New Beer!

Here are some recent sampling that I decided to add to my repertoire. As usual, the samplings were pretty diverse, covered a bunch of different breweries on several different continents.

Courage Directors: This product comes to us all the way from Bedford, England. Courtesy of the Charles Wells brewery, which I remember somewhat fondly from my youth. As a kid, Wells was a favorite camping item for my family, since it was their brewery alone that made beer that came in plastic torpedoes. You ever try getting cans or bottles into Algonquin Park, you’re gonna fail! In any case, Courage Director’s is a cask ale that is a deep amber and has rich, fruity malts and a light, dry hop bite that of is reminiscent of Czech hops. Clean and inoffensive, its a nice ale, though just a bit little unsurprising. 3.75/5

Pacific Western Swcharzbock: The name literally means “black bock”, meaning a very dark lager that’s been made using choice malt and hops. And I can attest to the fact that this is name is pretty accurate! In terms of color, the Schwarz is black, opaque, and virtually indistinguishable from stout. But whereas stouts tend towards the heavy and bitter, this beer is clean, smooth, and has a light hint of burnt sugar that calls to mind molasses, and this comes through in the aroma as well. A delightful surprise, and one which came highly recommended. Just be warned, at 8% alc/vol, this bock packs a punch which the taste manages to conceal! 4/5

Traquair Jacobite Ale: Here is a beer that I see plenty of, regardless of whether I’m at a BCL, or an LCBO, or a private liquor store. Maybe it’s luck, maybe this beer gets around. I don’t know, all I do know is that I had sampled this very beer back in Ottawa many years ago but forgot it’s defining characteristics. Luckily, I decided to buy another one recently and re-sampled it, making sure to take notes as I did. But first, some background… This beer is brewed by Traquair House, which is apparently the oldest “inhabited” house in Scotland, and was brewed in honor of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. And it’s also made based on a historic recipe that dates back to the 18th century. The result is a refreshing and clean-tasting dark beer that has rich malts, a nice smell that calls to mind fresh baked bread, and a herbal finish that includes the distinct taste of coriander. Not a bad addition, and definitely enough to pique my interest in this breweries regular lineup! 4/5

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