Sunday, 8 January 2017

January 4, 2017

2/1820) Home:  Bourbon Cask Dark Ale by Innis & Gunn of Scotland:  **1/2;  7.4%;  this is distinct from the previously cited Bourbon Dark Ale by virtue of the fact that it is matured in bourbon casks and not over bourbon infused oak chips for thirty days;  sweet nose of vanilla with a touch of citrus zest;  sweet bourbon notes;  the alcohol is very well hidden, yet it is still a warming beer for the season;  very mild citrus notes;  vanilla flavours are there but they are uncommonly faint for the style;

From a seasonal gift pack:

I gave one to my brother, the one who drinks, so it was great fun to receive one for Christmas from my wife.  My other brother doesn't drink but I still trust him.

January 3, 2017

1/1819) Home:  Ghost Orchid by Bellwoods Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  6%;  a pale ale brewed with Nelson Sauvin and Simcoe hops as well as oats;  hazy in appearance;  citrusy, orangey nose;  tropical fruit and orange notes;

To my dismay, Bellwoods' new revamped website does not function on my work computer which means when I am dashing to the GO bus on a Friday at quitting time I do it without being entirely certain to what degree going out of my way to visit their Ossington Street bottle shop will be rewarded.

December 31, 2016

That's it for another year.  Looking forward, it is appearing that it may be more difficult to achieve large numbers of new beers owing to little more than the fact that I have fewer reasons to visit Toronto.

For example, there is no Volo for the New Year's Eve experience.  Sure, there is Birreria Volo but that is a bit out of my way and sours never were my thing.  I will wait for the new Volo to open a block to the East of the old one.

There was no Early Music Fair in Toronto this year.  Old buddy Frank had been having some health concerns but I met him earlier in December at a recital and to my relief he is fine and it was little more than a confluence of unfortunate circumstances.  Incidentally, you can see Frank in the latest Shreddies commercial.  He is sitting at the very left of the large breakfast table.

Musicians In Ordinary is still performing but much less frequently (no New Year's Day concert for 2017), Sine Nomine appears to be defunct and the Poculi Ludique Societas is "on hiatus" which meant no Medieval Christmas pageant.  Perhaps it serves me right for suggesting I go to St. Thomas' to check on the progression of certain bald spots and threadbare pull-overs.

Maybe it's a sign that I should slow down but I don't think so.

December 20, 2016

It's never all bad news.  Beau's Rwandan craft brewery Kickstarter project was an overwhelming success:

It was my second participation in a  Kickstarter project, coming after Palate Deck, which I still think ought to have worked.

Not that I will ever be in the area of Rwanda to give their beer a try.  I am reminded of one of those books detailing the 1000 experiences one "must" have before their demise which lists the Nigerian Foreign Export version of Guinness as one of the beers I must try lest my life be incomplete.  Last I checked, I am approaching two hundred of their one thousand so I guess I have only lived twenty percent of a life to date.

December 19, 2016

This particular adventure started back in October with an item on the Canadian Beer News site concerning a Craft Beer Advent calendar.  I got in touch with the importer, completed a requisition form, returned it and left it there.

In early December I was hearing comments from people who had picked theirs up part way into the month so I reconnected with the importer who put me in touch with the LCBO who told me that they did indeed have one for me.  I gave my credit card information and waited to hear from my local LCBO.

A few days later I checked in with them and, yes, they did have it in the store waiting for me to come by and I picked it up that day.  As you can see, a couple of compartments were opened to use as handles.

Still, pretty cool, right?  Twenty four European beers to try out.

When my wife got home she asked if Big Al had been by.  Alan noticed my shelf of bottles with fun looking labels and he has been known to drop off interesting looking empties for me.  Here is the reason:

The first bottle she pulled out to look at was empty!  No cap, bone dry and no odour.  Plainly it had never contained beer.  This led to a hasty emptying of the calendar.  Luckily, this was the only example of an empty bottle.

Where is sits now is that the distribution centre agreed my VISA card should be refunded for the cost of one bottle but it is the store where I picked it up that should do it and they will be in touch if they need anything from me.  Still waiting for a call or a refund of $5.85 or so.

This really has been a year of empty promises.  For example, what's-his-name at the Wholenote magazine has spent six months in a state of being about to send a disc I had "won" in their regular Music's Children contest.

I will give it a bit more time.  In the mean time I will hold off on sampling these until I can fit all of them in the beer fridge.  Then I will decide what order to drink them in.