Tag Archives: White Beer

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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Why I went to Strasbourg

Why I went to Strasbourg

Before moving to Montreal in 2013 I tried to see as much of Europe as possible.  Just pick a cheap flight from Belfast or Dublin to some great European city and a return flight from some other great city and zig-zag between them on the train for a couple of weeks.  One such trip started in Geneva and ended in Brussels.  While filling in a few places to visit in between I decided to visit Strasbourg, not for the historical buildings, the museums and the various European institutions there but for the fact that that is where my old favourite beer comes from.  Well at least, that’s where it was originally brewed way back in 1664.  I spent two days in an Irish bar there because it rained a lot, but I do recommend it for a visit – La Petite France is a very quaint little part of town where I spent most of my time and where the cover picture above was taken.  As for Kronenbourg…

No. 4 – Kronenbourg 1664
2017-10-09 - 4 - Kronenbourg 1664 poured _500beers

Kronenbourg 1664 was my drink of choice back home.  At least, if I was drinking at home it was my favourite beer for eating pizza and watching football.  I don’t recall it being available in too many bars that I would frequent.  It was a standard lager, but it was smoother than all the rest, whether it be from a bottle or a tin.  Here, in Montreal, I drank it every Sunday with brunch while watching football until the bar decided to discontinue it and sell Beau’s instead.  This is another reason as to why I started hunting for new beers.  In any case, I tried the Kronenbourg 1664 on draft at McKibbin’s on Bishop street way back in January, hence it being No. 4, but I did a re-tasting as I need to get a picture of it – it’s the same for the Kronenbourg Blanc.

In all honesty, I’ve nothing much to say about this other than that it is a very good light European lager.  It’s a nice mix, not too hoppy bitter and a little malty creamy.  It’s crisp and refreshing.  I’m giving it 7/11, which is high for a lighter lager and is probably just me being a bit nostalgic, but it is a good beer.

No. 5 – Kronenbourg Blanc
2017-11-12 - 5 - Kronenbourg Blanc poured _500beers

I used to quite like Kronenbourg White as well, however, having retried it, I was a little disappointed.  It has definite hints of orange and citrus but also borders on something I don’t like too much in white beers.  It tastes a little like something you would clean a kitchen with.  This is a way I have described some berliner weisse style beers, for want of a better description.  It’s not a strong taste by any means but it is something that has not appeared in the better white beers I’ve tasted.  It’s getting a 5/11 as I would still suggest it as a comparison to the North American white beers I’ve tried so far.

The catch-up continues, next I’ll try to cover Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks and Kilkenny, which I’ve seen sold together as the Irish collection.

Nos. 230 – 232 – The pursuit of hoppyness – 3 from Dieu du Ciel

Nos. 230 – 232 – The pursuit of hoppyness – 3 from Dieu du Ciel

And so, playing catch up with the posts begins. 

I’ve had 19 beers from Dieu du Ciel, with two more in the fridge but I’ve only written about nine.  The majority of them have been stouts or scotch ales, but here are three decent lighter beers…

No. 230 – Saison du Parc

I was going to write about this one on its own and call it the pursuit of hoppyness, hence the title.  However, I found quite a few results on google for this so perhaps it’s not so original.  In any case, this is a hopped up seasonal ale with a very frothy head and strong yellow colour.  It smells strongly of hops and tastes strongly of hops, unsurprisingly.  I got a hint of lemon in this one, but the taste seemed to be overwhelmed a little by the hoppyness.  It gets 4/11 for not being bad, for the price, for the description and for recommend-ability.  If you like hoppy lighter beers, give this a go.

No. 231 – Sentinelle

Not too much to say about this one but it was surprisingly good.  It really reminded me of drinking a lager back home, which seems to fall in line with the description – malty with a little hoppy bitterness.  It was refreshing and would be a good match for drinking in the park with some food, unlike the Saison du Parc.  It gets a good 5/11, for being good, for the price, for the description for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.

No. 232 – P’tit Blanc

Easily the best of the three beers here.  A light wheat beer with added juniper berries and lime.  The aroma is very pleasing, very fruity, what I assume to be juniper coming through well.  To taste, it is very refreshing and the taste remains in the mouth for a long time.  There is a delicious sting of bitterness in the taste, which again, I assume comes from the juniper and lime.  Very nice indeed and a decent 6/11 – for being good, for the price, for the description, for having something a little different, for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.

The next three beers I post about will be Équinox du Printemps, Pénombre and Isseki Nicho – a scotch ale, a black IPA and an imperial stout.  One of these is a contender for the best beer so far…

No. 213 – Dieu du Ciel Blanche du Paradis

No. 213 – Dieu du Ciel Blanche du Paradis

Yesterday (Yïssterday, if you will), I tried a pretty decent IPA and a passion fruit IPA as a cool down from drumming.  I followed this up in the evening with a white beer…

2017-07-02 - 213 - Dieu du Ciel Blanche du Paradis bottle _500beers

A strong orangey aroma was evident even just on opening the bottle.  The head disappeared quickly leaving a cloudy and let’s say full-bodied white beer behind.  It has a light fizz on the tip of the tongue providing an instance hit of orange which is great.  It had a hint of something burnt as well, that I’ve noticed with many other beers but never been able to describe well – apparently that’s the hint of toasted bread (see the description below).  It’s somewhat heavy to drink, but not too much so.  It makes me think of the texture of a porter with the aroma and taste of a white.  This is a good thing.  As a good white, it is of course refreshing and I would definitely drink this again as the irritatingly warm summer days go on.

Yes, it’s good.  Yes, it’s worth the price.  Yes, it’s accurate.  Yes, I’d drink it again.  Yes, I’d recommend it.  Yes, I’d go out of my way for it and Yes, I would go out in a heat wave for it.  A strong 7/11.

No. 146 – Le BockAle’s L’Idyllique

No. 146 – Le BockAle’s L’Idyllique

I picked this on a visit to a store in Verdun, on a friend’s recommendation.  That store is Maltéhops and I will likely visit it again.  I was in the mood for something refreshing as it is unfortunately becoming quite warm in Montreal and I’m more of a Winter person so I chose a white beer…

2017-05-14 - 146 - Le BockAle L'Idyllique poured _500beers

I’ve previously tasted and given decent marks to Le BockAle’s L’Europhique, Fana and Candide so with this I was expecting to be giving at least five yeses and probably more.  It looks good, nice colour and it keeps it’s head longer than some other white beers I’ve had.  The aroma isn’t particularly noteworthy, which I am noting nonetheless.

It has hints of orange as you would expect but this is quite subtle and maybe would have been helped with a slice of orange.  I did find it quite refreshing though and as a remedy to a warm day, it worked well.  The description ‘vague blanche’ does match the feeling of the drink.  There’s just nothing too distinctive about it.  Other white beers that I have tried up to this point and have given good marks to have had more flavour and have been refreshing as well.  So, it gets marks for being decent but nothing special.

2017-05-14 - 146 - Le BockAle L'Idyllique label _500beers

Yes, it is fine or at least it is not bad.  Yes, it was worth about $5. Yes, it is it promises what it says.  Yes, I would probably drink it again and Yes, I’d recommend giving it a go – particularly on a very warm day.  5/11

So a third 5/11 for Le BockAle to go with a strong 7/11  – this would seem to reflect my preference for darker beers, thought perhaps that will change to a preference for whites and lagers as we move towards the Summer.  On verra.

 

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!

Glass half empty or half full? Nos. 97 – 99

Glass half empty or half full?

It’s an age-old question. Is the glass half empty or half full? It’s optimism against pessimism. It’s looking forwards against looking back.

2017-03-28 - 97 - La Bonne Aventure Pit Caribou half full _500beers

To me, it’s a bloody generic pint glass with no branding on it whatsoever.

I try beers in one of two situations, either in the comfort of my apartment where I can take photographs all I want, or in bars, where it’s a lottery for two reasons. The first is the pouring – you can get a badly poured pint that is either all head or completely flat.  The second is the glass – you can get a nice glass with the name of the beer on it or even a picture, you can get a blank standard pint glass or worse, you can get a beer in a glass with a different brand’s logo on it.  I’m getting more and more picky about this as the challenge goes on.

Anyway, I had three new beers at Pit Caribou in the Plateau this week.  The place is small but merits a visit.  I will be going back.

No. 97 – La Bonne Aventure Rousse

2017-03-28 - 97 - La Bonne Aventure Pit Caribou _500beers
Continuing my happy hour theme, I chose the cheapest three drinks in the bar (as far as I could see).  Putting my disappointment about getting a generic pint glass aside, I was looking forward to something good from this after having had two of the best beers I’ve tasted so far the night before at McKibbin’s.

This was a little disappointing.  Like the glass, this was a standard red beer with nothing special about it.  It was good, the price was cheap, the description was spot on and I think I’d probably drink it again but I wouldn’t seek it out specially.  That’s about it.  There are other reds which taste exactly like this.                                                                  4/11

No. 98 – La Blonde de l’Anse

2017-03-28 - 98 - La Blonde de l'Anse Pit Caribou 3 _500beers
This blonde ale has something to it.  I’m not sure exactly what but from the first taste, I really liked it.  There’s a sweet aftertaste to it and it’s quite smooth for a blond ale.  I very much recommend trying this one out.  It gets a Yes for being good, a Yes for the price, a Yes for the description, a Yes for having that je ne sais quoi, a Yes for drinking again and a Yes for recommending it.  I’m also giving it a Yes for knowing that I will probably go out of my way to grab a pint or a bottle of this.   Plus the logo is on the glass!                                                                             7/11

 

No. 99 – La Blanche de Pratto

2017-03-28 - 99 - La Blance de Pratto Pit Caribou 2 _500beers
A really good beer and an ok beer so far, so I didn’t know what to expect from the white beer.  It’s a nice colour and quite bubbly for a white.

Taste-wise, it’s fine, a decent white beer which may have been helped by a slice of orange.  This gets the standard Yes for being good (so far only two beers have failed on this one and there were circumstances for that), and also two Yeses for the price and description.  Yes, I would say give it a go and Yes I’d probably drink it again, however I would leave it at five yeses as it didn’t have that something special to make it a really good beer.                     5/11

 

Overall, this was a decent visit – any bar where I find a seven out of eleven must have something to it.  I will definitely be going back to try out a few of their other beers, in particular their stouts.