SOMMELIER ZONE AND THE ART OF TASTING

DISCLAIMER: The Majority of the content of this page is from Unibroue’s website. My thought was to keep the information consistent with Unibroue’s brand message.

SYLVAIN BOUCHARDUNIBROUE’S BEER SOMMELIER, CERTIFIED CICERONE

Unibroue Beer Sommelier Sylvain Bouchard has been with the brewery since 2001. With his thorough understanding of their brewing method and the unique features of each of Unibroue’s products, he shares the secrets of the taster’s art and teaches how to master beer and food pairings. Sylvain believes that truly appreciating a beer requires not only all the senses, but also a willingness to hear what the beer has to say.

Sylvain plays a critical role in Unbroue by training, educating, and sharing his passion with consumers and brewing professionals alike in Québec and also throughout Canada and in the United States.

in 2014, Sylvain used all of his tasting and sensory evaluation skills to become the 2nd Certified Cicerone in Quebec.

Drinking beer should appeal to all the senses. That way we become more in tune with what the beer is telling us.”

– Sylvain Bouchard, Unibroue’s Beer Sommelier & Certifed Cicerone

THE ART OF TASTING UNIBROUE BEERS

There is an art to the brewing methods with Unibroue beers, and there is also an art to tasting these precious liquids as well.

The art of tasting awakens multiple senses, which provides the best experience possible when enjoying the Unibroue beers.

Enjoy yourself and discover the art of tasting so you can truly appreciate the qualities of Unibroue’s distinct beers.

IT ALL STARTS WITH THE PROPER GLASSWARE

Each style of Unibroue glass is carefully chosen to match the specific style of beer. The different shapes uniquely compliment the aromas, effervescence, head foam formation, and flavors of each beer.

FLUTE

Elegant with long lines and narrow curves promoting carbonation control: the bubbles do not escape too quickly. This glass compliments lighter colored beers, which allows light to pass through it easier.

RECOMMENDED UNIBROUE BEERS:

Blanche de Chambly
Blonde de Chambly

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SNIFTER

Arguably the quintessential glass for purposeful tasting beers for the first time due to its balloon shaped bottom to allow for a good amount of liquid, while its narrower curved top concentrates the bouquets emitted.

RECOMMENDED UNIBROUE BEERS:

All – for doing a Cicerone 3 oz. sample

Otherwise, for regular full glass pour:

17 Grande Réserve

Ale gâteau Forêt-Noire

Blonde De L’Enfer

Maudite

La Résolution

Terrible

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TULIP

Originating in Belgium, this shape is excellent for beers with high effervescence and foam retention- two characteristics Unibroue beers are renowned for. Its foot and stem allow for consumption with touching the vessel, preventing the liquid from prematurely heating up.

RECOMMENDED UNIBROUE BEERS:

Don de Dieu

La Fin du Monde

Raftman

Lune de Miel

À Tout le Monde

Saison 13

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GOBLET

Made famous by the Trappist Monks from Belgium, despite its open-mouthed shape, it still provides great head formation and allows the full release of aromas from the high gravity beers that usually are consumed in this shape of glass.

RECOMMENDED UNIBROUE BEERS:

Eau Bénite

Terrible

Trois Pistoles

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IPA

Created in Germany in 2013, it has become the signature glass for enjoying IPA’s. It’s unique shape is ideal for tasting, plus it helps maintain the temperature of the liquid, and facilitates the release of hop aromas.

RECOMMENDED UNIBROUE BEERS:

Ç’est pas La Fin du Monde

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TEKU

Designed in Italy in 2006 with the objective of creating the universal glass for any style of beer. However, it has become synonymous with specialty beer presentation.

Very similar in the way a tulip or snifter shaped glass creates dense head formation, It’s elegant long stem and foot allow for the liquid to keep its temperature, while the beer creates even more complexity in aroma and taste as it slowly warms.

RECOMMENDED UNIBROUE BEERS:

17 Grande Réserve

Ale gâteau Forêt-Noire

Blonde de L’Enfer

Don de Dieu

La Résolution

Terrible

CLICK HERE PUCHASE THIS STYLE OF GLASS

THE UNIBROUE POURING RITUAL

According to Master Brewer Jerry Vietz, he told me that the Unibroue pouring ritual was invented back from the beginning of Unibroue, and is closely related to the nature of the products, and the fact that Unibroue never reuses their yeast and always start with fresh yeast with every new brew. Click here to learn about Unibroue’s Art of Brewing.

The video below is from 2010, but the method that Sylvain Bouchard describes in the video is still used today.

Unibroue’s Pouring Ritual – Presented by Sylvain Bouchard, Unibroue’s Beer Sommelier / Certified Cicerone

SERVING TEMPERATURES OF THE UNIBROUE BEERS

Here’s a list of proper serving temperatures for the different Unibroue beers. Beer temperatures influence affects your sensory perception and affect your experience depending on the style of beer you drink. For the purposes of this page, I will list the recommended serving temperatures from Unibroue and their beers.

UNIBROUE BEERCELSIUSFAHRENHEIT
17 Grande Réserve12°C – 14°C54°F – 57°F
À Tout le Monde4°C – 14°C39°F – 43°F
Ale gâteau Forêt-Noire10°C – 14°C 50°F – 57°F
Blanche de Chambly4°C – 6°C 39°F – 43°F
Blonde de Chambly4°C – 6°C 39°F – 43°F
Blonde de L’Enfer10°C – 12°C50°F – 54°F
Ç’est pas La Fin du Monde8ºC – 10ºC46°F – 50°F
Don de Dieu8ºC – 12ºC 46°F – 54°F
Eau Bénite8ºC – 10ºC46°F – 50°F
La Fin du Monde8ºC – 12ºC46°F – 54°F
La Résolution10°C – 14°C 50°F – 57°F
Lune de Miel8ºC – 10ºC 46°F – 50°F
Maudite12°C – 14°C54°F – 57°F
Raftman6°C – 8°C43°F – 46°F
Saison 134°C – 8°C 39°F – 46°F
Terrible10°C – 14°C50°F – 57°F
Trois Pistoles12°C – 14°C54°F – 57°F

AWAKEN YOUR SENSES WITH THE ART OF TASTING

It’s now time for the best part – tasting the precious Unibroue liquids! The following steps are a simple and effective method that allows you to fully appreciate the moment.

LOOK

Hold your glass by its base. Analyze the following characteristics: color, clarity of the liquid (translucent, hazy, cloudy, opaque); bubbles (quantity, size, consistency); the head (thickness, density, durability).

SMELL

First, smell while paying attention to the dominant scent. Repeat twice while swirling the liquid around the glass while trying to identify the secondary scents. Don’t be shy – there are no wrong answers.

TASTE

Take a small sip and keep it in your mouth. Use your taste buds to try to identify the presence or absence of the basic flavours: sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Swallow and focus on the same flavours. The dominant one is in the aftertaste. And it’s not always bitterness!

SWALLOW AND EXHALE

Take a sip, keep it in your mouth for several seconds, then swallow while exhaling. This is where the aromas appear as well as all the other flavours (a fruit, a herb, an essence, any other substance, etc.).

LISTEN

One characteristic of the Unibroue beers is their effervescence level as a result of their bottle refermentation. You can put your ear close to the liquid and listen to the sparkle from the carbonation. Some Unibroue beers have a higher level of effervescence than others.

Keep in mind the ultimate goal of drinking a beer: PLEASURE. Tasting is simply a different way to attain it and not a goal in and of itself. If you feel it’s too complicated, then to heck with the theory and just drink!

Santé mes amis!
Gordon A. Ponce
CEO – Bières de Chambly.com