Friday, 15 December 2017

The 2-4 Beers of Christmas Day 6: Dark Helmüt

Beer # 396 Dark Helmüt

Brewery: Beau's All Natural Brewery



Type:
 Independent Microbrewery    Est.:  2006

Location: Van Kleek Hill, Ontario, Canada
Beer Style: Imperious (*ahem* Imperial) Schwarzbier
ABV: 7.3%      IBU: 33
Format: Brown Glass Bottle  Size: 600 ml
Cost: $5.49 ($21.95 for a 4 bottle mix Pack) CAD   Purchased At: LCBO

beausallnatural


    @beausallnatural



All rise in the presence of... Dark Helmüt.

It's not exactly news, but we love movies here at Pint Jockey Headquarters. And if you put a gun to our heads and asked us what the one absolute greatest Sci-fi space adventure Parody starring Rick Moranis was... well we could only come up with one answer... SPACEBALLS.


Now that I think about it I guess that's the only answer... But I digress. What does this has to do with Stealing air from Druidia? Wait... No... We came here to use the Schwarz... Schwarzbier that is. Swarzbier is a dark lager rich in malt and coffee nuances. Just like Spaceballs is rich in silliness and pop culture references. Dark Helmüt is a beer from Beau's Wild Oats series which pops up every now and then and it is actually a beer I have had on my bucket list for some time. Mainly because... well... SPACEBALLS.

So without further ado...

PREPARE TO TASTE BEER





Ok... lets just go...


Pours an Imperious dark chestnut brown with a short helmut (I mean head) made up of small bubbles. Rich smoky malt, coffee, and chocolate dominate the nose. Roasty toasty malt hits you right off the bat followed by some good bitter coffee, and espresso. Light in body, warming and slightly sweet. Alcohol is present but takes a back seat to the flavour. Nutty, molasses, black licorice, brown sugar, and light green hints of hops spark at the end. Aeration gives us more brown sugar with carmelised figs, raisins and some prunes. Hints of dry grass, hazelnuts. hints of whiskey and vodka on the finish.


Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 


Cost: 5/6 PASS

Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 5/6 PASS
Re-Order:  5/6 PASS
Experience: 5/6 PASS
Christmas Cheer 5/6 PASS


Final Thoughts:


Wow, full of flavour and good mix of roasty and bitter flavours. Certainly lives up to the legacy of one of my all time favourite movies. A delicious beer if you can get your hands on one.

CJT


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The 2-4 Beers of Christmas Day 5:Maple and Thistle Rye Red Ale

Beer # 395 Maple and Thistle Rye Ale

Brewery: Innis and Gunn Brewing Company



Type:
 Independent Brewery    Est.:  2003

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Beer Style: Flavoured Rye Red Ale
ABV: 5.9%      IBU: ?
Format: Brown Glass Bottle  Size: 500 ml
Cost: $9.95 CAD     Purchased At: LCBO

innisandgunnuk


    InnisandGunnUk

 For interesting beers, one can always look to Innis and Gunn. The Scottish brewers tend to play with their beers, specialising in ageing beers in barrels and attempting unusual combinations. Each year there brew a beer for Canada Day which usually includes Canadian ingredients or Canadian Whiskey Barrels. This year, as it was Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation they brewed the Maple and Thistle Rye ale to celebrate Scotland and Canada's long friendship. The beer was brewed with malted Canadian rye and then aged for 150 days in 150 Canadian Oak casks. When maturation was complete they added maple syrup and Scottish thistle before bottling.




The result is a very rich rye beer with deep herbal notes and a touch of sweetness. I was trying to get this one done for #Canadabeermonth but it got overlooked, so I wanted to make sure it got the attention it needed in this special year for Canada.

Onto our beer.


Pours a dark chestnut with a generous tan head made up of small bubbles. Aroma is rye bread, sweet malt, some chestnut and hints of bitter greens. First sip gives us sweet honey/ maple syrup with notes of smoke. Rich rye bread and distinct herbaceousness. whisky is evident on the finish as is a light woodiness.Aeration brings out the taste of new oak, woody, whisky, malty, light caramel and vanilla.

Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 


Cost: 5/6 PASS

Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 5/6 PASS
Re-Order:  5/6 PASS
Experience: 5/6 PASS
Christmas Cheer 5/6 PASS


Final Thoughts:


Innis and Gunn always makes a solid beer, and this one is no exception. Well rounded very drinkable. (Possibly better in the summer when it was released...) These may be finally sold out or my still be in select LCBOs... You may have to hunt a bit, but it is worth the search.

CJT


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The 2-4 Beers of Christmas Day 4: Raspberry Coco Lait

Beer # 394 Raspbeery Coco Lait
Moonlight Kettle Series

Brewery: Muskoka Brewery


Type:
 Independent MicroBrewery    Est.:  1996

Location: Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada
Beer Style: Flavoured Milk Stout
ABV: 4.5%      IBU: 25
Format: Aluminum Can  Size: 473 ml
Cost: $3.25 CAD     Purchased At: The Brewery




Back with another Moonlight Kettle series. This one was actually February's release, but I believe this was a re-issue for the holiday season. (I could be wrong). Milk stouts are wonderful. I keep forgetting how much I love them and I wish there were more on the market. For those of you who do not know what it is. A milk stout has had Lactose added to the brew for a hint of creamy sweetness. Tonight's beer has also has cocoa and raspberries added to it to give it a chocolaty-raspberry milkshake kind of feel. 

Ok... I'm sold. Let's try this


Pours a deep chestnut brown with a fluffy tan head made up of small bubbles. Aroma is chocolate raspberries a touch of smoke and dark caramel. Hints of earthy dark malts mingle with touches of wood. First sip is sweet and warming raspberry dripping in chocolate. Lips are left sticky from the lactose, hints of coffee and caramel and a nice earthy finish. Aeration brings out some caramelization, notes of toast and smoky malt.



Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 



Cost: 5/6 PASS

Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 5/6 PASS
Re-Order:  5/6 PASS
Experience: 5/6 PASS
Christmas Cheer 6/6 EXCEPTIONAL


Final Thoughts:


Great beer. An excellent example of a well-rounded milk stout. very flavourful and very Christmassy. These are still available at the Brewery.

CJT


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The 2-4 Beers of Christmas Day 3: 1 year (plus a few days) Aged 11/05 2016 Edition

Aged 11/05 Can Conditioned Sour Belgian Tripel

Collaboration with Nickel Brook Brewing Company


Brewery: 
Sawdust City Brewing Company


Type:
 Independent Microbrewery/Brewpub    Est.:  2012

Location: Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada
Beer Style: Belgian Sour Tripel
ABV: 11.05%      IBU: 
Format: Aluminum Can Size: 473 ml
Cost: $6.50 CAD     Purchased At: The Brewery

Nickel Brook Brewing Company



Type: Independent Microbrewery Est.: 2012
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada

nickelbrookbrewing        sawdustcitybeer


    @NickelBrookBeer    
@SawdustCityBeer



Ok, yes, I know... I was supposed to do this beer 6 months ago... Better late than never. So this can has sat in the Fridge of Fame for a little over 12 months. Long ago I would, like many others, would have thought this beer would be bad, and throw it out (or more likely drink it later into the night after I have already had a few. Yes. I have no shame.) However, I have come to realise under certain conditions, that bottle ageing (or can ageing in this case) is not only possible but very intriguing in its results. What beers can be aged? Well, that depends.Higher alcohol beers are good candidates, heavier styles like porters, quads, and the like fair very well. Anything bottle conditioned usually because they have active yeasts that keep the beer "alive" and continue to change the flavours over time. If you want to try ageing I may do a more in-depth article soon, but when in doubt... ask your local craft brewer. tell him or her you are interested in ageing some beers at home and could they make a few suggestions. I'm sure they will be happy to oblige.


Before we head onto our beer tonight I want to remind you about my notes for the beer way back in November of 2016:


Pours a cloudy gold colour with a fluffy white head made up  of small bubbles. Aroma is a warm sweet and sour nose with lots of yeasty bread, nuts, honey and fruit, with hints of grapes and wine. Alcohol is up front and warming. First sip is tart, but still slightly closed in flavour. Very bready, and nutty with hints of brandy. Aeration gives us a full and creamy mouthfeel with notes of spice, hints of black pepper and apricot.


The beer was a late release last November. While the beer is usually ready for November 5th, Sawdust was can conditioning it and it was not quite ready. So the cans came with a band on the top and you had to "pinkie swear" not to open until the 21st of November. I did mine around the 25th so the initial can conditioning was done. However, there is still active yeast in there working on the beer. So the band also advocated trying it again in 6 months. I did buy a second can to try in 6 months. However, I didn't get to it until now. Interestingly, the beer is still on sale in the brewery (I may have picked up another can to try next year!). 

Onto our beer.


The colour is still bright gold but it has taken on a slightly more cloudy appearance. The can nearly exploded when I opened it and the fluffy white head was MASSIVE. The nose is incredible with bright citrus notes, some breadiness, a little funk from the Brettanomyces and a small amount of nuttiness. First sip gives us a very smooth slightly funky beer. Definitely, still, wine-like taste although the grapiness is more muted. Hints of oak, light caramel, a little more woodsy, and earthy. The finish has a little black pepper and hints of liquorice. Aeration brings out the alcohol with a boom. My cheeks warmed right up! It also brings out hints of banana and clove. Interestingly the brett fades as the beer warms.

Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 


Cost: 5/6 PASS

Colour: 5/6 PASS

Beer Style: 6
/6 
EXCEPTIONAL
Re-Order:  5/6 PASS
Experience: 6/6 EXCEPTIONAL
Christmas Cheer 6/6 EXCEPTIONAL


Final Thoughts:


Phenomenal experience. Ageing this beer was a wonderful experiment and it is great to compare it to its younger self. There are a still a few of these left in the brewery. I would suggest grabbing at least two and trying one now and one maybe next year!


CJT


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The 2-4 Beers of Christmas Day: 2 Howling Gale Scotch Ale

Beer # 393 Howling Gale Scotch Ale, Moonlight Kettle Series

Brewery: Muskoka Brewery



Type:
 Independent MicroBrewery    Est.:  1996

Location: Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada
Beer Style: Scotch Ale
ABV: 6.2%      IBU: 16.5
Format: Brown Glass Bottle  Size: 330 ml
Cost: $2.95 CAD     Purchased At: The Brewery

MuskokaBrewery


    @MuskokaBrewery



Well, we haven't been up to our neighbouring town of Bracebridge for a while, and since it was recently was their Santa Claus Parade I figured it would be a good day to add their entry to the 2-4 Beers of Christmas. For those who are not familiar with the Moonlight Kettle Series, it is a collaboration between the brewmaster and one of the other staff members of the brewery. The staff member picks a style and a punny name and they brew up a beer, once a month. Howling Gale was their November release.


Onto our beer.

Pours a darker amber colour with a little tinge of orange.  Nose is malt forward with floral notes of honey some spice and a touch of black pepper. First sip is mildly tart with a deepening of the honey tone, some biscuit. Slightly sour finish with some funky malt and a touch of caramel. Aeration gives us a burst of sweetness and florals and a little wet grain.




Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 


Cost: 5/6 PASS

Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 4/6 PASS
Re-Order:  4/6 PASS
Experience: 4/6 PASS
Christmas Cheer 4/6 PASS


Final Thoughts:


Let's start off by saying this is not a bad beer. It's just not up to Muskoka Brewery's usual stuff. The beer seems a little hollow and the flavours are undeveloped. The caramelization is too light and it leans more to the sour rather than the bitter. A good effort but I will pass on a second.


CJT


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Friday, 1 December 2017

The 2-4 Beers of Christmas Day 1: Préaris Quadrocinno


Beer # 392 Préaris Quadrocinno


Brewery: Vligende Paard Préaris Brouwers



Type:
 Contract Brewery    Est.:  2011

Location: Oedelem, Belgium
Beer Style: Flavoured Quadrupel
ABV: 9.5%      IBU: 
Format: Brown Glass Bottle  Size: 330 ml
Cost: $3.75 CAD     Purchased At: LCBO

 N/A


    @prearis


Our initial offering for your holiday stocking this year is a coffee flavoured Quad from Belgium. Préaris started out as homebrewers until they decided to submit a beer to the prestigious Brouwland Beer Competition in 2011. Their entry took the grand prize so they decided to try and make a go of a brewery. They took their recipes to De Proef Brouwerij which is a brewery designed to brew small-batch beers for third parties. They continue to brew under contract to this day despite having expanded they portfolio greatly. Perhaps one day they will find the investment to open their own building.

Onto to tonight's brew


Pours a dark chocolate brown with a light brown head made up of small bubbles. aroma is dense. Lots of sweet malt fresh brewed espresso rich chocolate and new leather. Alcohol is evident right away and warms the chest as it goes down. chocolate and espresso dominate the attack. a good sweetness rounds out the bitterness and leaves the lips a bit sticky. hints of burnt sugar caramel and touches of baking spice make this a very warming and Christmassy brew. aeration brings out a deeper spice more alcohol and more leather





Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 



Cost: 5/6 PASS

Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 5/6 PASS
Re-Order:  5/6 PASS
Experience: 5/6 PASS
Christmas Cheer 5/6 PASS


Final Thoughts:


This is a great beer to start off the 2-4 Beers of Christmas. It embodies what I am looking for. Deep, dark, complex flavours. Warming, delicious a nice beer to sit and savour over the holidays. Try one you will like it.


CJT


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