Saturday, January 22, 2011

L'Abri de la Tempete Corps Mort

Located in an old fish processing plant on the Isles de Madeline, there is a craft brewer called L'Abri de la Tempete or "Shelter from the Storm."  The brewer's location, on an archipelago in the middle of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, provides the brewery with, not only character, but also the ability to make some very interesting and unique beers.  One such beer is "Corps Mort," or the "Dead Man."

The "Corps Mort" is a "salty" barleywine that, according to the brewer, is inspired by a rocky outcrop near the brewery.  Not only is the beer inspired by the locale, it is brewed using local ingredients, including smoked grains that are used by Le Fumoir d'Antan, a local smokehouse on the Isles de Madeline, that specializes in smoking herring and mackerel.

The Corps Mort pours a reddish color with a good layer of foam.  The aromatic elements of the beer suggest caramel, molasses or brown sugar.  The sweetness of the beer's aroma deceives the drinker, because the taste of the beer is anything but sweet.  Instead, the beer is intensely smoky.  What may seem like molasses to the nose, tastes like chipotle or ancho pepper to the tongue.  The smoke flavors comes from the grains that, as noted above, were used in the smoking of the herring.  (It is also the reason why the beer comes with the warning that there may be traces of smoked herring in the beer!)  As the beer warms, the smoky flavors become smoother.

The Corps Mort is also very dry, leading the drinker to sip it more like scotch than a beer.  This is a good thing, because the beer should be enjoyed slowly.  There is no reason to drink it fast.  First, the ABV is 11%, so it packs a punch.  Second, it is an excellent beer that should be savored.

This beer is available at Gilly's in Rockville, Maryland and other beer stores that sell a lot of craft beers.  The Corps Mort sells for more than $10.00 for a twelve ounce bottle.


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