2011. I also experimented with different types of honey and I added spices and hops to compliment that beautiful complexity. After all the mad science I threw into this liquid, nobody was able to guess that the base liquid was La fin du Monde. Also, all year (2012) I took this beer with me to different events everywhere in North America and was telling people that the end of the world was coming on December 21st. I let quite a few fans go back home with a bottle and asked them to open it on the night of December 21st. Therefore it it would really be the end the world, at least they would have of the opportunity to finish their days enjoying a beautiful liquid gold especially for that occasion. This special brew (my personal initiative) along with the marketing incentive put in place to celebrate the end of the world created a big buzz in the Unibroue universe. I still have feedback from our consumers to this day.”
Well, thankfully December 12, 2012 was NOT the end of the world! Now, Unibroue makes Ce n’est pas La Fin du Monde as part of their regular “Classics” portfolio, and is available year round. I’ll offer my BrewView on the 2021 version here.
STYLE: Unibroue-style Tripel / IPA. 9.5% ABV.
APPEARANCE: Light caramel color, no rim color variation, meniscus- slow rising. Pillowy, cotton ball dese head, thick spider web dense lacework.
AROMA: Classic Unibroue bready yeast, vanilla, honey, sweet malt, spices, passionfruit. The 4 four hop varieties (Galaxy, Willamette, Cascade and Simcoe) harmonized very well.
FLAVOR: The classic flavors of La Fin du Monde come through (apricot, peach stone, sweet grains) mingle with the quad hop bitterness. This is very well balanced.
MOUTHFEEL: Effervescence level is moderate, the hop bitterness does linger as IPA’s do.
IMPRESSION: I was blown away with the complexity of this New Word fusion Tripel / IPA. Despite it’s 9.5% ABV, I find it to be a very sessionable beer because of how very well balanced it is. It’s not a hop or juice bomb; it’s just a world class IPA. Very, very impressed with this one. Regularly available, and because of it being a bottle refermented beer, it has the lees (yeast) in the bottle to allow for aging, something that most other IPA’s do not really allow.
Santé mes amis!
Gordon A. Ponce
CEO – Bières de Chambly.com