Whistler Unique Brew Limited Ed. Small Batch Dubbel Down

Whistler_dubbeldownBrewer: Whistler Brewing, Whistler, BC
Style: Dubbel
ABV: 7.5%
IBUs: 24

Description: As part of their Unique Brew Limited Edition Small Batch series, this beer is available only in Boston Rounds and only for a limited time. A Belgian-style Dubbel, this beer is fermented using Belgian yeasts to create a rich, dark, malt-forward ale.

Tasting Notes: It’s been awhile since I’ve had anything from Whistler and I was pleasantly surprised to see some limited edition Boston Rounds at my local store. And this beer was good as Dubbels go, with plenty of the rich, sweet malt characteristics of this Belgian style. Brown sugar, molasses, and dark fruits combine with a slight tang and some alcoholic warmth that made me smile.

Appearance: Dark brown/amber, translucent, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong malt, brown sugar, molasses, raisins, dates, alcohol
Taste: Rich malt, hint of brown sugar, mineral tang, raisins, dates, alcohol
Aftertaste: Lingering mineral tang, alcoholic bite and warmth
Overall: 8.5/10

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Dieu du Ciel Solstice d’été (Summer Solstice) Sour Wheat Ale

Dieuduciel_summerBrewer: Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, St-Jerome, Quebec
Style: Sour Wheat Ale
ABV: 5.9%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: This seasonal brew from Dieu du Ciel is inspired by the German-style of wheat sour beer. Wheat malts which are allowed to ferment pre-boil accumulate lactic acid, which is then complemented with the addition of whole raspberries during the fermentation process – creating and acid and fruity summer beer.

Tasting Notes: I was intrigued by the combination of a fruit-infused wheat with a sour twist. The summer fruit does a good job of balancing the acidity a little and providing some sharpness to the wheat malt base. But it was admittedly a bit on the tart side for my taste. There are plenty of notes in this beer, but the lactic acid tends to overpower them. Nevertheless, a good summer beer and another good offering from a great brewery.

Appearance: Deep ruby, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild wheat malt, acidity, yeast, strong fruit esters, raspberries 
Taste: Smooth malt, strong tart burst, lactic acid, mild raspberry flavor finish
Aftertaste: Lingering tartness, raspberry fruit and yeast
Overall: 7.8/10

Les Trois Mousquetaires Hors Series Gose

TroisM_goseBrewer: Les Trois Mousquetaires, Brossard, Quebec
Style: Gose
ABV: 3.8%
IBUs: 9

Description: In addition to being a summer seasonal and a resurrected style, this beer has the added distinction of being brewed using malts that were exclusively grown in Quebec. These include wheat, oats, and Pilsner malt, which are then bittered with the slightest hint of Noble Mittelfrüh hops. The end product is then combined with salt and coriander to create a true Gose.

Tasting Notes: Gose’s – a style of beer native to Leipzig, Germany – are apparently making a comeback these days. And while this one was a bit mild for my taste, it did combine some rather interesting flavors and profiles. You get mild wheat malts mixed with a hint of salt, some sour flavor reminiscent of unsweetened lemonade, and just a touch of sharp coriander. Definitely an interesting brew and a great summer drinker!

Appearance: Dark golden, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Wheat malt, lemonade, yeasts, hint of coriander spice
Taste: Smooth malt start, salt, yeasts, sour lemonade, coriander spice, mild herbal hops
Aftertaste: Lingering sour yeasts and lemon, hint of coriander spice and saltiness
Overall: 8/10

Bad Tattoo Los Muertos Cerveza Negra

Badtattoo_negroBrewer: Bad Tattoo Brewing, Penticton, BC
Style: Light Bock
ABV: 5%
IBUs: 25

Description: This offering by Bad Tattoo is fashioned in the tradition of German Bocks, but with a Mexican twist. This involves dark malts that are fermented using lager yeast and at lower temperatures, but with a shorter fermentation that results in a crisp, dark lager reminiscent of a Mexican dark.

Tasting Notes: I was very much reminded of two Mexican lagers when I drank this beer, the first being Negra Modelo and the second being León – a beer I thoroughly enjoyed while touring southern Mexico in 2006. A dark malt base, which has hints of cocoa, coffee, brown sugar, and a good mineral tang, manages to bridge the worlds of a bock with your basic dark lager, and in a way that is crisp and refreshing.

Appearance: Dark brown, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, roasted nuts, hint of cocoa, hint of espresso, mild hops
Taste: Roasted malt, chestnuts, hint of brown sugar, cocoa, mineral tang, dry hops
Aftertaste: Lingering mineral tang, roasted malt flavor
Overall: 8.3/10

Fernie Hot Saw India Brown Ale

Fernie_hotsawBrewer: Fernie Brewing, Fernie, BC
Style: IPA/Brown Ale
ABV: 7%
IBUs: 60

Description: This is a Winter/Spring seasonal by Fernie, available between the months of January and March. And as the name suggests, it combines the brewing styles of a brown ale with an IPA. A dark malt base is combined with hop back and dry hopping methods to create a balance of toasted malts with hoppy bitterness.

Tasting Notes: I was a little late to this brew, but was glad I caught up with it. A Brown IPA combines many aspects that are pleasing to the discerning beer-drinker. Notes of caramel, coffee, licorice, and roasted nuts combine with a hoppy profile that create a balanced but powerful brew.

Appearance: Dark brown, opaque, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Toasted malt, roasted nuts, coffee, licorice, caramel, citrus, piney hops
Taste: Dark, rich malt, roasted nuts, notes of coffee, licorice, piney hops
Aftertaste: Lingering roasted malt and pine hop bitterness
Overall: 8.3/10

Dieu du Ciel Corne du Diable IPA

bouteille-biere-corne-du-diableBrewer: Dieu du Ciel, St-Jerome, Quebec
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: Unspecified

Description: This beer, who’s name is French for “Horn of the devil”, is a contemporary interpretation of the classic English India Pale Ale. Combining West Coast and North American IPA styles, the end result is a strong, hoppy offering with plenty of malt flavor and varied bitterness.

Tasting Notes: This was definitely a good take on the North American/West Coast-style of IPA. A smooth malt base, with a mild tang and slight sweetness, are paired with notes of citrus, herbs and pine that create a balanced and strong brew. Another good offering from this Montreal-based brewery!

Appearance: Deep golden, cloudy, sediment, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Good malt base, notes of piney hops, hint of lemon and herbs
Taste: Smooth malt, hint of sweetness, dry hops, notes of pine, citrus, herbs
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness, pine and citrus rind
Overall: 8.5/10

Deschutes Distelhauser Doppel Dinkel Bock Ale

Deschutes-Doppel-Dinkel-bottleBrewer: Deschutes Brewery, Bend, OR/ Distelhauser Brewing, Tauberbischofsheim, Germany
Style: Spelt-Wheat Bock Ale
ABV: 10.5%
IBUs: 17

Description: This imperial Bock was a collaboration between the Oregon-based Deschutes and the German Distelhauser breweries. In addition to Chocolate Wheat, Carared Malt, Pilsner, and Wheat Malt, the beer also features a good dose of Spelt Malt. It is then bittered using a combination of Bravo, US Tettnang, and Citra hops to achieve a rich, malt-forward ale.

Tasting Notes: This brew definitely came as advertised – rich, malty, sweet, and quite strong. Though a bit overwhelming, it certainly did pack an interesting profile, with notes of banana, sugars, and spices. In this sense, it was quite reminiscent of other strong wheat bocks (Aventinus and Dumduminator) and some pretty strong notes of molasses.

Appearance: Deep brown/amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong malt, brown sugar, molasses, allspice, mild herbal hops

Taste: Sweet malt, mineral tang, brown sugar, banana, cloves, spices, mild alcoholic bite
Aftertaste: Lingering malt flavor, minerals, sweet banana, alcohol
Overall: 8/10