Tag Archive: Alchemist


Dieu Du Ciel Alchemist Moralité
Dieu Du Ciel: Alchemist: Moralité (Canada: IPA: 7% ABV)

Visual: Hazy orange gold. Hash of a white head.

Nose: Grapefruit. Tart apple. Apricot. Slightly overripe fruit. Slightly sherbety. Zesty orange.

Body: Tart apple. Pink grapefruit. Pineapple. Sour. Dried apricot. Vanilla pods. Sugared apple pie and pastry. Custard and toffee malt notes.

Finish: Salt touch. Musky bitterness. Pineapple and pink grapefruit. Vanilla. Lightly dusty. Tart apples.

Conclusion: Collaborators, a term that use to call to mind the, often rightfully, looked down upon groups that aided the invaders in a war for personal benefit. Now calls to mind the awesome people who bring us these beers. I call that progress.

This, while being an IPA, seems very unusual to me. The mass of tart hops actually manages to give it an almost sour yeast,highly hopped, pale ale taste to me, That sounds like a bad thing. It is not, it is, in fact, a good thing. The malt doesn’t seem heavily present, it has more of a malt feel than a taste – it is slightly dry, which is what calls to mind the pale ale over the IPA, but the tartness means it rapidly goes from that to refreshing as hell.

It just shimmers with flavour, while you can feel the malt base, the bitterness from the hops is more an outline, a prickle which marks the lines within which the mass of flavour will be coloured in. This entire base outline gives the impression of one kind of beer, the flavour is an entire different thing – I don’t know if it is the hops, the yeast, or what, but it just packs in tart apples, apricot, pineapple, grapefruit. The flavours are ones you can get from hops, but with a tartness that, well , sparkles (and not in a shitty vampire style), and calls to mind the more wild yeast beers.

I’m guessing that there is something done with a funky yeast character, as something is giving just that bit of grip to the tartness, all together becoming just a sublime beer – and one I wish I could drink without collapsing from that 7% abv weight. Yep, pretty much its flaw is I can’t session it. That is all.

Background: Yes that photo is of a beer partially drunk. The bar was busy so I didn’t think I would find a place to set down and review up, but moments later a table opened up – so I quickly got on the job. This was drunk at the Dieu Du Ciel: Meet the Brewers event, while waiting for the brewers to turn up. A great event and a great time.
Meet The Brewers Dieu Du Ciel

Alchemist: Highland Park 16 Year Old Calvados Finish (Scottish Island Single Malt Whisky: 16 Years: 46% ABV)

Visual: A light amber with an appropriately apple juice like look.

Viscosity: Some medium speed streaks form instantly, but the main section are from slow and thin puckering.

Nose:  Sea air, a light dash of apples. Salt. Light roasted nuts. Wood shavings and liquorice. Quite meaty – beef. Vanilla backed. With water, the more subtle smells smooth giving the salt a more evident playfield and adding perfume.

Body: Vanilla and custard. Peat. Sugared apple crumble. Beef stew. Shortbread and toffee. Water allows the dessert style and crumble flavours free reign and the apple more evident.

Finish: Peat and beef. Custard. Apple pie and toffee. Lingering chocolate and leather.  Water makes the chocolate smoother, like Belgium chocolate.

Conclusion: Highland Park is one of the all time classic spirits, always coming in with great complexity behind its force.  Here we find a calvados finished version, and unlike my fears the calvados is subtly added giving a sweet syrup back to the beef and peat body.

It really does add just that little bit extra, as mentioned I feared the finish would overwhelm the spirit, but instead it is the calvados that fears being hidden.  The Highland Park flavour comes right through, and the flavours mix for a wonderful range of distinct elements that balance against each other very well. Dessert sweetness and heavy meatiness have never sat so well together.

The delicate touches added by the finish are so unlike what I would expect from a Highland Park spirit, and gives a rewarding and renewed interest in the fine whisky, then leaves you with a long chocolate finish.

Really top notch. Like the Gaja Barolo Longrow, this show shows what can be done when you combine two rich flavours. It’s a sign of its quality that I nearly forgot to test adding water to see how it altered the range.

Apple crumble, beef, peat and leather. A full meal in glass.

Background: Highland Park is possibly my most tasting noted whisky, and a favourite of the style. This version is finished in apple brandy casks by the independent bottler’s Alchemist, who I have not run into before.

My best attempts to find a full bottle of this interesting sounding whisky came to naught, but I did manage to find an online store that does samples from splitting bottles into 3cl jars, a commendable habit that makes it easier to try the odder whisky’s that normally don’t get miniature made.

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