3 From Les Trois Brasseurs

3 From Les Trois Brasseurs

A quick mention for Les Trois Brasseurs, or the Three Brewers if you’re in Ottawa.

I visited their St. Catherine/Crescent location on Saturday after a day at the Chambly Beer Festival (write up to follow).  It’s s place I’ve been to on a few occasions in the past and always liked somewhat.  This year so far, I had only visited the St. Denis location and tried their brown ale, so an opportunity to try others was hard to resist…

Nos. 326 – 328 – Les Trois Brasseurs Stout, Amber and Blonde

None of these live up to the Brown Ale that I tried earlier in the year at the St. Denis location, but having said that, they’re not bad.

The stout has a creamy thick head and is in effect very much a Guinness style beer.  It’s pretty good if that’s what you’re after and I’m giving it a 6/11.  If I really fancied this type of beer (a standard stout without those extra coffee flavours), I would probably just go and grab a good Guinness somewhere.

The Amber and the Blonde ale were both a little disappointing.  Appearance wise they are not that different, which tells you more about the potential flavour of the amber ale than the blonde.  It was a little weak, fine for drinking with a meal in that the flavours will not overwhelm anything, but only enough to get a 4/11.  The blonde was a decent blonde ale, but lacked anything special that would give it a higher than average mark.  Again, it’s probably fine for accompanying a meal, it’s not going to be overwhelming but if you’re just out to enjoy good beer, it won’t sate your thirst.  Also a 4/11.

That’s four from Les Trois Brasseurs to date.  It’s a fine place, but not special for tasting beers, which is disappointing on consideration of the Brown Ale.  If I find myself there again this year trying a new beer it will be opportunism rather than choice.

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Nos. 176 – 181 – Vices & Versa

Nos. 176 – 181 – Vices & Versa

After having written about Birra, it makes sense to look at a few beers I tried in another bar in little Italy with a great selection of beers.  I tried these in early June, therefore I don’t have too much to write (a good thing from time to time), but I recall a couple of them being somewhat special…

No. 176 – Dieu du Ciel Gaélique

2017-06-07 - 176 - Dieu du Ciel Gaelique Cream Ale _500beers

It has become something of a ritual to start with a cream ale or a stout over the last few months.  This one in particular was a very good choice.  It is a finely balanced sweet fruity cream ale with an aftertaste that brought memories of drinking dandelion and burdock lemonade many, many years ago.  This therefore is not only a good beer but one that also evokes memories for me – indeed I recall at the time having to text my mum to ask what the drink my dad used to buy was as I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  It gets an 8/11 for being good, accurate, worth the price, having something special, for drink-again-ability, recommend-ability and I would go out of my way for it, and go out in a snowstorm or a heat-wave.

No. 177 – Brasserie Dunham Berliner Mango Weisse

2017-06-07 - 177 - Dunham Berliner Mango Weisse _500beers

So that was a really good start, what could possibly go wrong?

I’m not generally a fan of sour beers in this style but over the course of the summer I’ve had one or two which have been good.  This one was not.  Maybe it was a bad pint – but it was overwhelmingly sour and finishing it was a chore.  I’m generously giving it 2.5/11 for accuracy, being different and for the fact that I would recommend it, to someone I don’t like.

No. 178 – Le Trou du Diable Maiden Shawi

2017-06-07 - 178 - Le Trou de Diable Maiden Shawi _500beers

And back to good beers again…

This is a pretty good brown ale of a standard I’ve come to expect from Le Trou du Diable recently, having tried several more of their beers at home.  It has a toasty aroma with caramel coming through strongly and this is reflected nicely in the flavour.  The picture doesn’t do it justice as it looks gorgeous too.  An easy 6/11 for being good, accurate, worth the price, I’d drink it again, recommend it and I’d go out of my way for it.

No. 179 – Les 3 Mousquetaires Blonde Helles

2017-06-07 - 179 - Les 3 Mousquetaires Blonde Hellos _500beers

My notes for this and the next one total four words.  This one is a ‘fine blonde,’ and I’m going to leave it at that – 4/11.

No. 180 – Microbrasserie Charlevoix Kläss Lager

2017-06-07 - 180 - Microbrasserie Charlevois Klass _500beers

And this one is a ‘great lager.’

Lager seems to be difficult for north Americans to get right – either that or my European sensibilities were already warped before I got here.  In any case, I drank lager almost exclusively for seven or eight years and am still searching for a really good one that is worthy of being in my top twenty beers at the end of this year.  This one is so far one of the best.  I’m giving it 6.5/11 for being good, accurate, worth the price, for drink-again-ability, for recommend-ability, I’d go out of my way for a pint or five and I’m giving it 0.5 for luck.

No. 181 – Pit Caribou La Gaspésienne Porter

2017-06-07 - 181 - Pit Caribou La Gaspésienne _500beers

I asked the server to surprise me with this one so it took me a while to figure out exactly what beer it was and from which microbrewery.  I’m pretty confident that this is the correct information, though the beer seems a little too stouty to be a porter.  It’s a very creamy, almost milky porter with a nice aftertaste.  From memory, it felt like a porter except for the head.  Maybe it’s one of those really good hybrids, the best of both worlds.  It gets a 7/11 for being good, accurate, worth the price, for drink-again-ability, recommend-ability, I’d go out of my way for it and I’d go out in a snowstorm for it.

So four really good beers out of six, a pretty good return for an evening out.  I’d recommend Vices & Versa, you could almost do a mini pub crawl on St. Laurent with it and Birra!

Birra, part 2

Birra, part 2

One beer last night turned into five.  Fortunately, there were a few good discoveries…

No. 308 – Dieu du Ciel Déesse Nocturne

2017-08-30 - 308 - Dieu du Ciel Déesse Nocturne _500beers

As you can tell by the picture, the head on this one was immense.  It was thick, like a roasted mousse – which is meant to sound like a good thing.  Taste-wise, this is the closest stout to Guinness that I have tasted from Dieu du Ciel, also a good thing.  There is more emphasis on roasted coffee in this and I found it maybe a little too rich.  It is however a fine stout.  It gets a solid 7/11 for being good, well worth the price, accurate, for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.  It gets another two yeses for the fact that I would go out of my way for it and go out in a snowstorm.

No. 309 – Birra Camilla

2017-08-30 - 309 - Birra Camilla _500beers

This is a bitter blonde with an aroma that seems like a blonde ale and a taste that brings out peanuts.  I was surprised on tasting this to get a reasonably strong taste of peanuts, or at least peanut butter, which is something different.  It’s a refreshing blonde ale with a little extra bitterness and a unique twist.  This also gets a 7/11, I may be being generous here, but it had a certain je ne sais quoi.  It’s good, worth the price, accurate, a little different, I’d drink it again and recommend it and I would go out of my way for a pint of it.

No. 310 – Birra Dupont et Dupond Dubble

2017-08-30 - 310 - Birra Dupont et Dupond Dubble

This was the real treat of the night, a dubble with a deep rich sweetness.  I got a hint of berries in the aroma, which was very good.  The picture doesn’t really do the beer justice as I had to use the flash but it looks really good too.  It had a lovely texture, was easy to drink and quite refreshing.  I nice bittersweet aftertaste rounded off this delightful beer.  I’m giving it 7.5/11 as it was better than the previous two beers but I’m not sure that I would fight a bear for it.

No. 311 – La Succarsale Peach White

2017-08-30 - 311 - La Succarsale Peach White _500beers

This one looks peachy and the aroma is quite fruity with a little peach coming through.  It’s like a good white beer with a little peach twist in the taste.  It’s nicely balanced, kind of like drinking a fruit lollipop (or popsicle for north Americans I believe) and therefore somewhat refreshing.  It’s not to sweet or fruity either so I could easily have a few of these in a row in the right circumstances.  I’m giving it a 7/11 – it’s good, worth the price, accurate, a little different, I’d drink it again and recommend trying it and I may just go a little out of my way to try it again.

No. 312 – Birra Bob

2017-08-30 - 312 - Birra Bob _500beers

This was the final drink of the evening, which perhaps explains my lack of notes.  It’s an American Pale Ale, with a nice malty texture and a hoppy finish.  I don’t remember anything special about this, but it was a good APA.  A definite 5/11.

And so that is Birra.  I’ll maybe head back later in the year to check out there more Autumnal selection of beers.  But in between times, I’ll be catching up on writing up all of the other beers I’ve tried.

Birra, part 1

Birra, part 1

I’ve now been to Birra on two occasions, once way back in April as the weather was starting to become good again and last night for one quick beer after work.  I had five…

This first post covers the four beers I tried on my first visit.  Unsurprisingly, I can’t remember too many details but I think the ratings I gave them were fair.

No. 127 – Birra’s Anne

2017-04-25 - 127 - Anne Rousse de Seigle _Birra _500beers
This was a nicely balanced red ale with a little sweetness and hints of fruit leading to a nice mildly bitter finish.  An easy 6/11.

No. 128 – Birra’s Eve

2017-04-25 - 128 - Eve Dunkelweisen _Birra _500beers
This dunkelweissen style beer looked really good, a glowing brown with an appealing aroma.  It tasted quite light and had a nice mix of a little sweetness at the front of the mouth leading to a nice bitter sting at the end.  Similar to Anne, but not as good.  It gets a 5/11.

No. 129 – Saint Luke Lager

2017-04-25 - 129 - Saint Luke _Birra _500beers
It was a little difficult tracking down exactly what this beer is, I think it’s from the brewery Saint Luke not far from Montréal, rather than being a Birra beer.  In any case I’m not too fused about finding out more.  This was just a decent lager style beer with nothing special about it.  I gave it 4/11.

No. 130 – Microbrasserie du Lac St.Jean Rang 4 Stout

2017-04-25 - 130 - Rang 4 _Birra _500beers

The word that sprung to mind on trying this first was Mocha.  It had a nice chocolatey coffee aroma, but the beer itself was little light on these flavours.  Another decent stout but a little lighter than I prefer.  I gave it 6/11.

This was a decent evening with some promising beers and the bar is in a pretty nice location not too far from De Castelnau metro.  I would recommend giving it a go.

 

No. 300 – Lagabière’s Ordre de Toasts

No. 300 – Lagabière’s Ordre de Toasts

Almost there, only 200 more different beers to try before 31st December.  That works out at about 50 per month until the end of the year (I say about 50 per month because at the time of writing this, I’m now at 305 and I am likely to have a few more before the end of August).  It seems like a big number to try, but in my head this is the home straight and I cannot wait until 1st January!

2017-08-25 - 300 - Lagabière Ordre de Toasts _500beers

I chose this beer for the big number 300 as I had marked it out as something to try at the Laval Beer Festival but didn’t get around to tasting it.  I also went for a brown ale as I like to ensure that all the big ones (100, 200, 250, 300 etc) are good beers.

2017-08-25 - 300 - Lagabière Ordre de Toasts poured _500beers
I applied my new more rigorous tasting procedure to this one and ended up with the same magic c-words that I usually find in darker beers.  The aroma from a distance is like a light milk chocolate, very appealing.  On closer inspection, a hint of roasted malt and toast comes through.  A very good start.

The texture seemed somewhat light in comparison to some other brown ales I’ve tried this year, but this was not a negative.  The flavour that comes through most is that of roast coffee, I suppose this is the ‘toastyness’ that they refer to in the description.  It’s not too strong or overwhelming by any means and there is a nice bitterness in the back of the mouth.  It’s a really well balanced brown ale and of the other brown ales I’ve had, only the Trois Brasseurs Brown comes close.

It gets a strong 8/11 for being good, accurate, worth the price, having that little something special, for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability and I would go a block or two out of my way to pick up a bottle and go out in a snowstorm or heatwave.

And so, that is number 300 of 500, and another good choice.

3 from Le Trefle Noir

3 from Le Treble Noir

The tidy up continues, only another 152 beers to post after these ones…

No. 170 – Aigle Noir

I tried this one way back in May at a barbecue leaving do for a friend, the one who had been the organiser of the micro-brewery pub nights I had been attending somewhat regularly.  This was the second black IPA I tried after being very impressed and somewhat confused by the St. Ambroise Black IPA, so I was looking forward to something a little odd.  As you can see from the head on this one, it was a frothy coffee type porter, which smelled very hoppy indeed.  From my notes (all seven words that I wrote on the day), this came through in the flavour a little too much for it to be a great beer so I gave it 6/11 for being good, worth the price, accurate, a little different, for drink-again-ability, and for recommend-ability.

No. 220 – California

Looking back at this one, which I tried at the start of July, probably when it was very warm outside, I’m quite surprised at the mark.  However, my notes are pretty complimentary so I’m going to stick with the mark I gave it.

It’s a citrus IPA, with an aroma that brings out roasted hops and citrus fruits.  It was almost like a tropical flavour lollipop (a thing I noted in a few similar beers in July).  This all came through in the flavour but it was odd as it was a little heavy, more like a white beer.  Ultimately, it was a refreshing hybrid of IPA and white beer, which I really liked.  I gave it 8/11 for being good, well worth the price, accurate, having something a little special, for drink-again-ability, for recommend-ability, for the fact that I would go out of my way for it and the fact that I would definitely go out in a heatwave to find a bottle.

No. 279 – Foublonne

This is another really good IPA from le Trefle Noir.  It smells like an IPA but there are also little hints of a malty caramel twang.  This comes through perfectly with each gulp.  It’s got a malty creamy texture on the tongue and the taste stays in the mouth a long time.  There are hints of citrus and a nice bitterness in the aftertaste, which balances out the hops and malt nicely.

This gets a 7/11 for being good, accurate, worth the price, for drink-again-ability, for recommend-ability, and for the fact that I’d go out of my way to find a bottle and even go out in a heatwave for one.

I’ve had quite a lot of beers from Dieu du Ciel lately, to the extent that I’d forgotten how much I like Le Trefle Noir’s selection.  I have a bottle of their Joannes in the fridge to try soon – maybe they can make a really good Berliner weisse too…?

 

How to taste beer, sort of

How to taste beer, sort of

I’ve previously mentioned that I am no connoisseur of beer and that I do not wish to be. 

But…

I watched a video on beer tasting and now I’m an expert.

I’m joking of course.  But I have become a little bit more interested in the tasting process and started to educate myself as a way to spot more differences in beers and to help me write about them and express myself better.  I’ve also learned some new words recently and found out how to play with colours in black and white pictures.  This all means that the posts from now on may be read a little better and also appear a little more varied.  Or not…

2017-08-20 - 292 - Dieu du Ciel Brise-Vent arty _500beers

No. 292 – Dieu du Ciel Brise-vent!

I didn’t know what to expect from this beer as I have no idea what sea buckthorn is.  So I continued in ignorance (that’s how I generally do things), and applied my new tasting methods.  This involves rather simply only pouring a couple of ounces into the glass, swirling it a lot to allow it to breathe and release the flavours, sniffing it a lot then drinking it slowly.  It’s not much but it seems to have made a difference as I found a lot more in this beer than I have with many others.  That could just of course be the magic of sea buckthorn.

2017-08-20 - 292 - Dieu du Ciel Brise-Vent poured _500beers

It’s a cloudy yellow colour with a bubbly fizzy head, as you can see, and on the nose, after extensive sniffing I got that it was sour.  Seriously, after all the build up, after watching serious people tasting beers and getting so much from the aroma alone, I got one word.  Though, I have had the cold, so that’s maybe somewhat forgivable.

Fortunately, on tasting I was able to glean a lot more from this beer.  It had a little sourness in it and was quite refreshing on first taste.  It felt more like a wine however.  The first thing I noticed was tannins hitting the back of my mouth like a red wine.  I haven’t noticed this in a beer before.  I then began to notice that the initial hit felt very much like a white wine.  I could feel the grapey-ness of a sauvignon blanc (something I am familiar with).  There was an acidity in this beer that also distinctly felt like a wine.  From the aroma, I had been expecting a berliner weisse style beer – a sort that I don’t really like, but from the taste I got a wine hybrid.

2017-08-20 - 292 - Dieu du Ciel Brise-Vent desc. _500beers

On googling sea buckthorn I saw that tannins are indeed present in sea buckthorn oil which possibly explains where I got that from, but the sense of drinking a white wine still bemuses me.  I’ll have to track down another beer made with sea buckthorn to compare.

This gets 7/11 for being good, for the price, for accuracy (the French description above does mention tannins and dryness), for having something different, for drink-again-ability, for recommend-ability and for the fact that I would go out of my way to try this again.

Something tells me this would go well with something spicy, Chinese, Thai or Vietnamese perhaps.

This beer was an experience, which was exactly the point of trying 500 different beers in a year.