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
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
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
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
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
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
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.