Sunday, November 29, 2015

Induction Dubbel by Category 12

There are certain beer style associations we make. Many are well known. When you say saison, I think Du Pont. When you say sour, I think Rodenbach. Stout=Guinness, IPA=Pliny, lambic=Cantillon, and so on. In this case, when I think of a dubbel, I think of Westmalle. Or possibly Rochefort 6 or Red label Chimay.  Despite their flavour complexity, they are very simple beers. Many are made with only Pils malts and moderate amounts of noble hops. This complexity is all about the caramelized sugar and Belgian yeast strain. I hate to sound like a fan boy or compare local beers to classic world styles, but the Induction was a close second to Westmalle.

Induction = 9/10

Aroma and taste are similar. Both are a whirling mix of light pepper, dark fruits, tobacco smoke, raisonettes, bread and dried prunes. The aftertaste is a little slick, but dry. A phenolic tongue coating is rather pleasant and long lived.
True, this review is a little short, but one can go on and on and on about the flavours in a good Belgian yeast beer.
The label is also a nice homage and bears a striking resemblance to one of my heros, Gordon Freeman.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1
Value +1
Appearance +1 (nice label and reasonable description of what flavours are expected)

Glassware: Chalice

Food Pairings: Ham with a raisin syrup sauce and cloves. Maybe a rye bread and tempeh sandwich. Definitely with some aged Gouda or moderately sharp cheddar.

Cellar: Maybe. Many dubbels improve with age. No reason why this one would not. I might stick one of these in the cellar, they are reasonable priced.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Simplicity Ale by Category 12

I'm trying a new strategy for beer reviews; 30 minutes or less. Mike is posting one beer review a day. I barely get one review per week. Something that caught my attention with week was a new one from Category 12. This beer first appeared at the Drake's Thirsty Chef as a limited release. People must have really talked it up because it is now in bottles. For those keeping tract of numbers, this should be categorized as a 31A Alternative Grain Beer because of the use of the non-traditional grain spelt. Also released this week is a Dubbel, but I haven't found that one yet. It is rare to run into a beer that is simple yet delicious. Most breweries are focused on imperial this, barrel aged that or soured whatever. Not that I mind this trend, but what happened to the simple, flavourful ale. Beers like this rarely get rave reviews, nor do people line up to get their two bottle allowance. Which is too bad because they are missing out.

Simplicity Ale = 7/10

The nose offers up a mild doughiness with a little bit of cereal and all spice. Each sip is no different. There is perfect balance between the clean, cereal and bread dough malts, slightly spicy orange peels and a dry Belgian yeast finish. A medium carbonation cleans the palate and leaves no aftertaste. Simple to drink and simple to describe.

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

Glassware: A tulip or a convex pokal

Food Pairings: Something on the lighter side. Poached sablefish on risotto or wild rice. Start early in the meal with a fresh goat cheese and spinach salad. 

Cellar: nope