Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Beer >
Sep 6, 2006 12:19 AM

the best beer I've ever had

It rolled over my tongue in a sudden rainbow of flavors, like i Was being led on a slow motion color wheel across the globe. So far beyond my past experiences with beer that I knew it instantly: this was the best beer of my life. Place: Baie St. Paul, about 1.5 -2 hours north of Quebec City.
I had the amber first, and then the blanche. both remarkably wild and rich.
I took two bottles home with me to Los Angeles, and have no idea what occasion will be special enough to crank them out.

If anyone has ever had these beers and has any recommendations for similar brews that can be found in the US, please let me know.

(until this point, I had gone through a couple of best beer experiences: Duvel on tap in Amsterdam at the Bimhius; Leffe Blonde all over; my friend's homebrew IPAs, etc. This takes tghe cake, though the one experience that was comparable was the first taste of Rauchbier at Schlenkerla in Bamberg, and the smokebier i had in Trier the day before.


Who else has had a one sip beer revolution/ revelation?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Those do look good.

    Their Blanche sounds like a Belgian wit. Hoegarden (available fairly widely now) might not be quite as expressive as theirs...but give it a try - I like it for a refreshing, lighter beer on a hot day.

    The Amber is a dubbel. Try Rochefort 8 or Rochefort 10. Rochefort 10 is a trippel...but has the malt profile more akin to a dubbel (in my opinion). Both are fantastically complex beers...the 10 approaches (or surpasses!) a tawny port in richness of flavor.

    Your local BevMo carries these...but be prepared to fork over your milk money for them...

    1 Reply
    1. re: liegey

      I actually had one hoegarden in the fridge left when I came home from my trip and drank it as I was unpacking. Most of the time I love that beer, but boy was it a dissapointment that nite (and I didn't think it would be.) Now I'm concerned that my past taste expectations have been severely compromised.

      I will definitely look for that rochefort though

    2. For me it's a tie.

      A. Scheider Klosterweiss in Augsburg at the Hasenbraeu tent at the Plaerrerfest.

      B. U Fleku in Prague.

      1. As far as one-sip revelations go, honors go to Petrus Aged Pale Ale. It was the first sour beer I'd had, and it completely redefined what I thought beer could be. However, I wouldn't say any beer I've had could be called "the best". I've had too many great ones for any one beer to carry that distinction.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Josh

          i truly thought the same thing JOsh until I had this beer. It was so far beyond all others that there was no comparison or even thinking about it to be done. I just knew that this was best beer I had ever tasted.

          1. re: mr mouther

            Sorry, not buying it. That's like saying that Guinness is better than Hoegaarden. They're radically different styles, and aren't really comparable to each other. If that weren't the case, then beer judging events wouldn't break them up by style.

            I love all kinds of beer, all kinds of styles. I just don't think that there's one I would call "best" because there are so many that are great.

            1. re: Josh

              I actually don't know what you mean comparing guinness to hoegarden. of the two beers i mentioned from charlevoix, one was a white beer in the style of hoegarden (which is why one of the responders probably brought it up.)

              in any case, you don't have to believe the fact that sometimes, on rare occasions, the taste of a single sip or bite of food will completely redefine that food for you. It's happened to me before with salmon in columbia, south carolina of all places, seaweed in baltimore, and now this beer outside quebec city, etc. etc.

              i don't get what there is not to "buy." all that happened was that i tasted an amazing thing and shared it here in case others were nearby.

              1. re: mr mouther

                "sometimes, on rare occasions, the taste of a single sip or bite of food will completely redefine that food for you"

                Yes, this I can agree with (hence my comment about Petrus Aged Pale Ale). But not sure that means I'd consider it the best. That's all.

        2. Just last week (at the LCBO in Toronto) I came across Innis & Gunn oak aged ale While I won't go so far as to say it is THE best beer I've ever had, I will say it is one of the best. (I could never narrow it down to just one!) This stuff is from Scotland, aged in oak barrels used for whisky. At 6.6% it is strong, and be careful of that wood alcohol, as it can lead to headaches in the morning, but it has a really creamy smooth depth to it. Check it out if you can find it.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ognir

            I had my first barrel-aged beer recently and really enjoyed it; it was made by allagash and they distribute fairly widely. I think the one I had was the musette.

            it definitely tasted woodier, a little liquid sawdust injection (i mean that positively!)

            1. re: ognir

              I'm with you on this one! Amazing brew.Too bad it's over 3 bones a bottle.

            2. hitachino nest beer, white ale from kiuchi brewery in japan. belgian style.

              easily the best beer i've ever had - recently got it from surfas in culver city where they had it alongside the cash register, you know, impulse buying style, with a sign saying something to ther effect that it was worth losing an arm for. they're right.


              7 Replies
              1. re: tkemeny

                I will definitely be driving out there to try that since I'm in the area. i almost went to the stuffed sandwich
                this last weekend to talk to sam and try to investigate other similar beers to what i had and see what he'd recommend. I'm on a journey to taste beer at that caliber!

                1. re: tkemeny

                  Went to Surfas on saturday just to get that beer. I bought four bottles. At $4.00 a pop for 12 oz., it's definitely pricey, but I don't get over to the westside very much so i figured if I liked it I better buy a couple.
                  Well, the first thing is that the label is just adorable - that little owl is cute as the dickens. second, the smell is gorgeous - rich and huge in its lightness, like a mushroom made of clouds. third, the first taste is amazing - many many flavors, all over the mouth. but the flavor thins out very fast, almost lightningquick. It's definitely a great beer, but the flavor is not well-rounded for what I'm looking for.

                  In fact, I think as I try beer after beer (including la fin du monde and others) that I am really going to have to start investigating fresher beer to have a fair comparison. I was reading another discussion on these boards about beer freshness and I'm starting to think that a lot of the depth and beauty of the tastes I had in baie st. paul were due not only to the quality of the beer, but because of its freshness.

                  the easiest way for me to tell will be to crack open the two bottles I brought back from that trip and compare them to some of my regulars that just have not been stacking up ever since (duvel, hoegarden, etc.) I plan on opening one of them around the end of October so I'll report back about the comparison.

                  (I'm also planning a trip to russian river brew headquarters in santa rosa in the meantime. anyone got any other breweries closer to southern california worthy of recommending a visit to?)

                  1. re: mr mouther

                    If you can make it down to San Diego, then you should definitely visit Ale Smith, Stone, and Alpine.


                    1. re: Josh

                      Those look fantastic; I know I'll definitely be in San Diego in January, so at least two of those places will be taken in, and probably a stop by O'Brien's and a Pizza Port since it seems those places pour some fresh stuff.

                      The alesmith looks great, but I couldn't figure out from their site where they are distributed or if they have a tasting room at the brewery...

                      1. re: mr mouther

                        AleSmith and Alpine both have tasting rooms. AleSmith is distributed a lot of places in California and San Diego. Alpine is a lot smaller in terms of production. Don't miss Alpine's Pure Hoppiness when you're out here. He also makes a barleywine (called "Great") aged in bourbon barrels. They usually have bottles of that at O'Brien's.

                    2. re: mr mouther

                      Russian River brewpub is a fantastic place, a cozy little bar with decent food and fabulous beers-- some would say Vinnie is making the best hoppy beers and Belgian-inspired beers (if not the best beers, period) anywhere in America.

                      I'm a big fan of his Bling Pig IPA, extremely complex and flavorful for its gravity. Lots of people love Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger (the Double IPA and "Triple IPA," respectively), but I'll take Bling Pig any day.

                      I'd say, however, that the best stuff Vinnie is putting out is his "-tion" line of Belgian-inspired beers. Temptation is a chardonnay-barrel-aged Belgian golden ale with wild yeasts that add a crisply refreshing tartness. Beatification is a geuze-like Belgian blonde ale aged for 2 years in sour, old, yeasty barrels that formerly housed New Belgium La Folie (a fabulous beer in its own right). And if you're lucky enough to track down Supplication (my favorite), that's a Pinot Noir-barrel-aged Belgian brown ale aged with brettanomyces (one of the aforementioned wild yeasts) and sour cherries added. Simply FABULOUS. One of my favorite beers, ever.

                      At the brewpub, they're likely to have at least 5-8 of the Belgian "-tion" beers, like Deification (an Orval clone-- a trappist pale ale with a softly funky, almost bandage-y brettanomyces touch), and perhaps Depuration (a beer similar to Temptation but much more tart, and with muscat grapes added to the barrel). All of these beers are sublimely drinkable, balanced, and delicately flavored while extraordinarily interesting and complex.

                      I can't wait to go back for my next visit.

                      Oh, and if you're looking for other breweries in SoCal to visit, you MUST check out Port Brewing in San Marcos, CA, in the home of the old Stone brewery (or any of the three Pizza Port brewpubs in Carlsbad, Solana Beach, San Clemente). Those guys are brewing fabulous beers all the time, and they just opened a new production brewery a few months ago so that their beers can see wider (hopefully MUCH wider) circulation in the near future. Try The Lost Abbey Lost & Found Ale, a sort of Abbey brown/dubbel made in their new Belgian brand, "The Lost Abbey."

                      1. re: cquiroga

                        I hate you!

                        I've been wanting to try Beatification and Depuration for months now, ever since Vinnie told me about them on his Blind Pig night at O'Brien's. I guess I might have to take a journey up to Santa Rosa.