Jubilation Winter Warmer – Grand River Brewing

Winter Warmer, 7%

Un corps riche pour se rassasié en hiver. Elle fait bien son travail, avec une finition agréable mais très résiduelle sur la langue, manquant donc légèrement de tonus dans les saveurs. Elle goûte le caramel et des fruits esters comme la pomme et la pêche, ainsi que de l’orge et une dominance d’herbes. Elle est plus fraîche que la normale, ayant de la levure de style Allemande au phénols de bananes.

VISUAL
FLAVORS
SENSATIONS
BALANCE
INTENSITY
FRESHNESS
COMPLEXITY
APPRECIATION

Slightly hazy dark amber color, with low activity, and a light mist of yeast. Slightly creamy and bubbly beige 1 finger head, lasting around 5 minutes, with decent lace, but faint legs. Flavors of caramel, lemon, apples, pears, nutmeg, ginger, dark grains, banana yeast, light vegetables, herbal spices. Biscuity and bready, mostly sugary, with moderately spicy herbal bitter notes. Slick and smooth medium body with crispy carbonation, quite long. Medium strength finish, fruity esters, roasted barley, light brown sugar, soft clove and vanilla, leafy and floral hops, with tingling cinnamon. Good freshness from sharp yeast, and well intensified, pleasant and easy to drink, low perception of alcohol. Decent flavors, but a little thin and bland, quickly overtaken by the finish. So all the flavors are residual on the tongue, although it’s a very nice rich tasty feel. Overall very good quality craft, need some tweaks and this could be a great one!

Venezualan Express – Shiretown

American Porter, 5.5%

Un porter assez puissant, avec des notes de fumée et poivrons. Flaveurs dominantes de café, chocolat, mélasse et fruits sauvages noirs. Le thème est intéressant à essayer, mais elle manque de raffinement. Le corps est un peu terne et la finition trop corsée, qui plaira seulement pour certains courageux.

VISUAL
FLAVORS
SENSATIONS
BALANCE
INTENSITY
FRESHNESS
COMPLEXITY
APPRECIATION

Opaque very dark brown, almost black color. Creamy and bubbly brown 3 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with faint legs. Flavors of coffee, chocolate, toffee, tobacco, dark grains, walnuts, prunes, dark berries, salmon, herbal spices. Roasted, molassy, and bready malts, with bitter earthy spices. Milky medium body with moderate crispy carbonation. Strong and long strength finish, slightly dry and leathery, earthy roasted beech malts with bacon/salmon flavors, leafy and grassy hops, liquorice, light hot peppery tongue feel. Lacks balance in the flavors, it’s a bit off. A little bland and watery. The finish has almost all the flavors. Highly acidic, light sour diacetyl. I hope this is the effect of actual hot pepper. The yeasty part is even more intense. Very bold for a porter, but hey it’s a south American interpretation. Not too bad but still, overall, this is a below average quality craft.

La Strawberry Fields – Le Naufrageur

Berliner Weissbier, 4%

Flaveurs de fraises fraîches, blé, bonbons sûres, levures sauvages et de délicats houblons nobles floraux. Ce n’est pas amère comme une IPA, plutôt très surette (tart) avec un bon fruité de qualité et bien balancé. La fraîcheur est respectable, car d’autres du même style, surtout d’origine Allemande, son encore plus surette et acide. Elle se termine par des agréables notes de grains rôties, ce que personnellement je recherche dans le style, un réel goût de bière. Probablement seulement disponible en Gaspésie, car elle est brassé en petite « batch » saisonnière. Possiblement différente a chaque année de brassage, on pourrait dire qu’elle est en rodage.

VISUAL
FLAVORS
SENSATIONS
BALANCE
INTENSITY
FRESHNESS
COMPLEXITY
APPRECIATION

Cloudy dark gold color with a good amount of activity. Slightly creamy beige 1-2 finger head, lasting around 5 minutes, with faint legs, and good lace. Flavors of sweet grains, strawberries, tart, peach, wheat, soft barley and corn, wild yeast, floral spices. Light sweet malts, with tart fruity sourness. Slick oily medium body, well rounded, with crispy and soft prickly carbonation. Medium strength finish, sharp sour fruits, roasted grains, soft hay, gentle leafy and floral hops, probably noble. Good balance and not too excessive, with a high quality strawberry feel and scent. My favorite Berliner, not quite as light and acidic as the norm, with actual grainy beer flavors. Very tasty and properly intensified. Overall excellent quality craft. Should taste different each year, made in small batches.

La Perruche – Microbrasserie Le Corsaire

Fruit Witbier, 4.6%

VISUAL
FLAVORS
SENSATIONS
BALANCE
INTENSITY
FRESHNESS
COMPLEXITY
APPRECIATION

Veiled amber color with dense activity. Incredibly foamy and frothy white 5-6 finger head island head in the weizen glass, lasting around 10 minutes, with good leggins. Flavors of light Belgian yeast, wheat, faint berries, peach, nutmeg, caramel, sweet grains, floral spices. Sour sugary fruity taste, with decent sharpness. Feels like a cross between a fruity wheat beer and a red ale. Slick and smooth full body with crispy and prickly carbonation. Light finish of straw, lingering sour but gentle red berries with a wheat yeasty bready feel. Good freshness. Tasty flavors, a bit too candy like, but nicely balanced. Overall good quality craft. Makes a really good radler with light beer flavors.

Pilsner Urquell – Plzeňský Prazdroj

Czech Pilsner, 4.4%

VISUAL
FLAVORS
SENSATIONS
BALANCE
INTENSITY
FRESHNESS
COMPLEXITY
APPRECIATION

Bright dark straw color with moderate activity. Foamy white 3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, offering a decent amount of lacing. Flavors of sweet grains, faint caramel and lemon, saaz and noble hops. Low perception of sweetness, but highly sharp with a pleasant bitterness. Slick and smooth medium to full body with prickly carbonation. Light and short finish, lingering grainy notes and some grassy noble hops. Overall good quality craft. Lightly flavored grainy feel, almost nonexistent smell, while the finish offers the most flavors with a nice herbal feel, balanced citrus, and a very faint skunky feel. Very fresh and accessible.

Amicis Magicus – Dunham / Jester King

Saison / Farmhouse Ale, 5.3%

Flaveurs de pêches et pamplemousse, avec des fleurs et un léger caramel mielleux. Doux effet vineux en bouche, une intensité assez légère avec des notes de levures sauvages. Plus sucrée qu’amère, plutôt fruité et malté. Beaucoup de fraicheur, tranchant et se termine sèche, presque comme un champagne. Très accessible, une version « soft » de la saison, similaire à une Sofie de Goose Island. Malheureusement une édition rare qui se brasse une seule fois?

VISUAL
FLAVORS
SENSATIONS
BALANCE
INTENSITY
FRESHNESS
COMPLEXITY
APPRECIATION

Veiled dark golden color with a good amount of activity. Slightly frothy white 3 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with a good amount of lacing. Flavors of peach, grapefruits, pears, banana yeast, flowers, roasted grains, caramel. Fruity and bready. Slick smooth full body with champagne carbonation. Light to medium strength finish, ending with a soft lingering, slightly dry, vinous fruity feel, and faint yeasty. Overall excellent quality saison. Very soft with lots of sweetness and low bitterness. So it’s a little faint, but still well intensified. Delicious and complex flavors. Really fresh and pleasant to drink.

Saison Rustique – Brasserie Dunham

Saison / Farmhouse Ale, 6.0%

VISUAL
FLAVORS
SENSATIONS
BALANCE
INTENSITY
FRESHNESS
COMPLEXITY
APPRECIATION

Slightly hazy dark straw color with dense activity. More cloudy as the yeast is poured. Thick foamy and frothy white 3-4 finger head that last for around 15 minutes, with decent legs and lacing. Flavors of lemon, pears, sweet grains, Wild yeast, honey, cheese, wheat, and floral hops. Slick and smooth, almost silky, full body with sharp crispy carbonation, close to champagne. Strong strength finish, flowery and slightly grassy feel, yeasty and citrusy, straw and bardyard effect. A bit dry and lingers for a short moment, but not vinous or overly spicy, with notes of orange peels on the tongue. So it’s well intensified, with nice complexity. Overall high quality craft offering tasty zesty tropical flavors and a great refreshing feel that still feel robust in intensity.

Grande Réserve 17 – Unibroue

Belgian Strong Dark Ale, 10%

VISUAL
FLAVORS
SENSATIONS
BALANCE
INTENSITY
FRESHNESS
COMPLEXITY
APPRECIATION

Thick veiled copper color, with a pink hue, and powerful carbonation activity. Extra foamy, delicate, beige 3 finger sparkly head, creating a foam island and lasting around 20 minutes, with some strong legs, a swirl easily reconstructs the head. Flavors of plums, prunes, cherries, vanilla, toffee, honey or maple, oak, clove, dark grains and herbal hops. Rich malty feel, delicious super fruity taste. Slick, almost creamy, full body with some extra crispy carbonation. Very strong finish, vinous and dry, bitter herbs with plenty of lingering dark fruits, densely spicy, oak bareel aged feel. Makes a nice appetizer though. Belgian qualities with a robust barleywine feel.

Overall : Exquisite quality; sexy lovely look, super warming, yet decently fresh for the ABV. Nice complexity with an inviting smell. Although it didn’t age well for 2 years in a cellar, it was overly vinous and harsh, with not much developed aged feel. Not the worth to cellar me think, better fresh.

Fuller’s ESB – Fuller Smith & Turner

Extra Special Bitter, 5.9%

VISUAL
FLAVORS
SENSATIONS
BALANCE
INTENSITY
FRESHNESS
COMPLEXITY
APPRECIATION

Copper color. Minimal head that dies fast. Sour smell but slightly fruity. Smooth taste with a perfect crisp. Rich grainy and hoppy feel. Overall : Fully bodied beer with well balanced flavors. Truly a blast to drink!

Orval Trappist Ale – Brasserie d’Orval

Belgian Pale Ale, 6.2%

Une ambré belge de la plus haute qualitée, je la considère l’exemple parfais d’une trappiste d’abbaye Belge authentique. Saveurs de fruits, levures sauvages (fromage) et un fort houblons.

VISUAL
FLAVORS
SENSATIONS
BALANCE
INTENSITY
FRESHNESS
COMPLEXITY
APPRECIATION

After 2 years in the cellar, I can now say it’s an impeccable beer, the only flaw being the accessibility, but let’s forget about it. Because this beer should not be changed for you to enjoy, you should be the one to change and train yourself enjoy it! Has a veiled amber, super foamy beige head. A good swirl heavily thickens the foam, providing an incredible smell of cheese. Super rich flavors of berries, apples, clove, wild yeast and floral hops. Silky full body with champagne like effect. The finish is strong, slightly vinous and dry, leaves an uplifting sharp funky fruity fresh feel, with a pleasant barrel aged effect. Quite unique in style, like a Saison/Pale Ale/IPA kinda thing. Incredible quality, it’s a masterpiece!