Happy Hour – Nos. 94 – 96

Happy Hour

I’ve recently started to think about the cost of trying five hundred different beers in a single year – both the physical cost and the effect on my bank balance.  To counter a seemingly ever-expanding beer belly I have gotten back into some good habits, a bit of exercise (10 mile walks with my camera at 4am and yoga) and less ordering out for dinner for example.  With regards the price of drinking all these beers and generally being sociable, I’ve more recently started to look for cheaper options.  In Montreal this is easy enough to do as there are so many microbreweries with reasonable prices.  This week, however, I have rediscovered the joys of the happy hour after having tried three different beers on two occasions with change from a twenty.  The first of those was at McKibbin’s on St. Laurent, again for their pub quiz…

No. 94 – Cheval Blanc Blanche – Les Brasseurs RJ

2017-03-27 - 94 - Cheval Blanc McKibbin's St. Laurent _500beers
A white horse goes into a bar and orders a drink.
The barman says “hey we’ve got a beer named after you!”
The horse replies, “What, Eric?”

Anyway, this beer is hard to miss around Montreal but this is the first time I’ve had it in a long long time.  I’ve had a few white beers recently that haven’t been great, so I had high hopes for this.  And it was good, very good in fact.  It was fruity, refreshing and very easy to drink.  I’ve tasted some whites that tasted chemically for want of a better description but this tasted natural, like my favourite lagers almost.  So it’s a Yes for being good, a Yes for the description and definitely a Yes for the price ($5 on happy hour).  Two Yeses for the fact that I will drink it again and that I would recommend it.  I’m also giving it a Yes for the tasting somewhat unique among the white beers I’ve had so far.  I would also definitely go a block or two out of my way for a pint, particularly on a sunny day so that’s another Yes.  I may revisit this beer to see if it merits another yes at some point in the future but for now it’s getting seven yeses.                                                                                       7/11

No. 95 – St Ambroise Scotch Ale

2017-03-27 - 95 - St Ambroise Scotch Ale McKibbin's St Laurent _500beers
So far I’ve tried St Ambroise Cream Ale and IPA and these were both pretty good – some feat considering in particular that I don’t like IPAs.

When I tasted this I was shocked.  Maybe I got lucky with a decent pint well poured or maybe it was still the taste of Cheval Blanc lingering but this was amazing.  This is a smooth, perfectly balanced, velvety scotch ale, which immediately got the highest mark I’ve awarded so far.  Cutting to the chase it gets  nine Yeses.  It is good, I will drink it again (possibly a lot).  I would recommend it.  The taste was something special and it to me is how a scotch ale should taste.  Pricewise, on happy hour it was only $5, which is a bargain.  I would and will go out of my way to buy it, I’d go out in a snowstorm and if circumstances forced my hand, I’d fight a bear for it.  It was really good.   9/11

No. 96 – McAuslan Blonde

2017-03-27 - 96 - McAusland Blonde McKibbin's St Laurent _500beers
According to the beer menu this is McAuslan Blonde, but I’m not sure if it’s actually Griffin or St Ambroise.  I’ll investigate this more and some other point and maybe revisit this post.

It is a pretty decent blonde beer, nothing special but it does exactly what it needs to.  It’s getting the standard five out of eleven.  One for being good, a second for the price (happy hour again), a third for the accurate description*, a forth as I would drink it again. and a final generous yes as I would recommend it for anybody looking for a neutral beer to sip at.   5/11

*A yes for the description being accurate is hardly difficult when the description is simply blonde, but it’s in the rating system, and I’m too lazy to rethink it.

So that was a pretty successful night, not in the pub quiz – we lost again – but for having three beers, two of which are among the best I’ve tried so far.

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