Random Reviews

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chris_schryer
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Postby chris_schryer » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:07 am

Just did a search for a thread on Arrogant Bastard and didn't find one 10 search pages in, so I'll just post this here. Reviewed on my blog (first time I'd had it, too), and found it to be exactly what I expected. Big brash hops. Not balanced by any classic sense of the word, but certainly showed layers and complexity. Quite enjoyable if you like them big. Excited to see these at the LCBO by summer(ish)
http://www.torontobeerblog.com/beer-rev ... rewing-co/
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Postby G.M. Gillman » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:38 pm

Some of these were in Montreal over the weekend:

1) Saint Landelin, a Xmas version stored in the fridge on its side for 2 years. A real winner, the corky-like notes when all this type of beer is young (many Belgians share it) are softened into something much more complex and drinkable. Threw a lot of sediment but it sank fast when the bottle was upended. Classic stock ale and I'd hazard, "pace" M. Belgian, that stocked ales across a swath of Northern Europe tasted like this at one time.

2) Junction Conductor draft at Harbord House. Beautiful rich-tasting pale ale, combining American and English influences. The hop character is much more prominent than in the canned version. One of our best APAs when in sterling condition as here.

3) Ballantine India Pale Ale, aged in the fridge about 7 months. I was surprised how good this was, better than when fresh yet not all that different. The marked grapefruit edge of a fresh bottle, which I feel is not a historical attribute and would be better left out of the beer, softens with time, all to the good.

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Postby G.M. Gillman » Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:01 pm

Wellington S.P.A. For I think the first time in my experience (it's been at least 2 years since I've tried this), the beer has a clean fresh taste and no damp paper aroma. Lightly sweet and mildly-hopped, it is a reasonable approximation of an English pale ale but the brewery should consider boosting the hop rate both in bitterness and aroma. The underlying flavours are very good but I'd prefer them intensified.

My favourite form of the Welly beers (any of them) is always cask but the Russian Stout and Iron Duke are favourites in the bottle too.

Fuller E.S.B. This was the bottled one, from TBS. I'm always disappointed in the canned or bottled forms, and keg is really no different, so I guess I just don't get the taste. There is a strong caramel note, kind of "toasted", which doesn't work IMO. The London Pride too for different reasons. On cask in England these beers are superb but IMO they don't take to pasteurized bottling and canning well.

If I was Fuller I'd replace the current forms with bottle- and can-conditioned beers. If Sierra Nevada and others can put great pale ale or IPA in a bottle or can, why can't Fuller?

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Postby Belgian » Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:01 pm

G.M. Gillman wrote:Schlenkerla Weizen, Really good, sharp wheat notes but plenty smoky too.

Trying this now, steak on the grill. What a nice summer beer! Sure it has a whack of smoke to it, in a good way if one has some tolerance. But the round wheat ale base is completely different from the Märzen we've solely had at the LCBO for 500 years, and drinking this cellar temperature from a Fullers Pint glass I would say this has a cask ale like texture. The fruity tones are a welcome contrast. Try it cool but not ice cold!
* Edit * - I see this is bottle-conditioned explaining the texture. What a fine creation.
And like Cask ale I want to keep sessioning it - one bottle is not quite enough!

Ayinger Weizen Bock - more like a regular pale Weizen on steroids. Really nice mouth-watering flavors and aromas, featuring banana grape and apple. Gentle overtones of lemon and hints of clovey phenols. A masterful brew using primarily sweet flavors to make something interesting.
* update * a corked half-bottle on day two tates even better (positive aeration?) perhaps mixing in more of the suspended years adds to the flavor plus there is a notable phenolic spiciness under the other dry-sweet flavors, and some herbal and minty hops. Kind of a little mystery here in this one!
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Postby G.M. Gillman » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:15 pm

That Schlenkerla Weizen is great, the real deal. Certain beers just have the "right" taste and lately I'd include also in that group: Golden Pheasant (quite close to Urquell when very fresh but lighter and a bit different); DAB Dark; Junction Conductor draft; Stone IPA; a fine dark weizen locally brewed drank at Against The Grain Leaside but can't recall brewery name for the moment; and Nicklebrook's Malevolent; also, albeit subject to the caveats I mentioned earlier, Wellington SPA.

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Postby chris_schryer » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:39 am

Hey guys,
Got a bottle of Love Fuzz from Black Oak and did up a review of it for the blog. It's a bit of a strange beast, but I really like it. Not quite a BIPA, but definitely too caramelly/molassesy to be a stock pale ale. It's quite something.
Full review here: http://www.torontobeerblog.com/beer-rev ... rewing-co/
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Postby Kish84 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:16 pm

chris_schryer wrote:Hey guys,
Got a bottle of Love Fuzz from Black Oak and did up a review of it for the blog. It's a bit of a strange beast, but I really like it. Not quite a BIPA, but definitely too caramelly/molassesy to be a stock pale ale. It's quite something.
Full review here: http://www.torontobeerblog.com/beer-rev ... rewing-co/

I liked the cask I had of it a lot more than on tap. Haven't tried it in bottles.
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Postby sprague11 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:37 am

I'll give the Schlenkerla Weizen a bit more love here as well, and I'm not a fan of smoked beers for the most part. Grabbing a few more from the LCBO after work today.
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Re: Random Reviews

Postby G.M. Gillman » Sun May 03, 2015 2:41 pm

Marston's Oyster Stout: This current bottle is the best I've had: fresh natural beer taste where the malts, hops and a mineral note all meld to perfection. No Burton "snatch" (the sulphur smell Marston beer usually has), which is correct and a nod probably to the London origins of porter. Not sure what contribution oyster makes but it doesn't matter - classy English beer which lives up to the reputation of the venerable Marston.

Sawdust City Lone Pine IPA (can). Very powerful grapefruit-like nose and said fruit dominates the taste too. Reminds me of Anchor Liberty Ale in style even though no Cascade is used (Liberty is Cascade-only). 4 other PNW hops are used but they combine to taste like Cascade IMO. APA and American IPA are not my favourite styles but this example is virtually perfect - I doubt anyone could improve on it. Would go great iced with food.

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Re: Random Reviews

Postby darmokandjalad » Sun May 03, 2015 2:58 pm

G.M. Gillman wrote:Marston's Oyster Stout: Not sure what contribution oyster makes but it doesn't matter - classy English beer which lives up to the reputation of the venerable Marston.


In the case of Marston's Oyster Stout, I am pretty sure that the 'oyster' is a food pairing suggestion rather than an ingredient. Their website tells a story about how porters and oysters used to be 'poor man's beer/food', but makes no mention of actual oysters being used to make the beer.

There are certainly oyster stouts that use actual oysters in the brewing process, but I don't believe Marston's is one of them. There's also a blurb on wikipedia that supports this assertion, but of course, it's wikipedia, so grain of salt, etc.

Either way, it's definitely a good English-style session stout.
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Re: Random Reviews

Postby G.M. Gillman » Sun May 03, 2015 3:49 pm

Good to know, thanks. Oysters were added originally to stout and other beer to neutralize or prevent acidity (the alkali in the shell did this). There was no intent to add a fishy taste to beer, so if it doesn't have any, I'm good with it.

My suggestion is to drink it barely chilled, this way the qualities come out.

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Re: Random Reviews

Postby Belgian » Wed May 13, 2015 5:36 pm

Bellwoods Farmhouse Saison 750ml from 02-2013!

Plenty of vibrant bottle-conditioned carbonation left in this provision ale (giant cloud-like head) & flavor has mellowed into a fruit-leaning profile. Ripe pear and grape and even some banana, plus some lemony-earthy sass with underlining spicy phenolics.
Prickle of alcohol and vestige of hop dryness. Fine persistent carbonation lends an excellent balance to the mouthfeel and flavor, which has a basic wheat and fruit sweetness against the slight lemon.

I will have to drink my double-barrel aged Saison soon!
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Re: Random Reviews

Postby midlife crisis » Mon May 18, 2015 1:59 pm

Was there a thread on local session beers under 4% abv? If so I can't seem to find it. In any event, my new favourite is Neustadt Ever Ard Mild, 3.5%. Had the good fortune to be passing by the village over the weekend, so stopped in to the cosy tasting bar. I was very impressed with this mild, which packs a wallop of flavours for 3.5%. Some milds can come across as thin and insipid, but those words do not describe Neustadt's. Highly recommend if, like me, you are a fan of the style.
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Re: Random Reviews

Postby JeffPorter » Tue May 19, 2015 8:48 pm

Hey Everyone first time posting on the fancy new site.

Thought I'd put this out there. Pleasantly surprised with Black Creek Empirical Ale.

Dark amber. long lasting lacy head. Nice English Golding type hop not floral. Mix this with caramelized notes of the malt and you get a bit of dark fruits in the nose.

Taste is better than the nose..lots of late hopping. Not overly bitter. A small bite but good English Hop flavours.

For perspective even though I don't want to admit it....before this I had a Uber fresh Ploughmans Ale and I much prefer this.
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Re: Random Reviews

Postby Belgian » Fri May 22, 2015 7:24 pm

Alesmith Speedway Stout - holy cow what a powerful, delicous beer. I've wanted to try this for about ten years, and the 'muchness' of Alesmith's beer-crafting makes their products extremely rewarding. I could envisage the barrel-aged version being even more mouth-coating, if that's even possible.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Golden Pheasant (Slovakia)
Both have a respectable biscuit malt profile, and while Golden Pheasant or Czechvar might be the perfect foil to a hot crunchy schnitzel, I might stick with the Goose IPA as my main fridge beer for the forseeable future (while see how Stone IPA impresses me upon its hopefully pristine arrival.)
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