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Friday, December 12, 2014

Iron Duke - Wellington Brewery (Canada - Ontario - Guelph)

Iron Duke - Wellington Brewery (Canada - Ontario - Guelph) 6.5%

A deep yet red hued brown colour in a glass with a tan head of foam and a sweet, sticky malty aroma.

This malty beauty has a sweet, toasty, chewy dark fruit, molasses and lightly caramel flavour with some light smoky wood tones. There are some hops detectable, especially with the first few sips (hop aromatics and flavours come from more volatile compounds than sugars so they tend to be most noticeable at first especially in the head on the beer), but this is a malt forward beer for sure. This strong ale reminds me a little of a Wee Heavy and is just plain good.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Beaver River I.P.Eh? - Greener Futures - Beau's All-Natural Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Vankleek Hill)


Beaver River I.P.Eh? - Greener Futures - Beau's All-Natural Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Vankleek Hill) 6.0%

Punchy fruity tones stem from the hops and ginger combination, citrusy, almost like the peel of an orange - that characterizes the hops character. There are also distinct rum tones to be enjoyed, floating above the other flavour these alcohol, spice and wood tones give this version of Beaver River I.P.Eh? a heady and indulgent boozy aspect despite the fact that it is only 6% ABV. Beaver River I.P.Eh? is quite bitter but with some malty sweetness. This is a fun version of an IPA, the ginger and the rum barrels play well with the other flavours. I'd pick it up again if they were to make it again.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dominus Vobiscum Double - Microbrasserie Charlevoix (Canada - Quebec - Baie-Saint-Paul) 8.0%

Dominus Vobiscum Double - Microbrasserie Charlevoix (Canada - Quebec - Baie-Saint-Paul) 8.0%

A cloudy beer with a creamy tan head of foam. It is a deep brown colour with a deep amber hue very much like the colour of mahogany (like the label says).

A strong and unique aroma: there are apple juice tones, which is a bit weird but the other aspects balance it; there is grape, raisin, biscuit and molasses; finally, barley candy with subtle leather and an underlying earthiness. Makes for a heady, intriguing and delicious aroma.

The flavour is strongly malty with molasses and barley candy sweetness and lots of dark, dried fruit flavours like raisin, dates and prunes. There is a floral aspect to the overall flavour that is likely contributed by the yeast present in this bottle-conditioned beer. Dominus Vobiscum Double is neither overly sweet or bitter but just very flavourful and interesting. A really lovely beer full of character.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Zizanie - Tête d’Allumette (Canada - Quebec - St-André de Kamouraska)

Zizanie - Tête d’Allumette (Canada - Quebec - St-André de Kamouraska) 3.9%

A barely cloudy gold in a glass without much of a head. The aroma is sweet, light, with white fleshed fruits tones like pear or white grape juice. The flavour is light but not as light as you might expect from the low alcohol content,  a delicious mix of mild crusty roll or giant pretzel tones from the malt, floral tones that bring to mind wide fields in August and a light hop bitterness with an umami finish that means the glass spends as much time at my lips as it does resting on the bar. Yum!

A quick note about the venue where I came across this rare beauty. Gainsbourg is a fine brewpub in its own right (reviews of their beers upcoming) but they also serve a great selection of Quebecois beers including this one.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Chimay Blanche (Belgium)

Chimay Blanche (Belgium) 8.0%

Sweet, clear, subtle nectar aroma with light spice, tones of pear and light wood. Somewhat cloudy gold with a white, resilient head of foam.

The flavour is quite spicy, flowery touches to the nectar, hints of alcohol with similar light flavoured fruit touches (pear, white grapes) as were found in the aroma. This is an interesting Belgian Tripel as it has the lighter, flowery sweet flavours without that very sweet flavour and somewhat heavier texture of other Belgian Tripels.