Archive for March, 2012


Dieu du Ciel! (french translation: Oh my God!) is one of Canada’s most prestigious craft breweries. Located in Montreal and St. Jerome, Quebec, Dieu du Ciel! produces many great beers including Canada’s two best beers Aphrodisiaque and Peche Mortel (according to ratebeer.com and beeradvocate.com) Blanche Neige (french translation: Snow White) is a Belgian Strong Ale by style but described by Dieu du Ciel! as a Double Wit brewed with coriander, curaçao, cinnamon and clove. At 8.3% ABV, Blanche Neige is certainly higher in alcohol than the average Belgian Wit.

Pouring out a bright and brazen light amber with orange hues along the glass, Blanche Neige looks simply spectacular in the glass. A couple of finger of light beige head dies down slowly to a finger of dense foam. I can’t see any carbonation at all in the body. The nose has big spiced and wheaty notes with aromas of clove, coriander and cinnamon and floral yeast esters. A lingering allspice and cinnamon waft out of the glass. The middle is sweet and malted well with big wheat and toasty caramel notes accompanying the spices as they intrude into the finish. A bit overwhelming spiced taste mid palate through to the finish, but a very tasty brew regardless. Warm and pungent alcohol on the finish dulls the spices a little, but they linger on in the aftertaste. Medium bodied and slick in the mouth with a nice richness in the taste.

Overall, an unbalanced beer with the spices tipping the scale on the malts and the non existant hops. A tad too sweet in the middle with a big alcohol finish. This is a really unique brew and one that I will definately revisit.

Grade: A-

Next Review: Paddock Wood Maibock

My recent reviews have been on a few International craft beers, so I thought I would finally get back to basics and tackle a Canadian session brew. Anarchist Amber Ale from Cannery Brewing is a 5.5% ABV amber ale by style brewed in Penticton, BC.

Pour out a bright coppery amber with dark brown notes in the body and a thin cap of dispersed yellow head. The nose has a mild toasty and caramel malt accentuated aroma with a hint of floral hop notes as well as an overall mild sweetness. The taste is nutty and toasty with boring cereal malts and a few floral and grass notes. Mild citrus and bitter hop presence on the finish, but no astringency or dryness on the finish. A bit watery and thin in the mouthfeel, but a well balanced beer throughtout. Overall, a solid session brew with a nice balanced taste.

Grade:B-

Next Review: Dieu du Ciel! Blanche Neige

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Ommegang Witte

Brewery Ommegang is an American brewery located in Cooperstown, New York that specializes in Belgian style brewing. As a matter of fact, Ommegang is owned by Duvel Moortgat, one of the largest and most well known Belgian brewery’s. At 5.1% alcohol by volume and with the reputation of bigh alcohol Belgian beers, I can only speculate that this must be one of their lowest ABV brews. The Witbier or Belgian White is a typically lightly colored, cloudy and spiced with ingrediants such as cloves, coriander and orangle peel.

Pouring out a bright and cloudy golden yellow with a thick and foamy pure white head, Ommegang Witte looks absolutely delicious. Hazy and cloudy in the body, I can barely make out a few tiny bubbles rising to the surface.  The nose is wheaty and yeast prominent with big spiced notes. Nuances of lemon and citrus fruits, ester based yeast notes, floral and grassy notes. An overall beautiful and well composed aroma.

The first sip is a tap tangy and sweet in the middle with a full wheaty malt and light spiced notes. Not an overwhelming brew, but nice lemon and spice notes carry on into the aftertaste. The finish is a bit long and tart with light astringency and bitterness. As I sip on this one, a light barnyard funk present noticable and carries on until I finish this beer. The tart lemon and beautifully composed spice mixture is the best quality of this beer. Overall, I am pretty impressed by this wit; its well balanced, the lovely tart finish and lemony taste are beautiful, and is finish is crisp and refreshing.

Grade: B+

Next Review: Cannery Brewing Anarchist Amber Ale

Wild Rose Foothillz Pilz

Wild Rose Brewery recently switched from pot stopper seasonals to the more popular format 650mL bombers. The second seasonal beer in the new bottles, Foothillz Pilz is a Czech style pilsner brewed to 5.2% alcohol by volume.

Foothillz Pilz pours out a bright and crisp golden yellow in the body with a thick and foamy pure white head. Tons of sticky and foamy head clings aroud the entire glass. Fizzy and sparkling carbonation cascades upwards throughout the body. For a pilsner, this is a simply beautiful looking brew. The nose has a crisp and grainy malt aroma with big grassy and light citric notes. I also get a surprising lemon aroma as well as light floral aromas and caramel malt sweetness.

My first sip has a delicious caramel and grainy malt backbone with light caramel sweetness. A bit of a grassy and florally hop taste in the middle gives the tell-tale signs of Saaz hops. Notes of lemon, lemon rind and a few subtle spicy notes. Not too much of a citrus bite from the hops, but a delicious hop flavor on the finish. Light astringency and a dry, surprisingly bitter finish. The hop flavors and citric bitterness prolong into the aftertaste. In general, this is a really delicious session Pilsner. Well balanced, crisp, clean and well hopped for the style. Overall, a really nice session ale.

Grade: B+

Next Review: Ommegang Witte

Ris a la M’ale…what is that. This beers namesake comes from a traditional Danish dessert served at Christmas. Ris a la M’ande is a rice pudding with cream and cherry sauce invented during the Second World War as a filling but cheap dessert. As such this beer is made with the main ingrediants of Ris a la M’ande; rice, lactose in place of cream and cherries. At 8% ABV, Ris a la M’ale is a stronger in alcohol content than the average fruit beer. Mikkeller is well known for making (or rather contracting) unusual beers, so lets take a look at this one.

Ris a la M’ale has a bright orange and ruby red highlighted amber body. A massive pinkish colored head rests atop the lightly carbonated body. The appearance of Ris a la M’ale on the whole has a pinkish or reddish hue. The nose has a sweet brown sugar and mollasses note throughout as well as light toasty and grainy notes.  Rich and sweet nose overall with candied sugar notes as well as a light hop presence and tart cherry notes. A really unusual beer so far, but I’ll wait to taste it until I pass judgement.

The rich and sweet molasses and brown sugary notes are the most evident in my first sip. Light astringency and tartness on the finish. Ris a la M’ale has the smooth and creamy texture of a cream ale. The cherries aren’t present in the palate at all, but after a few more sips I began to notice a light tartness and mild sweet fruit notes. Swirling this beer, I get some good retention and a few sticky lacing rings on the glass. This isn’t a very complex beer, but it is a well balanced and tasty combination of interesting flavors. About ready to finish this one, I got a light sour and tart flavor on the finish. Regardless of my confusion with the last few sips, this was a good beer overall.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Grade: B

Next Review: Wild Rose Foothillz Pilz

After a month away from writing (midterms suck big time), I thought I would post about Alley Kat Brewing’s newest Big Bottle. The Bitter Truth ESB is an English style session brewed with British Maris Otter malts. At 4.9% ABV, The Bitter Truth is actually a bit boozy for this style. Before I go ahead and dig into this one, I must mention that  I absolutely love the name of this beer.

Pouring out a bright, sparkly copper and highlighted with redy amber notes.  A thick, dense finger of yellowish head dies slowly leaving alot of big bubbles and a few rings of sticky lacing on the glass. Some light carbonation is present in the body. The nose is sweet and mildly malted with notes of caramel, toffee, grass, floral hops and some light citrus fruit notes. A lovely mild nose with a prominent hop aroma.

My first sip has nice caramel and bready notes in the middle with some light sweetness. The finish has an interesting hop affect; not much citrus, grass clippings, floral, pine and a mild but lingering astringency. The Bitter Truth good clean taste throughout with a really solid balance between the Maris Otter malt backbone and the prominent hop throughout. Overall, this is as good an ESB as many of the common British breweries produce.

Overall, The Bitter Truth is simply a really solid and well executed session Bitter. Kudos  Alley Kat.
Grade:B+

Next Review: Mikkeller Ris A La M’Ale