XO Beer

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pootz
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XO Beer

Postby pootz » Sat Dec 04, 2004 8:22 pm

One question about this beer......why? Mine was a sink pour.
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Postby GregClow » Sun Dec 05, 2004 12:07 am

XO is one of those beers that I really have to be in the mood for. When the situation is right, I think it's a really fantastic beer. But it's certainly not an everyday beverage.

One thing I'll say is that I'm very glad they switched from clear to brown bottles. The first time I tried it was at the Montreal beer festival a few years ago, and I loved it, but then when it hit the LCBO shelves the following year, I couldn't find a non-skunked bottle. Thankfully, that's no longer a problem.
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Postby Andicus » Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:55 pm

GregClow wrote:The first time I tried it was at the Montreal beer festival a few years ago, and I loved it, but then when it hit the LCBO shelves the following year, I couldn't find a non-skunked bottle.


Yeah, the only bottle I ever bought was skunked. Maybe I'll try one of the brown bottles if I see it.
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Postby dhurtubise » Mon Dec 06, 2004 10:30 am

XO beer, in my opinion is nothing more than a gimmick. If you want some at home, get yourself a bland lager and add about 10% of the volume of brandy. If you like that, you can also try similar cocktails with the fine scotches of Scotland and the fine aged rums of the carabeans. A coctail by any other name would taste as good.

By the way, the "beer" is hopped with hop extract so there should be no skunked bottles. If you had it and did not like it, it is very highly unlikely you will find any difference in new experiences. Cognac and beer just doesn't mix well. If you ask me, it is an advertising gimmick for those who want to be seen drinking something different and want it to sound upper class (the XO designation in cognac is at the top of the pyramid and usually costs upwards of 100USD for 700ml). I doubt very much any of that has made it's way into the cocktail despite the implications of the name.

Daniel
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Postby GregClow » Mon Dec 06, 2004 11:49 am

dhurtubise wrote:By the way, the "beer" is hopped with hop extract so there should be no skunked bottles.


Maybe it was my nose & tastebuds playing tricks on me, but the clear bottles I had a couple of years ago definately had that unpleasant skunk aroma & flavour, while all of the brown bottles I've had more recently have been fine.
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Postby pootz » Tue Dec 07, 2004 1:21 pm

My sink pour wasn't because it was a skunked bottle...it was because these are two fluids that should never mingle on the palate at the same time. If you want the experience get a shot of VSOP and chase it with a drinkable beer. I think that to compensate for the strong brandy sting this brewer made an overly sweet beer to compensate....to me it left the impression of a cheap rye and coke with an annoying splash of bitters. pretty foul tasting mixed drink IMHO
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Postby old faithful » Fri Dec 17, 2004 7:58 pm

I know there is a difference of opinion, but I think this is very good. Yes, the taste is affected by the cognac but I think it enhances the taste. Do any of you guys remember that biere de garde, made in or near Bolougne, France, that was imported for many years at LCBO? I can't recall the name, it was sold in a tall bottle for about $4.50 and had a fruity taste with an edge that reminds me of this beer. I think this XO Beer is based on Jenlain or a beer like it, it has that typical taste of Northern French ale, kind of slightly woody as if aged or stored in a wooden cask. This is real beer and while I can understand some people don't like it, there is no issue with over-age, it is very fresh indeed. I find it goes well with any meat-based dinner, say a stew or roast chicken. There is a lot of bad wine being sold for more money (on a unit basis) than XO, this is so much a better value.

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Postby pootz » Fri Dec 17, 2004 8:03 pm

Whatever Gary, the importer won't be getting rich from this kid.
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Postby dhurtubise » Sat Dec 18, 2004 10:35 am

old faithful wrote: Do any of you guys remember that biere de garde, made in or near Bolougne, France, that was imported for many years at LCBO? I can't recall the name, it was sold in a tall bottle for about $4.50 and had a fruity taste with an edge that reminds me of this beer.


Grain d'Orge, a bière de garde - it was very good.

old faithful wrote:I think this XO Beer is based on Jenlain or a beer like it, it has that typical taste of Northern French ale, kind of slightly woody as if aged or stored in a wooden cask. This is real beer and while I can understand some people don't like it, there is no issue with over-age, it is very fresh indeed. I find it goes well with any meat-based dinner, say a stew or roast chicken. There is a lot of bad wine being sold for more money (on a unit basis) than XO, this is so much a better value.

Gary


This is what makes diversity such a great thing. It allows for beer experiences like this. Although I still don't like the attempt at XO and still maintain my opionion on it's commercial nature, there are palates out there that can legitimize the efforts of the brewers. I really love a good cognac and good beer. I wish I could get around a product like this.
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Postby pootz » Sat Dec 18, 2004 6:38 pm

This is what makes diversity such a great thing.


Diversity in beers, or in opinion are the thing that living is made of.....however they mean nothing without freedom to exercise personal choice.

In Canada we have a rather narrow, governemt dictated, "diversity". :(
Last edited by pootz on Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby old faithful » Sun Dec 19, 2004 3:33 am

I too wish we had a full range of imports like one sees in the best U.S. outlets. We have many good beers here (and many good local ones now) but many more could be brought in, no question, and I think that gets into the old question of whether the state-controlled system offers full flexibility in this regard (which I think it does not).

I remember now the biere de garde I was thinking of, it predated Grain d'Orge. Grain d'Orge was made I believe by Jeanne d'Arc which is in Ronchin, just outside Lille in French Flanders. Unfortunately I think Jeanne d'Arc, which was one of the few independent old-established breweries in that Region, was bought out by a competitor but hopefully its beers will still be available. The beer I had in mind that was an import here for many years was St-Leonard. This beer was originally made in a town of that name just outside Boulogne by a local brewery. That brewery was shut down, turned into a warehouse by the buyer, a regional independent located in a larger town not far away. The latter was owned by a member of a prominent family which had owned Pelforth of Lille, itself bought by Heineken. Finally, the remaining facility (I think it was in Saint-Quentin, that or St-Ouen) was bought by Heineken too and after that happened St-Leonard was no longer seen here. It was not the best of the bieres de gardes but was good still and had a firm, peachy taste with the characteristic woody taste many gardes have. I really like the garde style and it is still going strong and made by surviving old companies or revivals of old breweries in the North of France. Jenlain is the best known and that has appeared here over the years, and I quite like it. I like La Choulette very much, which has appeared as a special import at Joe's and Spherical Arts. Other favourites are Castelain's line-up and the beer of Bavay on the Belgian frontier, La Bavaisienne, which is outstanding and I bought earlier this year at Sam's in Chicago in superb condition by the way. When fresh all these beers are first class and are distinctive from the Belgian beers although related in a broader sense. (I stress freshness because these beers need to be drunk that way to be appreciated at their best whereas, say, many Belgian ales can be aged for years and still taste good or even get better). The French Flanders beers always remind me of a kind of cross between English ales and Belgian ones. Hopefully our importers will focus more in the future on his group of beers because the best of the them are traditional in style and very good. I don't mind, for example, the relatively large number of East European lagers that we currently see at LCBO but the range of tastes they represent is relatively narrow: a dozen bieres de garde amongst the names I mentioned, or even three or four, would offer a larger palette of tastes, in my view.

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Postby Rubaiyat » Tue Jan 04, 2005 1:16 am

A few things:

1. None of us get's "rich" off ANY of these small volume beers we bring in. Even the "successful" ones.

2. There are a few "beer cocktails" around including others with spirits in - many of which are, indeed, concocted in a plant by formula and "mass produced"; XO beer aint.

3. Like it or not, the XO beer is made by L&L Cognac, the only remaining cognac producer with an operating distillery actually in the TOWN (as opposed to the region) of Cognac (right on the Charente river in central Cognac).

4. Like it or not, the cognac used in XO Beer is, indeed, X.O. cognac. The definition of X.O. Cognac is one which has been aged a minimum of 6 years. Even though many X.O. cognacs are indeed aged 15, 20 or more - many more - years, the "legal" requirement is a minimum of only 6 years. Also, in order to be X.O. it has to come from one of the four inner Cognac regions. All things considered then - one can come up with what truly is X.O. cognac at a reasonable enough cost basis to use in this way.

5. The beer in XO Beer until any day now is being made by Fischer - to L & L's specifications. L & L is building a small brewery in its distillery to make the beer on premises in "microbrewery" fashion.

6. The X.O. Cognac (5% by volume) is dripped into the wert during fermentation in a skilful and thoroughly tested fashion. The whole process takes place in a wonderfully quaint and wonderfully french way; it is NOT "mass produced" in some factory --- like a cooler.

I personally recommend drinking XO quite cold -- not like an ale -- this cuts the sweetness (from the Cognac) a bit. It's a great sipping beer. A great aperitif beer. A great dessert beer.

If you'd like any more information on X.O. please do not hesitate to e-mail me directly at paul@greatdrinks.com !!

Cheers,

Paul
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Postby Belgian » Tue Jan 04, 2005 3:49 pm

I'm not spending 4 bucks on this, thank you.

Crazy beer - go Belgian.
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Postby Rubaiyat » Tue Jan 04, 2005 5:27 pm

it's not inexpensive, i agree. it's relatively expensive to make because of the REAL XO cognac in it.

no worries. belgian is good ... ;-)

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Postby esprit » Wed Jan 05, 2005 12:23 pm

I'm a competitor and I must admit, I was expecting something horrific which is what I found with other beer/tequila & beer/rum mixtures but this one was actually quite nice. Yeah, the price is a bit high but, all in all, a very pleasant brew.

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