Hopped Bourbon Cask Ale – Innis & Gunn

Une ambrée Englaise puissante et complèxe de haute qualitée, 7.4%, de Edinburgh, Écosse.

English Strong Ale, 7.4%, from Edinburgh, Scotland.
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25 = 4.26/5

Very deep hazy, kinda veiled, dark brown color with a reddish hue but no visible activity. Slightly creamy beige 2-3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with light legs and some good lacing. Flavors of vanilla, caramel, plums, dark berries, lemon, slight clove, soft oak and molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon, wheat, barley and herbal hops. Slick and oily medium body with soft prickly and crispy carbonation. Strong finish, a bit dry with light earthy and herbal spicy feel, heavy sweet brown sugar and dark fruits like some lingering dark cherries. A mild straw and wet grains feel that’s not too coarse. Heavily bready with some rather high leafy bitterness on the tongue that last a moment. Feels like a complex amber, resembling a mild barleywine, with some appetizer qualities. Nicely executed and refined, although the body is a little on the thin flat side, a bit too oily. Subtle bourbon feel, just the right strength I think. Quite tasty and warming while still decently fresh. Really well balanced but not very accessible. Overall excellent quality craft.

La Terrible – Unibroue

Quadrupel, 10.5%, de Chambly, Québec.

Quadrupel, 10.5%, from Chambly, Québec.
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5 = 4.26/5

6 month old bottle : Opaque black color. Super foamy and light creamy beige 4-5 finger head in the tulip, lasting around 20 minutes, producing some good legs and a strong lacing. Flavors of prunes, plums, raisins, cherries, wood, maple, black liquorice, toffee, soft cheese, light cocoa and coffee, Belgian yeast, herbal spices. Silky full body with extra crispy carbonation. Very strong finish, long tongue coat but not overly aggressive, sharp bitter leathery and earthy feel, thick malty and fruity sugars, thick barrel aged feel. Got lots of complexity, pretty well balanced, although not very accessible. Kinda vinous and deeply acidic, some appetizer qualities, still quite fresh and tender from the yeast. Superb taste and body, incredibly rich and smooth. Almost feel like a Quad, heavily alcoholic and warming, almost burning! Perfect winter beer, fits well for festive activities. Yet strangely, I wouldn’t drink this one too warm, drink it rather cold, it gets putrid and pukey when at room temp. Overall superb quality craft.

Tribale Pale Ale – MABRASSERIE

Une pale ale de 5.5% qui se fait passer pour une IPA, beaucoup trop houblonné. Appréciable mais puissante pour une « pale ale ». De Montréal, Québec.

American Pale Ale (more IPA), 5.5%, from Montréal, Québec.
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5 = 3.75/5

Murky and cloudy golden color with faint activity and lots of floating detritus. Slightly creamy and frothy light beige 3 finger head, lasting around 10-15 minutes, producing some good legs and lace. Flavors of pineapples, lemon, light orange peels and grapefruits, light butter and caramel, sweet grains, barley, piney and grassy dry hops. Slick and smooth full body with moderate prickly and crispy carbonation. Medium strength finish, bready and sugary, tropical fruits, leafy and grassy on the tongue, with some sharp zesty yeast. Feels like a pale ale that wants to be an IPA, like half the strength of a Tribale IPA (guys you should present this as your single IPA). Low maillard profile, mostly hops, so it lacks balance in the flavors. Still tasty and enjoyable, a robust pale ale but not excessive. Good freshness, although quite bitter, the accessibility suffers a little. Overall good quality craft, name it an IPA and it’s very good.

Propeller Revolution – Propeller Brewery

Stout Impériale Russe, 8%, de Halifax, Nouvelle-Écosse.

Imperial Russian Stout, 8%, from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25 = 4.03/5

6 months old bottle : Almost opaque very dark brown color with a copper hue. Creamy brown 2 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with decent legs. Flavors of plums, dark berries, orange peels, coffee beans, toffee, vanilla, liquorice, clove, peppercorn, walnuts, oak and smoke, dark roasted malts with leafy herbal hops. Slick and creamy full body with light crispy carbonation. Very strong finish, dry and slightly vinous, thick resinous feel on the tongue that last for a moment, although very well balanced and still enjoyable. Deeply sweet and earthy, while highly acidic. So it’s a pretty good solid interpretation, highly spicy as it should, still with an inch of remaining freshness that makes it more drinkable. Densely malty and fruity similar to a barleywine, while smokey and coarse like a Baltic Porter. Very tasty with a comforting warmth. Lots of character and refinement. Overall excellent quality craft.

Dubaï Pillée – Le Trou Du Diable

Double IPA fumée et très fruitée, 9%, de Shawinigan, Québec.

Smoked Double IPA, 9%, from Shawinigan, Québec.
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25 = 4.05/5

Deep hazy and veiled dark gold going for amber, with a thick haze of floating yeast, and low activity. Gets highly cloudy when you drop the yeast. Dense creamy and frothy beige 3-4 finger island head, lasting around 20 minutes, with faint legs, but generous lacing. Responds well to the swirl. Flavors of butter, passion fruits, grapefruits, mangos, cherries, berries, roasted barley, peppercorn, toffee, soft oak, and dry leafy herbal hops. Silky and lightly creamy medium to full body with soft prickly carbonation, more with a long sharp crisp that lingers. Very strong finish, vinous dry and almost sour, astringent tongue coat moderately long though, leafy and almost earthy mixed with tasty bread. Great example of good balance; it’s powerful while still strangely refreshing. It’s harsh and coarse but I still enjoy it. It leaves an interesting smoky effect on the tongue, zesty tropical fruits with caramel barley. Probably too yeasty, and not much accessible. But it’s quite tasty with an inviting smell and lots of complexity. And the body is really pleasant. Kinda like a cross between a barley wine and a DIPA, not the usual kind but I think this is interesting. Overall excellent quality craft. Good stuff as usual from Trou du Diable thank you.

Ta Meilleure – Lagabière Brasserie Artisanale

IPA Américaine, 7%, de St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec.

American IPA, 7%, from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec.
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25 = 3.27/5

Deep cloudy dark gold color with tons of floating yeast. Slightly creamy beige 2-3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with poor legs and swirl effect. Flavors of soft butter, pineapples, grapefruits, orange peels, clove, light sweet malts, tea, with piney/grassy/leafy/herbal hops. Slick oily medium body with a sharp crisp. Strong strength finish, sharp and bitter citrusy tropical fruits, a bit dry and astringent, pretty long tongue coat of bitter pine and grass. Quite intense for a single, feels more like a double. Lack freshness and balance. Too acidic. Taste and feels alright. Overall the quality is a little above average, nothing is really off but it feels very basic.