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Will you learn something new today?

Brew – Erdinger Weissbier 5.3% ABV, 500mlErdinger Weissbier

BrewerErdinger Weisbrau

StyleHefeweizen

CountryGermany

PurchasedLCBO

So I learned something new today.  I had always wondered what this symbol was “ß”(see the picture).  At first I thought it was a capital B, but that did not make sense since it is used in the middle of the word: Weißbier.  Turns out it is a ligature in the German alphabet which replaces a double “S”…..Now that makes more sense. Weißbier becomes Weissbier!

About the Beer – It pours a light apricot colour with a huge head which was gone before I even had time to get the camera out.  The smell was really light for a Hefeweizen.  Slight hints of sour, banana, clove and bread but not with the usual power I have come to expect from this style.  The flavour followed the aroma.  Very light banana and clove with a slight bitter and spicy end.

Would I Drink it Again? –  No, this is not what I like in  a wheat beer.  It is missing the big notes of banana and spice.

Does persistence pay off?

Brew – Leffe Radieuse 8.2% ABV, 330mlLeffe Radieuse

Brewer - Abbaye De Leffe s.a.

StyleBelgian Strong Dark Ale

CountryBelgium

PurchasedLCBO

So I have never been a big Leffe fan, but when I saw Radiuese I thought why not give it a go.  Normally you only see Leffe Blonde around here.

Like a lot of Belgian beers it was originally brewed by the residents of the Abbey.  In this case the canons of the Premonstratensians.  Leffe is named after the Abbey Notre Dame de Leffe which was founded in 1152!  Over the years the Abbey has seen some trying times.  It has been destroyed by a flood, fallen to fire, damaged by troops, and deserted due to the French Revolution.  But the canons kept coming back.  Currently the brand is doing well thanks, in no small part, to the massive marketing power of owner Anheuser–Busch InBev.

About the Beer – It pours a nice dark ruby colour with a big mocha head.  The aroma is of fruity esters, sweet caramel and bit of apple.  The flavour was a bit dissapointing.  There was a definite hit of sweet malt to start, dried fruit, and mild hops to finish.

Would I Drink it Again? – No, it would be a good introductory into Belgian beer but is lacking the bold aspects of Belgian strong dark ale.

Should the state government run a brewery?

Brew – Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier 6.3% ABV, 500mlHofbrau Oktoberfestbier

BrewerStaatliches Hofbräuhaus

StyleMarzen / Oktoberfest

CountryGermany

PurchasedLCBO

In 1589 Wilhelm V, the Duke of Bavaria, was dissatisfied with the beers brewed in Munich.  His advisors had the bright idea to build their own brewery.  Hofbräuhaus was born.  Skip forward to today and Hofbräuhaus is still owned by the state government.

About the Beer – It pours a light golden colour with an appreciable head.  The smell is very light and grainy.  Very similar to a pale lager(not a good thing).  The taste is very boring.  Sweet malt to start with a very dry finish.  Only a hint of hops.

Would I Drink it Again? – No, boring, boring, boring.  Not much to distinguish this beer!  It also does not resemble the description of the style at all.

Have you ever had a beer that just goes down so good you can’t pass up another?

Brew – Black Oak Pale Ale 5% ABV, 341mlBlack Oak Pale Ale

BrewerBlack Oak Brewing Company

StylePale Ale

Country – Ontario, Canada

Purchased – Black Oak Brewing Company Store

So while I was out picking up 10 Bitter Years Anniversary Ale from the Black Oak Brewery store, I also grabbed a six pack of the Pale Ale.  (This was based on a recommendation from: A Year of Beer!) I am sure glad I did.  If this is not a session ale, then I don’t know what is.  Immediately after having one I was thinking that another would be a good idea!  Black Oak is quickly working it’s way up to the top of my list of favourite Ontario Craft Brewers.

About the Beer – The beer pours a lovely Amber colour with a nice head that dissipates quickly to a ring in the glass.  Good lacing.  The smell was quite light.  I could pick up faint hints of floral, grass, and some sweetness.  The taste was very nice.  It has very fresh bitterness of floral, grass, and a bit of citrus.  There is also a nice underlying sweetness to balance this beer very well.  It also has a light creamy texture in the mouth.

Would I Drink it Again? – Yes, this is going to be a regular in my fridge this summer.  It is an easy drinking, well rounded, session pale ale!

How long can you keep one strain of yeast?

Brew – Winter Welcome Ale 6% ABV, 550mlSam Smith Winter Welcome Ale

BrewerSamuel Smith Old Brewery

StyleEnglish Strong Ale

CountryUnited Kingdom

PurchasedLCBO

I know, I know, it is not the beginning of winter…but it is a nice cool day so I thought I would bust out the Winter Welcome Ale.

Sam Smiths is the oldest brewery in Tadcaster founded in 1758.  It is the only independent brewer left in Tadcaster and one of a handful left in all of England.  The brewery is steeped in tradition.  So much so that they use a continuos strain of yeast from the early 1900′s and water from a well that was sunk over 200 years ago.  They still hand weigh their hops!!

About the Beer – It pours a lovely copper colour with a nice big off white head.  The head lasts quite a while and leaves lacing.  The nose of the beer is quite interesting,  I picked up rye, caramel, spice and some bread.  The flavour was quite malty with some sweetness.  There is also a very slight hit of fruit followed up by a spicy hop finish.  The beer clears off the palate fast.

Would I Drink it Again? – Yes, not one of my favourites but a clean refreshing beer.

Bold, creative, unusual?

Brew – 10 Bitter Years Anniversary Ale 8% ABV, 341ml10 Bitter Years Anniversary Ale

BrewerBlack Oak Brewing Company

StyleImperial IPA/Double IPA

Country – Ontario, Canada

Purhased – Black Oak Brewing Company Store

Oh Yeh!  This is creative beer at it’s finest.  A few posts ago I was very critical about the Ontario Craft Brewers(OCB) for not taking risks.  See what I had to say here: Off-Centered – Beer #68.

Black Oak Brewing Company is making me eat my words.  This is what I was talking about when I said the OCB should take more risks and be more creative.  I hope this beer will grow into being more than just a seasonal or onetime brew.

About the Beer – It pours a lovely amber/orange colour with about one finger of head that dissipates quickly to a nice thick ring that last a long time.  The first aroma I picked out was apricot then came some grapefruit citrus, floral, and herbal notes as well.  The flavour is in your face!  Big hits of citrus, floral and herbal hops, with a nice bit of sweet malt to balance it out.  The aftertaste had only a hint of achohol to go along with the herbal bitterness.

Would I Drink it Again? – Absolutely, this is my kind of beer(if I can get it).  Apparently this is selling very fast.  Note to other OCB’s. Risk = reward!  I commend Black Oak for pushing the boundaries with this beer!

Abbey Ale or not?

Brew – Affligem Dubbel 6.8% ABV, 330mlAffligem Dubbel

BrewerAffligem Brewery

StyleDubbel

CountryBelgium

PurchasedLCBO

Short post today!

Should we be calling beers that are only licenesed by and abbey, Abbey Ale?

To see a reveiw on the Affligem Blonde follow the link: Belgian Beer Week! – Beer #33

About the Beer – Pours a foggy, light mahogany colour with 3 fingers of thick foamy head.  It stays forever.  The aroma if very complex.  I can pick out dried cherry , caramel and spices.  The flavour is of dried raisans, some very light bitter, slight caramel, and just a little pepper at the end.

Would I Drink it Again? – Yes, it is a good beer.  I like the Affligem Blonde better though.

Is there a reason why all beers could not be brewed organically?

Brew – St. Peter’s English Ale 4.5% ABV, 500mlSt. Peter's English Ale

BrewerSt. Peter’s Brewery Co Ltd.

StylePale Ale

CountryUnited Kingdom

PurchasedLCBO

This beer is produced by organically grown hops and barley, like many others from the St. Peter’s line up of beers.

So where does the interesting bottle shape come from?  It is a replica of a unique whiskey/wine bottle from the late 1700′s to early 1800′s created by Thomas Gerrard.  There is some controversy as to where the original bottles were made.  St. Peters say it is from Gibbonstown which is just across the Deleware River from Philidelphia.  Others think the original style comes from Gibbonstown in the County Meath, Ireland.  Who knows, but they are cool looking!

For a review of St.Peter’s Winter Ale follow the link: Beer #4

About the Beer – It pours a amber/orange colour with an off white head.  It does not generate much of a head even with a ruff pour.  It’s thick and lasts a while though.  The nose is quite weak.  A bit of floral hops and some sweetness can be picked out along with some grain.  The flavor is good with orange citrus and herbal notes from the hops along with some slight sweetness in the malt.  It has a fairly light body to it.

Would I Drink it Again? – Yes, a highly drinkable beer.  Goes down easy.  Nothing fancy about it, just good beer.

Have we become used to bland lagers?

Brew – Brooklyn Lager 5.2% ABV, 355mlBrooklyn Lager

BrewerBrooklyn Brewery

StyleLager

Country – New York, United States

Purchased - LCBO

Brooklyn Brewery is another success story that makes me jealous!  The founders Steve Hindy and Tom Potter quit their day jobs in 1987 and started a brewery(I would never have the balls to quit my job).  From there it has been a great success story.

The lager is Brooklyn’s number one selling beer.  I can see why.  It is almost like a hybrid between lager and pale ale.  What is the difference between a lager and ale you ask?  Well the main difference is that a lager generally uses bottom fermenting yeasts and lower temperatures while an ale uses top fermenting yeasts.  Also terms used to describe lager are “crisp, clean, and smooth”, while an ale is usually “robust, fruity, or hearty).  As you can see from my description of this lager below, it is confusing trying to classify this beer.

About the Beer – It pours this excellent orange/copper colour with a couple fingers of head.  Some nice lacing is left in the glass.  The aroma is of floral and citrus hops(very strong for a lager) as well as a slight sweetness.  The flavour is great.! It has a hit of some nice toasted malt, floral hops, and a nice spicy aftertaste.

Would I Drink it Again? – Damn straight!  This is an all around good beer!  It really breaks through the negative stigma lagers have gotten due to all the bad pale lagers our there!

I keep trying to, but not finding quality.

Brew – Left Coast Pale Ale 5% ABV, 650mlLeft Coast Pale Ale

BrewerTrafalgar Ales & Meads

StylePale Ale

Country – Ontario, Canada

PurchasedLCBO

So as you can see from the picture I had a tough time pouring this beer.  I was very gentle and still managed to get the head you see.  That is the fourth pour by the way!

For a review of Trafalgar’s Elora Special Bitter follow the link:  Gone but not Gone – Beer #62

About the Beer – I pours a hazy apricot/copper colour.  The head is HUGE and leaves lacing.  It has a quite lovely smell.  Fruity and tart maybe even sour.  Dare I say almost like a Belgian beer.  That is where the similarities end though.  The flavour of this beer is awful.  It in no way resembles a pale ale.  It starts out with a strange hop taste possibly bitter lemon and sour fruit.  This beer leaves an oily aftertaste and the sour lasts on the palate forever.

Would I Drink it Again? – No Way, I am still trying to get the sour taste out of my mouth a half hour later.  This is the first ever Pale Ale I could not finish (maybe this bottle is off).  I truly want to like Trafalgar beers since they are right up the road, but the consistency is laking.  Sadly I still have one more Trafalgar beer to review in my cellar.  Here’s hoping it is better than this one!

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