Unibroue A Tout le Monde Megadeth Saison

Brewer: Unibroue, Chambly, Quebec
Style: Saison
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description:  This saison ale was brewed at the request of Dave Mustaine, lead singer of heavy metal band Megadeth. It uses a cold (aka. dry) hopping technique and, to date, has the lowest alcohol content of any Unibroue beer.

Tasting Notes: This is not the first Saison I’ve had by Unibroue (the other being their Blonde de Chambly), but it is one of just a few new beers that I’ve sampled from this brewery in recent years. And it was a bit light in terms of alcohol and flavor – which is surprising, given the brewery’s reputation. But certainly came through in terms of it being crisp and refreshing. It also has the characteristic yeasty effervescence of a Saison, with hints of spice, lemon and a bitter soapy finish.

Addendum: This beer recently won a gold medal by the Beverage Testing Institute. With a score of 93 points, the beer qualifies as “Exceptional”.

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Unibroue Grande Reserve 17 2016

unibroue_17_2016Brewer: Unibroue, Chambly, Quebec
Style: Extra Strong Ale
ABV: 10%
IBUs: 35

Description: This Trappist-style ale is a limited release which is put out every year to mark the brewery’s anniversary. In 2014 (the last time I tried it), it garnered a number of accolades, which include two Gold medals from the 2014 World Beer Championship (for vintage 2013 and 2014), a Gold Medal from the World Beer Awards (2013).

Tasting Notes: The 2016 Reserve was an definite improvement over the last I tried, which was in 2014. Consistent with the previous vintages, it packed some strong malt, alcoholic warmth, notes of raisins, brown sugar, and some yeasty effervescence. But this time around, it was also less coarse tasting and has a subtler malt base. This made for an all-around more pleasant drinking experience.

Appearance: Dark brown, cloudy, thick lacy head and strong carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, brown sugar, dark fruits, strong yeasts
Taste: Smooth, sweet malts, brown sugar, raisins, dates, yeasty effervescence
Aftertaste: Lingering sweet malt flavor, alcohol, yeasts
Overall: 8.8/10

Unibroue La Resolution

La_Resolution_Unibroue_410x4351Brewer: Unibroue, Chambly QC
Style: Spiced Ale
ABV: 10%
IBU: 21.5

Description: This limited-release beer was inspired by a special recipe that brew master Jerry Vietz concocted for his friends, and which is now available for a limited time. This spiced ale is extra strong, and like all Unibroue products, is refermented in the bottle using active yeast cultures.

Tasting Notes: This is the first time since I tried Unibroue Grand Reserve 17 about two years ago that I’ve had anything new from this brewery. And this was a certainly familiar territory, coming from Unibroue. Despite its strength, this beer is rather mellow in character. The spices are present, but subdued, the rich malt strikes a nice balance between strength and sweetness, and the yeast backbone provides some nice effervescence.

Appearance: Deep brown, near-opaque, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong malts, figgy pudding, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, allspice
Taste: Roasted malt, good tang, brown sugar, mild yeast, notes of allspice
Aftertaste: Lingering yeasts, malt bitterness, spices
Overall: 8.5/10

Ottawa Trip 2013

trafalgarHi folks! As it is time for the ife and I to do our biannual trip to my old hometown of Ottawa, Ontario, I will be offline for a few days. However, I expect to return to this site in a week’s time with plenty of new reviews since we’ll be visiting several old haunts and new while we’re there. These will include the Clocktower Brewhouse, an old favorite of mine which has expanded since I left; the Beyond The Pale Brewery, another brewpub operation that has several locations across town; and of course, the Mill Street Brewpub and Vineyards Bistro, two old favorites I would like to find myself in again.

And of course, I will be sure to sample the latest from Ontario’s craft brewers of late. These include just about anything from the Wellington Brewery, the Trafalgar Brewery, the McAuslan Brewery, the Muskoka Brewery, and Creemore Springs. And given our proximity to Quebec, I’m sure I’ll be dipping into anything from La Brasseurs Du Temps, Dieu Du Ciel, and Unibroue as well!

Have yourselves a great post-Thankgiving weekend and get out to enjoy this fall weather as much as possible. And see you all when I get back!

Unibroue Grande Reserve 17

Don’t I feel privileged! It seems that I came into possession of a bottle of Unibroue’s Grande Reserve 17. Back in 2007, Unibroue commissioned this specialty brew in honor of their 17th anniversary. Seems a bit random, but who am I to complain?

Having looked into this beer’s background, it was apparent that it was not widely distributed. How to explain then how I just found it in a Cowichan Bay Liquor Plus right outside of town? I guess they got that distribution problem licked! Needless to say, I was intrigued, bought myself a bottle, and began sampling as soon as I got home.

To break it down succinctly, this is an extra strong brown ale (10% alc/vol) that is refermented in the bottle (much like all of Unibroue’s products) and also aged in French Oak. In many ways, I was reminded of Trois Pistoles, another extra strong brown ale made by Unibroue which has been known to kick things up a notch! But of course, they go a step further with this special reserve, aging it longer, and in oak, which makes for a stronger, suppler taste.

Appearance: Dark brown and translucent with a thick head
Nose: Sugary with notes of spice and toffee
Taste: Sweat malty taste, notes of molasses and brown sugar and spice
Aftertaste: Lingering spiciness and mild bitterness
Overall: 9/10

Yeah, I’ve come to approve of just about anything Unibroue produces. But that’s only because they have never disappointed me with any of their products. This latest installment in the growing lineup of Unibroue products that I’ve sampled only adds to the ball.

La Brew Ha Ha, Happy St. Jean-Baptiste Day Everyone!

Forgive me for getting in on this holiday late, but I’ve been busy with family these last few days. Lots of birthdays and visits happening! But now that I’m back, I thought I’d spend some time playing catch up. As usual, our trip up north took us through Duncan and some of the best beer shopping on the island.

And wouldn’t you know it, I happened to find a specialty beer that was brewed in honor of this day, at least for the residents of Squamish, BC. Known as La Brew Ha Ha by Howe Sound, this Belgian-style Blonde Ale is a strong customer that is consistent with the brewing traditions of the La Belle Provence! As someone who’s sampled many a Quebec brew, I can attest to the fact that traditional Belgian beers are quite the hot ticket there. And whether it is Unibroue, Brasseurs du Temps, McAuslan, or Dieu du Ciel!, they are adept at producing some pretty strong ales!

Appearance: Straw gold, cloudy and translucent
Nose: Distinct scent of bananas and Belgian yeast
Taste: Light malt taste, giving way to strong notes of banana
Aftertaste: Coarser malt flavor, mild clove spice, and lingering yeasty flavor
Overall: 8/10

Overall, I was reminded of La Fin Du Monde, but with a lighter flavor than its predecessor. It was also highly reminiscent of a strong white ale, in that it had some strong notes of banana and clove spice as well. And the fact that it combined these together in a faithful way is consistent with what I’ve come to expect from Howe Sound and their specialty lineup.

Happy belated St.Jean-Baptiste Day everybody! Stay tuned for my coming review in honor of Canada Day, dedicated to a beer that was brewed in honor of Canada Day: Innis and Gunn’s Canada Day 2012!