Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tree Hop Head India Pale Ale

Tree Hophead IPA

I'm not always about trying new beers. Once in a while I revisit an old favorite, like this IPA from Tree Brewing - Hop Head. Beer geeks take their IPAs very seriously, myself incuded. If it says IPA on the bottle, it better have some hops in it. This does. It's not really a West Coast hop bomb, but there is some pleasing bitterness. There's also a balance of sweet malt to offset the hopping. It's also not as strong as a lot of stock IPAs, this one weighs in at 5.8%abv which is still respectable for the style, though many fall into the 6-7%abv range. I'd still sneak this one into my "session beer" category. Great aromatics - oranges, apricots, grapefruit. It's also great looking - deep orange-gold with a nice sized creamy lasting white head. It leaves a lot of sticky lacing. So far I've only had the bottled version, looking forward to trying it on tap one day. It comes in 6x 341ml bottles or as part of Tree's sampler pack. Tree is cool enough to brew using no preservatives and leave their beer unpasteurized. The label of Hop Head also proudly bears 2 maple leafs!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wild Rose Brown Ale

Wild Rose was a brewery I really looked forward to trying on my first visit out here. They made a variety of styles that were'nt very common in Ontario inculding an IPA and Wit. Since then I've had their beers a few times, and I've seen their quality improve a lot since then. Freshness is key. I decided to review their Brown Ale, because 1) I had it on hand and 2) I feel Brown Ales get a bad rap in general. This one is by no means a world classic but it is well made and flavourful, and is a decent session drinker.

The beer pours cola brown, the head is tan but doesn't stick around. Aroma is chocolately with some toffee and maybe a slight hint of molasses. The flavour is malty - roasty and chocoaltey with coffee notes. A trace earthy. Not much hops to be found here. Aftertaste has cocoa and some nuts. Carboantion is on the light side, body is light to medium. It has more roasty and chocoalte character than a "northern" Brown Ale like Newcastle, but nowhere near the hopping of an American Brown like Brooklyn Brown. The beer is 5%abv and comes in 341ml brown bottles (6packs) or is available kegged. Rating 3.3


Moinette Blond is a Tripel style ale brewed by Brasserie Dupont, Tourpes, Belgium. It is 8.5%ABV and is bottle conditioned. I was forunate enough to have the forethought to stash away 2 bottles out of the 4 pack I picked up. While rooting around in the cellar I came across them and remembered I needed to rate it.

The beer was carefully poured into an Affligem goblet, and the result was a very clear deep golden brew with a large creamy white cap. The head settled a bit but was still formidable. The beer had an sweetish orange zest aroma with yeast notes, there was some spice and bread as well. Moinette is fairly hoppy, the hops being slightly herbal and lemony. There is some malt-fruitiness (pear and peach), yeast and some spice and alcohol. It finishes dry. Carbonation is fairly active, the bubbles are fine and the mouthfeel is almost creamy. The body is medium with a little stickiness.

I've yet to enocounter a bad beer from Dupont, Moinette was exceptional. Rating 4.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Homebrew Review

I received a nice bonus in my last beer trade, a homebrewed Russian Imperial Stout. The generous sender was Goldorak, who is an active member at ratebeer and beeradvocate. He hooked me up with a lot of top notch brews, some of which I still have to get around to reviewing. Anyways, thanks Goldorak. Here's a review of your brew, it was awesome!

Ilsa La Tigresse Du Goulag Russian Imperial Stout by Brasserie Deux Gars Fouettes

Aroma 8/10
Appearance 3/5
Flavour 8/10
Palatte 3/5
Overall 16/20
= 3.8

330ml brown bottle, capped. Pours a dark brown colour with reddish highlights, at first glance it seemed to be a bit light for an Impy, but it does fall within the BJCP standards. Head was composed of a small layer of light brown foam, fine swirly bubbles. Aroma held a nice fruit/citrus/orange note, suggesting American hops. The hop aroma intensified as it warmed. There was some sweeter chocolate malt aromas and a slight trace of alcohol. Flavour was roasty yet sweet with notes of chocolate and dark roast coffee. Nice complex long finish with raw coffee bean, dark chocolate and some late sticky hop bitterness, some raisin and slight alcohol warming in the throat. Full body with a fine active carbonation.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Veltins Pilsener

It wasn't too long after I finished my last entry that I realized my palate was sharp enough for one more beer... so I had to crack open that can of Veltins.
It poured a light straw colour. The head was large and fluffy, white in colour and long lasting. The aroma has a grassy, straw like note to it with grainy malts. The flavour is similar to the aroma, it delivers a clean grainy malt flavour with a background of grassy hops. The grassy hops linger in the finish, bitterness is light but noticable. It was pretty much what I imagined it would be, grainy and grassy and clean. I hate to use a cliche like "crisp", but this beer is crisp. It may not be the best German Pils, but it is quite drinkable and straightforward. Rating 3.

Paddock Wood 606 IPA

Greetings from Wild Rose country... I've been away for a while. Still drinking good beers, just not blogging as much as I would have liked to. Not too many new beers arriving in the province in the last month or so, I did manage to grab a can of Veltins on my last beer excursion, (some of you may know I have a soft spot for the German Pils style) plus a few old favorites that I hope to feature in the near future. I also grabbed a 6 pack of Paddock Wood 606 IPA, which I am quite impressed with.

Paddock Wood brews their beer in Saskatoon, they don't use additives and their products are unpasteurized. They typically sell their products by the 6 pack, but I have seen singles for sale, and occasionaly a mixer pack. Their bottles are 355ml pry offs, and they feature great artwork. And hey, the beer is usually great too.

The 606 IPA pours a caramel brown colour with a hint of orange. The head is unfortuantely short lived. It dwindled to a faint wisp on the surface. The nose is fairly malty for an IPA, they use Maris Otter malt from the UK. There is a bit of caramel sweetness and some light citrus/grapefruit hop in the background. Flavour is initially malty, then blends into some nice hop flavour, again of the citrusy/grapefruit variety. The hops used in this beer are Cascade and Amarillo. The hop flavour carries into the moderately bitter finish. I found the beer was a bit light bodied for the style with carbonation also being on the light side. It definately can stand up to some of the US IPAs I've had, though this isn't a hop bomb. It has good hop/malt balance. Quite drinkable and sessionable. Rating 3.7

More soon... cheers!