I was asked to retrieve a tasty treat for my lovely spouse, and I decided that I, too, deserved a treat. After much consideration I decided to try something a little out of the IPA bucket. Naturally, deciding to grab a random beer led to Vikings.
It poured very attractively, and for all that I’m not a huge fan of the belgian style beers by default, I think I like this one. I lack the foodie framework for coming up with flowery adjectives, but suffice to say it’s very tasty.
It’s autumn and now everyone has a pumpkin beer out. I love the idea of a pumpkin beer. Warm and spicy on a cold day.
This one is from Tree Brewing in Kelowna. Let’s see if it lives up to my ideals of a pumpkin beer.
Nose is sweet and syrupy with a bit of spice. Doesn’t taste that way though. Pumpkin spice comes through and the beer has a nice bitter finish.
Something’s not right though. It leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. Sort of a fake flavor. I think I just don’t like pumpkin beer.
Vanilla just doesn’t work in beer for me. The vanilla in the nose is a bit too forward and overpowering. It also seems a little… fake? Like they took a vanilla flavoring and poured it in. Maybe they did. Flavoring added to beer generally doesn’t work for me.
Here’s another one that I had earlier this summer on a hot day.
Carolus comes from the Het Anker brewery, a Flemish brewery originally founded in 1471. Anyway, blah blah blah, on to the beer.
It has strong alcohol in the nose, not surprising as it’s an 8.5% beer.
It pours out a bit cloudy with a dark brown color.
Strong caramel in the nose.
It has a spicy, molasses flavor and a slightly tart aftertaste.
This beer would be great at Christmas but not in the summer time. I would drink it again but it’s not remarkable.
Delerium Nocturnum is an 8.5% Belgian Strong Ale from the Huyghe Brewery in Belgium. It pours out a beautiful rich brown head with a nice head. It was rich enough to stand up to and even pair nicely with a Cohiba. While it is a very tasty beer, I found I liked its sister, Delerium Tremens even better. I thought Tremens was richer, sweeter, and more complex, more of what I expect in a Belgian ale. I would definitely drink it again but would take Tremens every time if given the choice!
On another note, I really need to get the proper glassware for a Belgian ale. I don’t think I have the palate to detect the difference made by glassware, it’s more for the experience. But then again, who knows…..
I have long wanted to get my hands on a Trappist Westvleteren beer. Westvleteren, located in West Flanders Belgium, is the smallest and most secretive of the Trappist brewers. Not only is their beer itself scarce because of the small production, but anyone wishing to purchase beer can only buy it in limited amounts, and even then, only from the monks themselves. They sell only to individual customers who agree not to resell the beer. People have been caught and prosecuted for doing so.
I’ve long had my eye on this beer, and long worried that I’d never see it, let alone have a chance to drink it. But I have great friends, and through them my proverbial ship came in this past Christmas. Impossibly huge thanks goes out to Kevin & Cath!
I stress at this time that this beer was a gift. I didn’t buy it or sell it. I did, however, share it.
The first thing to note is the bottle. Simple. Brown. No label. The only identification is the cap.
The beer pours nicely, with beautiful colour. It’s fairly cloudy. The first big surprise was the smell. As is often the case with good beer and especially Trappist beer, the smell and the taste don’t always match up. I smelled fruit, predominantly cherry, and spice.
Tasting Westvleteren 8 was an absolute pleasure. It was so well balanced. The cherry and spice that I smelled came through, but I also picked up hints of caramel and toasted malt. There was certainly more, but I’ll admit that in the face of the Westvleteren 8 my palette is probably out of it’s depth. This beer drinks a bit sweet, but finishes dry.
I’m not sure when I’ll have my hands on another bottle of this rare and incredible beer, but you can bet that some time in the future I will drink Westvleteren 8 again. Even if it means hunting for seat sales.
My experience with limited edition holiday brews has been good; generally enjoyable and at the very least, interesting. The Hitachino Nest Festive Ale is no exception to this.
I’m unfamiliar with the brewery’s “regular” beers, so I can’t compare it that way. I found it to be as flavourful as my personal gold-standard beer, Innis & Gunn, only with a less fruity, sweeter taste. There is a hint of orange among the various winter spices used but the overall flavour was “caramelly”. Slightly carbonated, but also stronger — 8% ABV — so it’s one to enjoy slowly.
From the rear label:
“This commemorative ale was brewed specially to celebrate the new year using cinnamon and coriander. Please enjoy while you forget the worries and troubles of the old year.”
Back in September I tried this bottle of Alley Kat Amber Ale, I’ve had this post in the chute since then and finally decided to get off my ass and post. Seriously. I know right? It’s not that hard…
I’m a big fan of Alley Kat. I have to admit that I don’t always like their beer. No, it’s not that, I don’t dislike any of their beer it’s just that I find many of them unremarkable. I love Alley Kat because they are local and they brew decent beer, and the owner is a nice guy.
Deep mahogany color. Half inch of head which dissipated quickly leaved thin film.
Roasted malt and chocolate.
This one tastes like it smells, nothing hiding here. A touch thin on the mouth feel, watery but not in a bad way. Very little carbonation to speak of. Nice caramel malt taste.
Tiny bit of bittering hops in the finish. A good example of an amber ale. I would drink this again. Especially since it’s locally produced!