The story of the Seigneuriale brewery is fairly well known: one of Quebec's best microbreweries of the 1990's, it was bought by Sleeman in 1998, continued to operate normally for a time, but was eventually left to fade away. Following Sleeman's purchase of Unibroue, keen-eyed observers noted the curious statement that suddenly appeared on Sleeman's website: namely, that among the beers brewed at Unibroue's Chambly brewery were the Seigneuriale beers. Then came word that Sleeman was indeed planning to resurrect the brand, followed by a report earlier this year that the first batch of the new Seigneuriale had in fact been brewed. It's been available for a month or two now; yesterday, I tried a bottle.
It is brewed to the same recipe as the original version, although Unibroue's distinctive yeast is now used. Orange-amber colour, a little hazy, with a fine effervescence. Dense, lasting head. Like the original, the new Seigneuriale is dry-hopped, but not obviously so--for me, at least. The Unibroue yeast is prominent in both the aroma and flavour. Orange and banana, moderately spiced, hints of fresh hops that come and go. Fairly soft and creamy texture, with a moderately dry finish. It's a Unibroue beer, clearly, but modestly different than anything else in the range. The original version was available at the LCBO some years ago, so I've had both the old and new, but I can't make any comparisons between them. Whether or not this will ever make it to Ontario is anyone's guess, but it's worth seeking out.