Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Some Quick and Dirty Reviews

While I await my more reliable internet installation and currently surf via tethering, while simultaneously trying to get unpacked and situated, my time has been slim, but a move without beer is hardly a move at all, so I offer the following in brief with a promise of more to come soon (including a baseball book review!):

St. BarnabĂ© Stout from Microbrasserie Le Naufrageur is a fairly nice stout.  Thick, dark and opaque in body with a thick brown head that retains well.  It does have nose and flavour notes of roasted espresso, and is fairly creamy on the tongue.  That said, however, I found it too sweet to call itself a dry Irish stout and too dry to be anything else.  I enjoyed it a fair bit while literally unpacking a trailer, but that said, for its steep price, there are better stouts, though there are certainly cheaper ones that are worse.  Grade: B


Lefebvre Belgian Kriek is one unique beer.  It is a lambic (fermented with wild yeast) that is flavoured with cherries, and boy is it ever!  The cherries come out in the pink colour, the nose, and the flavour to an overwhelming degree.  Were this called a pop, or even a 'beer cooler,' I might have been less put off.  Don't get me wrong... it may be my favourite beer-pop ever, but it is still that, a super-sweet, super-syrupy drink for the non-beer drinker.  Might be better in a cask without so much excess carbonation.  Grade: C+


Also from Lefebvre is their Blanche de Bruxelles.  This beer pours a fine head that offers hints of citrus, pepper, and wheat bread.  It is pretty smooth and similar tasting.  Though I am not a witbier guy, this one is quite refreshing and is complemented by a quite well-carbonated tingly-ness that shows it well.  Grade: B+ (Though if you like your witbiers, this will probably be to your liking!)

India Ink Black Pale Ale from Trafalgar, though not always well liked, found a way to show cascade hops to my preference.  The citrusy/grapefruit hops were well balanced with a (much milder) roasty maltiness that let the hops shine.  Granted, I have had few experiences with black ales and so have much to learn here, while also tasting this on a night I had many, but I did enjoy it!  Grade: B+


Tree Brewing's seasonal Hop Head Double IPA, however, takes the cake for the best new beer on my list.  The pine-like hops is quite strong, but smooth as it shows in both nose and tongue the ways this puckering bitterness need not become astringent to its detriment.  See the disclaimers on the above, but I truly enjoyed this beer for a style I often like, but rarely love.  Grade A

Circumstances also had it that I recently drank a few beers I have had before: a Dieu du Ciel Rescousse Altbier (again, a style I don't usually like, but everything these guys make is great!  A wonderful example of the style), a St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat Beer (too sweet for me, but good for what it is and well-liked for a reason)

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