Sunday, 22 February 2015

February 16, 2015

36/1310)  Home:  Chili Tripel by Midtfyns Bryghus of Denmark:  **;  9%;  brewed with chilis and Belgian yeast;  hazy, copper colour;  nose is sweet Belgian yeast and fruit;  the chili is subtle and most prominent at the finish;  notes of fresh berries;

A couple of hot ones:

February 14, 2015

35/1309) Home:  Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout by Kiuchi Brewery of Japan:  **;  7%;  brewed with espresso beans;  the label reads, "The recipe is based on the Imperial Stout loved by the Russian Emperor";  sweet malts off-set by strong espresso nose;  rich dark espresso flavours with a hint of warming alcohol;

I couldn't make it out to the Japan Foundation on Bloor Street for a lecture featuring Nicholas Pashley, who has been mentioned here before, and Dr. Jeffrey Alexander, author of Brewed In Japan so I drank Japanese beer instead.  I was also invited to an evening event at an art gallery in Yorkville.  On February 14.  I must gave the wrong impression to people.

February 9, 2015

34/1308) Home:  Dragon's Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout by New Holland Brewing Company of Michigan, U.S.A.:  **1/2;  11%;  from their High Gravity series;  nose features oak and vanilla;  oak, vanilla, bourbon notes with a warming alcohol finish;

A row of dark beers:

February 5, 2015

33/1307) Home:  London-Style Porter by Arcadia Brewing Company of Michigan, U.S.A.:  *1/2:  7%;  brewed with barley from the U.S. and the U.K., and hops from the Pacific NorthWest in a U.K. built brewhouse and using a "proprietary yeast strain";  inspired by 18th century black beer, a precursor of today's porters;  the nose features very mild smoke, baked fruit;  sharp graininess;  hints of  soy, cola with a dry after-taste;  it's a bit of a throwback;

I find myself judging Porters a bit harshly of late.  There have been so many good ones available lately which raises the bar for me.

February 4, 2015

32/1306) Home:  Organic Pale Ale by Samuel Smith's Old Brewery (Tadcaster):  *1/2;  5%;  fermented in stone Yorkshire squares;  a British style pale ale with a sweet malty nose;  malty, bready with a hint of fresh apple;

Saturday, 21 February 2015

February 1, 2015

30/1304)  Home:  St. Luke's Verse Lavender Gruit by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  *1/2;   5.7%;  wild Oats Series No. 33;  pours hazy;  brewed with lavender, rosemary and thyme and all three feature strongly in the nose;  there is a surprising sweetness to this beer;  rosemary and thyme are more present until the finish when the lavender peaks;  a most unusual beer - my wife liked it more than I did;  I suspect it would be great for cooking;

31/1305) Home:  Arctic Circle Ale by Malmgard Brewery of Finland:  **; 7.3%;   pours a deep, dark brown;  brewed with juniper twigs, dark rye, British hops and "Finnish attitude";  the nose is herbal, almost medicinal, with spruce-like scents;  dried sweet fruit and herbal notes;  certainly not the worst call of the day;

To some today is Super Bowl Sunday to other it is International Gruit Day.

January 31, 2015

27/1301) Indie Ale House:  Porter by Clifford Brewing of Ontario:  *1/2;  5%;  a guest tap at the Indie Ale House;  Brad Clifford used to brew for Get Well; a Robust Porter with a roasty nose and roasted grain flavours;  there are also hints of mocha in nose and taste;  I found it jsut a bit ordinary but maybe I am portered-out of late;

28/1302) Indie Ale House:  Love Triangle by the Indie Ale House of Ontario:  **;  6%;  brewed with three hop varieties;  in a way, it's like a number of IPAs I've tried ;  the nose is herbal and piney with notes of tropical fruit;  the flavours are far more astringent than the nose, resiny piney;

29/1303) The 3 Brewers, Adelaide Street:  Liquid Gold by the 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **;  7.3%;  a Belgian style golden ale brewed with Belgian candi sugar;  sweet nose;  not so much yeast in nose as is common at The 3 Brewers;  sweet with familar 3 Brewers notes and Belgian style flavours;

Liquid Gold is the Adelaide Street location's entry in the 2015 Master Brewers Challenge.

All of this came after skating on Grenadier pond which I have heard tell is contrary to a by-law but it was something I have wanted to do for a while.

January 29, 2015

25/1299) Home:  Robust Porter by Smuttynose Brewing of New Hampshire, U.S.A.:  **;  6.6%;  strong mocha nose;  up front coffee flavours;

26/1300) Home:  The Poet Oatmeal Stout by New Holland Brewing Co. of Michigan:  **;  5.7%;  makes for an intersting contrast with the one above above, it is strictly mocha nose and flavours;

January 27, 2015

23/1297)  Crown and Lion, Brampton:  Carlsberg by Carlsberg of Denmark:  *1/2;  somewhat non-descript;  this was considered fairly exotic back in the day and if truth be told part of the reason I ordered it was that I had been thinking of the WWII film "Ice Cold In Alex" in which you might say it made a cameo appearance so when I saw it on the menu I had to order it;  sorry;

24/1298) Home:  Imperial Stout by Fuller's of England:  **1/2;  10.7%;  bottle conditioned;  brewed with barley, oats and rosebuds;  coffee, cherry nose;  dark coffee flavours with notes of dried fruit;  a slow sipper for a cold evening;

January 26, 2015

21/1295) Home:  Prior 8 by St. Bernardus of Belgium:  **;  8%;  in what is becoming a theme with this mixed pack, there is added sugar;  fruity nose;  mildly tart bite with a sweet finish;

22/1296) Home:  Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout by Anderson Valley Brewing Company of California:  **;  5.8%;  mocha nose;  soft mouth feel, which I will attribute to the oats;  mocha and sweet toffee notes;

January 25, 2015

19/1293) Home:  Pater 6 by St. Bernardus of Belgium:  **;  a 6.7% abbey ale;  bottle fermented, with added sugar;  rich, dried fruit nose;  cidery mouthfeel;  mild cider notes eclipse dried fruit flavours;

20/1294) Home:  Blitzen Belgian Tripel by Steam Works Brewing Co. of British Columbia:  *1/2;  9%,  20 ibu;  this is only available now in Brampton, having been touted for some time;  brewed with candi sugar and pilsner malt, which I found intriguing, as well as fuggles and sterling hops;  pours a perfectly clear golden colour with precious little carbonation;  a sweet Belgian style pale ale;

Monday, 9 February 2015

January 24, 2015

18/1292) Home:  Waton Tripel by St. Bernardus of Belgium:  **;  a 7.5%  bottle fermented abbey ale; brewed with the usual four ingredients plus sugar;  cidery nose;  candi sugar and cider notes;  sweet, fruity after taste;

I did the briefest of investigations and concluded that it is entirely possible that Saint Bernardus might have been made up.  There is a precedent for this.  Recall the promotion to saint received by one Brother Ambroise.

January 20, 2015

17/1291) Home:  Porter by Anchor Brewing Company of California. U.S.A.:  **;  5.6%;  first brewed in 1972;  a very old school porter;  grainy, mildly roasty with faint cola notes;

January 19, 2015

15/1289) Home:  Old Tomorrow Pale Ale by Old Tomorrow of Ontario:  **;  4.9%;  brewed with Canadian barley and rye, old and new world hops;  rye bite to nose;  rye and malted barley duke it out in taste;  dry, bitter old world hop finish;

This was brewed in honour of Sir John A. MacDonald.  Had I been thinking I would have consumed this on the 11th, which was his 200th birthday.  It is entirely possible that it earned an extra half star on sentiment.

16/1290) Home:  Sorachi Ace by Brooklyn Brewery of New York, U.S.A.:  **;  7.6%;  bottle refermented;  brewed with the usual ingredients plus sugar;  an unfiltered farmhouse ale with Sorachi Ace hops;  cloudy, dark yellow;  nose is lemony, tea-like;  quite unlike a typical farmhouse;  there is a hint of pepper but also tannin and citrus notes;

January 18, 2015

14/1288) C'est What:  Engineer's IPA by Junction Craft Brewing of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.2%, 59 ibu;  on gravity feed;  hazy, golden;  citrus, fruity nose;  bitter citrus flavours;

We met our eldest son here for dinner and it seemed appropriate as he is an engineer (though not of the variety that the rail-oriented Junction Craft is thinking of).  It met with his approval.

January 17, 2015

13/1287) Home:  Voodoo Doughnut Pretzel, Raspberry and Chocolate Ale by Rogue Brewery of Oregon, U.S.A.:  *;  5.4%;  thirteen ingredients are listed:  seven malts, hops, pretzels, natural raspberry juice, chocolate extract, yeast, "free range coastal water";  pours very dark;  sweet chocolate, raspberry nose;  there is a breadiness which I suspect is the pretzels' contribution;  another wild and crazy beer from Rogue;

Sunday, 8 February 2015

January 15, 2015

12/1286) Home:  The Bottle Imp by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  **1/2;  9.0%, 81 ibu;  a Russian Imperial Stout brewed with barley, oats and coffee;   mocha and alcohol nose;  strong coffee flavours with a mocha finish;

 ProAm Series No.9 - this series is Beau's salute to home brewers.

January 14, 2015

11/1285) Home:  Fracture by Amsterdam Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  a 9.1% Imperial India Pale Ale;  brewed with four hops;  dry-hopped twice;  purchased at the Amsterdam Brewhouse near Harbourfront, after a morning of skating;

That was quite a string of beers from Denmark, wasn't it?

January 12, 2015

9/1283) Home:  Cream Ale by Mikkeller of Denmark:  *1/2;  4.9%;  brewed with five malts, "cracked corn", flaked oats, three types of hops, ale and lager yeasts;  grassy, minerally nose;  to me, this is as as much a pilsner as a cream ale;  there is a sharp bite I would mistake for Saaz hops;   hints of grass, mineral, west coast hops;   in my view, this is the least successful of a pretty good LCBO release;

10/1284) Home:  Imperial Stout by Midtfyns Bryghus of Denmark:  **1/2;    9.5%;  aged in oak;  sweet mocha nose;  mocha, coffee, vanilla notes;

This bottle and another from the same brewer (which currently resides in my beer fridge) appears to have Braille lettering on the label.  With the technologies we have I wonder how frequently Braille is used these days.

January 11, 2015

7/1281) Home:  Green Gold by Mikkeller of Denmark:  **;  a 7% American style IPA;  brewed with three malts, three hop varieties, oat flakes, ale yeast;  rich herbal nose with earthy pine notes;  astringent herbal flavours;

8/1282) Home:  Hr. Fredericksen Imperial Stout by Amager Bryghus of Denmark:  **;  10.5%;  the bottle indicates that this is in the "American style" and adds, "we have gone slightly berserk with malts" and finally, "close to a meal in a bottle";  brewed with American Centennial hops;  dark coffee nose;  hint of mocha and I thought I detected notes of soy;

January 10, 2015

6/1280) Home:  Monk's Brew by Mikkeller of Denmark:  **;  10%;  brewed with two malts, three hops, candi syrup, cane sugar, ale yeast;  the nose is like fruit juice - sweet, fruity and very rich;  sweet dried fruit notes with a dry after taste;

January 9, 2015

I did manage to drop in to to the Beer Academy for one last visit.  The precise date shall remain obscure as they weren't being especially fussy about accepting payment and I don't want anyone to get in trouble.  I left an over-sized tip after enjoying an Imperial Stout one last time.

I made a point of walking by today to check on the progress of the renovation and everything was the same as when I walked out for the last time.  The t-shirts and branded glasses are still on the shelves.

I also learned today that both Toronto locations of the 3 Brewers are without brewmasters at the moment.  I am about due for another career change and it is sounding like brewmasters are in demand.

January 8, 2015

5/1279) Home:  Black by Mikkeller of Denmark:  **1/2;  17%(!);  brewed with roasted barley, barley malt, dark cane sugar, champagne yeast;  the nose features alcohol and dark, dark bitter coffee, dark roast and dried fruit note with a bitter alcohol finish;  so far, my favourite of the series;

January 7, 2015

4/1278) Home:  Texas Ranger by Mikkeller of Denmark:  **1/2;  6.6%, brewed with roasted barley and chipotle;  the nose is coffee and chile;  coffee and chocolate with full-on chili flavours and after taste;  this one is quite an experience;

Mikkeller is a contract brewer - so far as I am aware they do not have a bricks and mortar brewery to speak of.

January 6, 2015

3/1277) Home:  K:rlek by Mikkeller of Denmark:  **;  5.9%;  like all the the beers in this series, it was brewed for Mikkeller by de Proef Brouwerij Lochrstii-Hijfte of Belgium;  brewed with 4 malts, wheat, 4 hops and pineapple;  hazy;  the pineapple highlights the citrusy hop nose;  refreshing tropical flavours with a bitter edge;  watery, washed-out mouthfeel;  another example of a marvelous nose's promise not entirely fulfilled by the taste;  still, it's pretty good and I would absolutely drink another;

Thursday, 5 February 2015

January 5, 2015

2/1276) Home:  Malt Whiskey Trail by Innis and Gunn of Scotland:  **1/2;  7.4%;  a 90 shilling ale matured sixty days in casks from the five malt whisky regions of Scotland:  the lowlands, highlands, Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown;  90 shilling is traditional style of Scottish amber ale;  nose is mild mulled wine with a peaty edge;  flavours of oak, vanilla, sweet toffee;

January 2, 2015

It turns out that they do have the Winter Warmer at the 3 Brewers.  It is their beer of the month for December (and beyond, I was told - it was rolled out later than planned so there is lots).  At least this is the case on Yonge Street.  On Adelaide Street the Harvest Ale remains the beer of the month.  It appears that there is more variety between locations than I had suspected there would be.  The Adelaide location has a different menu than Yonge Street's.  Theirs matches the one that is found on-line.

The Winter Warmer is still wonderful but be wary:  it remains 8% and it is available in pint glasses at a very good price, instead of the chalice style glass I am used to seeing.  You could leave feeling very warm indeed.

So I guess the beer that I missed in December was the Holiday Ale.

January 1, 2015

1/1275) Home:  Christmas Ale by St. Bernardus of Belgium:  **1/2;  10%;  brewed with sugar and Belgian hops;  Sugar and alcohol are prominent in the nose:  it's fruity and sweet with warming alcohol notes;  a few days late but I was saving it to share;