How good is Dieu du Ciel‘s Aphrodite stout? So good the FDA almost didn’t let it into the United States.
Okay, so that’s not quite true. However, there’s a kernel of truth in there that makes for one of the most interesting pieces of trivia about the beer. Also, the Aphrodite is that good – good enough that no one would blame you for thinking there’s some kind of illegal substance inside.
First, the trivia. Our friends up in Canada are probably familiar with a cocoa and vanilla beer brewed in Montreal called L’Aphrodisiaque (that’s aphrodisiac in the King’s English). When Dieu Du Ciel made plans to export the beer – with name intact – to the US, they ran smack-dab into a wall. A wall called the Food and Drug Administration.
Apparently marketing a elixir as an aphrodisiac might give some people the wrong idea. Though I trust the American consumer enough to distinguish between marketing and actual love potions, I suppose there is a reason that Moxie is no longer called “Nerve Food.” Luckily, there was a Greek God of Love-shaped loophole that Dieu du Ciel could pour the luscious stout through. Rechristened “Aphrodite” in the US of A, the love potion is now available throughout Dieu du Ciel’s distribution area.
Thankfully, the brewery was kind enough to post an English translation of their copy for the beer. Here’s the description of the Aphrodisiaque Aphrodite from Dieu du Ciel’s website.
Black ale with aromas and flavours of vanilla, dark chocolate, bourbon and roasted malt. The vanilla and cocoa marry nicely, without out-competing each other, to produce a surprisingly well balanced beer. This beer is mildly hoppy, but the cocoa introduces a touch of bitterness. Its colour may be intimidating, but it is a very smooth beer within reach of most beer drinkers. This highly appreciated dessert beer is brewed with organic fair-trade cocoa and first rate vanilla beans.
In a snifter, the Aphrodite is a beautiful beer. Nearly pitch black in the body, the stout has a creamy tan head that fills a few fingers above the beer. The nose is a powerful blast of vanilla, not unlike high-quality vanilla extract. Still, it’s far from one-dimensional, as chocolate – specifically dark, bitter chocolate – coffee, and some roasted barley round things out.
The taste? Heaven. Aphrodite is the beer version of a chocolate and vanilla milkshake. The taste is a flip of the nose – chocolate dominates, with vanilla taking the back seat. There’s a bit of coffee in the background, too. The full, round flavor, which leans a little on the sweet with a bit of bitter cocoa, isn’t far off from a mocha latte. Seriously, this is close to the perfect damn beer. Imagine your favorite coffee, chocolate or vanilla drink, and you’ll have notes of it in the Aphrodite. At 6.5% and packed full of flavor, the beer is almost a sipper – but tastes so good you might find yourself gulping it down.
At six bucks for a single 12-oz bottle, Dieu du Ciel’s Aphrodite isn’t cheap. That’s about the only knock I have against this beer. It’s the rare beer without fault, and one that could turn the fussiest drinker on to beer. I’d highly recommend biting the bullet and buying the expensive bottle. I dare you to come back here and say it wasn’t worth it.