Wednesday, 26 December 2012

December 16, 2012

237/637)  Home:  Historic Beers of Canada:  1820-1829 Dray Horse Ale by Black Creek Historic Brewery of Ontario:   **;  brewed with 100% Ontario grown ingredients;  in the era of canal building  Dray Horses pulled the barges through the canals;  very dark brown, very little carbonation;  I am reminded of the stout I helped make at Black Creek Pioner Village;  sweet mocha nose;  rich, almost creamy mocha with touch brown sugar flavours;  this is the second in a series, Rifleman's Ration being the first - I eagerly await the next installments;

238/638)  Home:  Winter Treacle Porter by Innis and Gunn of Scotland:  **1/2; brewed with molasses, oak aged, matured 39 days;  rich, fruity vanilla nose;  warming taste of dried fruit, caramel, hint of chocolate;  another winner from Innis and Gunn; 

This is part of the 2012 Connoisseur's Oak Collection (another glass to add to the collection) and it is also available on its own, unlike last year's Winter Ale.  I only wish Innis and Gunn would either put all of their beers in boxes or start using tinted glassThe beer is a beautiful colour, and I can understand why they would want to show it off, but I worry about the damage from light.

December 14, 2012

236/636)  Orwell's, Etobicoke:  Rickard's Oakhouse by Molson Coors of Ontario:  **;  warmly spiced with brown sugary notes;  another solid seasonal from the Rickard's line;  I am starting to worry that I might become unfashionable what with all these favourable reviews for beers from the big fellows;  my street cred., I fear, is in jeopardy;

I was invited to Orwell's anniversary party which took place the day before the Grey Cup game.  It was great fun and I won some accessories for a gadget I don't own - a major award!  I guess I am committed to buying an i-phone now.

December 12, 2012

What a great day.

I got the call, as promised, from the Cooper Street LCBO. They would have 120 six packs of Wesvleteren 12 but I had to show up early. It got me thinking. The Weston Road and Highway 401 store is easier for me to get to and it opens an hour earlier - maybe I would have a second chance if this didn't work out so I called and was told they would have fifteen trays or sixty cases but, again, be there before opening.

I rolled in at 7:45 and there were already people waiting. I was 15th in line. It was clear but cold - my poor feet. The lady that got there first had driven by at 3:30AM to check if there was a line and by 6:30 she couldn't stand it any more so she opened a folding chair and waited.

A few spots in front of me was a couple, the wife obviously pregnant even under her bulky coat, with two very young children. They looked reasonable enough, almost yuppyish. At least the kids were severely bundled up.

Despite our hopes, they did not open early. A couple of minutes before 9 the manager on duty stepped out and handed out tickets. We were told where to find the object of our desire and not soon enough the doors opened.

There were a couple of people who didn't seem to know what they were buying. One road worker, in his reflective vest and helmet, was clearly roped into evading the one case limit.

I was offered an extra $10.00 in the parking lot for my case but that didn't represent a good hourly rate for my time. Besides, I can't think of an amount I would have accepted after going through what I did to learn where and when to find it. It sold out in minutes here, at Cooper Street and anywhere else it was available.

At $76.85 it could be one of the more foolish things I have done but, hey, sixty cents was the deposit!


December 10, 2012

235/635)  Home:  Yanjing Beer by Beijing Yanjing Brewery Co. Ltd. of China:  *1/2;   "No. 1 Beer From China";  brewed using natural mineral water;  pale, perfectly clear;  almost soda-like finish;

December 9, 2012

234/634)  Home:  Squire Scotch Ale by Cannery Brewing Company of British Columbia:  *1/2;a  6% Scotch ale;  mildly sweet;  malty but not overly so;

December 7, 2012

232/632)  The 3 Brewers:  Holiday Ale (La Bière des Fêtes) by The 3 Brewers, Ontario:  **1/2;  this is The 3 Brewers beer of the month for December;  "a festive Belgian amber brew";   very prominently spiced;  7%;  it tastes like Christmas -  I will return for this several times; 

233/633)  Sin and Redemption:  Houblon Chouffe by Brasserie d'Achouffe of Belgium:  **; cloudy with a gingery, hoppy nose;  "Dobbelin IPA tripel";   hoppy in a North American way - a Belgian take on a west Coast IPA;

December 6, 2012

231/631)  Home:  Scarecrow Organic Golden Pale Ale by Wychwood Brewery of England:  *1/2;  from the Beers of Character pack;  a summer ale with English-style hoppiness and a bitter finish; 

December 5, 2012

230/630)  Home:  Pugsley's Signature Series Barley Wine by Shipyard Brewing Co. of Maine, U.S.A.:  **;  brewed with 6 malts and 3 hops (including fuggles);  sweet fruity nose;  rich, slightly fruity with burnt sugar notes and a bittersweet finish;

December 4, 2012

229/629)  Home:  Craftsman Chocolate Oatmeal Stout by Renaissance Brewing Company of New Zealand:  **1/2;  brewed with cocoa nibs and vanilla which, not suprisingly, find their way into the nose;  the mouthfeel is a shade thinner than many stouts;  chocolate, vanilla and coffee notes - very nice;

December 1, 2012

228/628)  Home:  Harvest Ale Vintage 2012 by Muskoka Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;   this is the 4th year that Muskoka has offered this ale;  well balanced with a sweet caramel finish - surprising;

November 28, 2012

226/626) Home: Twice As Mad Tom Double IPA by Muskoka Brewery of Ontario: **; an 8.4% variant on Mad Tom which has become the go-to IPA for many; this is super-aggressively hopped - right up there with Ten Bitter Years or Smashbomb; more malt presence than one might anticipate based on the nose;

227/627) Home: Rickard's Dark by Molson Coors of Ontario: *1/2; my thinking was if I could try Keiths I can try Rickards; the tin describes it as a "porter brewed with maple syrup"; pours dark with a creamy head, traces of Quebec maple syrup;  of the two, I preferred the Keith's; 

November 27, 2012

224/624) The Crown and Anchor, Brampton: Alexander Keith's Dark by Alexander Keith/Labatts:  **;  pours very dark; faint notes of coffee and caramel;  I gave it two stars largely because I've a soft spot for dark beers;

225/625) Home: Chatoe Rogue First Growth Pumpkin Patch Ale by Rogue Brewery of Oregon, U.S.A.: **1/2;  brewed with roasted pumpkin, cinnamon, orange peel, cloves and nutmeg; strong pumpkin nose; delicious pumpkin pie flavours; 

November 26, 2012

223/623) Home: Saigon Export by the Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp. of Viet Nam; **;  brewed with "malt" and "rice"; remarkably well balanced; fruity, berry-like notes; this is what 1 million standard Euro-lagers could be;

November 25, 2012

222/622)  The 3 Brewers:  Harvest Ale ( La Belle Récolte) by The 3 Brewers, Ontario:  **;  brewed with 100% Ontario hops;  clear, golden colour;  checks in at 5.8%;  bitter earthy hoppiness;  I think I favour this over The IPA from the summer;  I found that one suffers for drinking a second glass while the after-taste of the Harvet Ale is more pleasant;

November 22, 2012

221/621): Home: Weiss O'Lantern by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario: **;    this is number 13 in Beau's Wild Oats Series;  brewed with organic pumpkin puree, orange peel, ginger, cinammon and nutmeg; cloudy, pale orange colour;  it is a spiced wheat beer  though I don't sense as much pumpkin as spices; a bit fizzy, sparkling but quite refreshing and bracing;

November 21, 2012

220/620)  Home:  Oktoberfest by Brooklyn Brewery of New York, U.S.A.:  *1/2;  the label describes this as a marzen, amber lager;  enough maltiness to take the edge off the Euro-hops; 

November 19, 2012

219/619) Home: Doppel Pils by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario: *1/2; a 7% double (Czech) hopped Pilsner; for all that, it is reasonably well balanced; one dimensional Saaz finish and after taste;

Sunday, 2 December 2012

November 10, 2012

218/618)  Home:  Paradise IPA by Mill Street Brewery:  **;  "First brewed on a Friday the 13th at our Ottawa brewpub";  a 7.2% IPA with 5 malts and Cascade hops;  well balanced, hoppy but not to an extreme;  part of Mill Street's Celebration Sampler pack;

November 9, 2012

216/616)  Caffe Volo:  Pumpkin Ale by Church Key Brewing of Ontario:  **;  a fine balance of malt, spice and pumpkin flavours;

214/617)  Burger Bar and Tequila Tavern:  He'Brew Genesis by Shmaltz Brewing Company of New York, U.S.A.:  **;  a 4.7% "dry Hopped Session Ale";  strongly hopped but with a sweet edge to it;  I find it interesting how the abv of "session" beers has been creeping higher in recent months;

November 8, 2012

215/615:  Home:  Royal Extra Stout by Carib Brewery of Trinidad:  **1/2;  dry coffee nose;  Carribean stouts can be cloyingly sweet rendering best suited for cooking (they make for a great chili) but this is so dark and and not overly sweet with caramel, chocolate and coffee notes;  I really was not expecting to like this one so much;

Today is International Stout Day.  I still don't know who decides such things.  I also tested Mill Street's Cobblestone Stout, now available in tins.  I don't get the same depth of flavour that the draught version has but it sure is a nice try.