Drink responsibly, it’s better…

This is a thing I noticed at the Montreal Beer Festival recently, which seems to fall in line with several things that I have noticed this year so far, since starting the drinking challenge.  Here are a few hastily written notes…

  1. Sens du goût plus développé/A better developed palette
    By tasting and trying to rate each beer rather than sinking them asafp, I’ve learned quite a bit about what different types of beer should taste like.  I’ve also figured out that my own particular preference lies in darker beers, which I think may be linked to getting older but I’ve no proof of that other than my own drinking history.
  2. Plus de plaisir à déguster/A more pleasurable tasting experience
    Pretty much as above, drinking for the taste rather than the effect has made me appreciate not just the beer but the social aspect a lot more.  At the risk of sounding philosophical, the emphasis is on discovery rather than getting drunk and hoping for the best.
  3. Pas de gueule de bois/No hangovers
    This is the best thing I’ve noticed – a better tolerance to the effects of beer by drinking one or two (or three or four) regularly rather than getting smashed at the weekend on seven or eight beers.
  4. Sommeil plus réparateur/More restful sleep
    Sleeping after drinking was never easy.  A few hours here and there, getting up for a drink of water or chocolate milk for some reason and odd dreams which may have been real or not.  After a lot of beer before it would take me 24 hours to recover properly, the night after being a proper recovery sleep.  This is no longer necessary, as I don’t get that drunk anymore sleeping to recover is easier.
  5. Plus d’énergie, meilleure forme, meilleur contrôle du poids/More energy, better form, better weight control
    I noticed in March that with consistent but not excessive alcohol intake comes great responsibility.  It’s very easy to put on weight and it has become a priority to eat somewhat more healthily and do more exercise.  With consistent but not excessive beers, it’s easier to find a balance between the things that are good for you and the things that are bad.
  6. Changer de conducteur désigné/A change of designated driver
    I don’t really care about this as the public transport in Montreal is pretty good!  I would simple add that I have had to walk home at 3 or 4am a lot less this year so far (only once I think, but that wasn’t beer’s fault – damn shots).

 

Nos. 122 – 125 – Weekend in Sherbrooke

Nos. 122 – 125 – Weekend in Sherbrooke

It had been a long day.  Up at the crack of dawn to catch the bus to Sherbrooke.  Then two hours of walking around looking for things to photograph, followed by lunch with a friend and some more walking around.  My friend then suggested that we visit a shop she had stumbled across previously to find something to drink.  I didn’t expect much, but when we arrived I could see a ray of light shine down from the heavens and hear angels sing.

That shop is Au Vent du Nord, if you are in the area and searching for beer, I’d recommend it.

No. 122 – Archibald’s Ci-Boire
2017-04-22 - 122 - Archibald Ci-Boire _500beers

Having visited the Archibald Microbrewery in Trois Rivieres the week before and being very impressed by their Veuve Noire and Tite Kriss I chose a couple of their other beers for the evening.  The first, Ci-Boire is a moderately strong IPA at 6% that is pretty good, hoppy with a little hint of orange and refreshing.  I liked it, it was worth the price and had an accurate description.  I would drink it again and recommend trying it.  5/11

No. 123 – Archibald’s Belle Mer
2017-04-22 - 123 - Archibald Belle Mer Blanche _500beers
I’m not sure why I picked this one after Ci-Boire – IPA overload.  It is a very hoppy beer and somewhat heavier than other IPAs I had had before.  I gave it a 4/11 for being accurate, reasonably priced and I’d recommend it to IPA lovers.  The other 1 point is made up of 0.5 for being good and 0.5 for probable drink-again-ability.

This one’s possibly going on my ‘retasting’ list.

No. 124 – Le Trefle Noir’s Chronique

More Le Trefle Noir, and one I had been looking forward to finding.  It’s a traditional red English ale, with a nice deep colour and a balanced taste, bittersweet with hints of caramel and a taste I can only describe as burnt – that’s what my notes say anyway.  It was a fine beer and the highlight of the night.  6/11 – for being good, cheap, accurate and for drink-again-ability, recommend-ability and for the fact that I would (and did) go out of my way to buy it.

No. 125 – Archibald’s Nuit Blanche

2017-04-24 - 125 - Archibald Nuit Blanche poured _500beers

I had this one in the evening after a few hours on the bus and it was nice.  It’s white IPA but made me think more of a lager while drinking it, though the colour and fruity taste all point at white beer.  It’s the best of the three Archibalds I tried this particular weekend and gets a 6/11 for being good, cheap, reasonably accurate and having a little something different about it – I would also drink it again and recommend it.

I also bought Dieu du Ciel’s Dernière Volontés this weekend but I’ve already written about it, check it out here.

I will definitely call by Sherbrooke again before the end of the year to find a few different beers.

 

Nos. 195 – 200 – Montreal Beer Festival

Nos. 195 – 200 – Montreal Beer Festival

I will be attending several beer festivals this year including Laval, Québec, Sherbrooke and Chambly but first I went to the Montreal Beer Festival to hit different beer number 200.

Since the last time I was there two years ago the prices seem to have gone up quite a bit, but that just means having to be smart.  I managed to get quite a lot of alcohol content to the dollar and out of six beers I tasted, two were bland, while four were either very good or excellent…

No. 195 – Saint Bock’s Sweet Jesus
2017-06-17 - 195 - Saint Bock Sweet Jesus _500beers

I started with the first strong beer I found.  At 10.5%, this is the strongest scotch ale I’ve tasted so far.  It is very good.  A little sweet, very warm flavour, hints of caramel and a very good colour.  This one gets an 8/11.  It is good, accurate, has a little something different, I’d drink it again and recommend it and it is worth the price based on the price it costs at Le Saint Bock.  I would go out of my way for it and would definitely go out in a snowstorm for it.
No. 196 – Brasseurs du Bois Blanc’s La Dark Soul
2017-06-17 - 196 - Brasseurs du Bois Blanc La Dark Soul _500beers
I’ve had some very nice coffee stouts in the past and they’ve all had good reviews.  This may be the coffee-ist of them all.  The aroma is like a rich espresso and the small samples that you get give the beer more of an air of a coffee than a beer.  Taste-wise, it is very rich indeed and felt more like a coffee, with a slightly different buzz afterwards.  I would definitely drink this once in a while, but don’t know if I could drink a couple on the same day.  It gets 7/11, the only difference between this and Sweet Jesus being that I don’t know if I’d go out in a snowstorm for this.  It’s a little too much.

No. 197 – La Barbarie’s Rousse Anglaise
2017-06-17 - 197 - La Barbarie Rousse Anglaise _500beers

It’s a nice colour.  Unfortunately, that’s about it.  It’s got a very weak flavour, and doesn’t compare with other red ales I’ve had so far.  It came from a bottle that had been opened previously (I think), so maybe this explains the flatness to some extent.  If I spot it elsewhere I may give it another chance.  I’m not sure how I arrived at this according the scoring system but it’s getting 2/11 for now.

No. 198 – St. Ambroise Pamplemousse IPA
2017-06-17 - 198 - St. Ambroise Pamplemousse IPA _500beers
I’ve been waiting to try this for a while, St. Ambroise beers that I’ve tasted so far have generally been in individual tins or pints, but I’ve only been able to find six packs of this so far.  It’s definitely an IPA – hoppy and I imagine indistinguishable from their other IPA.  I got very little hint of grapefruit whatsoever.  I was a little disappointed with this after enjoying their Apricot Wheat Beer.  It’s getting 3/11 – it’s not bad, it’s probably worth what you would pay for a six pack and I’d probably give it another go.  But I’d recommend other St. Ambroise IPAs over this.

 
No. 199 – Mill St. Brewery’s Madawaska Maple
2017-06-17 - 199 - Mill St. Brewery Madawaska _500beers
This was rather bland and watery, but there was the mildest hint of maple in the taste.  I’m giving it 2/11 at a stretch for description, price and being a little different (that’s 0.5, 1 and 0.5)

 

 

 
No. 200 – Brasseurs Illimités Noire Truculente
2017-06-17 - 200 - Brasseurs Illimités Noire Truculente _500beers
This was a real treat with a strong aroma, hinting at a chocolate stout.  It is a stout of sorts, but has some qualities of a strong scotch ale too – that almost whiskey like warmth in the throat.  It’s thick and almost like a syrup too.  It’s a very good beer indeed and I will be trying it again in the future.  9/11,  I would fight a bear for this.  A fitting beer for the big Number 200.

 

Despite being pricey, the beer festival was overall a good experience, particularly for the Norie Truculente, Sweet Jesus and La Dark Soul.

 

No. 194 – Beck’s (quick review No.1!)

No. 194 – Beck’s
2017-06-16 - 194 - Beck's _500beers

This is a beer that I have had in bottles in the past and never really liked.  I picked it as a number booster, not really expecting much from it.  It was better than I remember.  A typical lager that seemed quite light to me, but it was thirst quenching and cheap.  Possibly a little too easy to drink, I got through it in five minutes I think.  So, it’s getting a 5/11, it’s good, cheap, accurate, I’d drink it again and I wouldn’t tell anyone not to drink it so it’s recommendable technically.

 

 

Nos. 191 – 193 – Mill St. Brewery’s Autumn Selection

Nos. 191 – 193 – Mill St. Brewery’s Autumn Selection

I stumbled across this selection pack at my local dépanneur on Thursday in need of something refreshing to take my mind of the irritating heat of Summer…

191 – Oktoberfest Style Lager

Decent lager, but nothing special.  It’s good, worth the price, accurate and I’d drink it again.  I’d recommend it, which brings it up to the standard 5/11 mark.  It’s noteworthy that so far, few lagers have stood out and got the extra few marks to make them special beers.

192 – Nightmare Pumpkin Ale

This is the highlight from this pack.  There is a hint of pumpkin in the taste, but it is not very strong.  I like subtle flavours that aren’t overpowering.  I also got a hint of sweetness that made me think of cinnamon in the aftertaste which was quite pleasant.  It’s good, worth the price, accurate, a little different, I’d drink it again and I’d recommend it.  I will reconsider it when I try over pumpkin beers.  6/11

193 – Tankenstein IPA

Hoppy aroma that doesn’t come through to heavily in the taste.  This to me is a good thing.  I didn’t take too many notes on this one, just simply wrote ‘quite a good beer, possibly 5.5.’  It’s good, worth the price, I’d drink it again and recommend it and it is accurate.  I’m giving it the extra 0.5 as it is slightly better than a lot of the 5/11s I’ve had so far (they’re my rules!).  5.5/11

2017-06-15 - 191 - 193 Mill St. Brewery Autumn Selection Desc._500beers

A decent selection indeed, falling short of the previous Mill St. Brewery beers I’ve tasted so far but still decent for the price.

Nos. 189 and 190 from Les Brasseurs RJ

Nos. 189 and 190 from Les Brasseurs RJ

I’ve previously tried six beers from Les Brasseurs RJ, with the highest rated so far being their Titanic at 8/11 and the lowest being their Cheval Blanc Double Blanc at 3/11 – they’ve an average score of 6/11 in any case which is pretty consistent…

No. 189 – Barbar

I got quite tipsy from this beer, which was nice.  It’s a strong honey beer, with a really nice rainbow like colour (in the sunlight at least).  It’s not too hoppy at all, has a little hint of fruit and is quite a full bodied beer.  You know you’re drinking a strong beer when you drink it.  There is a nicely balanced bitterness to it as well in the after taste that I really liked.  It get’s 6/11 for being good, worth the price, accurate, recommendable, drink-again-able, and I would go out of my way for it.

No. 190 – Robe Noire

Titanic from Les Brasseurs RJ was a very good stout so I had high expectations for this.  It does not disappoint.  The head is like a mousse, it fizzes away but retains a bubbly head long into the pint.  The aroma reminds me of shots of Bailey’s and chocolate liqueur that I’ve had in the past.  The emphasis on chocolate in the description is completely spot on – this is a chocolate stout par excellence.  The creamy chocolate taste stays in the mouth and builds with each gulp.  I really like this beer.  It’s getting a 9/11 – it has everything that the Barbar has, however it has that little je ne sais quoi and I would go out in a snowstorm or fight a bear for it.

So that’s another couple of good marks for Les Brasseurs RJ and another very good mark for a stout.  I’ve recently started to like more hoppy lighter beers more (probably due to the heat) but clearly at this point stout is king.

No. 184 – Le Bilboquet’s La Charleston

No. 184 – Le Bilboquet’s La Charleston

I’ve said it before, put women on a bottle and I’ll probably buy it. 

I was happy to find a load of new beers from breweries I haven’t heard of before at my local Métro today and this is the first I’ve tasted.

A light IPA seemed perfect for the annoyingly warm weather – I’m finally coming round to liking IPAs at this point apparently.

This was a refreshing drink indeed.  That little hint of fruit that is common in a lot of similar IPAs or white beers balanced nicely with a little hint of bitterness in the aftertaste.  Very nice indeed and not overly hoppy to boot.

It is good, worth the price, matches the description, I’d drink it again and recommend it and I would go a block or two out of my way to purchase a bottle.  It’s a limited quantity beer (whatever that means) so I may get one or two to keep.

6/11