Du Bas Canada: Reign in Blood

The history of the Roman Empire began and ended with heavy tones, similar to these four beasts from Brasserie Du Bas Canada, all weighing in at a heavy 8% alcohol by volume. Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire was founded on the principle of bloodshed, it was the battle between twin brothers Romulus and Remus. Romulus killed his twin brother Remus foreshadowing the blood filled down fall of the Roman empire 1,229 years later, but for the moment founded a city destined to greatness. It was not until 27 BC, 726 years after the founding of Rome that the Roman Empire was officially crowned, following the fall of Julius Ceaser and the rise of his adopted son Octavius, who the senate conferred unto him the name Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman Empire. And thus began 503 years of war and peace, or in French Guerre et Paix, wink, a little pun. For those who know the history of the Roman Empire it is not a strange thought that it was more war than peace. This empire was riddled with war, bloodshed, betrayal, an urge for dominance and power, and a battle for the crown. These DIPAs aptly named after some of the famous Emperors of Rome continue to battle each other for the top spot of my favorite DIPA from Brasserie Du Bas Canada. As they would say in the Coliseum, Let the games begin!

DIPA || ABV: 8.0% || IBU: –

Tiberius, the step son of Augustus, was the second emperor of Rome. His mother divorced his father and married Augustus, and was later adopted by Augustus and became a Julian, and the heir to Roman glory. There is naturally a bit of complexity to the history involving his rise to power. Tiberius decided to leave Rome as he had no interest to become emperor, leaving way for Augustus two grandsons, who were next in line after Tiberius to rise to the occasion. However upon the eventual death of both his grandsons, Augustus had no choice but to turn to Tiberius to give him the riens to the empire, even though he conveyed disgust to become the Emperor. Tiberius was no tyrant, but a good leader so the books say, which is ironic considering his upbringing.

The aroma on this beer is bursting with tropical fruits, loads of Mango and Papaya are shinning through. The taste is a great hoppy, tropical fruit kick with no heat or boozyness but a bit of a strong sweet finish. Sip after sip the sweetness does begin to mellow out a bit, but still feels dominant to me. Mellow and sweet, just like the Emperor some may say.

DIPA || ABV: 8.0% || IBU: –

Following Tiberius came the third emperor, the grand nephew of Tiberius, Caligula. As is the bloody lusty tale of Rome, it is rumored that Caligula killed Tiberius through suffocation by pillow, to rise to power. An hommage is depicted in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator. Tiberius was 77. This fashion of assassination was popular during that time as it would be difficult to find the cause of death and at such an old age, it was always determined to be natural causes as the cause of death. Caligula reigned Rome with great reform and financial distress. After scandals and distress in the senate, a plot to assassinate the Emperor was in place and was successful. After the assassination, Caliguas wife and daughter were brutally murdered in an attempt to restore Rome to a replublic, after the hunt for his uncle Claudius I, the next successor, were unsuccessful, Claudius ascended the throne and the Julio-Claudian dynasty lived on. Claudius died by apparent poison, so the story continues of betrayal.

The aroma is light juicy with bits of tropical fruits dancing around. It is a very light, hoppy, and fruity beer, but not extremely impactful in my opinion. But it certainly has its charm with the tropical fruits shinning through and a really great mouthfeel which can swirl in your palate. This one I do find a bit boozy but not as sweet as the others.

DIPA || ABV: 8.0% || IBU: –

Nero, the stepson of Claudius, become emperor following the death of his step father, technically his great uncle. Did I mention the relations of family members was also a bit strange in the history of Rome? Nero was the last emperor from the Julio-Claudian dynasty, and his empire was shunned with scandal and murder, as seems the case with each ruler. He was known as the Emperor who fiddled while his city burned. He murdered his mother, and his two wives, and was a lover of arts and music. Nero was essentially, so it seems, the direct son of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, winemaking, grape cultivation, fertility, ritual madness, theater, and religious ecstasy. For Nero ruling was of no interest, and eventually his reign ended not with assassination, but with suicide. Which I will assume can be debated.

Although Neros reign of the Roman Empire was not in any way smooth, this beer is as smooth as double IPAs get, its got a burst of tropical hops, juicyness and an absolutely creamy mouthfeel and body. Very light and soft with a bold impact of fruits and a balance which does not give way to any heat or boozyness, and the sweetness is balanced and on point.

DIPA || ABV: 8.0% || IBU: –

238 years after Nero, Constantine the Great became Emperor of Rome. He was the Emperor to profess Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire. His reign was steered by his new found faith and the Christian God. He aimed to suppress paganism and he is world known to have revitalized Byzantium to Constantinople, now modern day Istanbul. He was the one who lead the Roman Empire to a new era and started the world on a path to a new age.

As sweet as Constantines relation with his Christian God, so is this beer, although it has wondrous aromas of juicy passion fruit shinning through, they are not fully portrayed on the taste. I find this one a bit too bold on the sweetness. Not strong or boozy however, but it is hard to get past the sweetness to really feel the nuances of the beer. Just like religion can be a tough nail to hammer, oh dear God, I used that, so is this most recent addition to the Emperor line of beers from Du Bas Canada.

Brasserie Du Bas Canada are certainly making swift waves in the industry here in Quebec. And I am with the crowd on these guys, their beers are absolutely fantastic and it has been exciting trying their beers. With many more destined to come, my taste buds are ready for the next battle. Their interest to name their double IPAs after Roman Emperors leads me to wonder if their coveted IPA series named Hypa, is referring to some other iconic history, maybe the philosopher, astronomer and mathematician, Hypatia. Or potentially some other historic figure, what I certainly can see in the future is a series of beer following historic buildings in the Gatineau area, such as Bank Hotel. (Which now after writing this draft, is out now at the brewery) Who knows what the future holds for these guys, but I can say the future is brighter than the history of Rome, and the fall is no where in sight.

Words + Photography by Hopcitizen

Your Ordinary Beer Citizen

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