Category Archives: Bars

Dieu du Ciel! All the rest…

Dieu du Ciel!  All the rest…

I tried an even 30 beers from Dieu du Ciel! last year, the vast majority of which were very good.  Unfortunately, I only found time to write about a few of them.  This is catch-up.

No. 117 – Disco Soleil

I tried a couple of bottles of this one day last April after a short hike somewhere north of Montreal – I didn’t write any notes.  I do recall, however that it was a refreshing and fruity beer with a taste that I didn’t quite recognise.  That would be the kumquat apparently.  I recommend this on a very warm day.  6/11

Nos. 173 & 174 – Blanche Van Plateau & Gospel Stout à l’Avoine

I tried these two last May the day after I got back from a week back home, at the end of a long day of drinking in a park.  It was a good day.  The Blanche van Plateau was a fine white but nothing special, a little like a blonde in fact and gets a 4/11.  The stout was better.  A very creamy head and strong hints of coffee – unsurprisingly.  Gospel was a fine stout but not outstanding unlike a few of their other stouts.  6/11

No. 298 – Corne du Diable

My notes are a little odd on this one, but if they’re correct then it is an interesting IPA.  It had a hoppy citrus aroma at first, which was followed up by a light hint of caramel, which would explain the darker colour.  The taste was equally interesting, quite malty with the bitterness only coming through in the aftertaste.  I will be trying this one again as I think it may be worth more than the mark I gave it.  6/5/11

No. 345 – Péché Termopilas

Oddly detailed notes for this one – so it must have been good and it was in a Dieu du Ciel! glass!  I happened upon this at Bar le Vestiaire at some point last summer.  The head was bubbly and remained until I had finished the beer.  There was a light hint of coffee in the aroma, which came through much more strongly in the taste.  There was an immediate bitter hit to this one at the front of the mouth and a warmth in the throat that made it feel a little like a scotch ale rather than a stout.  A solid and interesting beer.  I’d recommend trying it if you see it around!  8/11

No. 368 – Voyageur des Brumes

This is a nicely balanced red ale.  My notes are signed off with ‘could drink it all day.’  It’s a gorgeous deep toffee brown colour with a generously frothy head and an aroma to match.  The taste is a little light, but it has all that you would expect of a decent red ale.  If I reviewed it based on look and feel it would be an easy 8 but on taste, it’s 6/11.

No. 369 – Hérétique

This is a pretty cool beer.  Like the Dernière Volonté it has a hint of leather coming from the brettanomyces, which provide the funk.  It’s lively, very fizzy with a strong hint of mango and tropical fruits and fizzles nicely on the tongue.  It’s very refreshing and like a few of the other Dieu du Ciel! beers made me think of wine – thought this time it was more a feeling of a fizzed up sauvignon blanc.  This beer is well worth trying.  7/11

No. 382 – Petit Détour

I just have this one down as a good IPA with a cloudy appearance and a fizzy head that dissipates quickly.  The fact that I gave it a 7/11 seems to show how I’ve developed a taste for IPAs throughout the year.

No. 383 – Tamarindo

Apparently this is a gose beer, but it doesn’t completely feel like it.  So much so in fact, that I gave it a good mark.  The aroma just smells acidic and citrus to me but the taste is quite a surprise.  It’s a very light and drinkable beer with a malty creamy texture to it that made me think of a red wine.  Something about feeling tannins in a beer just makes me feel more sophisticated!  It does have quite an acidic feel on the tongue but it’s not too much.  An interesting and quite refreshing beer which is worth trying.  6.5/11

No. 389 – Route des Épices

I tried this at a party at my place at some point last Autumn.  I think that by this stage I had had a few other beers but this one still stood out.  This is a pretty standard dark beer with a peppery edge that creates and nice little warmth in the mouth which builds without ever becoming too much.  A nicely balanced effort.  5.5/11

No. 391 – Solstice d’Été

I gave this one a 5/11, but that was after trying several other beers at the aforementioned party at my place.  I can’t remember too much about this but according to my notes it was quite a good sour beer.  Not to sour a sour beer that is.  A lot of fizz with the bitterness of raspberries coming through a little in the flavour.  5/11

No. 399 – Rigor Mortis

A strong brown ale at 10.5% which does not overwhelm makes a pretty good beer.  This one looks good with a bubbly head and deep muddy brown colour.  Little hints of burnt toastyness and deep caramel in the aroma followed by a beautifully malty creamy texture.  It has a nice balance of malt and hops.  7/11

So that’s me finished with Dieu du Ciel! in 2017.  So far this year I’ve tried their Chemin de Croix – a review will follow once I’ve finished all of the other beers for 2017.  But in the meantime – go and try some Dieu du Ciel! beers!

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Back Home 2 – Randoms

Back Home 2 – Randoms

As it’s almost a year since I went back home and tried 16 different beers in seven days and as I will be going back there quite soon, it’s finally time to put a few notes up about the other beers I tried there last year.  Here’s a link to my first post.

The picture is a bridge over the Six Mile Water at the Castle Grounds, Antrim, the other pictures are not of the same quality due to my increasing level of drunkenness…

No. 150 – Heverlee
2017-05-19 - 150 - Heverlee _500beers _antrim

I tried this at the Back Shed in Antrim.  I had noticed that it was in a lot of bars the previous year when I went back home but hadn’t tried it,  thank God.  It looks quite classy but doesn’t really taste like much.  It’s a very light feeling lager.  I’m not going to drink it again.  1.5/11

No. 151 – Roundstone Irish Ale
2017-05-19 - 151 Roundstone Irish Ale _500beers _Antrim

Also tried at the Back Shed, this is also a light beer with very little real taste to it.  I suppose it’s always nice when you get a pint glass with a logo on it. 2/11

No. 152 – Farmageddon Porter

This was recommended by a friend working at the bar (Cheers Jonny).  And while I can’t find my notes on it, I do recall it being a decent porter, which wouldn’t be out of place amongst the porters available in Montreal.  It poured a little flat, but still tasted fine.  I would try it again and recommend trying it too.  5/11

No. 160 – Farmageddon California Common

This is an odd beer.

I was unaware of the style ‘California Common’ before so I did not know what to expect.  To be fair, I didn’t really do much research and so am still quite ignorant on the subject, however I am aware that they are often very carbonated.  When I poured this a little it filled the glass and continued expanding.  In fact it kept foaming up for a few minutes to the point that it was impossible to drink.  On trying a second bottle, it was slightly easier to pour but still bubbled up like no beer I’ve ever seen.  So it’s different.  Unfortunately, the taste was not worth the effort of waiting for the beer to settle.  It was quite hoppy initially but very dry and lacked any real bitter aftertaste.  2/11 – try shaking one up!

No. 162 – Tennent’s Ice Cold

Suffering for one’s art.  I’ve never liked Tennent’s but I decided to try this again to get the numbers up.  This was quite watery, and lacked taste, but it did keep it’s fizz well and was reasonably refreshing.  3/11

In conclusion, it is very probable that the previous four years of Quebec beers has taught me to expect more from beer.  I still have to write up notes on a few other craft beers I tried at home so I will also summarise my conclusions when I have reviewed them too.

Until next time!

It’s Over!

It’s Over!

This is just a quick post in celebration of the fact that tonight I tried my 500th different beer of the year.  In fact, I tried number 500 and number 501.  I just wanted to be sure of getting to the target!

It was a unique banana chocolate stout made at Les Trois Brasseurs, with ingredients suggested by me and three friends and it was a decent stout.  A proper review and notes from the evening will follow, along with notes on all the other beers I have not had time to write about.  But for now that is it.  I have tried 501 different beers in 353 days.

365 beers in a year seemed too simple way back in January and I have proved it so.  Now, just to find a challenge for next year!

20171220_193219

Advent Calendar Nos. 467 – 469 + 471

Advent Calendar

I have almost finished my challenge, in fact it will be finished on 20th December.  That will mean that I will have tried 500 different beers in 353 days (taking into account that I didn’t start until 2nd January).

With it being the festive season, various beer shops have been offering beer advent calendars.  I got mine from Veux-tu une bière?  Who were happy to customise it to not include anything that I have already tasted this year.  This means that I have under my tree a new beer for each day up to Christmas Eve.  Needless to say, as I would with a traditional sweat filled advent calendar I will be finishing it early. 

Oh the joy of waking up, grabbing out a surprise beer and dreaming of it all day in work until I get home to drink it!

Nos. 467 – 469 + 471

At the time of writing it is 5th December and I have tasted the first five of these beers, however I’m only going to write about four of them for the minute as I am currently enjoying my Dominus Vobiscum Triple from Microbrasserie Charlevoix.

No. 467 – Vrooden Dunkel
2017-12-02 - 467 - Vrooden Dunkel poured _500beers
I’ve seen Vrooden beers around a lot lately but have never been tempted to try one.  I regret that.  Their Dunkel is a really good brown ale.  The aroma is a little grainy and hoppy, while also carrying a little hint of caramel.  It is very smooth in the mouth.  A very nicely balanced brown ale, bordering on red.  It’s got a little hoppy hit but tastes a little creamy.  It’s a great beer that I would recommend to newcomers to brown ales.  7/11.

No. 468 – Shelton Saison Sure Houblonnée
2017-12-03 - 468 - Shelton Saison Sure Houblonnée poured _500beers
One of the reasons I got the advent calendar was to get beers I would not choose by myself.  This is one of those beers.  I’ve mentioned before that I don’t necessarily like sour beers so finding an accessible sour beer is always good.  This is quite a good beer all in all.  It is sour, with strong hints of grapefruit and a tropical lilt to it.  It is in no way overwhelming however and was easy enough to drink.  It felt a little closer to an IPA with accented sourness rather than a sour beer (if that makes sense).  5/11.

No. 469 – Malstrom IXPL des Prairies
2017-12-03 - 469 - Malstrom IXPL des Prairies poured _500beers
This is an odd beer.  I would have expected it to taste less bitter than an IPA and lighter than a decent lager.  It tastes like a particularly bitter IPA and the cumulative effect of drinking it made if feel like a double IPA.  Nice if you like hops and hoppy bitterness.  4/11.

No. 471 – L’Espace Public Kolschlaga
2017-12-05 - 471 - L'Espace Public Kolschlaga poured _500beers
I’ve had a few beers at L’Espace Public (I like that bar a lot) but have not written any of them up yet, thanks to a mixture of laziness and badly typed notes.  They were all pretty good though.  This one is also fine.  Funnily enough it tastes more how I would have imagined Malstrom’s India Extra Pale Lager to taste.  It’s quite light, tastes of grain and cereal, and has a very subtle hoppy undertone to it which is quite good.  It doesn’t have much life and has a medium texture, definitely not a light beer.  I’d drink it again – maybe in Summer.  4/11.

So that’s 4 beers down from my advent calendar, another update on that in a few days.

 

Comme Si, comme ça – Nos. 449 – 453

Comme Si, comme ça

I’ve been to Sherbrooke several times over the last year and always had the intention of visiting Si-Boire at the bus station for a few beers.  Fortunately, there’s a Si-Boire in the plateau, not too far from the orange line.  I was there last night for two beers to bring my total up to 450, I ended up having five…

No. 449 – Quaker Stout
2017-11-22 - 449 - Si-Boire Quaker Stout _500beers

This stout was described as an oatmeal stout, but felt much more like a milk stout, which was a little disappointing as I haven’t had an oatmeal stout for a while.  It had a lightly creamy head with  mild hints of coffee coming through.  To be honest it tasted like a decent Guinness, not a great one but it wasn’t bad either.   It’s an odd one to mark, because it’s good, it’s not entirely accurate but it is worth the price and I would drink it again.  It’s a little comme si comme ça!  I’m can’t give it more than 5/11.

No. 450 – Mcamen
2017-11-22 - 450 - Si-Boire Mcamen Scotch Ale _500beers

The big 450 was always going to be a scotch ale.  This one was somewhat weaker than the scotch ales I’ve tasted at home at only 7% but was still fine.  It felt a little more like a fortified red ale.  There were hints of caramel or toffee and a little sweetness in the aroma and the taste.  It did not have the warmth that I like in a scotch ale unfortunately but it did have the advantage of being a scotch ale that is accessible to those who don’t like their beers too strong.  I’m giving it a 6/11.

No. 451 – Ingénieuse
2017-11-22 - 451 - Si-Boire Ingénieuse _500beers

Where do you go after a stout and a scotch ale?  Red ale of course.  This is an Irish style red ale, which in all honesty was not too dissimilar from the scotch ale.  A decent red with hints of caramel and a nice balance between the sweet and the bitter.  Fine but not great again – it is the theme after all. 5/11.

No. 452 – Hops ‘n’ Cream
2017-11-2 - 452 - Si-Boire Hops n Cream _500beers

I decided to try this one as it was another hybrid that I haven’t seen or tasted before – an IPA/cream ale mix.  A little hoppy floral scent comes through the very thick creamy head which was a first for a cream ale for me.  To taste, it has a really nice thick creamy texture and tastes initially like a decent cream ale – but then there’s that lightly bitter floral hoppy aftertaste that comes through.  This was a little bit different from the other cream ales I’ve had so I was impressed with it – I’m giving it 7/11 as it is a decent beer with a little something different about it.  I would recommend it.

No. 453 – InsPirAtion
2017-11-23 - 453 - Si-Boire InsPirAtion _500beers
Well, this is a first, I got drunk and forgot to take a picture of a beer.  The proof is my receipt!  InsPirAtion is a decent fruity IPA.  That’s all I have to say about it as my notes are quite frankly unreadable.  I do however remember that it wasn’t bad, and wasn’t great.  5/11.

And so that is Si-Boire, a bar with decent beers that I would recommend trying out.

47 to go.

 

 

Lightside/Darkside – Chambly Beer Festival, part one

Lightside/Darkside – Chambly Beer Festival, part one

It seems like a couple of months since I was strolling around Chambly tasting beers in the sun and indeed it was.  It has taken me almost two months to get around to writing up a few notes on the eleven beers I tried that day at the beer festival with memory fading, however a few of the beers really stood out…

Lightside

No. 315 – Les 2 Frères Charles Henri Blanche
2017-09-02 - 315 - Les 2 Frères Charles Henri Blanche _500beers
It started with a blanche.  After having walked from a car park quite far from the site of the festival I was rather parched and so a light refreshing beer was in order.  This is a very bubbly white beer, with a strong fruity aroma and was the perfect starter. It is not as heavy as some white beers tend to be, as you can see in the picture it is a lighter more transparent colour. It is very refreshing and hints of citrus come through subtly in the flavour. Well worth a try – 7/11.

Nos. 316 and 319 – Le Trefle Noir El Sicimo and Z’Aleda (A link to the cask)

I chose Le Trefle Noir’s El Sicimo after the Charles Henri Blanche to take a step up in bitterness.  It was however a little disappointing.  It looks decent, and has a strong aroma – I got pineapple from it.  Taste-wise though it was a little overwhelmingly bitter and a little heavy in the throat afterwards.  It’s getting 3.5, which is difficult as the only other Trefle Noir beer to get such a low mark was their Gosebuster – which is a style of beer that I just don’t like that much.

While waiting for El Sicimo I noticed that Z’Aleda would be available at 3pm.  Being somewhat of a geek about A Link to the Past, I had to try this.  I regret that now.  It was actually a joint venture with Lagabière and Le Memphré if my notes do not deceive me.  The aroma is good, with a nice hint of pineapple.  The taste was unfortunately quite bland, a little hoppy but the promise of the aroma was sadly lacking.  2/11.

No. 320. Brasseurs Illimités Simple Malt Thorador
2017-09-02 - 320 - Brasseurs Illimités Simple Malt Thorador _500beers

Not too many notes on this one!  What I did write on the day…
‘Nice beer, it’s malty at first then the hops come through with a deep bitterness.  It’s somewhat layered – probably worth trying by the bottle.’  I gave it 5/11, I may revisit it in January when I do the beer-off.

Nos. 322 and 323 – Dieu du Ciel’s Immoralité and Genèse
2017-09-02 - Dieu du Ciel _500beers

I was looking forward to Dieu du Ciel as I was looking to pick up a glass but they didn’t have any for sale!

In any case, both these beers got a decent 5/11.

Immoralité was a nice imperial IPA with a fruity aroma and decent flavour, I didn’t think it was anything special though.  This is possibly another beer to revisit as I’ve taken to Imperial IPAs over the last two or so weeks.

Genèse is an apricot tripel.  It’s definitely tripel and it definitely has some apricot in the aroma but it didn’t come through to strongly in the taste.  Decent but I’m not sure I would bother to retry it.  My favourite apricot beer is the St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale.

So that’s the lightside of Chambly sorted, a really good white beer found and a couple of other decent 5/11s.  Unsurprisingly, if you’ve read anything I’ve written so far, the darkside gets better marks.  Next time, some porter, some black IPA, some dopplebock and a brown ale.

 

A day in the life

A day in the life

5am – wake up, hit snooze, repeat every 15 minutes until…

7.15am – wake up, get up, shower and have breakfast – lots of milk to balance out the acidity of the night before’s beer…

8.15am – blue line, orange line, green line…

9.10am – work, while pondering whether or not to take a long lunch and go in search of beers…

11.55am – go in search of beers, a little trip to Maltehops on Wellington in Verdun – picked up a Trefle Noir, a Bilboquet and something I’ve not heard of before…

12.45pm – work…

6.05pm – leg it to the bar for a micro-brewery evening…

7.00pm – take the following uselessly blurry picture of the beer menu…
2017-10-25 - Et Oh _500beers

7.10pm – No. 409 – EtOh’s Robust Brown Ale
2017-10-25 - 409 - Et Oh Robust Brown Ale _500beers

After trying a few times to take a picture of the beer without somebody putting their middle finger in the way I finally tasted this.  It’s ok, I didn’t really get any caramel or toffee from it, rather a little warmth hinting at a scotch ale.  When I say a little I mean a little.   It was a fine beer with a strong deep bitterness to it but it lacked that sweetness that I like in a brown ale, before the bitterness.  However, it will get a pretty good 6/11.

7.40ish pm – No. 410 – EtOh’s Ale Rousse Fumé
2017-10-25 - 410 - Et Oh Ale Rousse Fumé _500beers

The picture doesn’t really do it justice, it wasn’t as muddy as it seems here.  This was actually going to be my first choice but the waiter came over when I wasn’t really paying attention so I order the beer that I could remember best.  The aroma was a mixture of pumpkin, cinnamon and something else a little strange.  To taste, it was like a light red ale, not much toffee or sweetness but a nicely balanced smokey flavour.  I’ve had smoked beers in the past that have lingered for days but this was just right.  I liked this one as well, it’s also going to get a 6/11 – well worth trying.

8.20pm – leave the bar in search of pizza…

8.30pm – find pizza and get home asap…

9pm – eat pizza while writing up the day!

I’ve been to EtOh in the past a few times and never had a really good beer there, so this evening was somewhat better than expected to the extent that I may go back to try some more.