L'Interdite is a line of pale ales brewed by Brasseurs du Monde out of Saint-Hyacinthe. The line includes a Pale Ale, an IPA, a Double IPA and an Imperial Black IPA, so be sure to read the bottle carefully if there's a particular variety you're looking for. Up for review here is the Imperial Black IPA.
Before I get to the beer, I have to describe the bottle's art as it's what attracted me to the beer in the first place. It displays an officer of the law dumping out alcohol during the prohibition era. The beer's name, L'Interdite, is an ode to the revival of craft breweries since prohibition. It's quite heartwarming for a craft beer drinker such as myself. L'Interdite means The Forbidden.
As the word Imperial implies, this Black IPA is big. The beer packs a punch at 11% alcohol, so boozy is the word which comes to mind when describing it. Despite its high alcohol content, I have to admit that the brewery does a decent job of balancing the flavours, but you're always reminded that this is a strong beer. The boozy character is present from the scent right through to the finish.
The scent of the beer is pleasant, but you know that it's strong as soon as you smell it. The boozy aroma is obvious, but piney hops and notes of vanilla and roasted malts are clearly present. The hop scent is present, but not overwhelming.
This Black IPA is continuously hopped for 150 minutes, so it's not surprising that this beer is bitter. In fact, the high bitterness is needed to offset the alcohol level. The roasted malts come through a little more in the flavour than its scent would suggest. The finish of the beer is dry and bitter, and there is a mild alcohol burn.
The mouthfeel of the beer is high in my opinion. The alcohol burn mixed with the relatively high level of carbonation is a little too much for me.
Overall, I have to say that this is a solid Black IPA. Although the booziness is forever present, it would be hard to mask this aspect of the beer considering the alcohol content is 11%. The piney hops and the notes of vanilla and roasted malts nicely complement this beer's potency. This beer is clearly boozy, but it's nicely balanced in that none of the flavours dominate the taste buds.