Hoppy Halloween! The featured painting for the haunting occasion is Maudite Belgian Strong Dark Ale, or “the Damned” by Unibroue. The beer was named after a story about eight lumberjacks slaving away far from their home village during winter months longing to be back at their home village for the winter celebration. Their wish was granted by Beezlebub himself. All eight pledged their souls in order for the Devil to enchant their canoe to make it able to fly. Of course, there were a couple stipulations. One, they must leave the party after one night before dawn and return to their work in the morning. Two, they must not make the sign of the cross, or use the Lord’s name in defiance to the Devil. Legend has it that they made it home and partied all night at a wickedly sinful party, and all became very intoxicated. On the return flight the lead paddler was so drunken they were swaying all over the sky. A woodsman in the back of the boat was so frightened he made the symbol of the cross and the canoe instantly crashed. There were no survivors. At least these rough fellas had one good night of carousing before eternal damnation.
This beer is a Belgian-style strong dark ale with flavors of spicy yeast, coriander, cloves and a nice hop finish. A strong ale, but not too strong at 8%. This one won’t immediately make you find a place to snooze, like barleywine might, however if you were to drink it all night you might crash your flying canoe. My personal favorite thing about this beer is not only the label, but also the pop of the champagne cork. Hopefully, not a signal to bring out the devil, but a signal that the party has begun. I think this is a perfect Halloween treat, a beer that inspires the right kind of mood on this un-holiest of holidays.
Cheers to Unibroue for putting out such special brews! The Maudite is a perfect Halloween warmer for after taking the kids trick-or-treating. Drink it while they are counting their loot and drinking hot chocolate.