Maudite is another dark strong Belgian Ale from the Unibroue family of Belgian-inspired beers in the province of Quebec, Canada. Launched in 1992 as one of the brewery’s earliest beers, Maudite is purportedly the the first strong beer brewed in Canada. Translating as ‘the damned one’, the label art evokes the legend of the Chasse-Galerie (flying canoe). The legend states that a group of lumberjacks, in an effort to get home to family in time for New Years Day, struck an unfortunate deal with the devil to be guided in flight home in their canoes, with the stipulation they were not to utter the Lord’s name in flight and must be back to camp before dawn. As they reveled with loved ones at home and realized the night was passing, they found the man who owned the canoe (and the one who had struck the deal) lying drunk under an inn table. As they bundled him in the canoe and tied and gagged him so he would not drunkenly utter the Lord’s name before arriving to camp, the canoe began its flight back. He awoke mid flight in his bindings, and somehow loosed his gag. Shouting “Mon Dieu, why have you tied me up?”, the witless drunk caused the canoe to lose flight, and barrel headfirst to the ground, striking a tree along the way. As the men fell out of the canoe into the darkness before dawn, they were never to be seen from again.
This dark, well carbonated beer pours with a beige almond head. It is a spicy dark ale, with some fruit and sweetness. At a decent 8%, it has strength not translated into the taste, and is very drinkable on its own. Best served in a tulip glass to concentrate the aroma.
Maudite can be found in 4 packs or 12 ounce bottles, as well as a large 750ml corked bottle. It is widely available in central Indiana, and makes for a great year round beer. Its my go-to beer as its reasonably priced (typically $2.50 a bottle) and tastes clean with some nice complexiity. It’s no replacement for an actual Belgian Trappist Dubbel, but I do consider it world-class nonetheless.