Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kirin Ichiban (Japan / USA - Los Angeles) 5.0%

In honour of MLB 2012 Opening Series in Japan and the giant billboard in right field of the Tokyo Dome featuring Ichiro holding a Kirin Ichiban, I review the beer (though the version in North America is brewed in the USA).

Kirin Ichiban (Japan / USA - Los Angeles) 5.0%

An Anheuser-Busch product, this Japanese beer is actually brewed in Los Angeles under the supervision of the Kirin Brewery from Japan and it tastes like a slightly more bitter than average lager, not much to distinguish it other than a stylish label and a great bottle cap.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gahan House Tasting (Canada - PEI - Charlottetown)

Gahan House Tasting (Canada - PEI - Charlottetown)

In historic downtown Charlottetown, Gahan House is a great restaurant with an even better brewery attached to it. A nice pub style restaurant by day, the Gahan House turns into a boisterous pub by night. A favourite watering hole for plenty of professionals in the after-work crowd and a perfect spot for a lunch or a pint while in the city. Their taster tray is a delight and was a pleasure to review.

Harvest Gold Pale Ale

A light sweet malty body. Slightly bitter hop finish.

Sir John A's Honey Wheat Ale 4.5%

An interesting beer: tastes of grain and bread. It slightly sweet, slightly skunky, malty, barely bitter. A hardy tasting beer that still manages to be very refreshing.

Gahan House White

Smells citrusy. A bit of a silky sort of soapy mouthfeel tastes very much of lemon.

Honey Brown (Mix of Sir John A's Honey Wheat Ale & Ironhorse Brown)

Tastes like a sweet thin brown. Somewhat roasty and some faint coffee tones.

Island Red 5.3%

Late onset of flavour, it is sweet and really quite bitter for a red. Roasty and a little caramel.

Ironhorse Brown

Roasty, some coffee flavours. A little tangy. A very pleasant brown ale one of the highlights of the sample tray.

1772 IPA 7.0%

Smells like hops and alcohol. Tastes strongly of hops with a melon character but also with a cedar/sprucy hops aspect. Quite sweet and caramely too. A nicely balanced IPA that people who don't normally like IPA might enjoy because it is quite sweet and, although it has a strong hop flavour as the type demands, it has a mix of hops characteristics and is not overly bitter. Definitely high alcohol: has a bit of a burn.

Sydney Street Stout

Smells very smoky and roasty. Tastes very strongly of dark chocolate/cocoa, roast. Barely carbonated. A great stout, very much in the tradition. Would work as a dessert beer and reminds me of Norwegian Yule beers.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

In honour of my favourite day of the year, here are two splendid beers from the Emerald Isle.

Harp Premium Irish Lager (Ireland) 5.0%

Malty and a little bitter for a lager. A nicely non-bland taste that doesn't take away from its refreshing-ness. A gold colour with a full head, I kind of expected it to have a few more characteristic of a red beer based on the name and its lineage.

O'Hara's Irish Stout - Carlow Brewing (Ireland) 4.3%

This stout is black and for all intents and purposes opaque in a glass. A velvety smooth head and well carbonated. Smells deliciously smoky as if delicious wood was being roasted in dark chocolate. The taste is nicely bitter, roasty and more of coffee than dark chocolate but there is an earthy blend of both. One of the most expensive beers in the import aisle but well worth it. A delicious Irish Stout, sooo much better than the infinitely more famous Guinness, it's no wonder O'Hara's Irish Stout has won numerous awards in international competition. You'll be glad it comes in a 500 ml bottle because there is plenty to savour - it also has a beautiful bottle cap.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tartan Ale (2012) - Alexander Keith's (Canada - Nova Scotia - Halifax)

Tartan Ale 2012 - Alexander Keith's (Canada - Nova Scotia - Halifax) 6.1%

As promised on their website in 2011, Alexander Keith's Tartan Ale was a work in progress. I am very pleased to once again find Tartan Ale in the beer aisle in 2012. I think the 2012 version is even better than I remember so I've decided to review it again.

Alexander Keith's Tartan Ale is quite sweet, with a touch of caramel; it has a subtle hops backing and is full of roasty red tones. It is somewhat bitter and at times I taste some hints of coffee. Overall it is complicated and interesting but well balanced and still very drinkable. Tartan Ale is a red tinted gold colour in a glass and, in my opinion, far and away the best beer Keith's makes.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Argentina's Favourite

Quilmes (Argentina) 4.9%

An interesting lager, bitter and malty sure but also some subtle fruity tones & musty sweetness. Quite good for an international lager. Not the easiest thing to find in North America but it's everywhere in Argentina; as popular as the label claims.