"Is that all, there must be more than this…"

by Katie Pizzuto on November 30, 2008

in beer,Reviews

It’s a metaphor that only women will understand, but this review can be equated to losing your virginity. For so long you anticipate the moment, prepare for it, hunt down the “right guy”—the one that gave every indication by his looks and his discourse that he’d be amazing to experience—and take him home with giddy delight. You’ve envisioned this several dozen times and played the scene out in your head several dozen more. Then he stands before you, youthful, marble-chiseled beauty that he is, and lays his lips on yours. And at that precise moment, your entire bubble of expectation is burst by a serpentine tongue swimming in an ocean of saliva, a sudden dull and unexpected pain, and a sexual interlude that lasts about as long as it takes to floss—maybe. You’re inevitably left laying there, panting male above you, saying to yourself, “This is IT? THIS is what I waited for?” What a rip off.dues

By now, most ladies are nodding and most men are rethinking just how studdly and satisfying they were at the starting gate, but my point is made. This feeling found me again this weekend with a long-awaited encounter with a bottle of Belgian ale. When I first read about DeuS, I was intrigued and anxious to try it and discuss it here, with you. It is first brewed in Belgium in the traditional style, with summer barley. They then ship it to Champagne where it undergoes another fermentation (in bottle, with several months on yeasts) done in the methode champenoise. It looked beautiful and sounded delicious, so I hunted down the US importer/distributor and got some help in finding a retailer near me that carried it…I never even thought to ask the price. Two weeks and multiple emails later, I was standing in the Belgian Ales section of a wine shop with the equivalent of the holy grail in my hands, all for the asking price of about 30 bucks. Yeah, 30 bucks. I gotta admit that I hesitated at that point…I could get a nice bottle of Champagne for that money. But I bit the bullet and bought the bottle—the bottle that contained all my hopes and anticipations of grandeur inside its glass walls.

I put it in the fridge as soon as I got home, before I even bothered unpacking the groceries. The brewery recommends drinking it “ice cold” so I knew I’d have to wait several hours before uncorking the elixir. I went about my day, cooking, cleaning, and waiting. Then, shortly before my dinner guests were due to arrive, I decided it was time—time to give myself to the DeuS—and I wanted it to be all mine…fuck the guests, they could drink the Sierra! So with a beautiful champagne stem in hand I unleashed the bubbles. It poured out the color of honey and created an enormous beautiful head in the glass. I wasn’t expecting that, and had to wait impatiently for it to subside a little so it wouldn’t go up my nose! It was a longer wait than I expected, because these bubbles just kept regenerating…it was pretty damned cool. And that, my friends, is where the infatuation and intrigue ended. It had the pleasant nose of a typical Belgian ale, with lots of funky yeasty notes and hints of maple syrup and gingerbread. It was lightly sweet and fruity, really smooth and had great body. But in the end, it was just a well-crafted beer.

Was all the hoopla really necessary? Did the champenoise fermentation really impart anything that amazing, or was it gimmick to justify the price tag? I don’t know that I can really answer that fairly, because the entire experience left me as satisfied as the deflowered young woman I described. I sat there and said, “That’s IT? Thirty friggin’ dollars and THIS is what I have to show for it?” It was OK, but it wasn’t all THAT. Much like losing my virginity, I owe the experience to something with a big head that had a great body and was really smooth, but never capable of satisfying…and part of me wonders if it’s not perhaps my fault for setting my expectations too high to be met. Nahh, couldn’t be my fault.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Linsey November 30, 2008

slight case of never believe the promotional hype im guessing! lol

brilliant blog though katie

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2 Anthony November 30, 2008

Agreed, I do tend sometimes to all the hype, but ever since ive met you Katie, im more carefull. Especially, when it comes a dollar amount.

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3 Katie Pizzuto December 1, 2008

No, indeed, never believe the promotional hype. I so desperately wanted to love this and was hoping that this new brewing style would add some sort of complexity to an otherwise “nice” brew…next time, I’ll just buy a really great belgian ale for a fraction of the price, as it will taste nearly the same!

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4 Coupe 60 December 1, 2008

many comments swimming in my head on this one…I’ll go with this one

Did the DeuS even call you the next day?

Brillian entry BTW…

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5 Katie Pizzuto December 1, 2008

The DeuS keeps calling (I can hear the soft pleading from inside my fridge) but I refuse to answer :)

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6 Coupe 60 December 1, 2008

when you left the wine store with your purchase, was the package that contained your beer purchase then known as a DeuS bag? :)

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7 Katie Pizzuto December 1, 2008

As was the name of my “deflowerer”. :shock:

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8 Linsey December 1, 2008

lmfao!

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9 smokenmirrors December 2, 2008

Katie, one of your best yet.
Sorry to hear that your first DeuS was unpleasant
Also sorry that your thirty dollar beer was bad
Maybe it would have been better
if the the DeuS stayed in the bag

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10 Katie Pizzuto December 2, 2008

Thanks for the poetry, Mike! Anyone want leftover DeuS? :???:

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11 Ron Washam, HMW December 2, 2008

Katie,

Fantastic riff! I love that the disappointment of the beer took you back to losing your virginity. Very Proustian. Well, at least the Belgian gave you decent head.

It’s nice to read a blog that’s as coherent, well-written, and funny as Gonzo. I’m going to add you to my Blog List. Unless you bribe me not to.

Your Newest Fan

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12 Katie Pizzuto December 2, 2008

Thanks, Ron!! Gonna add you to the blog list, BTW…just commented about it on your site. Come back and pinch off a comment every now and again ;-)

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13 Beer Mutineer December 2, 2008

Buildup so often brings disappointment. I think that DeuS is a good product, and easily found, though there are better Biere de Champagne. Try Malheur Cuvee Royale or Malheur Brut Noir if you want to give this style one more chance, or take your taste-buds for a ride and go for a Belgian Sour like Brasserie Cantillon’s, Cantillion Classic Gueuze.

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14 Katie Pizzuto December 2, 2008

Funny you mention that JJ because both Malheurs were available at the store and cost a few bucks less (can’t remember exactly, but in the 20s I think)….I was torn between reaching for one of those instead, but went with the “tail” I was chasing :-)

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the brew, I just didn’t think it was worth the hype or the cost. I’ll try one more and let you know!

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15 Linsey December 2, 2008

reminds me of a dessert that was suppose to be the first 1000 calorie single portion one in a supermarket – lashings of dark, milk and plain chocolate in a multitude of forms – sauce, mousse, brownies, etc all layered up

well i fell for it – i just wanted to try it just once – again big disappointment – the lack of good quality chocolate taste was so bloody obvious

after that i stuck to homemade chocolate mousse calories… lol!

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16 Coupe 60 December 2, 2008

Quote Beer Mutineer:”Buildup so often brings disappointment. I think that DeuS is a good product, and easily found, though there are better Biere de Champagne. Try Malheur Cuvee Royale or Malheur Brut Noir if you want to give this style one more chance, or take your taste-buds for a ride and go for a Belgian Sour like Brasserie Cantillon’s, Cantillion Classic Gueuze.”

Katie they say once you go noir, you never go back… ;-)

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17 Katie Pizzuto December 3, 2008

@Lindsey….NOTHING worse than disappointing chocolate..nothing!

@Coupe…thanks for rendering me speechless.

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18 Coupe 60 December 3, 2008

but in a good way right, as in astonished at the cleverness of my responses… :)

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19 Katie Pizzuto December 3, 2008

right, go with that Coupe. LOL!

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20 Thom Calabrese December 3, 2008

Hi Katie
I know this is off the track,but my wine group is getting together this month and we picked Champagne as the wine. It’s at my place and I know all the usual suspects will be there in terms of the food people will bring(which will be fine I love anything from the water)!
I want to do something less expected but I’m not finding a lot of food that is exciting me. Any suggestions for a fellow Hudson County boy?
Any and all suggestions will be appreciated from you and the blogesphere
Thom

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21 Katie Pizzuto December 4, 2008

Thom, my immediate thought was to give you a recipe I created that I called “Chinon Quiche” only because it pairs fantastically with that wine. That being said, I think it would also go amazingly well with the champagne. It contains shrimp as well (which also go good with the wine). I layer the flavors, but if you don’t want to make the quiche as an entire “pie” you could always make amuse-bouche-size bites as well. I’ve added the recipe in my “recipes” section so take a look and let me know what you think!!

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22 Thom Calabrese December 5, 2008

It sounds great but I can’t access it???

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23 Katie Pizzuto December 5, 2008

Oops! Sorry, there was a glitch. It’s fine now, so go ahead and download the PDF. Thanks!!!

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24 John December 5, 2008

Great post!

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25 Nick December 5, 2008

Perhaps my tastes for Belgian beer are more pedestrian. But give me a Duvel or Corsendonk any day of the week.

And damn, does your review of DeuS just ring of complete and utter disappointment. I couldn’t think of a more dramatic choice of metaphors than what you’ve written.

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26 Katie Pizzuto December 5, 2008

@nick…not pedestrian at all…they are well-crafted. This just professed to be so much more and it wasn’t….I’m glad that the post conveys utter disappointment because that is exactly how I felt…when I took notes, I said I didn’t want to finish the bottle because it SO wasn’t worth the hype/price. I drew the best metaphor I could from that moment…better than scoring it don’t ya think?? ;-)

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27 Thom Calabrese December 9, 2008

I don’t know why I had such a problem opening that one file(I could open others) I am somewhat of a dunce with computers.
Just wanted to let you know how it went.
I made wild mushroom risotto and blue cheese stuffed dates which worked well. Others brought sushi, smoked salmon, a cheese dip with creme cheese and other stuff(can’t remember but good) parm cheese,mortadella and a cheese cake with fresh raspberries!
But what really was a hit was the fried chicken someone brought!!! It was an amazing match!
We had 2 Loires to get things started:
Montmorency Samur Brut
Langois Cremant de Loire Brut Rose
Duval-Leroy Brut
Jacquesson Cuvee N730 Brut
Veuve Clicquot Brut
Domaine Carneros 04 Brut
Pasqual Doquet Grand Cru Blanc De Blanc
Jose Dhondt Grand Cru Blanc De Blanc(my favorite)
Fonseca 1985 Vintage Port
And my home made Lemoncello

Love your blog and appreciate that you answer everyone.
Ciao

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28 Katie Pizzuto December 9, 2008

You still couldn’t open it, Thom? Because if the others weren’t a problem, then maybe it’s corrupt. I’ll take another look….what a shame! I would have loved to have heard how it turned out. Just so you know, you can always email me and I’d be happy to try sending it directly to you! Glad you had fun though. I love Loire cremants and actually never had a rose….how was it?!?

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29 Thom Calabrese December 9, 2008

The Langois Rose is my favorite pink sparkler. It’s owned by Bollinger now and because I still have friends in the biz(worked for wholesaler for over 10 yrs) I can get it on deal for $14ish.
It’s got great acidity and is very elegent and always a hit with the ladies.
You should be able to get it in Jersey I would think.
Thanks again and I’ll email you so I can try the dish.

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30 Riesling for Leif December 7, 2009

Sounds like you went about your de-virgining all wrong. Typically the best way to lose it is to take several shots of tequila first, smoke a couple joints and then it won’t matter what’s in the bottle. Only dangerous thing about drinking a beer after all that is that it’s harder to know when to pull out.

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31 Katie Pizzuto December 8, 2009

LMAO, Leif…you read my biography or something?! That sounds an awful lot like my first deflowering.

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