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.