Tag Archives: IPA

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.

 

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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.

 

 

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.

 

Brutopia – great place for a leaving party

Brutopia – great place for a leaving party

I realised at the weekend that even though there is a list of the beers I’ve had so far it is still difficult to find that information quickly.  So, to resolve this I need to do more posts and have a few more summary pages for the microbreweries I drink from the most.  This first post along this theme focuses on several trips I have made to Brutopia this year with reviews ranging from minimalist to slightly less minimalist…

2017-08-25 - Brutopia beer list _500beers

So far at Brutopia I have tried their…
Scotch Ale, Raspberry White, Extra Blonde, Honey Brown, Korova Milk Stout, Honey Beer, IPA, APA, Cherry Wheat, Nut Brown, Oatmeal Stout and Speculaas Pumpkin Ale.

No. 17 – Brutopia’s Scotch Ale
2017-01-15 - 17 - Brutopia Scotch Ale _500beers

I enjoyed this one cold and wintery day back in January, even though the winter wasn’t particularly bad, it was still necessary to warm up with a good Scotch Ale once in a while.  I have no notes on this unfortunately, just the rating 6/11 – which means it is worth trying and something that I am curious to try again this winter.

No. 93 – Brutopia’s Extra Blonde
2017-03-26 - 93 - Brutopia Extra Blonde _500beers
I tried this one in March, again I don’t have any notes, but I do recall that it was a decent blonde beer.  I had given it a 5/11, which tells me that it is worth trying but nothing too special.

Nos. 164 – 166 – Brutopia’s Honey Brown, Korova Milk Stout and Honey Beer

I tried these beers the day after I got back from my trip back home to Northern Ireland at a leaving party for a friend.  T’was a good evening, and the beers were fine.

These all get a 6/11, I’ve mentioned before that the Honey Brown and Nut Brown were pretty much the first microbrewery beers that I ever tried.   The Milk Stout was particularly good, not too thick but creamy and somewhat Guinness like.

No. 301 – 303 – Brutopia’s IPA, APA and Cherry Wheat

I tried these towards the end of August, at another friend’s leaving do – I also made some notes…

My overall impression of the IPA was that it is quite malty for an IPA, I got a hint of caramel from it, but the hoppyness comes through in the aftertaste and builds with each sup – 6/11.  The APA didn’t really come across as a pale ale, more of a blonde, but it was fine – 5/11.  Finally, the Cherry Wheat, the real treat of the night.  This smells of sweets, of amaretto and of Battenberg cake.  It’s almost a little too sweet smelling.  To taste it has an instant hit of marzipan.  The other people I was with thought it was a bit odd, but I quite liked this.  Maybe it would be difficult to drink several pints of it but definitely for a one-off this is a good beer.  I gave it 6/11 initially, but I’m upgrading it to 7/11 now.

No. 334 – Brutopia’s Nut Brown
2017-09-09 - 334 - Brutopia Nut Brown _500beers
I stumbled into Brutopia on a pub crawl recently and tried this (this is the time I referred to above where I couldn’t figure out what I’d already tried – made more difficult by my level of drunkenness at the time).  This gets 6/11, a pretty good beer, very good if you like that style.

Nos. 341 and 342 – Brutopia’s Oatmeal Stout and Speculaas Pumpkin Ale

And so, I went to Brutopia last night for another friend’s leaving do…

The oatmeal stout had a thick head that looked like oatmeal cereal but which disappeared in a few seconds.  It’s a thick stout, with light hints of roasted coffee and a deep aftertaste which is oddly refreshing.  It’s getting a 6.5/11.

The pumpkin ale, has a nice aroma, cinnamon and possibly pumpkin (I don’t really know what pumpkin smells like).  The beer itself is quite good, with most of the flavour coming in the aftertaste and building with each drink.  Definitely the best pumpkin ale I’ve had this year (for the other, click here).  It gets 7/11.

So that’s Brutopia so far, a mixture of decent beers and a couple of strong seasonal beers with something different.

 

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…?

 

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. 211 – 212 – L’Hérmite’s Smash IPA Africaine and Le Trefle Noir’s Elle et Louis

Nos. 211 – 212 – L’Hérmite’s Smash IPA Africain and Le Trefle Noir’s Elle et Louis

After playing the drums for about two hours in a small, very hot room with no fan, I decided to stop off at Yïsst for a beer to cool down before moving on to find a beer shop that I had recently discovered online…

2017-07-02 - Yïsst logo 1 _500beers

No. 211 – L’Hérmite Smash IPA Africain

I asked for l’Hérmite after having seen a white beer on the menu on the wall. Little did I realise that there were two different beers from this brewery. Upon wondering why the white beer would be so hoppy I checked the menu again and then arrived at the conclusion that I had been given the other beer. This was not a bad thing though as this was a decent beer that hit the spot anyway.

2017-07-02 - 211 - L'Hérmite Smash IPA Africaine _500beers

Curiously, the aroma made me think of pineapple and more specifically pineapple lollipops, so I was more surprised when the taste was so hoppy. The initial fruity aroma did not come through much in the taste but it was still somewhat evident making this a decent beer. It gets a 5/11 for being good, accurate (eventually), for the price, for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.

No. 212 – Le Trefle Noir Elle et Louis

Whilst having one beer to cool down, I spotted a Trefle Noir beer in the menu so I decided it was worth giving it a try as I’d never seen them on draft before.  This is apparently by Le Trefle Noir and Elle et Louis.  This is a passion fruit IPA and it has a strong passion fruit aroma with a milder taste. It’s quite a full-bodied beer for an IPA, and has a very nice bitter-sweet thing going on. I wonder what it would be like bottled…

2017-07-02 - 212 - Le Trefle Noir Passion Fruit Pale Ale _500beers

It’s good, it was worth the price, it was accurate, I’d drink it again, I’d recommend it and I’m giving it 0.5 of a yes for having something different and 0.5 for going out of my way for it (I can’t give it more than six yeses but it does tick off a lot of the boxes). So 6/11 it is.