Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Beer # 155 Lake of Bays Stitches Oktoberfest Lager

Stitches Oktoberfest Lager
NHL Alumni Signature Series

Join here: Signature Series Club

Lake of Bays Brewing Company

Baysville, Ontario, Canada
Oktoberfest Lager
8.0 % ABV Brown Glass Bottle 750 ml
$11.95 (Canadian) At LCBO 

Twitter: @LB_brewing @NHLAlumni

Well, finally back for the last instalment of the masked men series (very sadly I may add). And to round out the lineup of larger than life beers for larger than life men, we have Gerry Cheevers. Cheevers was born in 1940 in St. Catharines Ontario, and got his start playing for the Toronto St. Michael's Majors. He only played 2 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs one win and one loss, but he went on to be a star in the net for the Boston Bruins. He netminded the Bruins to the Stanley Cup in 1970 and 1972, and later went on to be a successful coach for Boston and colour commentator for both The Hartford Whalers and Boston. He finally ended his hockey career scouting draft picks for Boston up until 2002. But What really set Cheevers apart was his iconic mask. So iconic in fact, that when the Hockey News rated the best masks of all time Cheevers mask scored 221 points out of a possible 300, the 2nd place mask got 66 points. The mask's origin came from an incident where Cheevers was hit in the mask with a puck during practice. He dodged into the dressing room and his Coach followed him in and discovered Cheevers having a beer (too bad Lake of Bays wasn't around back then...) Harry Sinden Boston's coach at the time yelled at Cheevers and said if he wasn't injured he had to be out on the ice. As he suited back up to head out John Forestall the team trainer drew a stitch-mark on his mask as a joke. The joke caught on and every time Cheevers took a puck to the mask, a new stitch-mark was added. The final mask looks like something out of a Tim Burton night terror... and it hangs on the wall of Gerry Cheevers' Grandson's bedroom. Hopefully it will find it's way to the Hockey Hall of Fame someday, as the great Gerry Cheevers did himself, being inducted in 1985 only five years after his storied 24 year long playing career.

I remember watching Cheevers as a very young boy. He was a good old fashioned stand up goalie that stopped pucks like a brick wall. He is retired now, raises Thoroughbred race horses. I hope he is sitting back tonight enjoying a beer as much as I am enjoying one named in honour of him.

Onto The Last Masked Man...

Dark copper in colour with a short off-tan head. Deep malty aroma with some caramel, licorice and vanilla. Toasty bread and grain on the first sip, with lots of caramel sweetness. Hints of citrus and vanilla. Mild hoppy bitterness through the middle to balance the sweetness. Green herbal spicy hops. Finish is toasty malty and sweet. Aeration gives us caramel, sweet, anise, turbinado sugar, and a hint of vanilla.

Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 

Cost: 5/6 Pass
Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 6/6 EXCEPTIONAL
Re-Order:  6/6 EXCEPTIONAL
Experience:  6/6 EXCEPTIONAL

Final Thoughts:

Textbook beautiful, Oktoberfest. Sweet, malty, hint of green hops and mild spice. Very much a food beer, sausage would be traditional, and delightful. But barring that, BBQ, hotdogs, a hamburger, a nice steak, potato chips, all would go well with this beer. The alcohol is noticeable, share with a friend, or eat a good meal with it. Please enjoy responsibly, but do not hesitate to grab one... they will not be here much longer.



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