Saturday, 11 June 2016

BONUS # 2! Pointless Marketing Imperial Session IPA Accidentally Aged...

Pointless Marketing Imperial Session IPA Aged 9 Months

Sawdust City Brewing Company

Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada

Independent Microbrewery 
ABV 7.1 %  IBU: 55
Aluminum Can 500 ml.
$3.00 (Canadian) At the The Brewery

Twitter @SawdustCityBeer


So yeah.

I have a confession to make. I am a beer horder. Annnnnnd... I don't necessarily have the best memory of where I leave them sometimes. I do remember that this was the last can of Pointless Marketing left at the brewery and I was convinced to take it home. It then took up residence in the front hall closet (for some reason) and there it stayed... for nine months. If you are wondering what is prompting this sudden re-discovery of hidden gems, well I have been working on a new shelving unit in the basement so a sudden urge to re-organise is prompting me to clean up some old beers. I don't think I actually got to write about Pointless Marketing when it came out, so here is the info. Every year Sawdust City holds a competition in conjunction with The Only Cafe called the "Mighty Mustache Competition." Last year it was won by Chris Glasser. As his prize he got to build a brew with Sawdust's Head Brewer Aaron Spinney. The result was this lemon peel infused Imperial Session IPA. (Yes... Imperial and Session generally are considered opposites in the beer world... but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt). The manufacture date on the can is September 28 2015, Should still be good... Right?

Onto the tasting...

Pours a cloudy orange amber with a fluffy off-tan head made up of small to medium bubbles. I will not lie, the beer is showing a bit of age but it has held up very well. Aroma is malty and caramel. If I remember correctly when this beer came out it had a very fruity nose with hints of lemon. Now there is much more caramel with hints of vanilla and a touch of sourness. The first sip gives us lots of more malt with traces of licorice The lemon opens up on the finish, and I am happy it is still there. The body of the beer is far more nutty and bready than the citrus and fruit it is supposed to be, meaning the effect of the hops has died down significantly. Pine and some resin shows up very late in the finish. Dried fruit and some raisins begin to show up as the beer warms. Aeration amps up the pine, some burnt toast and hints of dried apricot.

Final Thoughts

Well it's a different beer to what it started out as... but it it very drinkable, still. I actually like the complex changes it has undergone, making a more raisiny, piney, malt driven brew. However, I should PROBABLY pick a better place to age beer than the front hall closet. (I'm sure My Loving Partner in Crime, The Queen of Pint Jockey Headquarters would be thankful...)


Cheers



CJT



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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Beer #276 Pacific Jade Wide Body IIPA Barnstormer Brewing

#276 Pacific Jade Wide Body IIPA

Barnstormer  Brewing

Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Brewpub/Brewery
IIPA 9.3 % ABV 
14 oz Pint
$6.25 (Canadian) At the Sawdust City Brewery Saloon (Guest Tap)

Twitter: @BarnstormerBeer

A quick trip out to the pub revealed to me this little gem. A nice IIPA with a good kick of alcohol. Barnstormer really is the little Brewpub that could, some excellent beers come out of this Barrie Brewery... I wish we could get more up this way.


Onto the tasting.


Pours a dark amber with an off-white head made up of tiny bubbles. Nose is hot alcohol malt and caramel hints of tropical fruit and pine.  First sip confirms this is a 9.3 % beer. The alcohol is very present at the start. As is a sweet and smooth malt flavours. Very rich with lots of caramel. Some residual  sugar vanilla and a touch of licorice. Aeration brings out the heat of the alcohol and it bites the tongue a bit. However it is still very smooth for such a high alcohol content. Light hints of wood and cinnamon finish the beer off.

Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 



Cost: 5/6 PASS

Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 5/6  PASS
Re-Order:  6/6  EXCEPTIONAL
Experience: 5/6 PASS

Final Thoughts:


Quite a bit going on in a little glass. Lots of complex flavours, but still quite smooth despite the high alcohol content.

Cheers


CJT


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Tuesday, 7 June 2016

I need to borrow you for one second...

One of the best things about being a writer is that you get to surround yourself with other writers. We are all a little geeky, awkward, reserved, and strange, but we are really fun at parties... I swear! I've had the pleasure of keeping company with a good friend of mine since high school, by the name of Tori L. Ridgewood. Normally I don't generally ask my of readers anything but the chance to enjoy my beer soaked musings but this time Dear Readers I need a little help. Tori is a hard working Teacher, Mother, Whovian, and a pretty darn good writer too. She has just completed her first couple of books "The Talbot Trilogy." However, and this is where you come in Dear Reader, Her latest project is an entry into the Inkitt.com "Grand Novel Contest," and she needs some likes. Many writers have submitted brief examples of their work with the hopes of getting a contract to publish their works. Tori's Entry is called "Rip Gone Wrong" and is a Young Adult adventure novel. So I would consider it a PERSONAL Favour if you could sneak over to the website and give Tori's story a once over, and then smash that like button. Tell your friends, sign up your dog and get him to like it.

 If you want to check out her collected works her Amazon page is Tori L. Ridgewood or you can order print on demand copies of The Talbot Trilogy at Lulu.com Tori L. Ridgewood .

Please hurry, today is the last day (June 7th!)

Cheers

CJT




Friday, 27 May 2016

New Glassware and Lagunitas IPA


#275 Lagunitas IPA


The Lagunitas Brewing Company


Petaluma, California, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA
Partially Owned by Heineken International
India Pale Ale 6.2 % ABV 
Brown Glass Bottle 355 ml.
ISO Standard Tasting Glass
$2.49 (Canadian) At the LCBO ($14.95 for a six pack)

Twitter: @LagunitasBeer

So over the years I have used a number of glasses for tasting my beers. They have varied in shape and size, however, mostly I use wine glasses over beer glasses. Originally I started out with an ISO Standard Tasting Glass. Used mainly in wine tasting it tends to highlight the less than favourable qualities of the beverage. So basically if the wine can overcome the glass... it's good. From there I migrated through a number of glasses (mainly because my cat disagreed with Issac Newton and kept trying to test the theory of gravity...) I recently settled on a stemless wine glass as my go to beer taster and it does a good job of concentrating aromas and enhancing flavours. 


Teku Glass
Lately there has been some buzz in the glassware world (it's not often anyone gets to say those words...) A Italian stylist (and beer lover) partnered with brewers to develop a glass that enhanced the craft beer experience. The Teku was born. While on the surface it looks great I just wanted to put it to the test. So I thought the best way was to do a side by side taste with my stemless glass against the new Teku. I chose Lagunitas IPA because IPA is one of the main beers this glass was designed for.

Onto the side by side.



Teku Aroma: Very fruity. Tons of tropical fruit passion fruit and hints of pineapple.some sweet caramel notes with hints of vanilla and soft malt notes.

My stemless wine glass vs the Teku

Stemless Wine Aroma: Nutty and malty fruit notes are very muted more caramel and wood notes.



TeKu First Taste: Fruit driven sweet IPA with hints of lemon and orange peel

Wine glass first taste: Sweet sugary, some caramel, malt driven, tropical fruit and lemon in the background


Aeration (too similar for each glass so just recorded it once): sweet malty west coast style IPA some turbinado sugar with light hints of molasses and herbal hops notes. Some marijuana, and a little funk.






The Results



Teku Glass Pros: The build is the best positive of this glass. The long stem prevents early warming of the beer. The shape concentrates the aroma and delivers it straight to your nose. Plus I noticed that because of the shape of the glass my nose was positioned far closer to the beer helping to deliver those delicious volatile compounds and esters right into my olfactory. The lip of the glass is very thin. I have heard many people claim their biggest fear is breaking this glass. Yes, it is more delicate but that also helps by giving a nice slick runway for the liquid to be delivered onto your tongue better. Thinner glass, less turbulence, more flavour. The same principle is used in high end wine glasses. Yes it is probably best to break out the mugs for your beer if you are day drinking and out for a rip.... (or may I suggest a solo cup...) But if you are in enjoying one or two craft beer the more fragile TeKu is well suited. Lastly this beer accentuates the more subtle nuances of the beer. The fruitier lighter tones came out... mainly because those flavours are the most volatile and evaporate the quickest while the heavier malt tones and caramels tend to linger longer. The exageratted tulip of the TeKu traps the volatile compounds and gives you an opportunity to savour them before they are lost.


TeKu Cons: I think the biggest con is that this beer glass is "too good." It makes every beer taste good. Worse, it makes a flawed beer taste much better than it should.


Final Thoughts


The Teku is fine, expensive but fine. It your new date is a beer snob and you want to impress his or her pants off... Pour them a hoppy APA or a tart sour beer in this glass, and the night is going to go well (results not guaranteed). But for my purposes, a.k.a pint glass pontification... The Teku is kinda useless. However I am certainly not about breaking it out to sit in my lawn chair to watch someone else mow the lawn...


Oh, and the Lagunitas? A very good IPA Truly a shame they were bought out.


Cheers


CJT


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Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge Flemish Sour Beer

#274 Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge

Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste NV

Bellegem, Belguim

Independent

Flanders Red Sour Ale 5.5 % ABV 
Brown Glass Bottle 330 ml.
IBU: 8
$3.95 (Canadian) At LCBO

Twitter: @OmerVDG

My first Flemish Red for the blog, and I am quite excited. Sour beers seem to be hot right now and quite frankly I am a big fan. Lots of local breweries have been playing with brettanomyces, generally cultured instead of wild inoculation. This beer tonight is open top wild fermented (like a lambic) so the the brettanomyces is naturally occurring. The brewery in Bellegem is a fifth generation family run business that started in 1892. Their first beer was Ouden Trippel, which they still produce under the name Vander Ghinste Oud Bruin. They also produce a kriek, a gueze, a framboise, and a Bock in addition to our beer tonight.

Onto our tasting...

Pours a reddish chestnut colour with a short off-tan head made of tiny bubbles. Aroma is a beautiful sour red cherry with bright red fruits in the background. Hints of brettanomyces, touches of cinnamon, and clove. First sip is WOW! sour! Tart cherry, cranberry with some underlying sweetness. A touch of spice cinnamon clove mostly from the cask ageing.Aeration brings out a woody note with some oak and vanillas

Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 


Cost: 5/6 PASS

Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 6/6  EXCEPTIONAL
Re-Order:  6/6  EXCEPTIONAL
Experience: 5/6 PASS

Final Thoughts:


Super sour but bright and fruity, this is a great beer. If you are a sour fan like me you will enjoy this. If you are on the fence about sour beers... work your way up to this one, because this packs a face puckering punch.

On a sour note.. Sawdust City Brewing Company in Gravenhurst Ontario, is hosting its inaugural Funk Fest on July 2 2016. 17 local breweries will be demonstrating their sour beers, and yours truly will be there to report on it. Stay tuned for my post on that.

Cheers


CJT


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Beer # 273 Class V India Pale Ale Whitewater Brewing Company

#273 Class V IPA

Whitewater Brewing Company

Forester's Falls, Ontario, Canada

Independent Microbrewery
IPA 5.5 % ABV 
Aluminum Can 473 ml.
IBU: 72
$2.85 (Canadian) At The Beer Store


Twitter: @WhitewaterBrew


Second one tonight from Whitewater Brewing company. This is their signature IPA. It is another one I tasted at Session Muskoka, but my notes were terrible. So I was happy to get a chance to try it again.


Onto the tasting...

Pours honey/amber with an off white head made up of small bubbles. Aroma is malty and sweet with light hints of green hops. First sip reveals a lighter bodied West Coast style IPA with malt forward sweetness, some molasses, and caramel and a hint of bitterness. Piney on the finish and slightly resinous. Very smooth, delightfully easy drinking. Aeration gives us a nice green piney bitterness from the hops and some smooth malt sugars.


Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 



Cost: 5/6 PASS

Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 5/6 PASS
Re-Order:  6/6  EXCEPTIONAL
Experience: 5/6 PASS

Final Thoughts:


Very nice beer. Definitely will drink this any time I can. It may not be the best IPA in Ontario but it certainly plays in the same league. 



Cheers


CJT


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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Beer # 272 Farmer's Daughter Blonde Ale Whitewater Brewing Company

#272 Farmer's Daughter Blonde Ale

Whitewater Brewing Company


Forester's Falls, Ontario, Canada


Independent Microbrewery

Blonde  Ale 
5.0 % ABV Aluminum Can 473 ml.
IBU: 22
$2.85 (Canadian) At The Beer Store

Twitter: @WhitewaterBrew

Another new brewery for me. Well not completely new, new to the blog. I had a chance to taste this beer at Session Muskoka last year, but note taking conditions were not ideal, nor was my handwriting. Founded by three good friends and whitewater rafting enthusiasts: James Innes, Chris Thompson and Chris Thompson (Yes... That's TWO separate Chris Thompsons.. No relation, I guess they can save on business cards..) They wanted a way to combine their love of whitewater rafting with their love of craft beer In their back yard of the Ottawa Valley. In 2011 Whitewater Brewing Company was born.

Onto the tasting...

Pours a light gold with a short white head made up of small bubbles. Aroma is gentle malt with hints of wood, sweet, and mildly hoppy. First sip is tangy, mildly citrus, clean clear light caramel malt and the slightest hint of bitter greens, There is a distinct minerality and slight flintiness to the beer. There are traces of light toasty wood and a little spice. Aeration accentuates the wood aromas adding a touch of freshly tanned leather and tumeric.


Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 


Cost: 5/6 PASS

Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 5/6 PASS
Re-Order:  5/6  PASS
Experience: 5/6 PASS

Final Thoughts:


A very light and refreshing golden ale. Good malt profile and mineral quality. An excellent patio sipper.


Cheers


CJT


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