Category Archives: Beer

Tree Jumpin Jack Pumpkin Ale

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.

Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout

In honour of this year’s Stout Day, I gave Hitachino Nest’s Espresso Stout a go—turned out to be a fine celebration of the noble stout.

When there’s a flavour in the name of the brew, the fear is that that flavour is going to be all in your face, but that’s not the case with the espresso flavour in this one. It’s happy to share the stage with a bit of cocoa and malt tastes. It’s not quite as heavy or bitter as stouts can be either. Not quite crisp, but almost, with a small bit of carbonation. Very pleasing drink.

Hitachino Nest is fast becoming one of my favourite breweries. I’ve yet to be disappointed by anything of theirs I’ve tried and the Espresso Stout is no exception.

Innis & Gunn Blonde

I remember trying the Blonde Innis back when I was first introduced to the brand, but not really taking to it. I would have the odd bottle to change it up, but it wasn’t ever as good as the Original, or as interesting as the variants when they appeared.

I must have always had the Blonde in a season that wasn’t summer because this where it fits perfectly. It has the richness of flavour of any other I&G brew, but it’s lighter and crisper which suits the summer months.

Would definitely drink again, especially if it’s served cold and on a patio.

De Molen, Lentehop

Lentehop is an American style IPA, from a Dutch brouwerij (brewery) called De Molen. Like many great beers from that part of the world, it’s brewed in an old mill a mere 171 years older than Canada. Unlike many of those beers, it’s own history spans a little over a single decade. While it’s housings might give it instant credibility I’m inclined to criticize, brewers here in Canada should take note. Specifically Molson, who sold Molson House, a 50 year old fort near my house in Edmonton rather than making use of it in what would have easily been the most interesting place to drink in Alberta. But I digress.

Lentehop. It pours cloudy and golden, with a fairly substantial head. There is very little nose, just a hint of hops. I taste hops, certainly, but also some light citrus and pine. This IPA is surprisingly refreshing and fairly crisp.

I probably won’t go hunting specifically for it, but I would drink Lentehop from De Molen again.

 

Wychwood Hobgoblin

I bought this bottle because I thought the label was cool. C’mon, it has a goblin on it!

It poured out a nice ruby brown with a tan head of foam that dissipated quite quickly. This beer smells delicious, fruit, malt, toffee and later on, coffee. This beer went directly from my basement to a glass so it wasn’t chilled, allowing the flavours to really come through. I could really taste the caramel and it finished with a nice hoppy bitterness. This is a really rich, full beer.

I would definitely drink this one again!

 

De Prael’s Nick & Simon

De Prael draws on a long history of brewing, and grows their own hops in the yard behind the brewery. Their beer is often done in smaller batches and named for friends of the brewer, in this case, Nick & Simon. The plain brown bottle is only identified with a branded cap, and a hand written tag identifying the beer within.

Nick & Simon pours a cloudy amber, and the bubbly head disperses after a few pulls. I smelled the hops right away, and I taste them fully up front. There is a brightness through the middle I want to call citrus, but it’s pretty faint. There is a bit of a pine coating in the finish.

This drinks like a really comfortable IPA.

I would definitely drink this again, assuming Scott finds a way to get me another bottle.

Brouwerij ’t IJ Zatte

Brouwerij ’t IJ Zatte is a triple, clocking in at a very acceptable 8%. What can I say, I like effective beer. It pours a golden colour, with almost no head. I smelled citrus right off the bat, with a bit of hops behind it.

Once you get to drinking it, it’s dry but sweet. I tasted fruit, but also hops, yeast and spice. As with the previous beers I’ve had from Brouwerij’t IJ, it’s very complex, but impeccably balanced.

I thank Scott for the beer, and I would happily drink this again. Preferably with Scott. In the brewery.

 

Carolus

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.

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