Les Trois Mousquetaires - Grande Cuvée Weizenbock
Serving Temperature:50–57° F
Suggested Glassware:Tulip, Chalice, or Weizen Glass
Les Trois Mousquetaires’ Grande Cuvée Weizenbock is a 10.5% ABV dark wheat ale that perfectly showcases what this brewery is up to when it comes to crafting traditional German beer styles. Weizenbocks, for those not familiar, combine copius amounts of wheat to the complex maltiness of a bock or doppelbock. The net result, more often than not, proves to be surprisingly drinkable beers often weighing in at 8+% ABV, with lush layers of detailed maltiness tempered by the soft texture and underlying toastiness of the wheat. And when it comes to weizenbocks, the folks at LTM have made one of our favorite takes yet.
For how endearing weizenbocks can be, there are so few of them. They’re often overlooked in the extreme-beer lens, if only because they don’t generate quite the immediate impact of, say, a double IPA’s bitterness or the deep roast of an imperial stout. But weizenbocks can shine in their own way, combining the best elements of a German-style hefeweizen with the strength and deeper malts of a bock. They make for comforting, cold-weather sippers.
Les Trois Mousquetaires’ Weizenbock is one of the tastiest we’ve ever found, with complex aromatics and a deft layering of flavors. This pours a deep golden-brown, almost the color of maple syrup, with a bit of viscosity to it. There’s some body here, for sure, and some residual sugars. The off-white head readily dissipates, leaving the dark nectar beneath it. The aromas, combining aspects of German hefeweizen yeast and the rich maltiness of a doppelbock, spill out of the glass. There are plump raisins, dried caramel, fruit leather. A nice balance is struck by the accompanying yeast-based notes, offering clove and pepper. Everything’s well tuned.
Let’s emphasize one thing first: allow this to warm up a bit from fridge temperature. It’s the nature of certain beers (we’re looking at you, dark Swedish stouts) to come across as being a bit skewed if served too cold. This beer becomes a lot more balanced with just a few minutes to warm. After those few minutes… it’s a velvety soft elixir on the tongue. Dried dark fruits, caramel (with a welcome touch of oxidation), cola, and even some rich red fruitiness, almost berry-like. The pleasant bitterness of white pepper and cloves helps steer things, and, even at 10.5% ABV, the alcohol stays quietly tucked away. Even approaching room temperature this remained smooth. The carbonation is pretty light here, appropriately tuned to the bulk of the beer it’s supporting, and this just feels like the kind of beer you want in a snifter by the fire.
We expect this offering to age well for upward of a year or more, if not longer. There’s just a bit of well-placed oxidation right now; keep an eye on stored bottles to see if they’re getting overly heavy on the dried caramel. Think of it as an excuse to pop one. (That’s what we do.) This should do excellent things paired alongside smoked meats—pork or duck particularly.
The Québécois good-beer scene has been renowned for breweries like Unibroue and Dieu du Ciel!, both of which see significant distribution throughout the States, but it’s small-scale operations like Les Trois Mousquetaires that remind us that it’s frequently better to visit. Located directly southeast of Montreal, maybe an hour or so north of the Vermont border, the brewery exports only a few occasional offerings, most often their hefty Porter Baltique. Les Trois Mousquetaires got its start back in 2004, shortly after its three founders lost their jobs after a production plant was moved to Ontario. Hence the Alexandre Dumas reference. “One for all, all for one!”
Using their experience as production engineers, they decided to purchase a small brewing operation along the north shore of Montreal. (We’re glad they did.) In 2008, brewer Alex Ganivet-Boileau took over brewing responsibilities, and in the years since the company has expanded its lineup from a pair of lagers to its current expansive range of German-influenced creations and beyond. Like the Greater Montreal region, the Les Trois releases—Maibock, Rauchbier, Kellerbier, etc.—conjure an Old-World, European charm.
Some of our Rare Beer Club members will fondly recall their Sticke Alt. Of the brewery’s German-style offerings, we were particularly thrilled with the brewery’s take on that older style—which can be challenging to track down in the States, especially fresh. Or pretty much anywhere else in the world, aside from Düsseldorf... We were able to secure the Les Trois Mousquetaires Sticke Alt as a Rare Beer Club selection a few years back. Like many of their beers, it utilized 100% Québec-produced malted barley, and to this day it’s still one of the finest examples of that elusive style that we’ve ever tracked down. We also recently featured (and loved!) their pale and zestily hopped Maibock—also brewed with Québec-grown malt.
This month, we’re pleased to introduce our Rare Beer Club members to arguably the finest beer we’ve had from these folks thus far: a dark wheat ale in the form of their Grand Cuveé Weizenbock. It’s brewed with 100% Québec malt and Northern Brewer hops—and it’s one of our more cellarable features in recent memory (for those looking for a little something to tuck away for a while). This one’s very limited stateside, and we hope you love it as much as we did. To many more exceptional beers from our friends at Les Trois Mousquetaires!
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