Pale Ale Transylvanienne Double (IPA Rousse), 9%, de Blainville, nord de Montréal.
Double Transylvanian Pale Ale, 9%, from Blainville, north of Montréal.
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25 = 4.25/5
Clear golden color with lots of activity. Gets cloudy as the yeast is poured. Thick creamy and frothy light beige 4+ finger explosive head, lasting around 15-20 minutes, with average legs but good swirl reaction. Flavors of orange, lemon, toffee, wild yeast, clove, coriander, floral and herbal hops. Slick and smooth full body with sharp carbonation. Strong strength finish, dominantly spicy and less hoppy, some brett effect and light cheese while slightly minty. Similar to a Belgian IPA but with a more spicy and yeasty profile close to a Saison with Tripel intensity. As more yeast is poured I find the hops really kick in with a thick leafy tongue coat similar to tobacco, tea or even closer to hemp. Still remains fresh from the Belgian magic as the alcohol sensation is quite low. So I really like the complexity even though it’s a bold and robust brew. Very well balanced with lots of personality that could easily fit the beer’s name. Overall excellent quality craft.
Pale Ale Australienne – 4.8% – De Fredericton, Nouveau Brunswick.
Australian Pale Ale – 4.8% – From Fredericton, New Brunswick.
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25 = 4.16/5
Hazy and cloudy straw color with low activity. Thick foamy, slightly creamy, white 3 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with average legs. Flavors of grapefruits, pineapples, sweet grains dominant wheat, wild yeast, coriander, and floral hops. Slick and oily medium to full body with a moderate crisp. Medium strength finish, lots of tropical fruits and zesty yeast with flowery vegetal dry hops and a hint of straw/cheese effect. Fresh ripe fruity feel, unlike an IPA it’s low bitterness, kinda like a rustic pale ale. Really well balanced and intensified. A very solid brew, similar to Rype but even better in complexity. Overall excellent quality craft.
Gose – 4% – De Shawinigan, Mauricie.
Gose – 4% – From Shawinigan, Mauricie.
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25 = 3.91/5
Dense hazy shiny dark straw color with no visible activity. Slightly foamy white 1-2 finger head, lasting around 2 minutes, with poor legs. Flavors of sweet grains dominant wheat, cabbage, cranberries, and floral hops. Slick full body with high crispy carbonation. Light to medium strength finish, sour tart feel with a bit of straw. Vegetal, salty and flowery with a hint of wood and cheese. Real good freshness. One of my favorite Gose with a much more refined taste than usual. Very well balanced and deep complexion. Overall excellent quality craft.
Stout Impériale Russe, 9%, de Montréal, Québec.
Imperial Russian Stout, 9%, from Montréal, Québec.
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5 = 4.08/5
Aged around 8 months: Opaque black. Creamy brown 3-4 finger head, lasting around 10-15 minutes, with strong lacing but not much legs nor swirl effect. Flavors of dark grains, walnuts, wood, raisins, plums, coffee, cocoa, toffee, vanilla, and herbal hops. Silky light creamy medium body with a light crisp. Strong strength finish, impressive barrel aging effect, with some rauch style smoked hops. A bit leathery with a moderate earthy feel, some brown sugar and cinnamon. Lightly sour from the aging process although manageable. The smell is highly alcoholic but hidden in the mouthfeel, though a highly warming brew that is not overly dry nor lacking much freshness. Rich and densely flavorful, superb balance and intensity, deep complexity although shy in the smell department. Makes a really nice appetizer, yet easy to drink in big quantities. Overall superb quality craft.
Gueuze, 5.5%, de Brossard, Québec.
Gueuze, 5.5%, from Brossard, Québec.
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25 = 3.96/5
Aged around 1 year : Slightly hazy golden color with lots of activity. Gets a bit cloudy as the yeast is poured. Light foamy white 1 finger head, lasting around 2 minutes, with not much legs but pretty strong lacing, moderate swirl reaction. Flavors of cranberries, green apples, peach, sweet grains dominant wheat, wild yeast, floral hops. Slick oily medium to full body with extra crispy carbonation. Strong sour finish of tart fruits, heavily funky and vinous, yet it ends clean on the tongue. Soft straw and floral notes with some cheese and a hint of wood. Great balance here because I don’t specially like sours yet this one I can easily enjoy as an appetizer. I don’t know if it aged well cause the sourness slightly hits the throat but it’s bearable. Gets quite sharp and interesting as more yeast is poured, producing a vegetal feel. Good complexity, passable freshness, though quite warming. Overall excellent quality craft.
Barleywine Américain, 11%, de Saint-Gédéon, Québec.
American Barleywine, 11%, from Saint-Gédéon, Québec.
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25 = 4.12/5
Aged 8 months old : Deep cloudy and murky brown caramel color with not much visible activity. Creamy and frothy beige 3-4 finger bubbling head, lasting around 10 minutes, with good legs and decent swirl reaction, some powerful lacing. Flavors of berries, plums, toffee, orange peels, slight cheese, wood, walnuts, barley and herbal hops. Slightly creamy, smooth silky, medium to full body with soft crisp. Strong strength finish, thick dark esters, pleasant caramel feel similar to maple, ends leafy and earthy on the tongue, a bit clovey with a hint of grapefruits. Superb balance and decent freshness from probably some Belgian yeast in there. The barley sensation is not too intense, it’s still a robust one while strangely delicate. Slightly sour from the aged session, but it aged well with added complexity. Impressive intensity, the alcohol effect is moderate, very easy to drink while extremely warming. Overall excellent quality craft.
Ale ambrée forte Belge, 8.5%, de Tourpes, Belgique.
Belgian strong dark ale, 8.5%, from Tourpes, Belgium.
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25 = 4.02/5
Aged around 6 months : Cloudy and veiled dark brown with a red hue, extremely active. Creamy brown 1-2 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with not much legs but good lacing and a decent swirl reaction. Flavors of cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel, wild berries, cherries, roasted grains, Belgian yeast, coriander, ginger, and herbal hops. Slick and silky medium body with prickly and crispy carbonation. Strong strength finish, malty and bready, thick esters and spices, a bit leafy with sharp yeast, lightly sour from the aging process that’s far from excessive. Moderately alcoholic. Pleasantly spiced and yeasty, including a hint of barrel aged feel of cheese. Fits well in winter time celebrations having of festive qualities. Decent freshness and bodied. Highly warming, could easily be used as an appetizer, it’s salivating with sugars. Complex and really well made. Aged well in the bottle. Overall excellent quality craft.
Saison, 4.5%, de Dunham, Québec.
Saison, 4.5%, from Dunham, Québec.
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25 = 4.25/5
Deep cloudy almost opaque dark straw color with no visible activity. Extra foamy and frothy mountainous light beige 3-4 finger head, lasting around 10-15 minutes, with strong legs and a good swirl reaction. Flavors of cheese, sweet grains, lemon, wild berries, grapefruits, wild yeast, wheat and straw, with floral hops. Silky and smooth medium to full body with extra crispy carbonation. Medium to strong strength finish, flowery noble spices and sharp yeast, highly fruity with a strong barnyard feel. Belgian style Saison/Pasterbier, not an APA, but it’s more intense than a table Saison with similar ABV. Really pleasant and uplifting. Well balanced, super fresh, nice complexity. Overall excellent quality craft.
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.
Pale Ale Sauvage (Saison), 5.9%, de Dunham, Québec.
Farmhouse Pale Ale (Saison), 5.9%, from Dunham, Quebec.
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25 = 4.22/5
Hazy straw color with storming activity. Gets cloudy with the yeast poured. Extra foamy and frothy light beige 3-4 finger head in a teku, lasting around 20 minutes, with powerful legs. Flavors of caramel, lemon, grapefruits, green grapes, hay, cheese, brett yeast, sweet grains and floral hops. Slick and smooth medium body with a sharp crisp. Medium strength finish, potent maillard effect, slightly tropical, more flowery and yeasty barnyard feel, with a hint of coriander. Really fresh, zesty, and crispy, while not excessively funky. I can see why they call it a rustic pale ale from the kind of malts and dominant sugars used, but I still find it leaning more towards a Saison having lots of complexity. Highly pleasant, good accessibility, awesome balance. Overall excellent quality craft.