Two from Saint Bock

Two from Saint Bock

It has been one year exactly (at time of writing) that I wrote my first post about beer and so far I have only managed to write up about half of the beers I tried last year.  I’ve taken a long break from beer since the start of the year but am now ready to write about it again.

While I’m catching up with old beers from last year I will still be trying the odd new beer here and there.

In the meantime, here are two from Saint Bock…

No. 304 – Malédiction

I bought this one fine Saturday afternoon while checking out another Métro store (near Jean Talon metro).  They’re selection wasn’t as good as the selection at my local one (Bélanger and Fabre) and no where near as good as the selection at the Métro just off Laurier park.  Anyway…

It’s a decent, sweet milk stout.  At first, the aroma made me think of a nice cappuccino, but I think at that point the year (August-ish) I was automatically getting cappuccino from every stout.  Then the vanilla came through and it reminded me more of a sweet hot chocolate.  This sweetness comes through in the flavour, a little too much.  It has a nice creamy milk stout texture and the taste builds nicely as it coats the mouth.  There’s vanilla, chocolate and coffee but it’s a little too sweet for my taste.  I’m giving it 6/11 as I would recommend it and I may go out of my way to give it another go at some point.

No. 438 – Bison Mécanique

I chose this as I had been at a bar with a mechanical bull the previous week.  That is, I went to a bar that had a mechanical bull, my mechanical bull refused to come with me.

The first beer in Quebec brewed with bison grass?  Well the aroma was certainly a little floral, with hints of rye and ginger (this is probably me not being able to recognise bison grass) and a surprising amount of vanilla.  In fact, while I was letting the beer sit I noticed the room beginning to smell of vanilla – like vanilla candles were burning somewhere, lots of them.  This was certainly a unique beer.

It’s a fizzy little number with a bubbly head, but on drinking it has a surprising creaminess to it.  It keeps this characteristic throughout, which was a little odd in a good way.  It is light, a little spicy and floral and that little hint of rye in the aroma comes through more strongly in the taste.

Maybe it would be a good idea to go and taste some of these ingredients one day to be better able to differentiate them.  Or maybe that would be taking it too seriously.  Who knows?

In any case, this beer gets an impressive 8/11.  It’s good, well worth the price, accurate, a little different and I would drink it again and recommend it.  I’d also go out in a heat-wave for this – something tells me that it would be a good barbecue beer.

That’s two more down…

 

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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

A great beer for brunch

A great beer for brunch

As of this moment I have tried 498 different beers this year. 

Actually, that’s a lie.  I’ve tried more than 500 but I just can’t remember some of them. 

I will try one new beer tomorrow at Isle de Garde Brasserie and then on Wednesday I will be trying my 500th official different beer for this year.  It’s going to be a unique beer made at Les Trois Brasseurs and available for one night only.  After that, I can stop drinking beer and get healthy again.

In the meantime, the beer advent calendar I bought from Veux-tu une bière? has turned out to be quite a surprise with some very good and very different beers that I probably would not have tried otherwise.  One of those is this fruity little number…

No. 491 – Vox Populi’s Kettle Sour (Berliner Weisse)

It’s says brunch on it and has oranges – it’s a good light beer for brunch time.

It’s a thick beer as you can see in the picture (the glass wasn’t perfectly clean but the cloudy texture comes through ok).  It took a little time to pour as it was quite thick but it looked like fizzy orange juice, with a fizzy head that dissipated quickly.

The aroma is mildly bitter, or sour if you will.  There are strong hints of orange and milder hints of other citrus fruits.  This made me think that the emphasis would be on the sourness, fortunately I was wrong.

It’s got a thick texture like pure orange and there is a little fizz to it.  The main flavour that comes through is also unsurprisingly orange.  This to me feels like a lightly alcoholic orangeade.  I’m not going to say that this is a bad thing as it does not pretend to be anything else.  I would happily drink this again early or mid morning with a breakfast and an early morning football match (European style football, of course).

2017-12-16 - 491 - Vox Populi Kettle Sour desc. _500beers

It’s good, accurate, worth the price, a little different and I would drink it again and recommend it.  I don’t think that I would go out of my way to try it but it is good.

6/11

So, the next time that I write, I will have tried 500 beers, not just in one year but in 353 days.  It seems that I was correct in thinking that 365 beers is too easy.  I will be taking all of January off beer until my birthday where the Beer-Off will occur, and I will compare the best beers and find out which is the best beer.

It’s a nice feeling to have started this kind of challenge and actually done it.

 

 

À l’Abri de la Tempête

À l’Abri de la Tempête

It feels somewhat apt that I woke up this morning to the first moderately big snowstorm of the season and opened my advent calendar to find a beer from À l’Abri de la Tempête.  I’ve already reviewed one of their beers here, so here are the other two I’ve tried…

No. 436 – Écumé
2017-12-12 - 436 - A l'Abri de la Tempête Écumé poured _500beers

This one looks great in the glass.  It’s a deep amber gold colour and the head, though a little flat looks very appealing when you swirl it around like a pro!  It has a nice aroma, with a little floral hint, and the taste is mildly sweet, without being too sweet.  It feels like a sweet pilsner, which is fine.  It’s a good beer but not great.  5/11.

No. 485 – Belle Saison
2017-12-12 - 485 - A l'Abri de la Tempête Belle Saison poured _500beers

I was very happy to see this beer in my advent calendar (day number 12) as I had looked at it a few times in the past but for whatever reason had not bought it.  It has a floral aroma and a great golden colour.  It’s very easy to drink at only 5.5% and has a floral fruity hint to it which comes through a little in the aftertaste.  It’s not too hoppy, not too bitter and quite refreshing.  Probably a good barbecue beer.  An easy 6/11.

The three beers I have tried from À l’Abri de la Tempête have all been good so it’s a little annoying that I did not discover them sooner, though maybe in 2018 I will try some of their other more expensive beers like Corps Mort.

Multi-Brasses

Multi-Brasses

This is one of my favourite discoveries of the year.  Inexpensive, good quality and a little different.  I found these beers at le Frigo de Bacchus on Masson and 9th Avenue after a friend told me of a beer shop not far from her new apartment.  I have actually tried four of their beers, but unfortunately I was extremely drunk when I tried one and can’t remember what it was and quite drunk when I tried the first one, hence the blurry pictures…

No. 461 – Brune au Café

The aroma is gorgeous, a very strong, thick, deep, rich coffee flavour and the head is nice and frothy.  It would probably suit a little cinnamon and chocolate.  It tastes like a mix between a brown ale and a lighter stout which is hardly a surprise as the emphasis is on the coffee.  As such it has a slightly heavier feel than a regular brown ale.  It’s fine, an easy 6/11 – it just doesn’t live up to the aroma, which is excellent.  6/11.

No. 483 – Fabuleuse

This is a real treat, I wish I’d seen this when it was warmer outside!  It has a strong blueberry aroma that makes me think of pancakes smothered in blueberry jam.  The blueberry comes through in the taste better than it did for the Éphémère Bleuet that I tried way back in the Summer, which makes it by default my favourite blueberry beer.  But, there is a little more to it than that.  It’s a nicely balanced beer.  The fruit is not too strong as to overwhelm the feeling of drinking a beer, nor is it too weak to make it feel like a genuine fruit beer.  It’s a little bitter, but by no means sour.  I recommend this one – 7/11.

No. 484 – Amoureuse

This beer smells like strawberry jelly (or jello I suppose as I’m in North America) – it’s a delight.  This beer has the same perfect balance as the blueberry beer – it’s not sickly sweet, nor is it too weak.  I’m also going to give this one 7/11 and I recommend trying it.  I may even purchase a bottle to drink with my Christmas Trifle*.

So, this was brewery was a really good find and I’m looking forward to trying anything else that they have to offer.  If you like fruit beers, you should definitely check them out.

*Trifle being…fruits, sponge cake, jelly/jello, custard and maybe some liqueur.

 

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.