Tag Archives: Beer Festival

Lightside/Darkside – Chambly Beer Festival, part two

Lightside/Darkside – Chambly Beer Festival, part two

When is a beer not a beer?  When it’s a wine, or a spirit of some sort.

I have had a discussion with a few people about at what point a beer becomes too alcoholic to be considered a beer and the general consensus is about 12% (no professional opinions or science checked here – just drunken reasoning).  I’ve had a few scotch ales with high percentages and the results have been mixed – some are good whilst others are simply overwhelming.  I have also tried a low alcohol beer in this challenge so that I can compare the taste, so it makes sense to at least try something really strong at some point.  Enter Brasseurs du Monde’s Titanium…

Darkside

No. 324 – Brasseurs du Monde Titanium

At 11.9%, this is the strongest beer that I have tried this year, though I was surprised when I looked back to see an 11.75% beer that had a more than decent mark.  This stood out as it was strong but seemed have retained the characteristics of a normal porter or stout.  There was a very strong coffee and milk chocolate aroma, and the froth was gorgeous.  To taste it was delightful too – frothyness turned to a great coffee chocolate creaminess.  It’s a shame I haven’t seen it anywhere since.  I’d fight a bear for this, maybe even two bears.  9/11.

No. 317 – Le Naufrageur Raccoon

Moving down 1.9% to a decent black IPA – a sort of beer that I was unaware of when I started this challenge but have started to seek out more and more.  This was smells hoppy as you would expect and has a hint of chocolate in it.  To taste, it is a well balanced porter with an extra bitter hoppy finish.  It’s good, and I would drink it again so it’s getting a 7/11.

No. 321 – Les 3 Mousquetaires Dopplebock

Moving down another 1.4% to a fine Dopplebock style beer.  No real notes on this one unfortunately except that the molasses in the description definitely comes through.  It was creamy and felt great to drink.  Another 7/11, and another style of beer I’ve started to hunt down more and more.

No. 325 – Brasseurs du Monde Clara

This is the smallest sample of beer that I have had this year, I think, however I tried it at the Laval Beer Festival in 2016, so it counts.  It seemed somewhat muddy in appearance, let’s say cloudy perhaps and the flavour was difficult to pin down, somewhat fruity is the best I can do.  Auto-correct and interference from others when typing notes on my phone have really left me with no other notes.  The mark stands however – 6/11.

And so, that was Chambly, my third beer festival of the year but favourite.  I can’t wait until next year, when I can go there and not have to take photos and notes!

Edit – I forgot all about this one.

No. 318 – Benelux’s Armada

2017-09-02 - 318 - Benelux Armada _500beers

It’s a brown ale, hints of a brown ale are there but it wasn’t great.  3/11

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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.

 

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. 195 – 200 – Montreal Beer Festival

Nos. 195 – 200 – Montreal Beer Festival

I will be attending several beer festivals this year including Laval, Québec, Sherbrooke and Chambly but first I went to the Montreal Beer Festival to hit different beer number 200.

Since the last time I was there two years ago the prices seem to have gone up quite a bit, but that just means having to be smart.  I managed to get quite a lot of alcohol content to the dollar and out of six beers I tasted, two were bland, while four were either very good or excellent…

No. 195 – Saint Bock’s Sweet Jesus
2017-06-17 - 195 - Saint Bock Sweet Jesus _500beers

I started with the first strong beer I found.  At 10.5%, this is the strongest scotch ale I’ve tasted so far.  It is very good.  A little sweet, very warm flavour, hints of caramel and a very good colour.  This one gets an 8/11.  It is good, accurate, has a little something different, I’d drink it again and recommend it and it is worth the price based on the price it costs at Le Saint Bock.  I would go out of my way for it and would definitely go out in a snowstorm for it.
No. 196 – Brasseurs du Bois Blanc’s La Dark Soul
2017-06-17 - 196 - Brasseurs du Bois Blanc La Dark Soul _500beers
I’ve had some very nice coffee stouts in the past and they’ve all had good reviews.  This may be the coffee-ist of them all.  The aroma is like a rich espresso and the small samples that you get give the beer more of an air of a coffee than a beer.  Taste-wise, it is very rich indeed and felt more like a coffee, with a slightly different buzz afterwards.  I would definitely drink this once in a while, but don’t know if I could drink a couple on the same day.  It gets 7/11, the only difference between this and Sweet Jesus being that I don’t know if I’d go out in a snowstorm for this.  It’s a little too much.

No. 197 – La Barbarie’s Rousse Anglaise
2017-06-17 - 197 - La Barbarie Rousse Anglaise _500beers

It’s a nice colour.  Unfortunately, that’s about it.  It’s got a very weak flavour, and doesn’t compare with other red ales I’ve had so far.  It came from a bottle that had been opened previously (I think), so maybe this explains the flatness to some extent.  If I spot it elsewhere I may give it another chance.  I’m not sure how I arrived at this according the scoring system but it’s getting 2/11 for now.

No. 198 – St. Ambroise Pamplemousse IPA
2017-06-17 - 198 - St. Ambroise Pamplemousse IPA _500beers
I’ve been waiting to try this for a while, St. Ambroise beers that I’ve tasted so far have generally been in individual tins or pints, but I’ve only been able to find six packs of this so far.  It’s definitely an IPA – hoppy and I imagine indistinguishable from their other IPA.  I got very little hint of grapefruit whatsoever.  I was a little disappointed with this after enjoying their Apricot Wheat Beer.  It’s getting 3/11 – it’s not bad, it’s probably worth what you would pay for a six pack and I’d probably give it another go.  But I’d recommend other St. Ambroise IPAs over this.

 
No. 199 – Mill St. Brewery’s Madawaska Maple
2017-06-17 - 199 - Mill St. Brewery Madawaska _500beers
This was rather bland and watery, but there was the mildest hint of maple in the taste.  I’m giving it 2/11 at a stretch for description, price and being a little different (that’s 0.5, 1 and 0.5)

 

 

 
No. 200 – Brasseurs Illimités Noire Truculente
2017-06-17 - 200 - Brasseurs Illimités Noire Truculente _500beers
This was a real treat with a strong aroma, hinting at a chocolate stout.  It is a stout of sorts, but has some qualities of a strong scotch ale too – that almost whiskey like warmth in the throat.  It’s thick and almost like a syrup too.  It’s a very good beer indeed and I will be trying it again in the future.  9/11,  I would fight a bear for this.  A fitting beer for the big Number 200.

 

Despite being pricey, the beer festival was overall a good experience, particularly for the Norie Truculente, Sweet Jesus and La Dark Soul.