Tag Archives: Brown Ale

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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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.

 

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

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.

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!

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.