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, 6.5%, de Tourpes, Belgique.
Saison, 6.5%, from Tourpes, Belgium.
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75 = 4.47/5
Aged 6 months : Hazy golden color with storming activity and lots of floating yeast detritus (poured a bit too much). Foamy white 2 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with light legs, but thick lacing and a good swirl response. Flavors of apples, pears, green grapes, honey, sweet grains, wild yeast, wheat, coriander, and floral hops. Slick and smooth well rounded medium body with extra crispy carbonation, almost champagne like. Medium strength finish, slightly vinous, thick sugary grains, light hay and bardyard feel, flowery with a hint of cheese. Starts highly fruity with a light sourness, then the spices gradually develops on the tongue, making a highly complex spectrum of flavors. Incredible balance and perfectly intensified (even with the yeast). It’s not the funky, heavily yeasty type of Saison, more fruity and subtle. Overall exquisite quality craft, a guideline for Saison styles, ultimate Belgian interpretation.
Pale Ale Anglaise, 4.4%, de Blandford St. Mary, Angleterre.
English Pale Ale, 4.4%, from Blandford St. Mary, England.
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5 = 3.43/5
Clear golden color with almost no activity. Slightly foamy white, lasting around 5 minutes, with decent legs and swirl effect. Flavors of caramel, rye, barley, walnuts, light roast, chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, and berries. Slick and smooth full body with prickly carbonation. Medium strength finish, thick malty feel of cereal and bread with balanced leafy hops. Toffee and vegetal. Filling and decently pleasant, but lacks complexity. Good freshness and accessibility. Nothing amazing to note, pretty basic. Unfortunately probably light struck from the clear glass bottle. Overall good 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 Belge Forte, 8.5%, de Tourpes, Belgique. (NB Liquor & SAQ)
Strong Belgian Pale Ale, 8.5%, from Tourpes, Belgium.
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25 = 3.97/5
Clear and slightly hazy gold color with storming activity. Thick foamy and slightly frothy white 1-2 finger head in the goblet, lasting around 10 minutes, with moderate legs, strong lacing, and a thick swirl effect. Flavors of caramel, honey, apples, spices, coriander, clove, ginger, sweet grains, wild yeast, banana yeast, and floral hops. Slick and smooth medium body with a moderate crisp. Strong strength finish, slightly vinous and dry, bold spices but proper for the style, soft hay and wild yeast but not like a Saison. Ends slightly leafy and thickly grainy, more sugary and bready. Quite warming and uplifting. Light barrel effect of cheese. Good complexity yet feels a little too boozy; lots of similar brew have this well hidden. Decent freshness but lacks a bit, a sharper body would’ve been nice, like a Chouffe. You can see this is going for a Saison/Tripel kinda way, while still remaining true to the style. Not as accessible as other good examples. Overall excellent quality craft.
Stout Anglaise en barrique, similaire à un Porter Baltique, 5.8%, de Edinburgh, Écosse. (NB Liquor)
English Stout, 5.8%, from Edinburgh, Scotland.
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25 = 4.16/5
Opaque black color. Slightly creamy brown 2-3 finger head, lasting around 5 minutes, with decent legs, but not much swirl effect. Flavors plums, berries, toffee, molasses, chocolate, coffee, light salmon, wood, walnuts, barley and herbal hops. Silky smooth medium body with a light crisp. Medium to strong strength finish, soft leathery feel, thick esters, roasted bread, light Rauchbier effect, with some hints of whiskey barrel. Superbly well balanced, incredibly rich nutty feel. Also a bit salty with light oysters. Yeah damn filled with tasty flavors. Highly alcoholic for the ABV, so the freshness takes a hit, but plentifully warming. Still well intensified and pleasant to drink, very rich and smooth. Nice complexity with a similar sensation to a Baltic Porter. Overall excellent quality craft.
IPA Américaine avec une touche Britannique, 5.6%, de Edinburgh, Écosse. (NB Liquor)
American IPA, 5.6%, from Edinburgh, Scotland.
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75 = 3.81/5
Cloudy golden color with moderate activity. Creamy and frothy light beige 3-4 finger head, lasting around 15 minutes, with moderate legs. Flavors of pineapples, lemon, caramel, soft orange peels and clove, roasted grains with leafy and herbal hops. Smooth oily full body with crispy carbonation. Strong strength finish, thick citrusy tongue coat, heavily malty in a wet barley way and a bit wheathy. Dense floral spiciness, nice freshness though, and pleasantly bodied. Very tasty but quite bold and a bit too harsh, hitting the accessibility. Still quite enjoyable, ending sugary on the tongue, with some degree of balance in there, and high quality malty feel at the end. I think it’s well represented, yet with a proper English feel. Overall very good quality craft.
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.
Czech Pilsner, 4.4%
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.