Tag Archives: Stout

3 From Les Trois Brasseurs

3 From Les Trois Brasseurs

A quick mention for Les Trois Brasseurs, or the Three Brewers if you’re in Ottawa.

I visited their St. Catherine/Crescent location on Saturday after a day at the Chambly Beer Festival (write up to follow).  It’s s place I’ve been to on a few occasions in the past and always liked somewhat.  This year so far, I had only visited the St. Denis location and tried their brown ale, so an opportunity to try others was hard to resist…

Nos. 326 – 328 – Les Trois Brasseurs Stout, Amber and Blonde

None of these live up to the Brown Ale that I tried earlier in the year at the St. Denis location, but having said that, they’re not bad.

The stout has a creamy thick head and is in effect very much a Guinness style beer.  It’s pretty good if that’s what you’re after and I’m giving it a 6/11.  If I really fancied this type of beer (a standard stout without those extra coffee flavours), I would probably just go and grab a good Guinness somewhere.

The Amber and the Blonde ale were both a little disappointing.  Appearance wise they are not that different, which tells you more about the potential flavour of the amber ale than the blonde.  It was a little weak, fine for drinking with a meal in that the flavours will not overwhelm anything, but only enough to get a 4/11.  The blonde was a decent blonde ale, but lacked anything special that would give it a higher than average mark.  Again, it’s probably fine for accompanying a meal, it’s not going to be overwhelming but if you’re just out to enjoy good beer, it won’t sate your thirst.  Also a 4/11.

That’s four from Les Trois Brasseurs to date.  It’s a fine place, but not special for tasting beers, which is disappointing on consideration of the Brown Ale.  If I find myself there again this year trying a new beer it will be opportunism rather than choice.

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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.

Nos. 259 – 262 – Brasseurs du Moulin in Beloeil

 

Nos. 259 – 262 – Brasseurs du Moulin in Beloeil

It’s nice to feel like you’ve earned a beer, that’s why I think bars should be located at the tops of hills.  Yesterday, I earned my four beers by exploring the nature reserve at Mont-Saint-Hilaire.  My legs hurt today…

No. 259 – Smash Beloeil

I was hoping for a lot from the beers at this bar as I’d meticulously planned my trip to Mont-Saint-Hilaire and Beloeil and knew that I would probably be in pain by the time I sat down for lunch.  I wasn’t aware of what this was supposed to be as I couldn’t see the description clearly from my table.  I immediately thought it was a hoppy pale ale.  Pretty close in fact, as it is a hoppy blonde ale.  However, it doesn’t taste like a blonde – it made me think a lot more of pale ales that I’ve tried from Archibald and St. Ambroise.  It seemed a little watery and bland by comparison.  It gets 2/11 for being all right (1), for the price (0.5) and for the description (0.5).

No. 260 – Le Matsi

This was an odd beer.  It’s an English Red Ale, with a more caramel brown colour.  The aroma was a little surprising – a strong and distinct milk chocolate aroma with hints of toffee.  This is more common in slightly darker beers so I wasn’t expecting it here in what looks like a lighter red ale.  The aroma follows through into the taste.  It still seemed a little watery but there was enough here to impress me enough to give it a decent mark.  It gets 6/11 for being good, for the description, for having something slightly different, for the price, for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.

No. 261 – La Douce Caroline

I had to try this as my ukulele is called Caroline.  Anyway, it’s blonde ale and it looks pretty good in the glass, with an almost burnt aroma, which I cannot describe in a better way.  This was promising.  Unfortunately, it was a little bland like the Smash Beloeil.  It did however have more of a blonde ale feel to it.  It was malty and a little thicker than the majority of other blonde ales I’ve had.  I like maltyness so this was a good thing.  It’s getting 4/11 for being good, for the price, for the description and 0.5 for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability each.

No. 262 – La Noire Bassine

And a milk stout to finish.  This was fine, it doesn’t compare to the best stouts I’ve had this year so far but for a weaker stout that’s no surprise.  It made me think of an average pint of Guinness, with similar creaminess in the head and a similar flavour in the body.  I can’t really fault this beer for what it is so it’s getting 5/11 for being good, worth the price, accurately described, for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.  The problem with the beer is that it is not a pint of chocolately-coffeeish heaven.

So, I didn’t find a great beer here, which is disappointing but three decent beers out of four is still pretty good.

 

 

 

Nos. 257 and 258 – The C-word(s)

Nos. 257 and 258 – The C-word(s)

I have had a lot of stout this year and there are only so many ways to describe how coffee-like or chocolatey a stout is, so here are two quick reviews that do not contain either c-word…

No. 257 – Dieu du Ciel Péché Mortel

This poured very nicely, with a lovely dark head forming slowly as it would if poured in a bar.  The aroma was particularly strong, reminding me more of dark cocoa based treats, in particular Matchmakers (this may be an obscure British reference, but this beer smelled like the orange type of Matchmaker).  It didn’t make me think as much of my favourite alternative to tea as the description would have suggested, but there were hints there.

To taste, it was fine, possibly served a little too cold but still fine.  The taste hits immediately, and resembles the aroma.  In fact, it is almost a little overwhelming (if it’s possible to be ‘a little overwhelming’).  There is a little aftertaste but it doesn’t have the warmth of the majority of other stouts I’ve tried so far.

It still gets a solid 7/11 for being good, worth the price, pretty accurate, for drink-again-ability, for recommend-ability, for go-out-of-your-way-ness and for going out in a snowstorm.

No. 258 – Dieu du Ciel Grande Noirceur

This looks glorious when poured but is a bit of a let down afterwards.  It’s also possible that drinking a couple of strong beers in a row affected my tasting abilities however.

It pours similarly to the Péché Mortel but the aroma is a lot weaker and seems just like an average stout.  The taste is better.  It coats the mouth nicely with a warm and well balanced stout hinting at that stuff that Aero bars are made from.  There is also a nice little hint of caramel and a suggestion of a scotch ale there, but it’s very subtle.

This gets a 6/11 for being good, ok for the price, accurate, for drink-again-ability, for recommend-ability and for the fact that I may just go out of my way for it.

So, it’s impossible to write about a good stout without using a few c-words but at least I avoided the main two this time.  My next challenge is to review a beer or two using words I’ve never used in any review to date…

 

Half way there! No. 250 – Le Bilboquet’s La Corriveau

Half way there!

Yesterday I hit the half way mark in my attempt to drink 500 different beers in a single year.  That’s 250 different beers down in 203 days, which leaves 250 to go in 162 days – difficult but not impossible.  I just happened to be in Sherbrooke for this momentous day and they put on a firework display, just for me!

No. 250 – Le Bilboquet’s La Corriveau

I had found several beers online that I would have liked to buy from Au Vent du Nord in Sherbrooke (the magical place I was introduced to on my previous Sherbrooke outing), but unfortunately, I left my notes in Montreal and my memory failed me.  I was however drawn to La Corriveau from Le Bilboquet, as I have tasted a few beers from them already and they were all good…  

2017-07-22 - 250 - Le Bilboquet La Corriveau image _500beers
I like beers with nice pictures, and I like beers with nice pictures and a story even more.  I asked my friend what La Corriveau means in English and was told of a legendary witch-like murderer.  Apparently, in the eighteenth century a woman killed her husband and was hanged for her efforts.  The legend developed from there…she may have killed her first husband too and rumours of other murders grew with time.  That was Marie-Josephte* Corriveau.  Curiously, according to my brief research, her husband was found dead on 27th January, my birthday and she was hanged on 18th Aprilmy friend’s birthday.  Perhaps something spooky brought us to this beer…or perhaps it’s all just coincidence.

2017-07-22 - 250 - Le Bilboquet La Corriveau poured _500beers

My friend in Sherbrooke would have a beer once in a while but would not have tasted a beer like this before so I thought of getting her thoughts as well as it was a special occasion.  She seemed to like and be surprised by the strong coffee aroma.  This is something I’ve gotten used to over the year – feel free to read all my posts and take a drink each time you see the word coffee.  I claim no responsibility for the results.  The taste and texture of the drink was also unexpected – she found a sweetness in it and seemed to enjoy the thicker, richer texture of a stout.  She gave it an 8/11 and I may have encouraged someone to try my favourite style of beer in the future.

As for my own thoughts…
This was indeed a good choice for the big number 250.  A rich coffee aroma and a strong hint of dark chocolate.  The head was as frothy as cappuccino I had had earlier in the day but did not last long, perhaps due to the intense heat (it was over 20c, that’s intense to me).  To taste, the texture was sumptuous.  The froth of the head gave way to a creamy stout that went down more like a porter but had the stronger coffee flavours of a good stout.  From the initial fizz on the tongue and a mild hint of sweetness to the nicely balanced bitter aftertaste this is a pleasure to drink.  It lacks the warmth of the majority of other stouts I’ve tried, but they have ranged from 6% to 10%, whereas this is a little weaker.  Maybe it’s an Autumn beer rather than a Winter beer.

2017-07-22 - 250 - Le Bilboquet La Corriveau desc. _500beers

Yes, it’s good.
Yes, it’s worth the price.
Yes, the description is accurate (great vocab too, first sighting of the word unctuous).
Yes, I would drink it again.
Yes, I would recommend it.
Yes, I would go out of my way for it.
Yes, I’d go out in a snowstorm for it.

I’d give it 7/11, however as it’s a special occasion I’m going to give it the average of my mark and that of my friend (8/11) – so 7.5/11 it is.

So that’s number 250, I’m only going to be putting individual posts up for beer that get at least 6/11 from now on, with a series of posts to come featuring pictures and marks for the other 100+ beers I haven’t written about yet and that I won’t have time to cover in detail.

*As far as I can see this is the correct spelling of her name.

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.

 

 

Nos. 208 – 209 – Rosée d’Hibiscus and Aphrodisiaque from Dieu du Ciel

Nos. 208 – 209 – Rosée d’Hibiscus and Aphrodisiaque from Dieu du Ciel

I’m having a couple of beers brewed in Canada to celebrate Canada’s birthday, nothing to do with raging alcoholism…

No. 208 – Rosée d’Hibiscus

This was a pleasant surprise, a few beers I’ve tried with ‘spices’ have been quite frankly just sour, and I’m not a fan of overly sour beer.  It looks great, a glowing red and is quite bubbly.  I don’t have the skill to develop a description of the aroma beyond the word ‘floral’ but it’s definitely floral.  To taste, it’s also floral, a little bitter/sour but not too much.  They’ve achieved a really nice balance with this one between a standard wheat beer and a more fruity white beer.  It hits the palette quickly, leaving very little aftertaste and as such is quite refreshing – definitely good for this time of year.

Yes, it’s good.  Yes, it’s worth the price ($2.69+tax so $3.00 pretty much).  Yes, the description is spot on.  Yes, it has a little something different.  Yes, I’d drink it again.  Yes, I’d recommend it. Yes, I’d go out of my way for it.

A solid 7/11 and one of the best bright red coloured beers I’ve had so far.

No. 209 – Aphrodisiaque

I’ve seen this beer around a lot but never purchased it, despite the picture and the fact that I love stout.  Now, I have seen the error of my ways.  This is a great beer.  It has a dark mousse-like head and a mild aroma of vanilla and chocolate.  The aroma was not strong, but I may have served it at too cold a temperature.  To taste, this was a little different from other stouts.  The beer itself had a mousse-like texture the most of the way down so it felt like quite a light stout.  This was a good thing to me.  It has a chocolate quality to it and a hint of vanilla, which stays at the front of the palette long afterwards.  This, to me at least, is also a good thing.  But the best thing is that lighter texture.

Yes, it’s good.  Yes, it’s worth the price ($2.69/$3.00 again).  Yes, it’s accurate.  Yes, it’s a little different.  Yes, I’d drink it again.  Yes, I’d recommend it.  Yes, I’d go out of my way for it and Yes, I’d go out in a snowstorm for it.

A great 8/11 for Aphrodisiaque – I love it.

Only 291 beers to go!