I first came across this beer back in April/May of 2020. I had seen it at an online retailer in Belgium and I didn’t recognize it. I am assuming that it was relatively new at the time. In a style that I generally love, obviously it was a no-brainer for me to order it and try one.
I happened to mention this in passing to an acquaintance of mine who lives in Belgium and he was very excited. He’s not necessarily a beer guy per se, but he mentioned that the brewery is relatively local to him and that he was excited for me to try it.
Unfortunately I found it to be very ordinary. At the time I think I described it as ‘OK’. ‘nothing special’, and that I might not even bother trying it again. I made a few notes but never published them on the site. I think that my friend was mildly offended. Anyway, I never really thought much more about the beer at the time.
Then, as time passed after that initial encounter, and as we got into 2022 and 2023, I kept hearing more and more about Paix Dieu, The beer was beginning to get a LOT of hype )all the full-moon nonsense, the blue moon stuff and the silly glass), people raving over it, making it out to be something amazing. Not one to fall for such stuff, I still felt as though I had to re-visit, mostly because I found my initial encounter to be so uninspiring and I was intrigued as to how wrong I may have been. Fast forward to December 2023 and with a couple of 750 mL bottles on hand I try again.
Spoiler alert. To keep this simple, I think I was right the first time. I think Paix Dieu is a quite ordinary beer. Not bad, not unpleasant, but very ordinary in the landscape of high quality Belgian Tripel standards.
Pour looks good. Decent head, atop a golden body. Standard, solid look for a Tripel. A word about the glass. If the glass were not cut at an angle it would be beautiful, but as it is I don’t care for it and it seems pointless and silly. I understand marketing, but it’s kind of annoying. The black glass I actively dislike.
Nose offers some atypical bready fruits, and some alcohol. The mouthfeel and the tastes are where things drop off for me. I find the total package just a little insipid for a beer of this style, and a beer that’s coming in at 10%. All of the expected attributes are sort of there, but they lack a punch, and feel weak and almost diluted to me. A little pear, some ester notes, some alcohol (but not as big as it is advertised), and it all hangs together a bit damply. – In case you were wondering I should add that those taste experiences are not those of a “subtle Tripel”, rather they really feel weak. I just don’t get the hype with this.
I have one more 750 mL bottle and I will visit it again, but the relative scarcity, and the hype associated with such things is absolutely getting ahead of this beer. At the moment my assessment of this beer remains “meh”. One more bottle to try.