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Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week": Unibroue 2002 Quelque Chose

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jan 30, 2008 7:03PM

2008_01_botw5.jpgwhen we made it a Unibroue weekend a couple weekends ago, we were floored by the quality of their 2002 Quelque Chose ale. Prior to either of the dinners we attended we thought we had tasted practically everything Unibroue had to offer.

There's a movement among some craft breweries to blend and age their beers, like wines or spirits. Three Floyds and Goose Island both do this with their stouts and darker ales (see DarkLord, Bourbon County Stout, or Imperial Brown Goose). The beers are treated as constantly evolving in flavor, even when resting in the bottle. The 2002 vintages of Quelque Chose are labeled as being good until 2019, indicating that the brewers intended this ale to be constantly evolving.

Quelque Chose is treated in a similar manner, with one difference: this is a still beer. There's very little carbonation in this beer; some drinkers may think that they're getting a flat, expired brew. But this is brewed with the intent of being something different, hence the name of the beer (translated from French). Quelque Chose is also brewed with cherry must, which imparts a wonderful flavor to the malts without being overbearing or sour, like a kriek or other lambic.

Quelque Chose is best when served heated. Unibroue "culinary attaché" Jim Javenkoski explained at the Custom House charcuterie seminar that it's a fairly simple process. Remove the cork from the bottle and immerse in a pot of boiling water. When the foam from this beer rises to the top of the bottle, Quelque Chose is ready for serving. We sampled Quelque Chose at room temperature and warmed; believe us, warm is way more preferable. Unfortunately, you might find the proverbial needle in a haystack before getting a bottle of Quelque Chose at a local liquor store. But you can try. We're still in awe over the overall quality of Unibroue's 2002 Quelque Chose to not name it Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week."