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G.M. Gillman
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Random Reviews

Postby G.M. Gillman » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:34 pm

I thought it might be interesting to post taste notes on a series of beers - two or more. Random Notes covers what you are currently drinking, but that section isn't treated as a "review" of beers as such.

Cooper's Sparkling Ale: This is the freshest I can recall this beer as tasted in North America (my sample sourced at LCBO). Grainy, beery, satisfying. It's not a craft beer, but it's well-made with good natural beer flavours. Suited clearly to hot climates when you want a beer with flavour. It actually reminded me of Molson Export, as I recall it in the 70's in Montreal, and Labatt 50 even as it tastes today (try the draft at Paully's, say).

Carlsberg: This is the canned version. The top-note seems clearly to be German hops, the form of them that has a metallic-earthy/barnyard taste. The malt - and it's an all-malt beer - is restrained, thus the attenuation is relatively high I would think. To me it's similar to Bavarian lager but less malty. Good stuff and one must admire the technical prowess of the big brewers: no off-flavours, everything clean and right.

Budweiser: I buy this every two years or so to chart its current taste. I first tried this around 1970 and it had a good, characteristic flavour. It had some malt sweetness, some flowery hop and a particular estery note (Michael Jackson said, apple-like). This current one tastes to me like it is virtually free of flavour.

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Postby matt7215 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:09 am

Wells IPA - hadnt had this in about 5 years, really bad nose, paturization really killed it, fake looking and feeling carbonation, decent malt body, no hops, drinks like an over malt forward 5% english bitter, wont buy again for 5 year

Sam Smiths Oatmeal Stout - classic, well balanced, nice level of roast, great dark fruity edge, lovely stuff, i dont buy this enough

Creemore Pils - ive never been a big fan of this beer, comes of as under hopped and the malt have a rough edge, i also cant stand the Creemore house yeasty sulfer nose, i wont buy this one again soon
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Postby Derek » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:58 pm

I've always loved the Creemore character... probably a bit of the yeast and water.
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stay on thread Derek!!!! :)

Postby Belgian » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:50 pm

Anchor Liberty Ale - I really enjoy the gradual citrusy hop build of this Pale - it doesn't punch you in the face but there's still plenty going on.

Stone IPA - the one I always buy in Buffalo, and it deserves the legendary 'go-to' status - nice almost candy-lemon hop aroma & taste plus it avoids becoming grassy-bitter. I drink it from the bottle without guilt.

Mad Tom IPA - for some reason the most pleasing local IPA which, complemented with Boneshaker of late never disappoints me or puts me off. Ontario's proud two. I like Super Collider and Witch Shark, but not Smashbomb, Hoptical, Hop Addict or Hop Head.
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Re: stay on thread Derek!!!! :)

Postby Derek » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:44 pm

Beer Miscellany... Two or more... Okay...

The Creemore character is predominantly found in the Keller, and while still perceptible, I think it was once stronger in the lager.

:wink:

---

Bear Republic Pete's Brown
A: Deep amber with a light tan head, some retention, great lace.
S: Tons of sponge toffee, some cotton candy and a hint of nut.
T: Sponge toffee, roasted nut, nectarine, orange rind, hints of cocoa and pine, solid bitterness, alcohol is subtle.
M: Moderate to full body is very smooth, almost creamy.
D/O: A really great american brown.

I recently picked that up, along with their Rye. I didn't feel either one was overly hoppy by today's standards (In my memory, the Rye seemed hoppier 6 years ago). Both are just really nicely balanced, and certainly some similar qualities.

Here's my Hop Rod review from 2006:

Definitely more of a rye beer than Founder's Red's Rye (which should certainly be classified as an IPA). This one could fit comfortably under either category.

Compared to the Racer 5, there's more bitterness, but not as much hop flavour (which is rounded out with the malts).

A: Deep, deep amber/dark-caramel; fluffy, slightly off-white head, some retention, great lace.
S: Pine, floral, citrus, toffee, jaggery, dark rye bread.
T: Pine, citrus & spicy hop flavours are upfront. Dark rye bread and a little caramel balance out the flavour. Bitterness is quite assertive, but not harsh. Warming alcohol in the finish. The EXTREME fusion of flavours is truly exceptional!
M: Moderate to full body, moderate carbonation, slight acidity. Well attenuated with a relatively dry finish.
D: Incredible for its strength, but certainly a hop-heads delight.
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Postby G.M. Gillman » Tue May 01, 2012 6:11 pm

This is from a U.S. trip recently:

O'Fallons Black Hemp (a Black Ale)

Only when I looked more closely after did it seem this might be an imprint of a large brewer, perhaps A-B/InBev, but whether it is or not, it's an excellent mild porter style with a good flavour.

Michelob Ultra

I drink this in airport bars and always liked it, it's the U.S. equivalent to Amstel Light: well brewed, clean with good flowery notes - reminds me more than any beer in the Michelob line of the 70's Michelob.

Samuel Adams Baltic IPA (Batch No. 1)

This was just superb: rounded, very tasty, very drinkable, yet potent. A winner.

Full Sail ESB

A classic fruity rounded English-style strong bitter, I wonder if it was styled after Fuller ESB cask but I think it is actually better. American savvy in brewing at its best.

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Postby sprague11 » Wed May 02, 2012 4:55 pm

I'll play along. From a Goose Island BCBS Vertical:

2007 - Black, minimal tan head, Bourbon Barrel takes a back seat to rich chocolate. No trace of alcohol. Incredible aroma. Creamy, unbelievably smooth. Superlative is the word I'm thinking.

2006 - Barrel is still at the forefront. Very little carbonation, no head to speak of. Alcohol is more noticeable. Very good, but the 2007 vintage was something special.

Both left legs down the glass, ala a good wine. If you're sitting on a 2007 bottle, It can't get much better than where it's at now.
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Postby TheSevenDuffs » Wed May 02, 2012 4:56 pm

sprague11 wrote:I'll play along. From a Goose Island BCBS Vertical:

2007 - Black, minimal tan head, Bourbon Barrel takes a back seat to rich chocolate. No trace of alcohol. Incredible aroma. Creamy, unbelievably smooth. Superlative is the word I'm thinking.

2006 - Barrel is still at the forefront. Very little carbonation, no head to speak of. Alcohol is more noticeable. Very good, but the 2007 vintage was something special.

Both left legs down the glass, ala a good wine. If you're sitting on a 2007 bottle, It can't get much better than where it's at now.
I always love reading about verticals, especially since my cellar is just getting to the point where I can do verticals. Thanks for sharing.
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Postby GregClow » Wed May 02, 2012 9:50 pm

I hope Gary doesn't mind, but I've retitled this thread as "Random Reviews", as it seems more fitting.

Keep 'em coming!
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Postby G.M. Gillman » Thu May 03, 2012 4:27 am

Sounds good Greg, here's a couple more:

Old World Russian Imperial Stout: this is an 8.2% RIS brewed I believe by BrewDog for the U.S. market. I didn't see its name on it but James Watt's name is and he heads up BrewDog. This may be the best Impy I ever had, with a deep flowing taste and everything in the right place. A lot of the flavours in American RIS's seem to jostle for dominance - it could be coffee, oak tannin, hop, bourbon. These flavours are likely to be reconciled with prolonged bottle aging. This Scottish-made RIS has the perfect flavour now.

Southampton Imperial Porter. One of the crop of Baltic-style porters now popular. Well made, lighter than the one noted above, but a good solid effort with integrated flavours and no West Coast hops that I could see. In the early days of Imperial Stout and similar-styled porter, American breweries often blithely used their vigorous West Coast hops. So you would get mingled flavours of roasted grain and grapefruit. I sense this trend has diminished as realisation has been gained of the original palate of strong stout, which is roasty and with a pronounced but fairly neutral bitterness.

Yeti Imperial Stout: huge flavours, big in every way, good but needs aging IMO.

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Postby GregClow » Thu May 03, 2012 9:21 am

G.M. Gillman wrote:Old World Russian Imperial Stout: this is an 8.2% RIS brewed I believe by BrewDog for the U.S. market. I didn't see its name on it but James Watt's name is and he heads up BrewDog.


According to RateBeer, this is a repackaged version of Brew Dog Riptide:

http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/old-world- ... ut/158921/
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Postby G.M. Gillman » Thu May 03, 2012 10:28 am

Yes it looks that way.

The comment under the review itself, not for the weaker one but the full 8.2% version - there are two Riptides from BrewDog - suggests the beer doesn't "bite"; maybe this is an amused reference to the brewery's name.

But it's plenty potent in all respects. I can't recall ever having Riptide, but I guess now I have!

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Postby mintjellie » Sat May 12, 2012 11:53 pm

Cameron's Brewing Company

Auburn Ale
3.58/5 rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper body with two fingers of off-white head. Great retention and lace.

Smells doughy. Nice toast and caramel aromas. Citrusy hop aroma.

Good caramel malt flavour. Nutty. A little bit buttery. Citrusy hops. Mild but balanced bitterness.

Body approaching medium with low carbonation. Smooth and creamy. Seems like a decent session ale, it tastes pretty good but theres nothing here that would offend a macro drinkers tastebuds.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 08-04-2009 20:46:51


Cream Ale
3.13/5 rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep gold in colour, topped by a finger of somewhat lacy and retentive head. Toasted bread aroma, simple but pleasant. Malt-forward and doughy flavour with some light fruity esters giving it some apple character. A noticeable buttery flavour detracts from it's flavour. Minimal hopping is restrained to a very light bitterness in its short finish. I think this tastes pretty good for what it is. Light-bodied with an abundance of soft, finely textured carbonation. Not bad, but not something I care to return to.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 05-12-2012 01:04:08


Dark 266
3.38/5 rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep chestnut brown colour; ruby highlights show when held to light. Topped by two fingers of tan head. Fair retention and good lace. Mute aroma - toasted bread and light coffee notes, a hint of burnt sugar. Pleasant but quite weak. Malt forward, burnt toast and black coffee flavour, lightly sweet; finishes clean aside from some light char that lingers in the back of the mouth. Light-bodied with low carbonation. Thin, but not quite watery. A little slight on character, but what's there tastes decent.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 05-13-2012 04:45:03


Lager
3.88/5 rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale straw in colour, topped by a finger of pale white head. Head is lacy but poorly retained. Mild cereal aroma, simple but with no apparent flaws. It tastes extremely clean, which I suppose is an appropriate yardstick to measure this style of beer by. No buttery or vegetal character. None of the green apple skin that mars many industrial lagers like Carling or Canadian. This just has a simple and delicate grainy flavour with the barest hint of hop bitterness, and an almost non-existent finish.

Light-bodied with pretty low carbonation for the style, a pleasant change from the prickly feel common to many industrial lagers. This wont excite the average Beer Advocate, and that's ok. This isn't meant for them. It's clean, simple, light, and meant to be all things to all people - or in other words, it's meant to be nothing to anyone. I think it succeeds.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 05-12-2012 01:38:44
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Postby G.M. Gillman » Sun May 13, 2012 1:49 pm

Plowman's Ale: This tastes very English now, I recall an APA profile when it first came out but I like it much more now. It has a Maris Otter-type richness and some flowery hop whether of Albion or not I don't know, but it's Kentish in style. Burton Pale Ale was never better in that the hop and malt are very well blended, it's a seamless flavour. I'd boost the hops but it's fine as it is. It reminds me a bit of the old Toby's Ale but is much better.

Carlsberg Lager Draft: This has a nutty, characteristic taste I like, for some reason it goes very well with wings. Sampled recently at the Crown and Dragon aka Art of Pub at Yonge and Dav. It's nice to visit a pub once in a while that is not strictly beer-focused and I always liked it here, the staff are friendly and it gets a wide range of clientele from the area and beyond.

Pilsner Urquell: That cooked barley taste is as good as ever and the fall Saaz hops are still shining into early winter (when it was brewed). Class act for pils, still the world's best IMO.

Granite Best Bitter: I don't have this too often but having a pint with Ron recently decided to try it again and was reminded how good it is. I prefer it to Best Bitter Special, and it seems the perfect blend of an English and American pale ale style.

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Postby matt7215 » Tue May 15, 2012 8:26 am

Wellington County Dark: 473ml can, a nice dark bitter or under hopped EPA, highly drinkable, but very safe

Guinness: 500ml nitro can, looks perfect like always, no aroma, very little roasted malt flavour, really bland, still cant figure out why this is so popular but its not offensive

Railway City Dead Elephant: 473ml can, best this has ever tasted, the malt body was leaner then any other time ive had it and the colour is now deep golden rather then burnt orange, there was also some desernable american hop flavour and aroma rather then just late grating bitterness, id give this can a 3.5/5 wish is way better then this beer has ever been for me, still not a stand out but its nice to see this product moving in the right direction
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