Belle Royale – Driftwood Brewery (Canada)

Belle Royale – Driftwood Brewery, 9% ABV, (Victoria, BC)

On the side label:

“Each bottle of this Belgian-inspired ale is laden with 1/2 pound of Morello sour cherries, which pack an orchard’s share of flavor! This beer’s high alcohol content will ensure successful ageing [sic] for those interested, but don’t deny yourself the pleasure of this beer fresh!”

My Notes:

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I like it: deep sour cherry flavor
  • Where I got it: St. John’s Liquor, Oct-2011
  • How much: $8, 650ml
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Yes

Tasting Notes: pours reddish-copper, minimal quickly dissipating head, medium CO2 size, barely any retention, zero lacing, average speed CO2 streams. Very fragrant Morello cherry nose, almost cotton candy like. Deep 2/10-sour 5/10-tart cherry start, puckering mouthfeel at 14C, slight bitterness near the mids, zero traces of alcohol. Low-medium complexity, medium-depth, great balance, good carry, excellent drinkability. This beer goes especially well with salty foods. Quite refreshing when drunk at 3-5C. Creeper alcholic effect.

Pangaea – Dogfish Head (USA)

Pangaea – Dogfish Head, 7% ABV, (Milton, Delaware)

On the side label:

“Pangaea is the name of the super continent. Before the land masses separated we were all just one happy family. Our Pangaea has a hint of ginger and great complexity, celebrating our communal history. Best drunk cool not cold from a snifter or wine glass. Think globally. Drink globally. Ages with the best of ‘em.”

Urbock 23 – Schloss Eggenberg, 9.6% ABV, (Austria) (listed in the “1001 Beers you must try before you die”)

My Notes:

  • My Rating: B+
  • Why I like it: ginger, fruity, and balanced
  • Where I got it: W. 16th, in 2010
  • How much: $24, 1 pint 9.6 fl. oz.
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Yes

Tasting Notes: pours semi-dark orange, small quickly dissipating head, minor ringed retention, micro CO2, slow-moving runny lacing, slow-moving CO2 streams. Lightly malted ginger, a bit of orange. Half-sharp CO2 tingly & creamy start, candied ginger in the mid, minimal ginger burn, deep 3/10 bitterness near the end, off-dry clean finish. Notes of bitter orange peel, pink grapefruit, and honey. Medium-high complexity, medium-depth, long finish, excellent balance, great transitions, good carry. An exceptionally balanced and nuanced ginger beer.

Chateau Jiahu – Dogfish Head (Milton, DE, USA)

Chateau Jiahu – Dogfish Head, 9% ABV, (Milton, DE)

On the label:

“9000 year old Chateau Jiahu stands apart as the most ancient, chemically-attested alcoholic beverage in the world. Its re-creation is based on painstaking excavation by Chinese archaeologists of Jiahu in the Yellow River basin, state-of-the-art microanalysis of pottery residues by American laboratories, and the inspired ‘Neolithic” brewing of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Chateau Jiahu, then as now, opens a window into the world of our ancestors.”

My Notes:

  • My Rating: A
  • Why I like: fruity honey beer!
  • Where I got it: W. 16th, 2010
  • How much: $28, 1 Pint 9.4 fl.oz.
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: Yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Yes way

Tasting Notes: pours golden orange, slightly cloudy, smallish head, ringed retention, micro CO2, thicker runny lacing, lots and lots of CO2 streams. A rather muted nose. Drinks really really creamy up front, velvety silky soft CO2, 6/10 tangy fruity green grape, mild 2/10 bitterness in the mids, slightly bitter ale finish. Medium complexity, medium depth, excellent carry, love the transitions, medium length. Very well balanced and doesn’t drink like a beer at all – more like a sparkling fruit wine. Could drink this over and over again. Also the 9% ABV is completely hidden.

Old Hooky – Hook Norton Brewery, 4.6% ABV, (Oxon, UK)

On the back label:

“A beautifully balanced beer, fruity by nature with a well-rounded body and the suggestive echo of crystal malt. Brewed for the discerning drinker, try it as an accompaniment to meat dishes. Cheers!”

“We have been brewing award winning beers since 1849. Our traditional Victorian tower brewery, deep in the Oxfordshire countryside, is still powered by a steam engine.”

“Our beers contain natural ingredients – malted barley and wheat, hops and yeast. With pure spring water from our own spring-fed well.”

My Notes:

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I kinda like it: Great complexity for a low ABV beer
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: <$6 for a 500ml, Summer 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Yes
  • Listed in the “1001 beers you must taste before you die”

Tasting Notes: pours amber-orange-brown, decent thick head, sporadic sticky lacing, micro CO2, lots of CO2 streams. Medium malts on the nose. 5/10 mildly citrus fruitiness upfront mixed with medium malts and hints of nuttiness. Stays sweet through the mids and smoothly transitions into an off-dry hoppy bitterness that lingers at the top of mouth and partially down the throat. This beers drinks strangely “warm” and the carbonation is so ultra soft that all the flavour sensations are vibrant and clean <- quite unique. Medium-high body (amazing for 4.6% ABV), medium complexity, medium-long length, medium depth, 7/10 carry. Brewed with barley and wheat. Solid, worth 1x try.