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.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Blanche des Honnelles (Belgium)

Blanche des Honnelles (Belgium) 6.0%

A very cloudy deep gold in a glass with dark clumps of sediment. The aroma is medicinal and reminds me of a tincture: herbal and boozy. I fear this bottle may be off but nevertheless I persevere.

Very sweet flavour, sugary and herbal with a sticky candied ginger and a flavour of toast and marmalade. Dried fruit flavours are a part of an aspect of the flavour that sometimes comes across as malty syrup. It seems like this beer was brewed once and then reinforced with a pile of sugar to amp up the alcohol content. This is a tried and true way to make a stronger beer but using more malt works too and would make a better tasting beer. I'm not saying Blanche des Honnelles is terrible though, depending on which aspect of the flavour strikes me it will seem syrupy, cheaply made and kind of gross honestly but then on the next sip Blanche des Honnelles strikes me as a tasty wheaty homage to a barley wine and I'm won over. I flip-flopped like this all through the glass so I'd suggest you try it only if you like flavours found in sticky, malty barley wines. This is NOT your typical wheat beer.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Blanche de Bruxelles (Belgium)

Blanche de Bruxelles (Belgium) 4.5%

A light aroma of coriander with citrus (lemon) tones and some sweetness. A little bit like lemon tart squares. Quite a resilient and creamy hint of white foam. Somewhat cloudy and pale gold in a glass.

The flavour is stronger than I expected from the light aroma. The citrus is still there but it takes on a decidedly different form. It is still citrusy but novel somehow, checking out the label I see that it is probably what they call curaçao. Presumably this is the peel of the sour orange that the iconic Blue Curaçao is made from and not the blue liqueur itself. It makes for an interesting flavour and it works very nicely with the coriander. This is a really tasty and interesting Belgian White.

Monday, November 3, 2014

City and Colour - Flying Monkeys Brewery (Canada - Ontario - Barrie)

City and Colour - Flying Monkeys Brewery (Canada - Ontario - Barrie) 11.5%

Cloudy and the colour of maple syrup, not very carbonated but not flat despite having been aged for so long. In fact, the second glass I poured (into a red wine glass, for the record) had just under a finger's width of creamy, toffee coloured foam.

The aroma is strongly maple syrup and barleywine: malty with lots of prunes and other sticky dark fruit tones. Very sweet with maple but also barley candy and dark fruit tones. It has a bit of a syrupy mouthfeel but not more than you'd expect from a barley wine, which is a little less than you might expect considering this is an Imperial Maple Wheat. There is also some alcohol warmth, again as you would expect. This is a very sweet beer but the sweetness really works and City and Colour ends up being a magnificent barleywine-esque, strong maple ale.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Vanilla Porter - Waterloo Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Kitchener)

Vanilla Porter - Waterloo Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Kitchener) 6.0%

A strongly delicious, strongly vanilla aroma. Chocolate, sweetness, caramel and so much vanilla!

The vanilla flavour is strong but lessens with progressive sips. Along with the vanilla there are strong caramel and coffee/espresso flavours as well as nice dark chocolate flavours with a touch of black olives. If you have ever had a vanilla beer, porter or otherwise, and thought, "There's some vanilla, but I would like more" then this Vanilla Porter is for you. No one is going to say Waterloo Vanilla Porter is lacking in vanilla, that's for dang sure.