Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hogan's Goat - Beau's All-Natural Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Vankleek Hill)

Hogan's Goat - Beau's All-Natural Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Vankleek Hill) 6.9%

A deep copper colour with a head of off white foam that faded to the edges of the glass fairly quickly. A typical bock aroma (think lager but a bit sweeter with a darker caramelization and a hint of higher alcohol) accompanied by hints of citrus (orange peel the label says), cloves and cinnamon that are prominent on one hand but subtle on the other if you compare Hogan's Bock to a spiced Autumn Ale for example. Or not, apparently autumn and its delectable Autumn Ales and Pumpkin beers are far enough in the past that I've confused juniper berries with the aforementioned spices. Ahem

The flavour is pleasantly malty and sweet with a continuation of the spices as described and a bitter finish. It is a tasty spiced bock, I'm not quite sure why this particular Beau's ale is as expensive as it is (juniper berries cost more in the real world than Skyrim I guess) but the beer is quite tasty. I'd have bought more but at more than $7 it's not too expensive I'm too cheap.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Detour - Muskoka Brewery (Canada - Ontario - Bracebridge)

Detour - Muskoka Brewery (Canada - Ontario - Bracebridge) 4.3%

Mango, ruby grapefruit aroma with pine and hoppy loveliness. A darker gold in a glass with a head of foam that leaves behind some lacing.

A bitter beer first and foremost with pine hops in the forefront but the hops also combine with the malty body for a flavour that I'll describe as toasted bread topped with a sprinkle of sugar and a fresh citrus (orange as well as grapefruit) and mango salsa, or perhaps a chilled compote. Yes, I'm aware that this is a beer and not an entree at brunch but Detour has some serious depth of flavour and the most amazing thing to me it that it's only 4.3%!

I am a big fan of hoppy beers that are low in alcohol (my favourite beer in the whole world is Pump House Brewery's Special Old Bitter) but it is especially impressive that Detour has so much malt flavour as well and is still only 4.3%. I really hope that this is not just a seasonal and that instead is available year round because this beer would be the perfect accompaniment to all sorts of yard work or summer sporting events.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Screamin' Beaver - Beau's All Natural Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Vankleek Hill)

Screamin' Beaver - Beau's All Natural Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Vankleek Hill) 9.9%

A shade more gold than burnished copper in a glass with a head of off-white foam. Alcohol, oak, resin and cedar in the aroma. I'm excited to taste this one, an oak-aged Imperial IPA is not something I come across every day. It'll probably need to warm a bit from refrigerator temperature for it to be best since a high alcohol content, hops AND an oak flavour all tend to stand out a bit too much, in my opinion, and overwhelm the malt when a beer is too cold.

Cedar, a touch of alcohol then sweet, toasty, caramelized malt tones, resin follows and then the oak kicks in. A toasty but very bitter finish with a bit of alcohol and resiny bitter aftertaste that has some fleeting metallic touches.

Indeed as it warms the aroma does change, the alcohol no longer stands out, the oak comes to dominate. Predictably the alcohol also fades out of the flavour as it warms and the malt comes out much more. Screamin' Beaver is an indulgent beer, indeed the very idea of a oak aged Imperial IPA is indulgent. So go ahead, indulge yourself or even better, indulge yourself and a friend or two because at nearly 10% ABV this delicious beer is made for sharing.