One of the highlights of the LCBO’s sparse seasonal release for spring 2016 is Lupulus from MicroBrasserie Charlevoix. This hoppy Belgian strong ale is rated among the top Canadian beers and the 10th best beer in its style worldwide. Not too shabby.
I paid a pretty penny to taste this one at Winter Brewfest and was quite impressed, so I gladly purchased a 750ml bottle from the LCBO for $11.80.
This beer is a gorgeous deep and clear yellow. And be sure to pour gently, as it yields a mammoth frothy white head (see photo). It’s well carbonated with lots of bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass and a little effervescent on the tongue.
The nose is really complex, there is barnyard character from the Belgian yeast, melon, citrus, lemon, pineapple as well as some peppery notes from the Saaz hops. It really is something to smell.
The taste doesn’t disappoint either with a mix of fruity esters which give way to a dry lingering bitter finish. This brew is refreshing and very hoppy, but well balanced in my opinion. It’s easy drinking for its heft, but after a glass or two you will understand its potency. The bottle says 10% alcohol but the LCBO has relabelled it as 9%, no doubt after lab testing. Either way you should sip thus one slowly, but that may prove difficult.
Simply put, If you haven’t tried this beer you should. If you like hops and Belgian ales you will love this. Be sure to pick it up while it’s still reasonably fresh. The bottle I bought was born in mid-December. I am sure you could cellar this beer but the hops will fade with time.
Hops are a horrible thing to waste, and with a name like Lupulus, derived from the scientific name for hop (humulus lupulus), the brewer clearly wants you to experience this fresh and at its most hoppy.
I think this ale could be enjoyed anytime, but goes best with mild weather and a hearty meal.
Brewer: MicroBrasserie Charlevoix
Location: Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec
Beer: Dominus Vobiscum Lupulus (Sainte-Reserve)
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Alcohol: 9% or 10% abv, depending on who you ask
Currently at LCBO stores around the province.
Have you tried Lupulus? Does it deserve high praise or is it over-hyped?