Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Old Tasting Notes

Things are gonna be a little hectic for the next couple of weeks. The judging for the Canadian Brewing Awards is taking place this weekend and I have a bunch of prep work ahead of me for that, and I have a bunch of other stuff on the go. That being said, there may not be many blog posts here this week other than some regurgitated work from past TAPS issues, including these reviews from the 'Tasting Notes' section of the mag.

Alley Kat Full Moon Pale Ale
While not the colour of a full moon, the fresh pale ale pours a peachy-cooper colour that is protected by a thin biscuity white lasting head. Dry hopping is evident in the nose as a citrus punch escapes from the glass joining a sweetness of honey from roasted caramel malt. Tipping the glass provides tastes of sweet malt up front, a mild citrusy touch in the finish with a mild carbonation and a medium body. Would match nicely with chicken parmigiana or a slightly spicy seafood dish.

Garrison Grand Baltic Porter
Garrison has some through some changes over the last couple of years, expanding their portfolio to include a number of seasonals. Their latest, Grand Baltic Porter, is mysterious as it sits in its black bottle, cap attractively dipped in black wax. Once cracked, it pours a dark reddish brown producing a huge rocky tan head that quickly dissipates into the glass. There is a lot happening in the nose. Molasses, dates, dark chocolate, vanilla and candied fruit sugars play nicely with warming alcohol notes. Dry medium body with bourbon features, raisins, more vanilla, cocoa and honey in the taste. Perfect for finishing off the last days of winter.

Hockey Valley Traditional Irish Stout
"Stout need not be heavy" is an advertising tag line used by a large national brewery that will remain nameless. Problem with their product is that it lacks any real flavour. Not an issue in this case. A lovely creamy mocha coloured thick head graces the top of this pitch black Irish Stout produced by talented brewer Andrew Kohnen. The head quickly dissipates, leaving behind nice tan lacing. The aroma is in keeping with the requisite style guidelines of an Irish stout as notes of chocolate, light coffee, roasted malts and the sweetness of licorice leap from the glass. With each sip comes some bitter chocolate that shares room with a nuttiness of the malts and a sweet caramel flavour. Everything blends well together in its surprisingly light body and provides an enjoyable drinking session. Now a year round offering and silver medal winner at this year's Canadian Brewing Awards, Hockley Valley Traditional Irish Stout would make a nice addition to your holiday season.

Mill Street Barley Wine 2007 & 2008
Holy booze Batman! This 11% seasonal offering from Canadian Brewery of the Year packs a serious boozy aroma as I pop the swing top cap and pour the contents out of its attractive ceramic German style bottle. There are also notes of fruit, specifically apricots and apples in this golden- copper-bronze beer that mix together with a touch of toffee and caramel. A mouthful of this English style barley wine contains a citrus punch with a warming whiskey quality. The 10% 2007 edition has had a year to mellow out and runs smoothly over the tongue featuring similar characteristics as the 2008, with a more drinkable approach. Two well crafted barley wines brewed in the barley wine barren land known as Ontario, these Gold medal winning beers are well suited for our harsh Canadian winters along side a good cigar in your favourite chair.

Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale
The fall months have been a long time coming, and released just in time to welcome them with open arms is another one of the Great Lakes seasonals; Pumpkin Ale. The beer pours a clear amber colour with a thin white rim of sturdy head and leaves behind a bit of lacing. Hints of pumpkin come wafting from the mouth of the glass and are joined by other earthy aromas of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon, which are all added during the brewing process. The taste consists of the above mentioned ingredients, and a small spicy hop presence combined with sweet malt balances this autumn brew out nicely. Serve with a slice of mom’s homemade pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving.

Creemore Springs Traditional Pilsner
The Traditional Pilsner was released in the summer of 2007 to mark Creemore’s 20th anniversary in the brewing industry and features a brilliant deep golden colour with a big fluffy white head. Each sip produces nice white lacing around the pint glass and notes of toasted biscuity malt with subtle hints of spicy, grassy, floral hops round out the aroma. The tongue it awakened with that spicy tone that a Czech pilsner offers along with a flavourful malt backbone that provides a dry herbal finish. The village of Creemore supplies the soft clean water that makes this Traditional Pilsner a refreshing beer for the warmer months.


Andrew said...

Small correction - the Hockley Stout actually took home a silver at last years CBA's.

Troy Burtch said...

Andrew - correction made. Sorry for the confusion.

Keep up the great work.


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