Hops and Malt

For the love of craft beer and fine spirits

Deschutes Black Butte Porter

by davidsunlee

image

Deschutes is a brewery I had heard about before but I have no recollection where I had heard of them. Somehow this brewery had become a part of my memory without me even realizing how! Seriously though, this brewery does have a fantastic reputation for producing quality and a quick glance at the 90+ ratings on Ratebeer seem to back that up.

They describe the Black Butte as their flagship bran and on the pour, it certainly smells the part. My first impression isn’t fruit or chocolate or hops, it’s just plain delicious smelling! Sometimes when you analyse beer a bit too much, the simple pleasure of just anticipating drinking a tasty beer and enjoying the aroma of it can be lost. This beer just makes you forget, for a moment, about identifying specific notes. You just want to enjoy the bouquet as a whole.

Just enjoying the aroma isn’t going to help you figure out what this beer smells and tastes like though. Picking it apart there’s a prevailing sweetness that gets you first. It’s the sweetness of dark red fruit and dark chocolate at the same time. There’s a slight whiff of smoke and a general roasted malt note.

On the palate, I get a generally sweet malt taste and then a roasted note, kind of like a very mild coffee. There’s little-to-no bitterness up front or in the middle but there is some in the finish. It’s a bit pithy actually. The finish is also very dry and adds to the refreshing quality of the beer.

Overall it’s incredibly balanced. At first I thought the light mouthfeel was a weakness but going through a whole bomber makes me realize what an accomplishment this must be to have such full flavour and light body. It’s just smooth and creamy as well with a zingy carbonation that is just so palate-cleansing. You just want to go back for more and more.

Ratebeer: 97/99
Beer Advocate: 94/100

Panil Enhanced

by davidsunlee

Panil Enhanced

For anyone who is a fan of the Panil Barriquée sour, Im sure this post will get you salivating. For those who don’t know Panil, you’re in for a treat. Even if you end up hating this beer, I don’t think you can say it wasn’t at least an interesting beer, which is better than a lot of the swill that’s out there. Read the rest of this entry »

Het Anker Gouden Carolus Cuvée van de Keizer Blauw

by davidsunlee

image

Yes the name is a handful and yes you might sound a little fancy saying the name of this beer but this is just an amazing beer that any beer lover should be able to appreciate. I first came across this beer when the LCBO featured it last year and didn’t expect it to make a return, but I’m glad it did. Read the rest of this entry »

Les Trois Mousquetaires Doppelbock Grande Cuvée

by davidsunlee

Les Troit Mousquetaires Doppelbock

Les Trois Mousquetaires is a small Quebec brewery that I first encountered in 2011 when the LCBO brought their Porter Baltique in their Autumn Ales release. Having been impressed with their take on the Baltic Porter, I tried out most of their range on subsequent craft beer pilgrimage to Montreal. I have to tell you that this is a serious brewery that manages to deliver outstanding bocks. They’ve also somehow avoided the temptation to brew yet another IPA. Read the rest of this entry »

Microbrasserie Charlevoix La Vache Folle Imperial Milk Stout (2012)

by davidsunlee

Pours an opaque black with dense tan head.

There’s a lovely coffee bean aroma, followed by dark chocolate, a slight medicinal note, cherries, and vanilla.

It’s somewhat sweet up front, with some cherry-like tartness! Then the toasted character comes though which transitions to malt. Roasted coffee bitterness comes in at the end with a dry lingering finish. There’s almost a Dr. Pepper quality about it in the middle. Very complex on the palette. Loving this beer!

There’s a nice tingly carbonation on the tongue with a rich, smooth and creamy mouthfeel. A bit chewy. Amazing mouthfeel for a stout and exactly what I would want.

Ratebeer: 97/53
Beer Advocate: 90/100

Amager Bryghus Rye Porter

by davidsunlee

I knew nothing about the brewery or beer until I saw it included as part of the LCBO’s Fall Seasonal release but it sounded like it had so much potential right from the get go. Reading the back of the label you can see that Shaun Hill, of Hill Farmstead fame, and Mike Murphy, current brewmaster at Lervig Aktiebryggeri were involved in its creation. The CVs on these two brewers, plus the reputation of Amager Bryghus as a great brewery all point towards this being a fantastic beer. Read the rest of this entry »

8 Wired iStout

by davidsunlee

8 Wired iStout

This is the second 8 Wired beer we’ve been fortunate enough to get here in Ontario. The first was the fantastic Hopwired IPA that used all New Zealand pale ale malt and 100% New Zealand hops. Unfortunately, I don’t have a writeup on that beer but it was absolutely unique and a great take on an American IPA. That gave me hope that the iStout that came to stores this season would be just as unique. Read the rest of this entry »

Schneider Weisse Tap X Mein Nelson Sauvin

by davidsunlee

wpid-IMAG0884.jpg

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Schenider Weisse can do no wrong. The few beers that I’ve tried from them have all left a big impact on me, including this one. I tried my first Mein Nelson Sauvin last year and I knew when the 2012 version arrived at the LCBO that I would have to get my hands on it again.

This beer pours a cloudy amber colour, perhaps a little darker than a traditional weiss might be. A pillowy white head builds to a 1cm layer and just sits like a cloud on top. No lacing on my glass but I’ve been lazy about keeping my glass completely residue-free.

Nose is quite peppery up front. It’s almost like fresh cracked black pepper. Beyond that you get an a riesling-like aroma. The Nelson Sauvin hops are known as having a white wine quality and you definitely see that here. On the back end there’s an ester-y quality thats faintly banana-like but also like apple.

On the palate the most striking thing is the creamy mouthfeel and soft carbonation. After that is the vinous quality again. It’s somewhere between an un-oaked chardonnay and a very dry riesling to me. You just have to know that it’s absolutely delicious.

The finish is only slightly bitter but it’s definitely got hop character to it. It seems to be never ending as well, lasting well into your next sip. They certainly packaged this beer correctly in a 750ml format because once you open it, you’re going to want more and more of it.

Gouden Carolus Tripel

by davidsunlee

Gouden Carolus Tripel

Seeing that the Gouden Carolus Tripel was part of the LCBO’s spring release was fantastic news for me. After trying the Het Anker Cuvée van de Keizer Blauw and loving it so much, I couldn’t wait to try their tripel, one of my favorite styles of beer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cannery Brewing Blackberry Porter

by davidsunlee

I hadn’t heard of Cannery Brewing up until their release into the LCBO. They come out of Penticton, BC and have been around for over ten years, which for a microbrewery is a pretty long time.

It pours an opaque black with a café au lait head with minimal lacing left on the glass. There was about a finger of head but it dissipates quickly.

From the nose there is no doubt this is a blackberry beer. There’s a huge, fresh, blackberry scent coming off the top with a slight roasted coffee aroma behind it. It’s also a bit medicinal. The top note is almost like smelling grape Crush but it’s not artificial at all. There are some piney hops hiding in the background.

On the palate, huge malt hit up front followed immediately by a fleeting taste of blackberry jam. I get a roasted coffee note and dark chocolate sweetness. On the finish I get espresso beans and even some pepperiness. Reading through some of the reviews on Ratebeer, I noticed some people getting a sour note but I don’t recall any sourness at all.

The mouthfeel is full-bodied and rich. For me, the level of carbonation is just right.

This review is pretty dated now, and for that I apologize. I’m hoping that the LCBO gets this beer in again in 2013 because I would certainly get it again!

Ratebeer: 92/98
Beer Advocate: 85/NA