Tuesday, 31 May 2016

May 14, 2016

81/1666) The 3 Brewers, Adelaide Street:  Larry, Curley and Mosaic APA by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **1/2;  pale, hazy;  fresh hop nose;  delicious citrus flavours;

This is the Adelaide Street location's entry in the Master Brewer contest and I confess there was an extra half point awarded for the name.

May 13. 2016

80/1665) Junction Craft Brewing:  John's Coffee Porter by Junction Craft Brewing of Ontario:  **;  6.7%, 35 ibu;  a British style porter brewed with coffee beans;  dry coffee nose;  coffee finish and bitter coffee after taste;  this blend is dominated by rich coffee flavours throughout;

May 12, 2016

79/1664) Home:  Those Chocolate Covered Cherry Things by Great Lakes Brewery of Ontario:  **;  8.8%, 20 ibu;  a Belgian quadrupel brewed with Soma chocolate and cherries;  tart cherry nose;  opens with sharp tart cherry flavours with chocolate at finish, which strikes me as sort of inside out, considering the name;

May 11, 2016

This is the most revolting of the revolting developments I have had to cite.  The Volo is closing this September.  It seems Toronto does not have enough condominiums.

The proposed location in Little Italy is not really a second location in the strictest sense.  Its purpose is to focus on barrel aged and sour beers so now the Volo is scrambling to find a new location.  The hope is to re-emerge somewhere on Yonge Street.

I am crushed.  There is no place like the Volo anywhere.  To arrive on a Friday evening is to be surrounded by a who's-who of the Toronto beer scene.  Their reputation extends far beyond Yonge Street.  It was chosen as the only Ontario bar to host Péché Day.  It was one of three locations in Canada chosen to host Zwanze Day.

My pessimism stems from what happened when Smokeless Joes tried to relocate.  It was gone in months.  All that is left is to try and enjoy it while we can and to hope, against hope, for the best.

May 10, 2016

78/1663) Home:  Harry Porter and the Curiously Spicy Cocoa Bean by Great Lakes Brewery of Ontario:  **; 7%, 30 ibu;  the nose is chocolate and coffee with a hot peppery edge;  opens mildly chocolatey which quickly cedes to peppery heat;  the heat intensifies at the finish and lingers;

Similar to my tale of never having experienced Game of Thrones, I have neither read nor seen anything related to Harry Potter.  Sorry.

May 9, 2016

77/1662) Home:  Railside Session Ale by Sleeman Brewing and Malting Co. of Ontario:  *;  4.2%;  pours clear like the original Sleeman;   malty rather minerally nose, again reminiscent of the original;  musty and malty with a mild hop edge;

Sleeman has it in them to make a good hoppy ale but I regret this isn't it.  It is certainly not offensive, it's simply rather dull and nondescript.

This beer was inspired by the wild hops growing by the railway tracks to the original Sleeman brewery.

May 8, 2016

76/1661) Home:  Beat The Heat by Black Oak Brewing Company of Ontario:  *1/2;  a .4.5%;  Belgian style wheat beer;  brewed with toasted wheat, orange zest, coriander and "special yeast";  malty, yeasty nose;  yeasty, zesty with clove flavours;  there was yeast sediment at bottom of my glass, which I don't mind but it may be off-putting for some;

May 2, 2016

75/1660) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Bagheera by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **;  6.1%;  sweet caramel nose;  malty flavours with a sweet mildly roasty after taste;

This was brewed for their Canada-wide Master Brewer Challenge and, yes, it was named for the Jungle Book character.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

May 1, 2016

74/1659) Home:  Maple Butter Tart Ale by Sweetgrass Brewing Co. of Ontario:  *1/2;  5%;  brewed and packaged by Sawdust City for Sweetgrass;  contains the usual four ingredients plus butter rum extract, vanilla extract, maple extract, caramel extract;  very sweet maple nose;   opens with maple syrup;  artificial vanilla finish;  an odd one to be sure;  with all the extracts in lieu of the real thing it would be hard to avoid the artificial feel of this one;  my wife said, "this is truly bad beer";

This was the winner as best Township Beer, representing Midland in the "Collaboration Nation North Beer Contest".

I'm not sure what motivated me to pick this one on this day instead of something I had been saving for an occasion but this is a good time to run a photo of a gift from my brother:

My brother took up running some time after me and immediately became infinitely better than me.  He qualifies for the Boston Marathon at will and this was from the 2016 race kit.  The Samuel Adams (or Boston) Brewery is a sponsor.  He does not drink and thus has no use for this so he kindly thought of me.  He ran Boston this past Monday.

For my part I earned this today:

For me the best part of the scene above is that cup of steaming hot coffee that was waiting for me when my ride home showed up.  Between arriving at the start line early, running the race, refueling at the finish, taking the shuttle bus back to the start line and waiting for my lift to arrive I had been outdoors in the wind and the rain on a day that didn't reach ten degrees for well in excess of six, probably seven, hours so, yes, I did win the lottery the day I got married.

My brother ran a half marathon in this race at a scorching pace less than a week after a full marathon in Boston.

Friday, 27 May 2016

April 30, 2016

73/1658) Dum Dum's, Brampton:  Honey Brown Lager by Sleeman Brewing and Malting Co. of Ontario:  **;  malty honeyed nose;  as much caramel as honey flavours;

I am probably giving this a half star extra in gratitude for the job it is doing calming my jitters prior to a bit of an undertaking tomorrow.

April 27, 2016

72/1657) Home:  Kickin' Back by Wellington Brewery of Ontario:  **;  4.8%, 48 ibu;  a dry hopped session ale brewed with locally grown hops;  the nose is very malty;  hoppy flavours are not overwhelming but present just the same;

April 25, 2016

71/1656) Home:  8 Foreign Exchange Stout by Exchange Brewery of Ontario:  **;  7.5%, 52 ibu;  brewed with U.K. Pilgrim hops;  nose features dark molasses and mocha;  opens malty, sharp bitter finish;  purchased at the brewery in Niagara On The Lake;

April 19, 2016

70/1655) Home:  Pale Ale by Batch of Ontario:  **;  4.6%, 35 ibu;  mildly citrusy nose; the label suggests tangerine and honey notes;  I found the tangerine prominent, the honey less so;

April 14, 2016

68/1653)  Monk's Kettle, Etobicoke:  Dam Buster by Silversmith Brewing of Ontario:  **;  5%; 30 ibu;  an English style bitter - I miss these;  sharp, snappy maltiness;

69/1654) Monk's Kettle:  Smokey Irish Red by Oast House Brewers of Ontario:  *1/2; 5.5%, mildly peaty, not so smoky;  the bartender said that by end of a pint it kicks in but my glass was mercifully smaller than that;

These drinks were following a fundraiser at the Revue Cinema for a documentary by Alex Winter titled "Who The F*@# is Frank Zappa".  That's how they spell it.  It is a look at the man behind the personna.

The event itself was a screening of "Roxy:  The Movie" a film of one of the concerts that made up the album "Roxy and Elsewhere"  Alex Winter appeared afterward by Skype.  A fellow who looked a lot like Comic Store Guy from the Simpsons was there, dressed in Kiss pajamas.

In other movie news, Winter is going to be appearing in a second sequel "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure".

April 11, 2016

67/1652) Monk's Kettle, Etobicoke:  Midnight Kissed My Cow by Big Rig Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  5.6%, 14 ibu;   a double chocolate milk stout brewed with Belgian cocoa;  sweet mocha nose;  there is a creamy mouth feel accompanying the mocha and vanilla flavours;

April 9, 2016

A random thought:  the presenter of my favourite Toronto pubs blog has firm opinions regarding children in pubs but it occurs to me today that this might be due to the fact that there is something decidedly off  where Toronto children are concerned, likely because there is something decidedly off about their parents.  Perhaps exposure to other varieties of young people might lead to a change of heart.

April 7, 2016

66/1651) Home:  Driving Horse Pale Ale by Muddy York Brewing Co. of Ontario:  **;  5.6%, 50 ibu;  purchased at the grand opening of their retail outlet;  pours opaque;  brewed with Chinook, Nelson Sauvin, Simcoe and Cascade hops;  nose is musty with grapefruit and white wine notes;  tastes of a blend of citrus and white wine;

April 3, 2016

65/1650) Home:  Witbier by Batch of Ontario:  **;  5.1% 17 IBU;  "'brewed by the Creemore folks";  from batch #2;    nose is yeasty, wheaty with citrus notes;  the label suggests orange wheat and spice notes which is pretty accurate and as well there are flavours of Belgian yeast;

It's not connected with the Toronto Silent Film Festival but Koerner Hall screened "The Passion of Joan of Arc" from 1928 with a live soundtrack performed by the Orlando Consort.  I have a number of their discs.  The TSFF kicks off in just a few days.

April 2, 2016

64/1649) Crown and Lion, Brampton:  Bass Pale by Bass Brewers Limited of England:  **;  sweet malty nose;  sweet, malty, fruity flavours;  very well suited to accompany hearty pub fare;

It was quite an evening.  We won a draw (a pound of wings or a pitcher of beer) between rounds of trivia and we won the trivia contest as well ($50 gift card).  It certainly helped that among the topics were beer labels and the history of the Toronto Blue Jays but perhaps the turning point was that I was one of few who remembered that the legendary Colonel Harlan Sanders lived in what was to become Mississauga for a number of years.

April 1. 2016

63/1648) Home:  Maximus Double IPA by Lagunitas Brewing Co. of California/Illinois:  **;  8.2%, 72 ibu;  strong, resiny green tea nose;  strongly hopped, bitter herbal flavours

March 31, 2016

62/1647) Home:  Don Valley Bench by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  4.9%, 11 ibu;  unfiltered, oak aged;  brewed with English ale yeast and New Zealand hops; first brewed to be served at the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration in Niagara;  hazy, as one might expect;    mildly sweet oaky nose;  light fruity flavours make it a good choice to be premiered at such an event;

March 29, 2016

60/1645) Batch, Toronto:  Porter by Batch of Ontario:  **1/2;  5.8%, 31 ibu;  served cooler than I am used to drinking porters;  nose is sweet and roasty;  roasty chocolate notes and warm nuttiness;

61/1646) Batch:  India Pale Ale by Batch of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.3%, 70 ibu;  this was kegged four hours ago - hard to get a lot fresher than this;  citrusy, grapefruit, tropical nose;  flavours of grapefruit;  persistent bitter after taste;

The beers make for a great first impression and bonus points for starting me with a small glass of water for between beers.  Hey, <https://torontopubs.wordpress.com/>. they have Pimms  They also have Wildass for fans.

If I may slip into pub reviewer mode (disclaimer:  the link above does a much better job) Batch is rather posh looking  The previous joint had an unfinished look.  The piped in music may best be described as trying-awfully-hard-to-be-alternative.  It is brightly lit and reasonably full for a Tuesday.

I was in town in the middle of the week to pay my respects to Rob Ford.  The line went from the foyer, out the door around the corner and very nearly to the north extreme of the building.  The diversity of those lined up stands in sharp contrast the the uniformity of his nearly exclusively Caucasian and tax-payer subsidized detractors.

I did some shopping while I was there.

March 26, 2016

58/1643) Home:  Big League IPA by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  7.0%, 70 ibu;  brewed with American and Canadian Mount Hood Hood and Cascade hops;  this was released with limited availablity last year under the name Grapefruit League - I wasn't able to track it down;  I hear tell it was designed at their new(ish) Ottawa brewpub; for a baseball fan like me this rendered their Spring Mix Pack self-recommending;  sharp citrusy grapefruit nose;  citrusy grapefruit flavours, typical strong Mill Street malt backbone;  I dare say, I like this even more than Tankhouse, though not quite so much as Tankenstein;

59/1644) Home:  New Lang Syne by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  **;  a 9% Belgian style Tripel;  brewed with cane sugar;  sweet nose with a sharp fruity bite;  in spite of the presence of cane sugar, there is a quite a bite to this one;

Thursday, 26 May 2016

March 24, 2016

56/1641) Home:  Tankhouse Bierschnapps by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  45%;  distilled from Tankhouse ale, suggested serving is alongside same;  to Tankhouse they have added hops (Cascade) and cane sugar and "Given contact with toasted oak from Prince Edward County";   very strong scent of alcohol with a bizarre organic edge;  strong alcohol, hop and oak flavours with only a hint of the beer itself;

57/1642) Home:  Madawaska Maple Ale by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.0%, 22 ibu;  an Irish red ale brewed with Ontario maple syrup from the Madawasaka valley;  very malty nose with a hint of maple;  malty with sweet, but not overly sweet, maple which lingers;

March 21, 2016

54/1639) Cloak and Dagger:  Sextant Pale Ale by Sextant Craft Brewing of Ontario:  **;  fruity nose with a sharp hop edge;

The Cloak and Dagger is a fun place.  It is filled with old regulars during the day and young hipsters at night.  The one time I took my wife it was the point in the day when the numbers were about equal.  She commented that it had "character", "and characters", I added.

During this visit I am perhaps the youngest, most fashionable individual here who is not standing behind the bar.  One demerit for listing a drink called an Irish Car Bomb.  Do U.K. pubs serve drinks called American school massacres?

My note here reads, "I wish I could stay" and it turns out I could have stayed and still been on time for St. Thomas' Anglican Church's Baroque Music by Candle Light for Holy Week.  The slightly disheveled man selling used books in front of the Brunswick House confirmed for me that it was indeed closed on a Monday.  It would have been sporting to have mentioned as much when I added my name to the guest for one last visit list last week.  He went on to add that it was no longer the "centre" it used to be which was something that wasn't covered in all those dewy eyed newspaper articles clearly by "journalists" who had only vaguely heard of the place.  He also said they got it wrong about it becoming a Boston Pizza.  It is going to become a Rexall Pharma Plus because the location won't be allowed to have a patio.  In his words, "just what this neighbourhood needs - another drug dealer"

55/1640) Monk's Kettle:  Bourbon Coffee Stout by Oast House Brewers of Ontario:  **1/2;  7.2%;  very strong, bitter, dark coffee nose with hints of bourbon;  oaky bourbon and dark coffee notes with a very mild touch of vanilla;

March 20, 2016

53/1638) Home:  Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Solstice Stout by Great Lakes Brewery of Ontario:  **;  11.9%, 60 ibu;   nose is oak, bitter coffee, vanilla, leather;  tastes of oak, bourbon with a hint of vanilla;  very complex - a slow sipper well suited to the cold weather that just returned (after the skating rinks had shut down for the season);

The story is that this was brewed on vernal equinox, on summer solstice it was moved into fresh bourbon barrels and bottled on winter solstice.  I opened it today, spring equinox.  I have saved two bottles for aging to be opened on autumnal equinox and winter solstice.  I'm not the biggest fan of summer.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

March 19, 2016

52/1637) The 3 Brewers, Yonge Street:  Stanley Stout by The 3 Brewers of Quebec:  **;  5.7%, 40 ibu;  grainy, roasty nose;  flavours of dry roasted malt;

This was after the Happy Birthday Bach Walk, three organ recitals at three churches to mark J.S. Bach's big day.  I found this a fun idea - neighbourhood beers were made available to other 3 Brewers locations.  I hope this will be repeated very soon.

March 18, 2016

45/1630) Olde Angel Inn, Niagara On The Lake:  Angel Inn Bitter by Great Lakes Brewery of Ontario:  **;   rich and malty, I don't see many bitters these days locally as I once used to;

The web would have me believe Niagara Brewing Co brews this for them but our server said it was GLB and she was unspeakably wonderful so I believe her.

46/1631) Olde Angel Inn:  Czechvar Dark by Budweiser Budvar of the Czech Republic:  **;  dry and chocolaty with a hint of fruit;

The service was blindingly fast.  Seeing how busy our server was I ordered this with a full third of a glass remaining and it arrived before I had taken another sip  I cannot recommend this place highly enough.  It is a very convivial pub with outstanding, kick up your heels type servers.  Ours was looking after an area the same size the place we visited yesterday where they had three servers and she had time for a joke at every table, she checked on all her other tables and she brought out the drinks with lightning speed.

Before I get started, the following was a flight and what's more I shared the glasses with my wife.

47/1632) The Exchange Brewery, Niagara On The Lake:  IPA by the Exchange Brewery of Ontario:  **;  7%, 77 ibu;  brewed with Cascade, Columbus and Centennial hops;  dry citrus nose;  hoppy but overall very well balanced;

48/1633) The Exchange Brewery:  Belgian Stout by the Exchange Brewery of Ontario:  **;  6.7%, 37 ibu;  a dry roasty stout off-set by Belgian candi sugar;

49/1634) The Exchange Brewery:  Porter by the Exchange Brewery of Ontario:  **;  5.3%, 39 ibu;  roast coffee and chocolate flavours;

50/1635) The Exchange Brewery:  Pale Ale by the Exchange Brewery of Ontario:  **; 6.2%, 60 ibu;  tropical nose;  citrusy, herbal flavours;

51/1636) The Exchange Brewery:  Black IPA by the Exchange Brewery of Ontario:  **;  7.2%, 66 ibu;  dry, hoppy nose;  flavours of chocolate and bitter hops;

The roasted nuts were great, too.  The décor puts me in mind of a minimalist beerbistro.  My wife thought it was excessively posh but Niagara On The Lake is that sort of a place.

March 17, 2016

42/1627) Niagara Falls Brewing Company, Niagara Falls:  Battlefield Brown Ale by Niagara Falls Brewing Company of Ontario:  **1/2;  4.2%, 28 ibu;  very dark brown, nearly black;  strong roasty flavours, coffee notes, hops peeking out before coming to the front in the finish;  sharp hoppy after taste;

This is a brief holiday.  Even though it is March Break things are far less busy than in the summer. We can step onto the sidewalk in front of the hotel and see the falls.

43/1628) Niagara Falls Brewing Company:  Beerdevil by Niagara Falls Brewing Company of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.5%, 62 ibu;  the nose is surprisingly sweet and fruity;  citrusy with caramel notes;

All of these beers went very well with the artisan cheese board.

44/1629) Niagara Falls Brewing Company:  Ice Wine Beer by Niagara Falls Brewing Company of Ontario:  **;   9.7% 1, just one, ibu;  served in a stemmed glass (which for some bars would make it a martini…);  sweet sugary ice wine nose;  opens malty with a sweet ice wine finish but saving that litle hint of octane for the very end;

The Niagara Falls Brewing Company is right donwtown. and recommended.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

March 12, 2016

41/1626) Great Lakes Brewery:  Swamp Juice #22 by Great Lakes Brewery of Ontario:  **;  this is a blend of Canuck Pale Ale, Lake Effect IPA and Body Dubbel;  it's all about the hops;  there are scarcely any Belgian characteristics in either the nose or the flavours;

March 4, 2016

38/1623) Caffe Volo:  Skeleton Key by Bellwoods Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  13%;  a rum barrel aged Imperial Stout;  sweet boozy nose of rum and oak;  sweet oaky boozy dry red wine, spices and rum;  wow;

39/1624) Caffe Volo:  Juggernaut by Stone City Ales of Ontario:  **;  a rum barrel aged foreign extra stout;  nose is sharp and not as sweet as the other rum barrel aged beer from tonight;  dry mocha flavours - I might have guessed it started out as a porter had I not known otherwise;  grainy dry mocha notes, only the subtlest presence of rum;

The chalkboard indicates that the abv is 6% although on-line sources give a reading of 9.5%.  It could be this is a second batch.

40/1625) Caffe Volo:  Veniel 2016 by Dieu du Ciel! of Quebec:  **;  a 6.5% coffee stout;  bitter, dark coffee/expresso nose;  dark, dry, almost astringent coffee flavours;

March 2, 2016

I learned today that the Brunswick House is closing at the end of the month.  I went a couple of times during my first year at the University of Toronto and not again until a few months after I graduated.  I imagine I was atypical in that I didn't drink much at all at University.  They would have live music on Saturday afternoons and that is where I first saw the Shuffle Demons play.  I went a couple of times after and came out unimpressed with the people working there in particular.

I mentioned the closing to a few people and what I observed was that recent graduates had scarcely heard of the place.  They had certainly never been and that might explain their demise.

On the plus side of the ledger, Batch will be (finally) opening next week.  At least that is what they say.

March 1, 2016

37/1622)  Home:  Hopfenstopper Dry Hopped Pale Ale by Junction Craft Brewing of Ontario:  **;  6%, 46 ibu;  the nose is malty with a dry hop edge;  moderately hoppy with a dry bitter finish;

February 27, 2016

35/1620) Junction Craft Brewing:  Brown Ale by Junction Craft Brewing of Ontario:  **;  5.5%, 47 ibu;  rich and malty with a mildly bitter after taste;

I was hoping to find their Station To Station, a David Bowie tribute red ale, but I arrived too late.

36/1621) Great Lakes Brewery:  Shinny Pants Session Stout by Great Lakes Brewing of Ontario:  **;  4.8%, 8 ibu;  coffee, chocolate nose;  grainy chocolate flavours;

February 26, 2016

31/1616) C'est What:  Elephant Monsoon Peanut Butter and Grape Porter by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  **;  6.7%, 30 ibu;  this week's Feb-Brew-ary installment;  the Barmaid tells me it is brown like a stout;  the nose is mostly grape with a hint of coffee;  the grape flavour is the most up front of all, with only a hint of peanut at the finish;  it's a weird one but it really does work;

The significance of my mention of the barmaid advising me as to the colour is something I don't think has been mentioned here before but I suffer colour-blindness in a certain portion of the spectrum.  Any time I mention a beer's colour it means there was someone nearby who filled me in.

32/1617) C'est What:  Parachute Porter by Barnstormer Brewing of Ontario:  **;  5.1%, 39 ibu;  nose is dry mocha;  grany mocha flavours, almost cola-ish notes and mouthfeel;

33/1618) C'est What:  Wicked Wench by Forked River Brewing of Ontario:  *;  5.7%, 10 ibu;  a sour bourbon aged stout, thankfully I was warned it was a sour and I ordered the smallest glass I could;  the nose is funky and cidery;  tastes sweet with tart cherry like, nearly astringent notes;

34/1619) C'est What:  Mad Cow Milk Stout by County Durham Brewing of Ontario:  **;  4.8%, 29 ibu;  the nose features alcohol more strongly than the abv might suggest;  there is a sweet fruitiness as well;  I am not getting the lactose sweetness one commonly associates with a milk stout but in general this one does work for me;

February 25, 2016

30/1615) Home:  Cuvée Barrique Tap X by Weisses Bräuhaus G. Schneider & Sohn GmbH of Germany:  **;  a 9.5% Wheat Doppelbock;  brewed with wheat and barley malt;  2015 limited Edition;  ruby colour;  cidery nose;  tart, dry, cidery;

February 22, 2016

29/1614) Home:  Body Dubbel Belgian Ale by Great Lakes Brewing of Ontario:  **;  6.3%, 18 ibu;  from their Tank Ten series;  nose is not as yeasty as one might expect, it's fruity instead;  fruity flavours with a distinct lack of Belgian yeastiness;

February 21, 2016

28/1613) Home:  Brygg Mästarens Swedish Premium Gold by Åbro Brewery of Sweden:  *1/2;  5.9%;  clear, golden;  a pretty standard European lager, albeit with slightly toned down hops;  sweet fruity nose with a bitter Europhop edge;  mostly bitter Eurohopiness to the taste;

February 20, 2016

27/1612) Home:  Fireside ESB by Collingwood Brewery of Ontario:  **;  5.8%;  ruby colour;  fresh, malty nose with a sweet edge;  rich and malty with hints of caramel;  very British;

February 19, 2016

26/1611) Monk's Kettle, Etobicoke:  Midnight Mass by Brimstone Brewing Co. of Ontario:  **1/2; 6.6%, 35 ibu;  a Chicory Oatmeal stout;  dry, grainy, mocha nose;  uncommonly dry, almost bitter with notes of mocha;

I admit that part of the reason for this selection was so that when I got home I could say it was Midnight Mass that caused me to be so late but by any name this is a great beer.

This was after the Art of Time Ensemble's performance of  Zappa:  The Genius of Irreverence of Genius.  There were enough Zappa fanatics among the season subscribers to make things interesting.  At one point between numbers someone bellowed, "Turn the guitar player loose!" (and they did, too).

I made a point of passing by 75 Victoria Street on my way and the window still reads, "Local love from Creemore."

Monday, 23 May 2016

February 13, 2016

25/1610) Home:  Leffe Royal by Abbaye de Leffe of Belgium:  **1/2;  7.5%;  brewed with three varieties of hops;  nose is a blend of clove, banana, vanilla, Belgian yeast and alcohol;  cloves and banana feature in the flavours along with an alcohol edge;

February 12, 2016

24/1609) Home:  The Imperial Bout by Great Lakes Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  Imperial Vanilla Bean Coffee Stout;  11.9%;  brewed with vanilla pods and Station cold brew coffee;  right away the strong coffee nose agressively hits the nose, there is scarcely a hint of vanilla here:  coffee wins this bout;  strong coffee flavours with mere hints vanilla;

Today is Great Lakes Brewing's 29th anniversary.

February 11, 2016

23/1608) Home:  Stranger Than Fiction Porter by Collective Arts of Ontario:  **;  6.5%;  nose is grainy with a hint of chocolate;  notes of cola, chocolate, wheat and mild hops;

Collective Arts features art by up and coming talent on their cans.

February 6, 2016

22/1607) Great Lakes Brewery, Etobicoke:  Slush Pants Spiced Brown Ale by Great Lakes Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  strongly spiced nose, especially cinnamon;  strong flavours of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, all spice;  rich and warming;

The sign in front of the brewery/retail outlet read, "Get your Pompous Ass In here" so I bought a couple of cans while I was there.

February 4, 2016

21/1606) Home:  Bourbon Pale Ale by Innis & Gunn of Scotland:  **;  6%;  matured for 22 days over bourbon infused oak;  brewed with Amarillo and Cascade hops;  nose features honey and oak;  astringent hop notes, sweet oak, bourbon flavours;

I did the right thing by allowing this to warm for a bit.

February 2, 2016

20/1605) Home:  Petrus Winter Ale #9 by Brasserie de Brabandere of Belgium:  **1/2;  9%;  nose is raw sugar and dried fruit;  rich and fruity with caramel notes;  the alcohol is very well disguised;  subtly warming;

February 1, 2016

19/1604) Home:  Fat Tug IPA by Driftwood Brewery of British Columbia:  **1/2;  7%, "80+ ibu";  unfiltered, opaque; soft, persistent, fluffy head;   notes of green tea to the nose;  dry green tea notes;  I am reminded of Brooklyn Brewing's Sorachi Ace;

January 31, 2016

18/1603) Home:  Bock Me Gently by Big Rig Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  a 7.0% copperbock;  described as "a riff on a rare classic" so I nodded in the general direction (I hope) of Andy Kim;  like they said, a beautiful copper colour;  sweet fruity maltiness to the nose;  tastes mildly sweet with a hint of alcohol and breadiness;  the somewhat low rating may be unfair but I have had so many great bocks over the years;