Tag Archives: Simple Malt

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.

 

Pub Crawls, Nos. 203 – 205

Pub Crawls, Nos. 203 – 205

Two tips for going on a pub crawl…

1. Don’t organise the pub crawl.
2. Don’t drink beer before the pub crawl starts.

Towards the end of June I organised a pub crawl for Québec’s national holiday, the St Jean-Baptiste.  The emphasis was on hitting as many micro-breweries as possible.  This was the perfect opportunity to try a few beers I hadn’t already tasted.  The problem is that although I know I tried about 6 or 7 new beers, at some point I just stopped caring and so don’t have notes or pictures for some of the beers.  Here are some notes on the beers I had at the beginning of the crawl and made notes on.  My thoughts on the other beers I tasted that evening are lost to the ages…

No. 203 – Les Trois Brasseurs Brown Ale

2017-06-24 - 203 - Trois Brasseurs Brown Ale _500beers

I ended up at Les Trois Brasseurs on rue St. Denis for a pint and a burger an hour or so before the pub crawl was due to begin.  I used to frequent three of their several locations regularly but so far this year I’ve only been to this one on this occasion.  I will be back as they have another 5 or 6 beers to try and whatever seasonal beers they come up with.  This pint was a surprise.  A dark thick muddy looking brown ale with a thick creamy head and aroma of chocolate.  To taste, it is more like a porter rather than a brown ale but there are strong caramel and toffee flavours here that you would expect in a really good brown ale.  This is another one of those beers that seems to go between categories and as such is a very good beer.  An easy 7/11 for being good, for the price, for accuracy, for having something different, for drink-again-ability, recommend-ability and for the fact that I would go out of my way for it.

No. 204 – Le Bilboquet’s NelliganAcco

2017-06-24 - 204 - Le Bilboquet Nelligan _500beers
We went to St. Houblon on rue St. Denis early in the pub crawl, that is where these beers were consumed.  It’ a pretty good bar that I would recommend.

According to my research this is a dunkelweizen which should have hints of banana along with the usual toffee flavour.  I didn’t pick up on this at the time, instead to me it was just a pretty good bittersweet brown ale – this may have been due to having a few beers before hand.  It was also a muddy colour like the Trois Brasseurs Brown Ale so perhaps in my mind a linked the two beers.  It gets a 6/11 for being good, worth the price, accurate, for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability and I would go out of my way for it.

No. 205 – Brasseurs Illimités’ Simple Malt Double Mango IPA

2017-06-24 - 205 - Brasseurs Illimités - Simple Malt Double Mango IPA _500beers

After having a few darker beers, I decided to go for something completely different so I asked the bar tender to pick something at random.  He came back with this Double Mango IPA.  This was a pretty good choice.  The fruity mango flavour was very refreshing and the hoppyness provided a nice contrast to the darker maltier beers I had already tried.  It didn’t find either the mango or the hops overwhelming at the time, which is a bonus as I’ve only just developed a taste for hoppier beers in the last month or so.  I gave it 5/11 for being good, worth the price, accurate, for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.

It was this Double Mango IPA that encouraged me to start my drinking at the Laval Beer Festival in July at the Brasseurs Illimités stall.  They have some very good beers indeed.

 

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.