Dieu du Ciel ! – Aphrodite
ABV – 6.5%
Last week it was colder in Lexington, KY than it was in __________ (name a really cold place). How about Quebec? That is in the Great White North, right? Sounds cold, eh? Lucky for me my brother’s Christmas gift of an amazing mixed six pack lurked in the refrigerator. The “polar vortex” kept me from work, meaning more time for beer. As I perused the beer shelf (some people get entire fridges…I get a shelf), there was something warm and inviting about Dieu du Ciel’s Aphrodite. Perhaps it was because Aphrodite is made is Quebec (seems appropriate); perhaps the description on the bottle of a stout brewed with cocoa and vanilla (sounds tasty); or perhaps it was the scantily-clad blond temptress on the bottle (ooh-la-la). Whatever the prime mover in my selection process, how could beauty, love, procreation, and pleasure steer me wrong. I was referring to the greek Goddess, but I could see how you would think I was talking about beer as those things are all descriptor for and or byproducts of this heavenly gift.
Aphrodite pours a rich dark brown with a stout tan head, which leave ample lacing down the sides as you drink. The first whiff is dark roasted grains with lots of chocolate and some hints of vanilla (makes sense since those were the brewing ingredients). Sweet and a bit bitter on the front end like a liquified piece of dark chocolate; however, not as sweet as say a Samuel Smith Chocolate Stout. Those flavors fade into a smooth, roasted stout body, giving a creamed coffee taste that pleases the tongue and leaves little aftertaste. It is a balanced beer that any stout drinker (or dark chocolate lover for that matter) will thoroughly enjoy.
The brewers say that this is a nice desert beer, which in my mind makes a good breakfast beer or a good beer to start off a “barricaded-in-my-house-because-it-is-sub-zero-outside” afternoon binge. The 6.5% ABV will not deter any from drinking more than one, but the sweetness might. Aphrodite is definitely a bookend beer – good to start or end your drinking experience. Dieu du Ciel, the brewery name, suggests there are “good heavens above”, and, if that is the case, the heavens (or at least our neighbors to the north) were definitely good to give us this divine drink.