Tag Archives: Cream Ale

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.

 

 

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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!

Le Réservoir 2, Nos. 267 – 272

Le Réservoir 2, Nos. 267 – 272

“I swear, I’m only going to have four beers max.” 

Here are the six beers I tried…

No. 267 – Le Réservoir Cream Ale

2017-08-02 - 267 - Le Réservoir Cream Ale _500beers

I like a good cream ale after work on a warm day – it’s a nice half way point between a white and a stout.  I was initially disappointed with this one, but on further reflection, it’s a perfectly fine cream ale.  The problem was that I’ve tried a few really good ones, that others don’t measure up to.  Judging the beer on it’s own merit however is my goal so this gets a 5/11.  It’s a refreshing creamy ale with a hint of sweetness, but that’s about it.  It does what it needs to.  It’s fine, worth the price, accurate and I would maybe drink it again and recommend it.

No. 268 – Le Réservoir Saison Gingembre

2017-08-02 - 268 - Le Réservoir Saison Gingembre _500beers

Ginger makes me think of ordering vietnamese food.  I ordered this for that reason alone.  Fortunately, it was a good beer.  The aroma is spicy, but is by no means overwhelming as is the taste.   My initial note just says that this was like drinking vietnamese food but it was better than that.  I’d like to try it with mildly spicy food to see how it matches up.  It gets a 6/11, the same as the cream ale except that it gets an extra yes for having that little something different about it.

No. 269 – Le Réservoir Cérise

2017-08-02 - 269 - Le Réservoir Cerise _500beers

This was a surprise.  On first taste it was a little sour but something strange came through in the aftertaste that was nice.  It was almost chocolatey.  I’m not sure where that came from but it was definitely there for the first few gulps.  There are hints of cherry of course but the taste was a little different than I would have expected.  It’s a strange one this – I don’t know if I’d drink it again but I’d suggest trying it.  It’s also fine, accurate, worth the price and has something different.  So 5/11.

No. 270 – Le Réservoir Vermont 2xIPA

2017-08-02 - 270 - Le Réservoir Vermont _500beers

The best drink of the night, with the oddest description.  I thought this was going to be a double hopped IPA but it turned out to be a hoppy cream ale style beer.  It was creamy like a good cream ale but the hops came through strongly in the aroma and taste.  The ale itself was fruity – citrus that you would expect from a hoppier beer.  This was a great mixture of styles and quite a surprise.  7/11 for being good, accurate, worth the price, different, for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability and for the fact that I would go out of my way for a pint of this.

No. 271 – Le Réservoir Tripel

2017-08-02 - 271 - Le Réservoir Tripel _500beers
I didn’t really write too many notes at this point, unfortunately.  However, this tripel was surprisingly fruity for a stronger ale.  I quite liked it for this.  And that’s that.  6/11 for everything the Vermont has bar being different.

No. 272 – Le Réservoir Pilsner Américain

2017-08-02 272 - Le Réservoir Pilsner Americain _500bee

My favourite picture of the night and a decent beer too.  It has a nice burnt malty aroma and this comes through in the flavour strongly.  I like maltyness so that’s a good thing.  I think from memory that it’s a little better than the average pilsner.  5/11 for being good, accurate, worth the price and for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability.

So that’s my second trip to Le Réservoir (first one here) and another mixture of mostly good beers.  I foresee one further trip before the end of the year to explore their IPAs.

 

Nos. 216 – 218 – Brasserie Harricana

Nos. 216 – 218 – Brasserie Harricana

This bar is one that I have visited a few times and gotten quite drunk at on each occasion, this time I went with the express purpose of enjoying the taste of the beer.  I picked three cheaper beers to pass the night and the results are below.  I did, however have a sip of a beer that was on a level above these towards the end of the evening, which is annoying…

From left to right, No. 216 – Cream Ale, 217 – Best Bitter and 218 – Pale Ale

No. 216 – Cream Ale

The head makes this look like a promising cream ale, however the glowing golden colour of the body suggests otherwise.  Indeed, the creamy head was nice but the ale itself was a little bland, there were mild hints of a good cream ale in there but overall it just made me think of a flat lager, with a little creaminess to the texture.  It gets a 2.5/11, that’s 0.5 of a yes for being drinkable at least, 0.5 for the description, 0.5 for recommend-ability (for somebody wanting a very light cream ale, this may be ideal and a complete Yes for the price.  I wasn’t annoyed that I’d about $5 (including tip), just disappointed.

No. 217 – Best Bitter

I’m bitter because this was not the best.  An English style red ale.  It had a nice toasty aroma and a bright amber colour, so again as with the cream ale it looked good but suggested that it may not be exactly what it says.  It didn’t have a strong taste, however there were hints of caramel and a little creaminess that made it nice to drink.  It gets 4/11 being a Yes each for not being bad, for the price, for the description and half a Yes for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability.  

No. 218 – Pale Ale

This was the best beer of the night, I simply wrote that it looks like a pale ale, smells like a pale ale and tastes like a pale ale.  It therefore gets a 4/11, for the same points as the Best Bitter.

I will revisit Brasserie Harricana, very soon…

Nos. 139 – 142 – Le Cheval Blanc

Nos. 139 – 142 – Le Cheval Blanc

Two swift pints after eleven hours at work turned into four…

Le Cheval Blanc is a bar that I’d only been to on one occasion before, and I don’t remember much about that particular evening.  It’s in a pretty good location, seems to always be busy (from what I hear) and has cheap beers which are pretty good.  Also, I like the way the bar is set up, it reminds me of a bar back home, which is always a bonus…

No. 139 – Stout
2017-05-11 - 139 - Cheval Blanc Stout à l'azote _500beers

I started out with a stout as I have been drinking a lot of stouts and porters recently.  This is pretty much Guinness.  I don’t think that I could tell the two apart in a blind tasting.  This is not a bad thing however, as it costs about $3 less than a pint of Guinness.  Yes, it’s good.  Yes, the price is good.  Yes, it’s accurate (can’t really go too far wrong with the name Stout).  Yes, I would drink it again and based on the price, Yes, I would recommend it.  Yes, I’d go a few blocks out of my way for this, based on the price and the ambiance of the bar as well.  6/11

 


No. 140 – Cream Ale

2017-05-11 - 140 - Chevel Blanc Cream Ale à l'azote _500beers

This is a really nice beer and I wish that I had made a few notes at the time.  From memory, the aroma was somewhat fruity, promising a refreshing ale with plenty of flavour and it did not disappoint.  Yes, it is very good.  Yes, it is more than worth the price.  Yes, it matches it’s description.  Yes, it has something different and interesting about it.  Yes, I would drink it again and Yes I would recommend it.  Yes, I would go out of my way for this as well.  7/11

 

 

 

No. 141 – Ambrée and No. 142 – Blanche

I maybe should have gone home after the first two beers, that is unfortunately usually very difficult to do.  The Ambrée is fine, nothing special about it apart from the price being more than reasonable so it gets a decent 5/11 for being good, for the price, for accuracy of description, for drink-again and recommend-ability.  The blanche was also fine, but I’m only giving it the 4/11 for being fine, cheap, accurate and for the fact that I may drink it again.  There was nothing special to it, which was a little disappointing after the first two beers being pretty good.

I definitely recommend Le Cheval Blanc if you fancy a reasonably priced beer and a good atmosphere.  Start with the cream ale!

Sleeman’s Selection, Nos. 104-107 and 109-110

Sleeman’s Selection

Trying saying Sleeman’s Selection quickly ten times in a row.  Anyway…

I picked up this selection pack from my nearest dépanneur because it was only about ten dollars.  Each of these beers therefore gets a yes for the price.

No. 104 – Sleeman’s Cream Ale

2017-04-04 - 104 - Sleeman's Cream Ale label _500beers
This is a decent beer, not the best cream ale I’ve had so far but by no means a bad beer.  This will be a theme for this selection.

It gets a Yes for being good, well it’s not bad so that’s a given.  It’s got a Yes for the price and for another Yes for the description.  I’d drink it again so that’s a fourth Yes, and at the price Yes I’d recommend it to.  So that’s five Yeses – which by now means, it’s ok, but nothing special.    5/11

No. 105 – Sleeman’s Silver Creek Lager

2017-04-05 - 105 - Sleeman's Silver Creek Lager reflet _500beers
Again, this is a decent lager, without having anything special about it.  Like the Cream Ale, it’s going to get five out of eleven for being good, cheap, accurate, recommendable at this price and something that I would drink again.   5/11

 

 

No. 106 – Sleeman’s Fine Porter

2017-04-05 - 106 - Sleeman's Fine Porter bottle _500beers
This is indeed a fine porter.

Of the six beers in the selection pack this was the one that stood out as the best.  It was a smooth well balanced stout, that was very easy to drink and that quenched my thirst perfectly.  Score-wise it gets the same five yeses as the previous two beers, but I would consider going out of my way for it if I was in the mood.  So I’m giving it six.    6/11

 

No. 107 – Sleeman’s Railside Session Ale

2017-04-06 - 107 - Sleeman's Railside Session Ale reflet _500beers
Not really a lot to say on this one.  It was a little bland compared to the others in the selection and to the majority of other beers I’ve tried so far.  But having said that, it is ok so it notches up four Yeses, for being good (ok at least), cheap and accurate and I’d probably try it again.   4/11

 

 

 

No. 109 – Sleeman’s Spiced Ale

2017-04-08 - Sleeman's Spiced Ale _500beers

Very similar to the Railside Session Ale, but with a little more flavour.  I can’t honestly remember anything more about this one, which tells me that it was ok but again nothing special.  I’ve given it five Yeses for being good, cheap, accurate (there is a hint of something different in the flavour, but I can’t remember what and it wasn’t enough to gain an extra yes for being interesting or different) and recommendable (at a cheap price).  I would also give it another go.    5/11

No. 110 – Sleeman’s India Pale Ale

2017-04-09 - 110 - Sleeman's IPA bottles _500beers
I don’t like IPAs, so I left this one for last.  It was actually pretty good, but did not taste like most IPAs I’ve had so far.  This somewhat confuses the accuracy/being different questions in my marking scheme.

In all honesty, I would find it difficult to tell at least four of these beers apart.  This one gets four Yeses for being good, cheap, recommendable and I would try it again. 4/11

This for ten dollars is a pretty consistent selection of beers.  If I were to try any of them again, I would definitely go for the Porter first.  It’s becoming clear just over a fifth of the way through the challenge that I like stout.