Beer of the Week: Dieu du Ciel Rosée d’hibiscus

Posted on May 17th, 2011

About the beer:

Regular readers will know that I take a special interest in the tradition of using flowers, spices, and unusual ingredients in beer. Before the Reinheitsgebot and other regional regulations on beer production, this practice was fairly common. Brewers used a wide variety of ingredients as flavoring, bittering, and even fermentable agents – some that we might find unusual, even distasteful today.

The hibiscus, a familiar tropical flower often worn behind the ear, is also steeped (pun intended) in liquid tradition. Commonly used in teas and traditional aguas frescas from South America to Southeast Asia and the Polynesian islands that lie in between, this flower not only provides a fruity-floral flavor, but also a whole lot of vitamins and potential health benefits. And while I know of no other prior intersection of these two beverages, I sure know of a delicious one now.

Montreal’s Dieu du Ciel combines two exciting traditions in their Rosée d’hibiscus – a rose-colored, floral wheat with a lot of spice and even more character. The result is a beer that’s as lovely to look at as it is to taste.

In A Nutshell:

Dieu du Ciel’s Rosée d’hibiscus is an intriguing floral delight. Lovely and definitely worth a try.

Beeriety Review:

This beer, as the name suggests, pours a beautiful, cloudy, deep pink color. The flavor of hibiscus is prominent with the wheat & spice balancing out that round floral taste. But if you don’t already know what hibiscus tastes like, that may not mean much. It’s got a slightly tart, very refreshing flavor and leaves a fresh, acidic-juice taste in the mouth. There’s almost no perceptible hop smell or flavor (though to be fair this one had been in my beer cellar for a few months prior to my tasting,) and the wheat creates a solid flavor-base on which these floral and fruity components can play around. There’s also just a hint of pepper in the aftertaste.

The flavor of this beer is unique and frankly a little hard to describe. It’s something like a Flemish Red, but less sharp and more floral. Imagine a slightly more bitter, slightly more floral cider, with a wheat base and a pepper edge. Or imagine if someone poured a little bit of pomegranate or cranberry juice into your favorite witbier… Well, it may sound confusing to your taste buds, but it’s definitely worth a try.

3 out of 5