Saison Collabo – Oshlag / Shelton

Saison, 6.5%, de Montréal, Québec.

Saison, 6.5%, from Montreal, Québec.
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5 = 3.51/5

Hazy golden color with strong activity. Deep cloudy with the yeast drop. Thick foamy and creamy beige 3-4 finger head, lasting around 15 minutes, with average legs and a decent swirl reaction. Flavors of mangos, peach, grapefruits, wild berries, wheat, sweet grains, Wild yeast, and floral hops. Oily medium body with prickly and crispy carbonation. Strong strength finish, dry and quite sour, a notch too acidic. Notes of flowers and straw, but not much Saison like bardyard feel, very subtle. More fruity, slightly tropical, and sour like a Berliner Weisse from an almost candy like effect. I don’t really enjoy that kind of tart sourness, even less when it ends without a proper malt/hops/barrel sensation, so it’s a bit harsh on the throat. The sour queen like it so it passes that test. Lacks a little balance and still some complexity. The freshness is passable. The body is a bit thin and dull. Interesting cross between Saison and Berliner/Lambic. Overall good quality craft.

No. 13 Tennessee Imperial Porter – Microbrasserie Pit Caribou

Porter Impérial, 10%, de l’Anse-à-beaufils, Québec.

Imperial Porter, 10%, from Anse-à-beaufils, Québec.
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2 = 2.55/5

Aged around 6 months : Dark brown/dark red, almost black and opaque. Creamy brown 3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with good legs and a decent swirl effect. Flavors of chocolate, coffee, sour dark fruits, toffee, molasses, dark grains and herbal hops. Oily medium body with sharp crisp carbonation. Super strong finish, acidic and quite sour, not sure if it aged well, probably not cause it’s hitting the throat like vinegar. Balsamic vinegar feel, very dry and wine like, really unbalanced. Notes of barrel, prunes and plums, with some whiskey. Down the drain, undrinkable like a powerful flanders red, also too alcoholic. Did not react well the the cellar, can’t tell how good it is when fresh. Until then nice try but overall bad quality craft.

Amiral Gin Ale – Le BockAle

Ale Épicée et Herbacée (champignons), 6.9%, de Drummondville, Québec.

Herbed and Spiced Ale (mushroom feel), 6.9%, from Drummondville, Québec.
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4 = 4.01/5

Bottle Lot 003 : Clear golden color with poor activity. Foamy, slightly creamy, white 2 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, not much legs nor swirl effect. Strong dominant sweet clove and nutmeg smell, quite unique and interesting. Flavors of flowers, nutmeg, lemon, coriander, dark berries, clove, sweet grains, and herbs. Slick and almost creamy full body with prickly carbonation. Medium strength finish, sugary cinnamon and grainy, sour dark fruits and orange, thick herbal, a bit minty with lingering leafy hops. Weird feel of old straw or forest mushrooms, hard to explain but it’s heavily vegetal, not bad at all and having lots of character and complexity! Slightly dry but still quite fresh. Overall high quality craft, it’s experimental and strange at first but I get to enjoy it. Fits well in the categories of amber or brown ale in the feel, without even being that dark.

Laura – Vox Populi

IPA Belge, 5.5%, de Boucherville, Québec.

Belgian IPA, 5.5%, from Boucherville, Québec.
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25 = 4.09/5

Canned version : Hazy dark straw color with low activity. Foamy white sparkling 3-4 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with decent legs, but not much swirl reaction. Flavors of pineapples, tangerines, passion fruits, grapefruits, lemon, caramel, sweet grains, Belgian yeast, with floral and herbal hops. Slick and smooth medium to full body with sharp crispy carbonation. Strong strength finish, freshly tropical and flowery, citrusy and peppery, a bit chalky but in a positive tongue numbing way. Sugary dry hops feels, very rich and tender, slightly piney. Probably some wild yeast also in there cause it’s cheesy and straw like. Really fresh and well balanced. Bold but still enjoyable and easy to drink, very zesty. Nice take on the style, yeasty and flowery like a Belgian but more tropical based, heavily fruity. Overall excellent quality craft.

Saison En Enfer – Avant-Garde Artisans Brasseurs

Saison, 6.66%, de Montréal, Québec.

Saison, 6.66%, from Montréal, Québec.
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5 = 3.6/5

Deep hazy and cloudy dark straw, almost golden color, with moderate activity. Tight foamy light beige 3-4 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with average lacing and adecent swirl reaction. Flavors of sweet grains, peach, pears, lemon, coriander, wheat, banana, caramel, Belgian yeast, and floral hops. Slick and oily full body with extra crispy carbonation. Medium strength finish, slightly flowery and herbal, a bit dry ending quite clean, sharp yeast and slightly citrusy, more grainy and dominantly malty. Moderately peppery, heavily sweet. Light bardyard feel, the maillard effect hides the Wild yeast profile. So it leans toward a spicy Belgian pale ale or Tripel. Good freshness, the carbonation is alright, although the body is a tad too heavy and oily. Feels more than 6%, like 8-9%. Overall good quality craft.

Red Racer Pilsner – Central City Brewers

Pilsner Allemande, 5.0%, de Surrey, Colombie-Britannique. (NB Liquor)

German Pilsner, 5.0%, from Surrey, British Columbia.
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75 = 3.53/5

Very bright dark straw color, almost gold, with light pearly activity. Thin foamy bubbly white 3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with poor legs. Flavors of light caramel and corn, lemon, lager yeast, sweet grains and herbal hops. Slick full body with prickly carbonation, a little crispy. Light to medium strength finish, grains and cereal, quality corn feel thats not too « wet », a bit citrusy with dominant barley and a hint of straw. American interpretation, more leafy than floral, makes it slightly less complex compared to euro versions but more intense flavors. So the intensity is nice. Still highly accessible and quite fresh. Good balance with the sugars and bitterness. Overall high quality craft.

Patersbier – Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

Pale Ale Belge rustique, Série Farm Table, 4.7%, de Vankleek Hill, Ontario.

Rustic Belgian Pale Ale, Farm table series, 4.7%, from Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4 = 3.84/5

Hazy straw color with low activity. Deep cloudy with the yeast. Foamy and slightly creamy light beige 2-3 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with poor legs and a decent swirl effect. Flavors of lemon, sweet grains, wheat, spices, Belgian yeast, Wild yeast, caramel, and floral hops. Slick and oily medium to full body with strong crispy carbonation. Light to medium strength finish, sharp and dry, a slightly vinous with citrusy dry hops, a bit of straw and flowery. A cross between Pale Ale and Saison from hints of cheese, kinda like a Belgian rustic pale ale. The maillard effect is too pronounced and overwhelming. So it lacks a bit of complexity. Feels a bit more alcoholic, like 7%. Balanced bitterness and sugars. Still really fresh and pleasant to drink. Overall high quality craft.

Pilsner Des Mers – Brasseurs Du Nord

Pilsner Allemande Salée, 5.2%, de Blainville, Québec.

Salty German Pilsner, 5.2%, from Blainville, Quebec.
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75 = 3.78/5

Bright pale straw color with moderate pearly activity. Flavors of sweet grains, lemon, salt, floral hops. Foamy white 3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with not much legs but decent swirl effect. Slick and oily medium body with a sharp crisp. Light strength finish, flowery with veggies, grainy and highly salty (des mers = of seas). Some dry sugary hopping in there. You can really feel like it’s sea water, fits well with sea food. Still quite fresh, yet the body feels a bit bland being too oily and not rounded enough. Proper flavors for the style, yet a notch more intense, makes it more tasty. Slightly wet at the end, though bearable compared to lots of others. I find this pils quite interesting, lots of personality and decently complex. Overall high quality craft.

Colonel Cornwallis – Le Bilboquet Brasseur Artisan

India Pale Ale Anglaise, 5.5%, de Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec.

English India Pale Ale, 5.5%, from Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec.
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5 = 3.6/5

Cloudy amber caramel color with moderate activity. Slightly creamy light beige 2-3 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with average legs and a decent swirl reaction. Flavors of caramel, pineapples, orange, peppercorn, sweet grains, and herbal hops. Slick and smooth, almost creamy, full body with crispy carbonation. Strong strength finish, dominantly piney with barley, slightly leathery and dry, while tropical and leafy. Not too intense but quite bold for a single. Still boosting good freshness. Strong maillard effect with an English feel to it, kinda like a cross between Pale Ale and IPA. Nice take but a little unbalanced. Lacks a bit of personality I guess. Overall good quality craft.

Saison Des Dunes – Microbrasserie St-Pancrace

Saison épicée et très malté, 6.3%, de Baie-Comeau, Québec.

Pale Ale / Saison, 6.3%, from Baie-Comeau, Québec.
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25 = 3.27/5

Deep cloudy, almost opaque, golden color with dense activity. Extra foamy and frothy light beige 4-5 finger head in a large tulip, lasting around 15 minutes, with moderate legs and lace, but a good swirl response. Flavors of sweet grains, lemon, grapefruits, orange peels, wild and brett yeast, peppercorn, caramel, with floral hops. Strong strength finish, quite dry and boozy, a bit peppery with dominant sour fruits that is more citrusy than tropical, including a thick malty leathery feel. Ends leafy and tongue coating, not crisp enough nor zesty. Too alcoholic, feels like 9%, so it lacks complexity. Hits the accessibility too, and not quite as fresh as it should. Slightly off and not like a usual Saison, more like a barley Pale Ale cross Tripel spiciness. Some bardyard feel is present, yet quickly overwhelmed by the malts. Highly warming stuff though. With some tweaks it could be interesting, until then, overall this is an okay quality craft.