Les Trois Mousquetaires - Grande Cuvée Déjeuner Impérial 2021
- ABV: 11.5%
- Bottle Size: 750-ml
- Serving Temperature: 50–57° F
- Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Tulip, Nonic, or Coffee Mug
This imperial breakfast stout gets aged for nine months in 12-year-old-bourbon barrels with maple staves and maple syrup added, then cold-steeped with premium coffee. We’ve really enjoyed everything we’ve gotten to sample from Les Trois Mousquetaire over the years, but this Grande Cuvée version of their Déjeuner Impérial is something special. Not currently distributed in the U.S., a few dozen cases are being imported, and any allocation that isn’t scooped up by our Rare Beer Club members will head to a handful of bottle shops.
Grande Cuvée Déjeuner Impérial pours a super-dark, basically ink-black color capped by dark-tan foam. Nice lacing exhibited around the perimeter, despite the potent ABV. There are exceptional amounts of dark roasted coffee and deep specialty malts leading the aroma. Even cold, that generous maple character lands clearly, providing richly rendered sweetness that serves to beautifully round out the impactful coffee and roast. Aromatics emphasize this is a super-serious, dark-dark imperial stout, with some lush special additions playing out.
This barrel-aged imperial stout, not surprisingly, offers up a full-bodied, layered mouthfeel with exceptional degrees of coffee and maple syrup. There’s a massive bourbon and oaky presence throughout, providing a nice edge of burnt sugar and dark caramel. And despite so many sweeter elements present here—maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, almond—this imperial stout works beautifully thanks to its various rich bittering elements. We find bitter chocolate and cocoa from the specialty malts, plus burnt sugar and tannins from the bourbon barrels, and espresso-like elements from the coffee additions. We loved the base version of this impy stout, and this Grande Cuvée treatment adds extra dimensions to an already-delicious beer.
The brewery suggests a maximum cellaring time of three to five years for this stout. Those maple components are just asking to be paired with fresh waffles or pancakes with syrup and berries. The coffee, chocolate, and caramel have this primed for a variety of dessert courses.
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