People have been harping about the supposed 2012 “end of times” as predicted in the Mayan calendar. Books are dedicated to unraveling its mysteries, Discovery Channel has produced shows chock-full of experts to scientifically analyze any factual merit… Hollywood has even given us a pretty cheesy movie where director Roland Emmerich blows the Earth into smithereens… again.
My question: if the Mayans were so dead-on about this, how is it they never forecast the end of their own civilization?
Well, if the end is a-comin’ it seems apropos to enjoy a beverage similar in name. Up in the great white north lies the town of Chambly, Quebec where the brewery Unibroue makes amazing Belgian-style ales. In this case, we’re talking about La Fin du Monde (The End of the World for those of you who flunked French 101). One might expect a beer with such an ominous moniker to pour out dark and foreboding. Instead we have a cloudy, pale straw-colored beverage with a tall, sudsy head quickly dissipating to a thin ring of cream.
Nose is slightly sour up front yielding to honey and yeast followed by big spice. Clove, pepper and ginger all make teasing appearances before the alcohol heat hits your senses. A sip will fountain up crisp carbonation throughout the mouth bringing big flavors of banana, green apple, biscuits, the afore-mentioned clove and just the faintest touch of nutmeg. Absolutely complex, La Fin du Monde finishes long leaving sugary, bready tastes.
Bottle re-fermentation, in this case La Fin’s third fermentation step, gives this ale its massive carbonation and rich-but-fizzy mouthfeel. That extra dose of yeast in the bottle also carries this beer up to 9% alcohol by volume. More than a few of these and your hangover will only feel as bad as the end of the world… or at least as bad as any Roland Emmerich disaster movie. Consumed in moderation, however, La Fin is a totally satisfying beverage making you glad that tomorrow is another day to enjoy another beer.