Tag Archives: Black IPA

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

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…?

 

Benelux (Sherbrooke and Wellington)

Benelux (Sherbrooke and Wellington)

Until a couple of Fridays ago, I’d been in Benelux on Sherbrooke twice in my life.  The first was in 2009 and involved cocktails (from what I recall), the second was almost three years ago for the first of many micro-brewery tour meet ups that I have gone to over the last few years.  So this was an untapped source of new beers.  I have now visited both the locations, the other being on Wellington in Verdun.  I definitely prefer the feel of the bar on Sherbrooke and would recommend it over the other…

No. 275 – Le Beat (Sherbrooke)
2017-08-04 - 275 - Benelux Le Beat _500beers

This is a standard black IPA, hops in the aroma and a little hoppy to taste.  The bitterness really comes through in the warm aftertaste.  Not much else to say on this one!  It gets a standard 5/11, for being good, worth the price, accurate, for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.

No. 293 – Troy (Wellington)
2017-08-20 - 293 - Benelux Troy _500beers

This one’s a little deceptive.  It’s pitched as a dry stout but doesn’t look like one, the picture was taken just after it was poured and the head and already disappeared.  The colour as well was also quite light.  I thought it was a little bland at first but it grew on me a bit.  There’s a nice chocolate/caramel character to this beer which seems to coat the mouth and make the drink more pleasurable which each gulp.  It’s getting 6/11 for being good, worth the price, accurate (this is a bit of a stretch, but they’re my marks so…), for having something a little unique, for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.

No. 294 – Prélude (Wellington)
2017-08-20 - 294 - Benelux Prélude _500beers

This is a very bright blonde ale that was surprisingly good.  It has a nice maltyness that coats the mouth and a little hit of bitterness from the hops.  It’s a nice balance.  I didn’t pick up on much else flavour wise, but this was a refreshing pint indeed.  I’m giving it 5.5/11 for being good, accurate, worth the price, for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.  The extra 0.5 of a Yes is for luck.

So, I’ve had three beers from Benelux and while there has been nothing outstanding as yet, they do have some decent beers and I will go back before the end of the year.  At least, I’ll go back to the Sherbrooke location.

3 more from Dieu du Ciel


3 more from Dieu du Ciel

In July, I decided to start economising a little while keeping up the drinking challenge, so I ended up buying a lot of individual bottles from Dieu du Ciel at roughly $2.50 each.  Here are a few more…

No. 215 – Équinoxe du Printemps

This is a real treat.  It looks great, a lovely deep red/brown colour when poured with a creamy light brown head.  I didn’t think that the aroma was that impressive, just like a regular scotch ale, however, to taste this was excellent.  It’s a little creamy but full-bodied and the taste of maple comes through very nicely.  It is warm and a little sweet on the tongue and the warmth of the aftertaste remains for a long time like any good scotch ale.  This one’s getting 10/11 – it’s good, very good in fact, it’s definitely worth the price, it has an accurate description and the perfect balance of maple and scotch ale added that little something different.  I will definitely drink it again and I would recommend it.  I would fight a bear a block or two out of my way for this beer, which is worth Yeses (check out the ratings here)

No. 219 – Pénombre

This is a black IPA – a type of beer I’d never heard of but am growing fonder of as the year goes on.  The beer smells like an IPA, very hoppy but not fruity.  Instead, on tasting there are hints of light chocolate and more of a porter type feel to the beer.  It has a nice balance between hoppyness and bitterness and is definitely worth trying.  It gets 6/11 for being good, worth the price, accurate, for drink-again-ability, recommend-ability and for the fact that I would go out of my way to pick up a bottle.

No. 266 – Isseki Nicho

This imperial stout looks great, see how frothy and coffee-like the head is in the picture above.  I actually tried this one with some espresso biscuits and they matched very nicely indeed.  Other than the strong coffee aroma and taste, there was nothing extra special about this one.  It’s difficult to describe considering that I’ve tasted so many strong coffee-like stouts, but this one seemed to be missing something.  Maybe it was because it looked so good on pouring and it didn’t live up to the anticipation.  In any case, it’s another 6/11 for being good, worth the price, accurate, for drink-again-ability, recommend-ability and one for the appearance (it’s a little unique).

Another three good beers from Dieu du Ciel, more to come soon.