Nos. 259 – 262 – Brasseurs du Moulin in Beloeil


Nos. 259 – 262 – Brasseurs du Moulin in Beloeil

It’s nice to feel like you’ve earned a beer, that’s why I think bars should be located at the tops of hills.  Yesterday, I earned my four beers by exploring the nature reserve at Mont-Saint-Hilaire.  My legs hurt today…

No. 259 – Smash Beloeil

I was hoping for a lot from the beers at this bar as I’d meticulously planned my trip to Mont-Saint-Hilaire and Beloeil and knew that I would probably be in pain by the time I sat down for lunch.  I wasn’t aware of what this was supposed to be as I couldn’t see the description clearly from my table.  I immediately thought it was a hoppy pale ale.  Pretty close in fact, as it is a hoppy blonde ale.  However, it doesn’t taste like a blonde – it made me think a lot more of pale ales that I’ve tried from Archibald and St. Ambroise.  It seemed a little watery and bland by comparison.  It gets 2/11 for being all right (1), for the price (0.5) and for the description (0.5).

No. 260 – Le Matsi

This was an odd beer.  It’s an English Red Ale, with a more caramel brown colour.  The aroma was a little surprising – a strong and distinct milk chocolate aroma with hints of toffee.  This is more common in slightly darker beers so I wasn’t expecting it here in what looks like a lighter red ale.  The aroma follows through into the taste.  It still seemed a little watery but there was enough here to impress me enough to give it a decent mark.  It gets 6/11 for being good, for the description, for having something slightly different, for the price, for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.

No. 261 – La Douce Caroline

I had to try this as my ukulele is called Caroline.  Anyway, it’s blonde ale and it looks pretty good in the glass, with an almost burnt aroma, which I cannot describe in a better way.  This was promising.  Unfortunately, it was a little bland like the Smash Beloeil.  It did however have more of a blonde ale feel to it.  It was malty and a little thicker than the majority of other blonde ales I’ve had.  I like maltyness so this was a good thing.  It’s getting 4/11 for being good, for the price, for the description and 0.5 for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability each.

No. 262 – La Noire Bassine

And a milk stout to finish.  This was fine, it doesn’t compare to the best stouts I’ve had this year so far but for a weaker stout that’s no surprise.  It made me think of an average pint of Guinness, with similar creaminess in the head and a similar flavour in the body.  I can’t really fault this beer for what it is so it’s getting 5/11 for being good, worth the price, accurately described, for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.  The problem with the beer is that it is not a pint of chocolately-coffeeish heaven.

So, I didn’t find a great beer here, which is disappointing but three decent beers out of four is still pretty good.




Nos. 257 and 258 – The C-word(s)

Nos. 257 and 258 – The C-word(s)

I have had a lot of stout this year and there are only so many ways to describe how coffee-like or chocolatey a stout is, so here are two quick reviews that do not contain either c-word…

No. 257 – Dieu du Ciel Péché Mortel

This poured very nicely, with a lovely dark head forming slowly as it would if poured in a bar.  The aroma was particularly strong, reminding me more of dark cocoa based treats, in particular Matchmakers (this may be an obscure British reference, but this beer smelled like the orange type of Matchmaker).  It didn’t make me think as much of my favourite alternative to tea as the description would have suggested, but there were hints there.

To taste, it was fine, possibly served a little too cold but still fine.  The taste hits immediately, and resembles the aroma.  In fact, it is almost a little overwhelming (if it’s possible to be ‘a little overwhelming’).  There is a little aftertaste but it doesn’t have the warmth of the majority of other stouts I’ve tried so far.

It still gets a solid 7/11 for being good, worth the price, pretty accurate, for drink-again-ability, for recommend-ability, for go-out-of-your-way-ness and for going out in a snowstorm.

No. 258 – Dieu du Ciel Grande Noirceur

This looks glorious when poured but is a bit of a let down afterwards.  It’s also possible that drinking a couple of strong beers in a row affected my tasting abilities however.

It pours similarly to the Péché Mortel but the aroma is a lot weaker and seems just like an average stout.  The taste is better.  It coats the mouth nicely with a warm and well balanced stout hinting at that stuff that Aero bars are made from.  There is also a nice little hint of caramel and a suggestion of a scotch ale there, but it’s very subtle.

This gets a 6/11 for being good, ok for the price, accurate, for drink-again-ability, for recommend-ability and for the fact that I may just go out of my way for it.

So, it’s impossible to write about a good stout without using a few c-words but at least I avoided the main two this time.  My next challenge is to review a beer or two using words I’ve never used in any review to date…


Half way there! No. 250 – Le Bilboquet’s La Corriveau

Half way there!

Yesterday I hit the half way mark in my attempt to drink 500 different beers in a single year.  That’s 250 different beers down in 203 days, which leaves 250 to go in 162 days – difficult but not impossible.  I just happened to be in Sherbrooke for this momentous day and they put on a firework display, just for me!

No. 250 – Le Bilboquet’s La Corriveau

I had found several beers online that I would have liked to buy from Au Vent du Nord in Sherbrooke (the magical place I was introduced to on my previous Sherbrooke outing), but unfortunately, I left my notes in Montreal and my memory failed me.  I was however drawn to La Corriveau from Le Bilboquet, as I have tasted a few beers from them already and they were all good…  

2017-07-22 - 250 - Le Bilboquet La Corriveau image _500beers
I like beers with nice pictures, and I like beers with nice pictures and a story even more.  I asked my friend what La Corriveau means in English and was told of a legendary witch-like murderer.  Apparently, in the eighteenth century a woman killed her husband and was hanged for her efforts.  The legend developed from there…she may have killed her first husband too and rumours of other murders grew with time.  That was Marie-Josephte* Corriveau.  Curiously, according to my brief research, her husband was found dead on 27th January, my birthday and she was hanged on 18th Aprilmy friend’s birthday.  Perhaps something spooky brought us to this beer…or perhaps it’s all just coincidence.

2017-07-22 - 250 - Le Bilboquet La Corriveau poured _500beers

My friend in Sherbrooke would have a beer once in a while but would not have tasted a beer like this before so I thought of getting her thoughts as well as it was a special occasion.  She seemed to like and be surprised by the strong coffee aroma.  This is something I’ve gotten used to over the year – feel free to read all my posts and take a drink each time you see the word coffee.  I claim no responsibility for the results.  The taste and texture of the drink was also unexpected – she found a sweetness in it and seemed to enjoy the thicker, richer texture of a stout.  She gave it an 8/11 and I may have encouraged someone to try my favourite style of beer in the future.

As for my own thoughts…
This was indeed a good choice for the big number 250.  A rich coffee aroma and a strong hint of dark chocolate.  The head was as frothy as cappuccino I had had earlier in the day but did not last long, perhaps due to the intense heat (it was over 20c, that’s intense to me).  To taste, the texture was sumptuous.  The froth of the head gave way to a creamy stout that went down more like a porter but had the stronger coffee flavours of a good stout.  From the initial fizz on the tongue and a mild hint of sweetness to the nicely balanced bitter aftertaste this is a pleasure to drink.  It lacks the warmth of the majority of other stouts I’ve tried, but they have ranged from 6% to 10%, whereas this is a little weaker.  Maybe it’s an Autumn beer rather than a Winter beer.

2017-07-22 - 250 - Le Bilboquet La Corriveau desc. _500beers

Yes, it’s good.
Yes, it’s worth the price.
Yes, the description is accurate (great vocab too, first sighting of the word unctuous).
Yes, I would drink it again.
Yes, I would recommend it.
Yes, I would go out of my way for it.
Yes, I’d go out in a snowstorm for it.

I’d give it 7/11, however as it’s a special occasion I’m going to give it the average of my mark and that of my friend (8/11) – so 7.5/11 it is.

So that’s number 250, I’m only going to be putting individual posts up for beer that get at least 6/11 from now on, with a series of posts to come featuring pictures and marks for the other 100+ beers I haven’t written about yet and that I won’t have time to cover in detail.

*As far as I can see this is the correct spelling of her name.

Laval Beer Festival, part deux

Laval Beer Festival, part deux

I reviewed the Brasseurs Illimités (Simple Malt) and Le Trefle Noir beers together in part 1 as I tried three of each.  Here are the other beers I tried, each one from a different brewery…

 No. 236 – Saint Bock’s Réincarnation

2017-07-15 - 236 - Saint Bock Réincarnation _500beers
This is a white infused with green tea and was my first attempt at something different.  It has a sourness to it that I liked a lot more than other similar beers but otherwise the taste didn’t do much for me.  I wish that I’d made more notes on this one…

4.5/11 – it’s not bad, worth the price, different and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes this style or is willing to try something a little different.

No. 237 – Microbrasserie Charlevoix’s Hibernus

2017-07-15 - 237 - Microbrasserie Charlevoix Hibernus _500beers
I’ve a had a few beers from Microbrasserie Charlevoix before and they weren’t bad at all.  This is a dark ale, with a nice caramel aroma and ruby colour.  Taste-wise it was ok, a little bland but not bad.  Another case of not taking enough notes!

It gets 5/11 for being good, for the price, for the description, drink-again-ability and recommend-ability.

No. 238 – Dunham’s Le Quench du Soif

2017-07-15 - 238 - Dunham Le Quench du Soif _500beers
I had to try this because of the name – I love the French in Québec and ‘Le Quench’ and ‘Quencher’ will be words I will now be using.  It is a pretty good IPA, with a citrus aroma and taste.  Not as refreshing as some other IPAs I’ve tried but still decent.

6/11 for being good, for the price, for the description, for drink-again-ability, for recommend-ability and an extra Yes for luck.

No. 239 – Brou Pub Brouhaha Coup de Soleil

2017-07-15 - 239 - Broue Pub Coup de Soleil _500beers
A fruity light beer that had a little raspberry and cranberry flavour to it.  It’s easy to drink – like drinking lemonade but with a little alcohol and fruit in it.  Not bad but a little weak.

4/11 for being ok, for the price, description and being a little different.

No. 240 – Lagabière’s La St Jean

2017-07-15 - 240 - Lagabière La St Jean _500beers
A good follow up to Coup de Soleil, chosen so that I could tell a friend that there’s a beer with her name on it.

This was another light fruity fizzy beer that was very easy to drink but which lacked a kick that I would want in a good beer.

4/11 just like the Coup de Soleil.

No. 243 – Les 2 Frères Porter Baltique

2017-07-15 - 243 - Brasseurs du Monde Porter Baltique _500beers

After some searching around online, I was able to confirm that I had in fact tried Les 2 Frères Baltic Porter – the confusion had arisen as I could not find the beer on the beer list when double checking my information.  In any case, this gets a good 7/11, it’s a very good porter with everything that you would expect – ie, chocolate.

And so, that is the Laval beer festival done for another year.  Next, it’s Quebec City in August for Festibière…

Oh, and before I forget – Cheers to Moussa for holding the drinks while I took the pictures.


Laval Beer Festival, part 1

Laval Beer Festival,  part 1

The second of my monthly trips to beer festival within striking distance of Montréal.  Firstly, a quick note on the festival itself…

This is a much less expensive alternative to the beer festival in Montreal.  The admission plus a glass was less than the price of a glass in Montreal and the samples all seemed to be less expensive and somewhat more generous.  Maybe this will change with time as popularity grows but for now I know which festival I will go back to next year.  It is also in a park a little bit out of the way, but easily accessible by public transport which is free with a pre-sale ticket for the day, so the ‘would I go out of my way for it’ question is particularly relevant to these beers.

Nos. 234, 241 & 242 – Brasseurs Illimité’s Session Mango, Imperial Cherry Stout and Mastoc Porter

Session Mango – I started out the day with a light fruity beer after having strolled the majority of the way there in the blistering heat (anything about 20c is blistering for me).  A little hoppy, a little fruity and a little fizzy.  A nicely balanced IPA style beer which worked well as a thirst quencher.  It’s getting 5.5/11 because it’s good, worth the price, accurate, I’d drink it again and I’d recommend it.  The extra 0.5 is there as it is better than the average IPA but I think 6/11 is a stretch.

Imperial Cherry Stout – this is a great beer.  The aroma is strong, like cherry and chocolate, deep and rich and the taste follows up perfectly.  It has the texture of a porter and lacks the warmth of a stout so I’d think of it more as a porter.  There were also hints of caramel the further I got into it.  But I won’t hold that against it.  I would fight a bear for this.  9/11

Mastoc Porter – another very good beer here.  A scotch porter (I like these hybrid names) with a standard porter aroma.  The pleasure in this one comes from the chocolate flavour that coats the front of the mouth.  It’s a little creamy and thick for a porter.  There is a warmth from the hint of scotch ale that balances out the beer nicely in the throat.  This easily gets an 8/11, I’d go out in a snowstorm, but I’d let the bear have his beer.

Nos. 235, 244 & 245 – Le Trefle Noir’s L’Été Des Indiens, La Gosebuster and Le Chernoe Pivo

L’Été des Indiens – I had fun with the auto-correct on my phone while making notes on this ‘Eternal Indien,’ which was ‘Gratuitous’ with the beautiful Le Trefle Glass that you can see above.  The beer itself was a treat.  I very good blond ale, thicker than most others I’ve tried but not heavy, almost a creamy texture to it.  An easy 7/11.

La Gosebuster – I was advised that this may not be entirely to my taste but had to give it a go anyway.  It’s somewhat sour and tastes of bitter fruits.  This is not as bad as the other one or two sours drinks I’ve tried up to now but still gets a lower mark.  0.5 of a yes each for being good and for the price, a yes for the description and a yes for being a little different.  3/11

Le Chernoe Pivo – Another imperial stout and my final beer at the festival – another great one.  This has that pure coffee aroma that I have grown to love in great stouts this year.  The bubbly head lasted a long time in the sun and tasted like that froth you get at the end of a good cappuccino.  Taste-wise it was smooth, well balanced and warm – a rich roasted coffee taste which lived up to the promise of a great beer to come made by that aroma.  I’d fight a bear for this one – I’d punch him right on the snout!  9/11.

So that’s the first six, the next six are a bit more of a mixed bag but there are some decent beers in there all the same.



Nos. 222 – 226 – Parklife, kind of

Nos. 222 – 226 – Parklife, kind of

What could be better than sitting in a park on a warm changeable day with a few beers?  Why, sitting opposite a park watching people in the park while having a few beers, of course.  The picture above is not representative of the park, it’s something I took a while ago and liked…

Nos. 222 and 223 – Mad Jack’s Extra Strong Apple Lager and Apple Lager

After a long debate on whether or not these count as beers, I decided that they do.  They are apple flavoured lagers not cider made from apples – not a patch on Unibroue’s Éphémère Apple however.  These felt like lemonade or like fizzy cocktails rather than beer but with the heartburn of a good cider as a side effect.  They’re not bad, refreshing perhaps and recommendable to people who like cider or lemonade.  They’re both getting 3/11 and that’s that – I will probably try some other varieties to fill out the numbers later in the year.

No 224 – Dieu du Ciel’s Ultra Mosaika

2017-07-08 - 224 - Dieu du Ciel Ultra Mosaika _500beers

Nice label for a good beer.  It has a hoppy somewhat fruity aroma and the taste hits immediately.  It’s frothy, light and refreshing with hints of orange.  It’s good, it’s worth the price, it’s accurate, I’d drink it again and I’d recommend it for hops lovers. 5/11

No. 225 – Dieu du Ciel’s Solstice d’Hiver

2017-07-08 - 225 - Dieu du Ciel Solstice d'Hiver _500beers

The highlight of the day – a barley wine type ale with a strong aroma of caramel, noticeable from a distance.  To drink, it was quite light for a 10% beer.  It is smooth and well balanced and has a hint of sweetness that hits the back of the mouth and stays there for a while afterward.  Maybe not ideal for a Summer’s day, but would be perfect mid-January in the middle of a snowstorm.  It’s good, it’s worth the price, it’s accurate, it has a certain je ne sais quoi, I’d drink it again and I’d recommend it.  I would also go out of my way and go out in a snowstorm for it.  A strong 8/11.

No. 226 – Unibroue’s Don de Dieu

2017-07-08 - 226 - Unibroue Don de Dieu _500beers

The final beer of the day, which somehow wasn’t too heavily influenced by the fact that I’d had several beers before.  I drank this while it was warm, too warm in fact, but the taste was fine, easy to drink and didn’t have too much of an edge for a strong beer.  It didn’t however have anything special about it.  5/11


No. 214 – Brasseurs du Monde’s L’Écurieux

No. 214 – Brasseurs du Monde’s L’Écurieux

I see what they’ve done with this one – nuts and squirrels and there’s a nice play on words in French too.  I like things that make me feel smart…

The only nut brown ale that I had previously tried was Brutopia’s many years ago.  Indeed, it was one of those beers that got me away from lager, which in retrospect was a great thing.

This one may be better, though I still have to have Brutopia’s nut brown ale this year.  It’s a very deep brown colour as you would expect and the aroma is a little sweet and brings out roasted nuts, a hint of chocolate and some caramel.  It feels somewhat light, and seems to hit the back of the mouth more, with a nice bitter flavour coming through in the aftertaste.  The sweetness promised by the aroma is not as apparent but for a nut brown ale, I would want it to be.


It gets 7/11 for being good, for the price (2 for $7), for the description, for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability.  I would also go out of my way for this and maybe even out in a snowstorm or a heat wave, depending on the season.