Wild Oats #23, Lager Allemande Schwarzbier, 7.3%, de Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
Wild Oats #23, Schwarzbier German Lager, 7.3%, from Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75 = 3.74/5
Would not recommend to serve this in a pils glass, better in a tulip. Almost opaque black color with a faint copper hue, and some kind of moderate Guinness construction effect with a very fine line definition. Creamy and frothy light brown 3-4 finger head, lasting around 10-15 minutes, with good legs. Flavors of coffee, chocolate, toffee, raisins, prunes, liquorice, vanilla, dark malts and herbal hops. Slick light oily medium body with a light crisp. Strong strength finish, quite roasted and earthy, including brown sugar and cinnamon. It’s packed with flavors and balanced nicely. Feels more like a mellow Russian stout than a typical more delicate Schwarzbier. Got a light barrel effect, and a bit smokey. I like the intensity, it’s not quite accessible from the thick tongue coat, yet it remains pleasant by being decently fresh. Good warmth and filling, though the body is a bit bland and not well rounded enough. Also a tad too much boozy. Overall high quality craft.
IPA Américaine avec une touche de Saison, 5.7%, de Dunham, QC.
American IPA / Saison, 5.7%, from Dunham, Quebec.
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25 = 4.18/5
Deep murky straw/yellow color with no visible activity. Thick foamy and frothy white 4-5 finger head in a willibecher, lasting around 20 minutes, with good legs. Flavors of pineapples, mangos, grapefruits, lemon, sweet grains, wild yeast and herbal hops. Smooth silky, almost milky, medium body with a moderate crisp. Medium to strong strength finish, zesty and tropical, floral and slightly leafy, a bit wheathy and ending with sharp Saison style yeast having notes of cheese. Nicely fresh and quite tender, although I find it lacks a bit of sharpness. Fine IPA cross Saison interpretation, it’s impressive and complex, would drink this every day if I could. Great balance with pleasant intensity. Overall excellent quality craft.
IPA Américaine, 6%, de Surrey, Colombie Britannique. (NB Liquor)
American IPA, 6%, from Surrey, British Columbia.
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75 = 3.67/5
Clear dark amber color with few activity. Thick foamy and creamy beige 3 finger head, lasting around 15 minutes, thick legs with a great swirl response. Flavors of mangos, toffee, grapefruits, lemon, orange peels, rye and herbal hops. Silky smooth full body with a light crisp. Strong finish, tropical and citrusy, residual pine on the tongue, slightly leathery, dry and deeply leafy, almost minty and peppery. Quite a powerful IPA that feels like a double, so there’s some imbalance with the flavors, a double would get more points, although I still sense a high degree of complexity here. Robust for those who like this will enjoy it much I’m sure, more like a Rye IPA. More warming than fresh, I wouldn’t drink this in a hot summer day (like right now). Too bold, too coarse and tongue numbing. Compared to the regular red racer I find it less interesting and delicious, yet it’s still a high quality brew, but will definitely not be a regular for me.
Ale Blonde aux herbes, 5.5%, de L’Étang-du-Nord, Îles de la Madeleine, QC.
Herbed Blonde Ale, 5.5%, from L’Étang-du-Nord, Magdalen Islands, QC.
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3 = 3.14/5
Bright pale straw color with low activity. Foamy white 2-3 finger head, lasting around 5 minutes, with poor legs. Flavors of ginger, nutmeg, caramel, lemon, peach, sweet grains and floral hops. Smooth oily full body with a light crisp. Light strength finish, slightly floral and spicy, a little fruity but not much, more like caramel and a bit corny with a hint of vanilla. Poor yeast profile having hardly no barnyard feel nor much wild yeast, just a bit rustic. Very delicate, too much, even less than a table Saison. It’s highly accessible though. Strange cross between a Saison and Amber (I guess). At least the body is pleasant and well rounded, but gets quickly dull from the lack of carbonation. Overall average quality craft.
Pale Ale Anglaise, 4.1%, de Keighley, Angleterre. (NB Liquor)
English Pale Ale, 4.1%, from Keighley, England.
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4 = 3.81/5
Clean gold color with not much activity. Creamy beige 2 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with moderate legs. Flavors of walnuts, butterscotch, toffee, ginger, nutmeg, sweet grains and herbal hops. Slick and smooth full body with prickly and crispy carbonation. Medium to strong strength finish, nice biscuity feel, sharp barley and bread, ending with some leafy spices. A rich pale ale with lots of personality, good freshness and accessibility. Great maillard effect of caramel, highly sugary but quite thick on the tongue, so the balance is pretty fine. Feels English all the way, though I had better American Pale Ales, let’s say it’s not that hard to beat. Still highly enjoyable, this is a high quality craft.
Pale Ale Américaine / Saison, 6.5%, de Penticton, Colombie-Britannique. (NB Liquor)
American Pale Ale / Saison, 6.5%, from Penticton, British Columbia.
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25 = 3.93/5
Clear golden color with moderate activity and a haze of yeast. Slightly creamy and frothy beige 2-3 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with serious legs and a good swirl effect. Flavors of pineapples, mangos, grapefruits, lemon, caramel, sweet grains, ginger, wild yeast, floral hops. Smooth oily full body with a moderately sharp crisp. Medium strength finish, highly tropical and sweet, ending with flowery dry hops. Slightly tongue numbing, still pretty accessible and well intensified. Impressive pale ale that is close to the line of an IPA, while still remaining true to the style from a highly balanced finish. Gets a bit more intense with the yeast, more citrusy with almost Saison qualities. Good freshness and filling, yet delicately super well rounded body. Overall excellent quality craft.
Bière aux fruits, 5.5%, de Chambly, Québec.
Fruit beer, 5.5%, from Chambly, Quebec.
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75 = 3.77/5
Hazy and veiled copper reddish color with moderate activity. Gets murky with the yeast. Foamy pink 3 finger head, lasting around 5 minutes, with light legs and not much swirl effect. Flavors of wild berries, sweet grains, Belgian yeast, and herbal hops. Slick and smooth full body with extra crispy carbonation, almost champagne like. Light to medium strength finish of sour fruits, with notes of wheat grains and a balanced final of floral hops. So this is one of the most sour version of all other Éphémère, probably made from all the sour craze these days. Good freshness and ends pretty clean, highly accessible. Great summer beer. Not my favorite, tending to be less fresh and complex, still a very good fruit beer overall.