Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer – Sprecher Brewing (USA)

Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer (Seefurth family) – Sprecher Brewing, 4.7% ABV – 16oz, (Glendale, WI, USA)

“Ale brewed with Oregano, Basil, Tomato & Garlic

  • My Rating: C
  • Why I it’s okay: gimmicky beer with a thin body
  • Where I got it: Liquor Depot Strathcona
  • How much: $6, June 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: just for kicks

Tasting notes: pours clear medium dark yellow/orange, small head, micro CO2ish. Oregano and garlic on the nose. Mellow oregano, basil and garlic up front, light malts, the body fades into wateriness, ends with a rough medium bitter (3/10) finish. Medium complexity, light-medium depth, okay transitions, okay carry, okay drinkability. Nothing super awesome but interesting nonetheless. The wateriness killed it for me.

Delirium Tremens – Huyghe Brewing (Belgium)

Delirium Tremens – Huyghe (family brewery since 1654), 8.7% ABV, (Melle, Belgium)

On the back label:

“Delirium is triple fermented to give you a beautiful strong, golden blond Belgium beer with a creamy white head.”

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I like it: crisp rich sweetness and chamomile brightness, also love the bottle
  • Where I got it: Liquor Depot Strathcona
  • How much: $5, June 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes
Tasting notes: pours pale golden yellow with a  decent foamy head, microish CO2. Bright chamomile on the nose. Drinks creamy-fizzy, alcohol mixed with chamomile, honey, lemon, heaviness in the form of alcohol and sweetness(8/10), finishes alcoholic and mildly hoppy bitter (4/10). Medium complexity, medium-high depth, good transitions, good carry, okay drinkability. Too aggressive alcohol and sweetness make it hard for me to love.

George! (Imperial Stout) (RETIRED) – Mikkeller (Denmark)

George! (Imperial Stout) (RETIRED) – Mikkeller, 11.11% ABV – 250ml, (Denmark)

  • My Rating: B+
  • Why I like it: crazy depth and clean smoothness
  • Where I got it: Sherbrooke
  • How much: $5.30 (after 10%), June 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: maybe
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours dark coffee black, minimal head, micro CO2, gunky sediment. Roasted coffee and slick malts on the nose. Thick viscosity, burst heavy malts up front, mixed with lightly roasted coffee, dark milk chocolate, alcohol, soy sauce, transitioning into a light sourness (3/10), and grapefruit citrus lingering bitter finish (5/10). Medium complexity, high depth, great transitions, great carry, good drinkability. It is lacking in more spice or vanilla for me to truly love it.

Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special 18 Reserve (Scotland)

Ola Dubh Special 18 Reserve – Harviestoun Brewery, 8.0% ABV, (Hillfoots Village, Scotland)

On the stringed ad around the bottle:

“Ola Dubh (or ‘Black Oil’) is so named because it is gloopy and viscous. This limited release has been matured in casks from Orkney’s award winning Highland Park distillery and to add complementary whisky notes to what is already an amazing brew. It is chocolatey with a roasty, bittersweet aftertaste.

Highland Park 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky was named Best Spirit in the World by F. Paul Pacult; it offers toffee sweetness, almond nuttiness and a prolonged, smoky aftertaste.”

  • My Rating: B
  • Why I like it: controlled sweetness and subtle flavours
  • Where I got it: Keg n Cork
  • How much: $8.50, June 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: mm…no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes
Tasting notes: pours jet black, small head, micro CO2. Dark malts on the nose. Thick heavy roasted malts up front, followed by a friendly gentle toffee-chocolate sweetness (4/10), while in the background there is a persistent smoky woodiness, mixed with soy sauce, and light ash. Finish is dense and light bitter (3/10). Medium-high complexity, high depth, great transitions, great carry, good drinkability. I think this one needs a touch more sweetness to balance out the thick and heavy flavours.

Special Reserve St-Ambroise (Bourbon Wood-Aged) 2011 (Quebec, Canada)

Special Reserve St-Ambroise (Bourbon Wood-Aged) 2011, 9.2% ABV, (Montreal, Quebec)

On the tin:

“St-Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout is Quebec’s tribute to the late 1700’s English Imperial Stouts, brewed for the Russian courts of Catherine the Great.

Made from a blend of barley malts, St-Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout is infused with Cascade, Goldings and Willamette hops, resulting in an outstanding hop-character with a smooth finish. Bourbon wood aged, this full-bodied ale has a rich, smoky aroma with hints of of vanilla, espresso and chocolate.

Ratings: A

Notes: pours ink black, nice creamy head. Roasted coffee on the nose. Extremely creamy silky mouth feel, a burst of bittersweet coffee up front, milky chocolate, vanilla, burnt oak, smokiness, light alcohol. Medium-high complexity, high depth, great transitions, great carry, excellent drinkability.

Country Girl Kabocha Ale – Baird Brewing (Japan)

Country Girl Kabocha Ale (Pumpkin Ale) – Baird Brewing, 5.8% ABV – 633ml,(Numazu, Japan)

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I like it: easy-drinking malted-spiced beer
  • Where I got it: Sherbrooke
  • How much: $8.50 (after 10%), June 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours dark brownish/orange with a small head, micro CO2, lots of active CO2 streams. A pretty muted nose. Fizzy burpy CO2 up front, sweetness hits first (8/10), followed by medium malts, deep pumpkin, cinnamon, light caramel, ginger, and a lingering bitter finish (7/10). Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, decent carry, decent drinkability. No particular flavour stands out, but balance is what this beer showcases.

Bad Hare Chocolate Stout – Rhinelander Brewing (Monroe, WI, USA)

Bad Hare Chocolate Stout (aka Minhas Chocolate Bunny Stout) – Rhinelander Brewing, 5.5% ABV, 75 IBUs, (Monroe, WI, USA)

On the front label:

“A dark and silky rich stout loaded with chocolate flavors. Is there chocolate in my beer or beer in my chocolate?”

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I like it: smooth gentle layered chocolate/coffee flavour and sweetness
  • Where I got it: Liquor Depot @ Whyte
  • How much: $4, June 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours coffee black with minimal head, micro CO2, few barely visible CO2 streams. A bit of coffee on the nose but not much else. Soft sweetness (4/10), silky-creamy-fizzy mouthfeel, tastes of light sweet cacao, mild coffeeburnt malt, and a long lingering gentle bitter (2/10) coffee finish in the mouth and throat. Low-medium complexity, low-medium depth, good transitions, okay carry, decent drinkability. I like this because it’s not super-aggressive in chocolate flavouring or stoutiness – everything is subtle and the balance is there.