With R.E.M’s It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) blaring in my own private stereo, aka my brain, I approach the beer titan that is La Fin Du Monde, a brew with a reputation so mighty that a bottle of this in Australia retails for an eye-watering arm-and-a-leg $11.50 for a single 355ml bottle, when you know that it sells for at least 50% less than that in Quebec. Anyway, the life of an arm-chair jet-setting beer blogger is a pricey one… nonetheless I have it and I’m gonna review it, and there’s nothing I can do to quell the mounting hype inside my head.
Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Hazed pale gold body with a boisterous 2 cm fluffy white head that settles to a thin lace on top. Not bad La Fin Du Monde, or shall we simply call you ‘La Fin’ (laughing) for the rest of the review? Yes? Good. 8/10.
S: Aroma is more Witbier than Tripel with notes of coriander, candi sugar, clove and orange peel, not that I’m complaining, I love a good sharp Wit (I’m thinking of brewing a Witbier and calling it “Shakespeare’s Wit”, too much?). Hints of tartness lurk in the background and give the impression of a nice complex flavour profile. 8/10.
T: The Wit characters give way to that classic Tripel sugar rush, as the pumping beat of Röyksopp’s Compulsion (playing on my actual stereo) drives that glucose-induced high into my bloodstream. It’s not a massive sugar-bomb though, there is a certain restraint to the sugar hit not oft seen even from Belgian brewers. Rounding out the sugar are those coriander/clove notes, pepper, some orange peel, and a mild citric bitterness. Finish is a balance between pepper spice and bitterness, très bien. 9/10.
M: Medium bodied, a tad lighter than expected from 9% ABV but decent enough, with a medium sharp carbonation. 8/10.
D: So the question on everyone’s lips RE: La Fin, are we laughing now? i.e. does La Fin live up to the “World Class” hype? Yes and no, it’s a great brew, no doubt about that, but for the price Belgian brews such as Tripel Karmeliet trump La Fin completely, that is to say – there isn’t enough happening in La Fin to make it that much more worth it compared to TK. If the price were to drop down to TK’s Australian retail price of $6.90 then we would have a competition on our hands. As it is I’m glad I had the chance to try this brew, and I’ll stick to TK for my Tripel fix for now. 9/10.
Food match: Poached Loin of Lamb with Jerusalem Artichoke Puree or Poutine.