Another fine example of a Belgian-style strong dark ale comes to us from North America, specifically the Quebec region in Canada. The Unibroue brewery makes Trios Pistoles, as well as a number of other fine beers I may profile in a future post. One of my favorite North American breweries, Unibroue was founded in the early 1990’s in the greater Montreal area. It was eventually sold to a larger Canadian brewer, who was then bought out by Japanese brewer Sapporo.
Trois Pistoles is one of their classic beers, and comes in at a strong 9% It is a beautiful dark Abby-style ale, which does appear more brown in direct light. It is generally well carbonated and very smooth, although I have had occasional subtle taste variation between several purchases. I do find this beer certainly rivals its Belgian abby brethren across the ocean. It is best served in a chalice or tulip glass, and the yeast sedimentation on the bottom of the bottle makes for a nice pouring finish.
According to the brewer, Trois Pistoles is named after a small village in Quebec which was founded over 300 years ago. This village gave rise to several tales, however one in particular involved a black horse. Apparently a local bishop conjured up a good devil who appeared in the form of bridled black steed in order to haul large brick stones for the construction of a new church. When someone accidentally removed the bridle, the black horse suddenly vanished just as the last remaining stone was to be set. This stone is still missing from the local church today.
Trios Pistoles is served in large 750ml corked bottles, as well as in a standard 12 ounce bottle sold in four-packs. The four-packs often are sold for $12-14, while the 750ml bottle can often be obtained for under $9 depending on your area.