So I decided to take a page out of Scott’s book and do a blind taste test of two of my favorite brews from one of my favorite breweries: Trois Pistoles and Maudite from Unibroue out of Chambly, Quebec, Canada. On a ski trip to Quebec City this past winter, I was lucky enough to stumble across a pub serving 4 types of Unibroue on draught and really fell in love with Trois Pistoles. In the months since the trip, I have favored Trois Pistoles over its cousin, Maudite,every time I see the two at the store. Both are listed as “Belgian Strong Dark Ales” on Beer Advocate and seemed fairly similar having never explicitly pinned them against each other.
Below are the vital stats for each beer per Unibroue’s website:
Maudite. 8.0% ABV. 22 IBU. Strong Amber Red Ale.First brewed in 1992.
Trois Pistoles. 9.0% ABV. 15.5 IBU. Abbey Style Strong Dark Brown. First brewed in 1997.
Because I’m pretty familiar with each beer, I sampled each in a snifter glass while blindfolded. I sipped the first one and was fairly convinced that I had been given my favorite, Trois Pistoles. After sampling the second, I was convinced that beer 1 was Trois Pistoles and beer 2 was the lesser, but still fabulous Maudite. WRONG.
After taking the blindfold off, I was surprised to learn that this one has a distinctly lighter color than Trois Pistoles with a dark golden-brown hue. This one has a powerful aroma of orange, spice, and a hint of hops in the background. Like all the Unibroues I’ve sampled, the Maudite is heavily carbonated. The finish is a bit on the dry side and the aftertaste pleasantly lingers on the palate.
This one is clearly darker than Maudite – borderline black with a darker brownish head. The smell is sweeter than Maudite with hints of grape and spice, but with a noticeable lack of hoppiness.
Trois Pistoles is also heavily carbonated with a port wine-like taste that separates it from most beers that I’ve tried. This one also has a strong yet welcome aftertaste and leaves the mouth a little drier than Maudite due to its sweeter taste profile.
With my tail between my legs, I’ve gotta give the nod to Maudite, but both of these beers are among my favorites.
Maudite - 96/100
Trois Pistoles - 95/100
If you haven’t tried one or both of these beers, I’d recommend you give them both a shot. Unibroue is best known for its Tripel, La Fin du Monde, which I would also recommend any day of the week. Look for the big 750ml bottles complete with cork tops at places like Trader Joe’s (which carries La Fin du Monde, only) or your local beer store.