Showing posts with label Ontario. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ontario. Show all posts

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hockley Dark

This was one of those AH-HA beers. I'm not sure how it got into my glass, but it came in the 1 liter pot-stoppers. The flavours were so unexpected, it sent me off to try more small brewery styles.

Hockley Dark = 7/10
Ratebeer 3.22 74th percentile
Beer Advocate 83%

Not a good first impression beer. The nose is a little watery but the chocolate and roasted espresso earned a second chance. Despite being a little light in the mouthfeel department, the flavours of roasted bread, nuts and light milk chocolate were not spared. Not too much roasted astringency on the finish, which was a nice touch.


Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Other brown reviews
Brooklyn Brown Ale
10W30 Neustadt
Amsterdam Nut Brown Ale


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Amsterdam Nut Brown Ale


Why do I even bother? There is a Herculean task ahead of me here: document all the beers in my various notebooks, cellphone notes and scrap pieces of paper. What would this accomplish. Actually nothing. At the end there will be no Brownie badge, no power up, no medal and no parade. Such is the life of a beer ticker. However I have noticed one trend in the lifecycle of the beer geek. The rate of new beers sampled is decreasing. I used to fill up one 33beers book every two weeks; now, one will last be over a month. Does this mean there is some sort of metamorphosis coming?

Amsterdam Nut Brown Ale = 5/10

Ratebeer 3.04/5 49th percentile
Beer Advocate B-

Honestly I look forward to tasting a nut brown ale as I do to brushing my teeth. The whole point of a nut brown ale is that they are easy drinking and unobtrusive. The Amsterdam is no exception. Your aroma is pecans, with slight DMS - but OK. There is a mild creaminess in the sip with a tolerable astringency from roasted grains. The more I drank this beer, the more I liked it. Its cocoa, dry toast and pecan butter meshed well with the mineral hops. Overall an enjoyable, but not challenging, beer.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance 0 (it's a can!)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dead Elephant Ale


Another beer from my LCBO buying spree. At the nose there was more than expected sulfur, but it worked. Added to the aroma mix was yeast, bready malts, roast and grass. There was quite a bit going on in the smell department. A very sweet greeting hit the tongue followed by a very unexpected floral and herbal hop kick. More of an English style IPA bitterness. It was nice and worth the space in the suitcase home.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 6.5%
Value 0
Appearance +1 (Cool label)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wellington County Dark Ale

From now on all old beers will be speed reviews. I have 8 33beer books to go through and 2 beer schools to write up. Brevity is the name of the game.

Wellington County Dark Ale = 6/10

Yup, it's another dark ale. All the required flavours are present and accounted for: bitter chocolate malts, lightly roasted, caramel and no hops This brew is almost a stout but not quite; just a little thin and too effervescent. The light to medium mouthfeel made this a very drinkable can. Think of it as a gateway beer to the Dark Lord stout.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Friday, June 17, 2011

Galt Knife Old Style Lager (Grand River)

Thank goodness, this is the last entry in one of my 33beers books. Only 8 more to go.

Galt Knife Old Style Lager = 4/10 (Grand River)

Ratebeer 3.31 83rd percentile
Beer Advocate B

This is a pre-prohibition style lager. Basically it means it has flavour; this is in stark contrast to most lagers today. And flavour it has. The nose is shocking for a lager: caramel malty, floral hops and slight vegetal. This brew is big on the vegetal which gives it a creamy, yet thin, mouthfeel. After the mouth coating of butter fades off, you get lots of floral/resinous hops and straw, caramel and bready malts. This is not a fair review because I generally do not like lagers, especially old style ones. Galt knife is a good example of this style. If you like this style you will love this beer.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content -1 4.4%
Value 0
Appearance +1

Stiegl and is addiction really so bad?
Old Towne Bavarian Lager (Swan's)
Session Premium Lager

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Iron Spike Blonde Ale

No preamble today, no education, just the facts. I actually might finish writing up a 33beers notebook soon. This is another Toronto special by Railway City Brewing.

Iron Spike Blonde Ale = 4/10

Ratebeer 2.73 28th percentile
Beer Advocate B-

This has more flavour than one would expect from a blonde ale. The nose had quite a bit of toffee, fruit and was slightly spicy. There was DMS aroma also, but it worked. The creamy and slightly astringent mouthfeel was just like the nose. It only added a bit of chewy bread and subdued spiciness. The aftertaste was short but nicely spicy with caramel. From the describtion it is not really sounding like a blonde ale.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content -1 4.3%
Value +1
Appearance 0

Pinkus Munster Alt
Golden Ale Salt Spring
Saint-Martin Blond

Monday, June 6, 2011

Stuart's Natural Session Ale

Still working on my goal of getting all my beer notes written up. Hopefully this session ale thing is not a trend. It is great to have a beer that you can quaff and not stumble around afterwards

Stuart's Natural Session Ale = 6/10

Ratebeer
2.75 30th percentile
Beer Advocate C+

The golden ale is either a love or a loath. There is no where to hide off flavours. This brew had nothing to hide: white bready malts, honey, straw, grass and more citrus than one would expect. Each sip was a good palate cleanser; lots of carbonation got this job done. Extremely refreshing sips of honey, lemons and grass were not diminished by the slight vegetal body. Perhaps sitting on a patio made this beer taste better.

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content +1 3.7% Should be -1 but this low ABV and big taste is a plus
Value +1
Appearance +1 STUBBY BOTTLE

Golden Ale Salt Spring Island
Session Premium Lager
Stone Levitation Ale

Sunday, June 5, 2011

John By Imperial Stout

This was a draft selection from Bar Volo. At first I was very excited about visiting this beer bar. The reviews from Toronto beer bloggers were praising. It only got better as I saw the person next to me jot in is notebook as he worked his way through a flight of beers. Every few minutes the barman would walk over to talk to him: this was my kinda place. I sat down, now it is my turn. Then everyone left and no service at all. I could have choked on a peanut (if there was one) and nobody would notice for hours. It was almost comical; none of the staff even looked at me. Finally I got a beer after waving my arms like a drowning sailor. But he never returned until I sent a semaphore message. Oddly he returned very quickly as I got up to leave.

John By Imperial Stout = 5/10


Ratebeer 3.71 98th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Lots of roast in this nose; maybe a little too much. Needless to say these was burnt vanilla and roasted coffee everywhere. This was a nice impy stout but not stellar. It had everything you wanted: wood notes, vanilla, bitter sweet chocolate and a malt that changed with every sip. But somehow it was just not doing it for me. Perhaps it was the unusual about of alcohol in the nose and taste.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 8.7%
Value 0
Appearance 0

Old #38 Stout

Habit Espresso Stout
Labyrinth Black Ale

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mill Street Roggenbier

WOOT! This was a sponsorship deal from the bar-keep and C'est What. A good pub should let you try a small sample of any beer. This was snagged on the way out; actually I think it was on the way to the washroom.

Mill Street Roggenbier =4/10

Ratebeer 3.28 80th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Massive nose from a small sample: match sticks and rye bread. The taste was creamy rye and bready hints. This is where the notes end.

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0 (not documented)
Alcohol Content 0 5.3%
Value +1
Appearance 0

10W30 (Neustadt)

This a speed review. Most of my readers are aware of my beer ticker problem and my desire to be up to date on my reviews. Maybe there is a tickers support group like 'tickers needn't be anonymous.' It could be called TNA, hahahahahah. Wasting time must write up beer.

10W30 (Neustadt) = 5/10


Ratebeer 3.07 53rd percentile
Beer Advocate B

I had this on tap and C'est What? Another can followed me home from TO; perhaps I liked the packaging. Nose is faint but could detect a slight roast. It is odd how a medium mouthfeel beer and delivery this much flavour. There is more than expected chocolate, licorice and citrus. This is closer to a weak Black IPA than a brown ale. It was good and drinkable; almost porter-like. The slight wood and dry chocolate tastes faded away too quickly.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.5%
Value 0
Appearance +1 (At least its a fun looking can)

Naramata Nut Brown (a very under rated beer)
Beaver Brown Ale (Meterman Cameo)
Howe Sound Nut Brown

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hopping Mad Cask (Granite Brewing)

So the beer ticking is getting a little out of control. This cask beer was sampled last summer at C'est What? in Toronto. At this point there may be over 200+ beers that have not been written up. About one beer a week is written up and sometimes I sample 2-3 new ones. This does not look good for completing my task of getting caught up. Today there was a bright note: I saw a new Phillips beer. It was a barrel aged Surly Blonde. These guys will barrel age anything. What is next? Barrel aged tap water? I didn't buy it. Anyways I digress.

Hopping Mad Cask (Granite Brewing) = 8/10

Ratebeer 3.47 86th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Citrus jumps straight from the glass into your sinus cavities. The hoppin' mad was creamy and barely carbonated, but certainly not lacking in mouthfeel. Mostly citrus (orange, not too much grapefruit) with a perfect accompaniment of pine. The dark bready malts did their best, but they were outnumbered. A light astringency stuck around just enough to make you want more. It is great to get a West Coast IPA in Toronto.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 6%?
Value +1
Appearance +1

Yellow Snow IPA and New Year's Resolutions

Red Racer IPA
Shipwrecked Triple IPA

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Northumberland Ale (Church-Key)

This was most likely sampled on my trip to Toronto last summer. Despite all larger population and good breweries, it is actually hard to find good beer there. If you visit the LCBO, they have better selections of foreign beers that local ones. I think I had this at C'est What; a great gastro-beer spot with massive local selection.


Northumberland Ale (Church-Key) =5/10
Ratebeer 2.61 22nd percentile
Beer Advocate not listed

At first I was worried, vegetal and grass is never a good sign for a beer nose. Luckily things improved with each sip. It was light and effervescent with grassy/herbals hops, honey and a good dose of citrus. The pale fruitiness from the malts was nicely balanced. This was not an exciting beer, but a solid English pale ale. Easy drinking and mildly flavourful.

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0
Value +1 (great English Pale Ale)
Appearance +1 (nice local makes things look better)

Bass Pale Ale

Salt Spring Island Pale Ale
Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trafalgar Grand Lager


I like a light beer. Yes, I admit some light beers are tasty. This is not to endorse mass produced pale light lagers; it's a call to praise the flavourful low alcohol brew. Moon Under Water has a bunch. It can be frustrating to see a new bomber release at 8-9%ABV. That beer is going to punish my innards.

Trafalgar Grand Lager 8/10

Trafalgar Ales and Meads
in good old TO produced a great 4% lager. There was no scrimping on the nose. A glorious waft of grains, honey and slight apply juice graced your nares. A tart grain and honey taste started the sip. The rest of the drink was spicy hops, straw and honey. A long drink it was. The spicy hop linger was longer than expected and a pleasant surprise. Truly a great session beer.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 in this case 4% was a plus
Value +1
Appearance +1 label was a gift card, perfect for sharing.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Russian Gun Imperial Stout

I was happy to find this beer in Toronto. It won the gold medal at the 2009 Canadian Brewing Awards. All the beer mag 'experts' rave about this beer; what do they know. Pfff.

Russian Gun Imperial Stout = 10/10
Ratebeer 3.53 94th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Apparently they know about good beers. For a high ABV stout the nose is awfully faint. Only the barest of roast and sweet licorice could be detected. A mild alcohol warmth started things off, but the big star was the roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate and licorice. No amount of dental hygiene could remove the oily coating this beer felt behind. Long after the tongue scraper was put away, the alcohol still exerted its warming effects.

Taste +5
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 8.4%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Singularity (Driftwood)
Pothole Filler (Howe Sound)
Longwood Imperial Stout

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Devil's Pale Ale (Great Lakes Brewing)

Readers of my blog know that I am a sucker for packaging. I can say 'readers of my blog' with confidence now; other people besides my Mom read it. A tall black can with demonic numbering and a satanic title: I hope the beer inside is worth the potential damage to my immortal soul.

Devil's Pale Ale = 6/10
Ratebeer 3.24 77nd percentile
Beer Advocate B

Slick packaging aside: the nose is not a good indication of thing to come. It is absent; maybe a bit of caramel if I had to give one. This dark brown fluid grips your tongue with an astringent hop bite. The resinous and citrus fade to allow the caramel and nut-toffee malts time to do their thing. The tongue coating lasts forever with toffee and light citrus. Perhaps I am a spoiled PNW hop head but I was hoping for more aroma. It was a decent English style pale ale.

Taste +2
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 6%
Value 0
Appearance +1

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a Love of Dogs
Salt Spring Island Pale Ale
Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Mill Street Organic Lager

I had this on draft at the College Street Bar in Toronto. Mill Street Brewery always produces great brews. They may not be experimental but always solid.

Mill Street Organic Lager = 8/10
Ratebeer 2.27 12th percentile
Beer Advocate C+

Despite the low scores on RB and BA, I thought this beer was excellent on draft. This pale, low ABV lager emitted a surprising amount of straw, light peanuts, apricots and other light fruits. The taste was equally surprising: a pleasant mix of dry peanuts, lemon, straw and pale fruits. Sadly it has a clean finish. Perhaps it was the uberhip location or my demanding thirst, but I found this beer to be extremely delicious and refreshing.

Taste +5
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content +1 4.2% (this gets a positive because of big flavour and low ABV)
Value +1
Appearance +1

Granville Island Lager
Session Premium Lager
Brooklyn Lager

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cameron's Lager

This is one of the brews I brought back from Toronto. I am a sucker for small variety packs; Cameron's contained only four beers.

Cameron's Lager 4/10

Ratebeer 2.6 22nd percentile
Beer Advocate B-

Overall it was a decent lager; the nose was thin with straw, spinach and floral hops. The taste also provided no suprises. It was light-medium in body with ample and palate cleansing carbonation. Lots of tiny bubbles cleared the way for honey and straw malts with a faint floral and citrus hop presence. There was no aftertaste, just clean, dry and refreshing. Cameron's was a decent lager with little DMS or diacetyl.

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance 0 (average bottle art)

Granville Island Lager
Red Stripe
Grolsch

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Creemore Springs Lager


Creemore Springs Lager

Ratebeer 3.3 82nd percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Taste +3

To taste a well made lager is an uneventful thing. This one was no different. The nose was faint of grass, bread and light citrus. A clean medium hop snap at the start was resinous and slightly spicy. This was followed by the easly drinking grassy malts. All of this leading to a clean finish.

Aftertaste 0

Sorry did I not mention the clean finish?

Alcohol Content 0 5%

Don't we all know that 5 is the magic beer number

Value +1

To be fair, this was a well done lager.

Ingame Enhancement 0

This was another LCBO beer find. I will never make fun of the crappy beer selection at my local BCLS; it is excellent compared to any LCBO.

Overall 4/10

Lagers are not my favourite beer; hence my rating system is rigged so that they will fail. This was a good lager; pleasant hop snap, drinkable malts and a clean finish. That's just was a lager is.

Lucky Force 8 (100th review)
Steigl-Goldbrau bier and is addiction really so bad..
Swan's Old Town Bavarian Lager and beer hacking

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hockley Stout


Hockley Stout

Ratebeer 3.07 53rd percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +4

This was one of the first craft beers that opened my eyes. The flavours are just as I remembered them. The aroma was roasted malts with thin coffee. Toasted malts carried a creamy light bitter chocolate all over the mouth. Your mouthfeel was full with low carbonation and oily vanilla highlights.

Aftertaste +1

Oddly the aftertaste didn't last that long. It was a dry and crisp ending. Only a slight roast and bitter chocolate remained.

Alcohol Content -1 4.2%

Even better at almost session strength.

Value +1

This is a great stout; mild in alcohol but big in flavour.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Toronto provides a great opportunity to sample all the great craft beers available in Ontario.

Overall 6/10

This is a great dry stout. The flavours of roasted coffee and bitter chocolate are packed with low alcohol to make this an easily repeatable beer.

The Great Irish Stout Blind Taste Test
Old #38 Stout (North Coast)
Keepers Stout