Schieve Tabarnak – Le Trou du Diable (Shawinigan, QC, Canada)

Schieve Tabarnak – Le Trou du Diable & Brasserie de la Senne Collaboration, 5% ABV, 600ml., (Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada)


on the back label:

“The Schieve Tabarnak! is a light, hazy blonde beer with greenish highlights. Brewed with rye and a selection of atypical hops, it has a very floral scent reminiscent of roses with a fruity aroma which culminates into a very long finish, leaving the drinker wanting for more. This collaboration with Brasserie de la Senne gets the first part of the name stems from a Brussel curse word (Schieven architeckt!, meaning twisted architect). The Quebec curse word of course speaks for itself…”

Ingredients: water, malted barley, rye hops, yeast.

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  • Style: Belgian Ale
  • Taste: complete sweet banana fruity sour tangy bitter finish
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.50 (after 20% off) – 600ml., October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Visual: (Their own bottle for their brewery, raised lettering and devil on the bottom, odd size 600ml). (Cellared for 1 year). Pours golden straw yellow with a ridiculously massive initial 90% head, thick retention, a plethora of singular tight streams.

Nose: sweet thick banana wheat malt (though no wheat) with floral nuances. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, sweet-sour impression

Mid-palate: sour-tangy undertones, (lvl-3-sweetness), ripe banana, controlled soft pukiness, pineapple-lemon curd

Finish: wheat malt exhale, stealth subtle hopped bitterness

Summary: A complete balance of sweet, sour, tangy, fruity, malty AND bitter. Great complexity and drinkability. Recommended.

 

Poperings Hommelbier – Brouwerij Van Eecke (Belgium)

Poperings Hommelbier – Browerij Van Eecke, 7.5% ABV, 75cl., (Poperinge-Watou, Belgium)


info from ratebeer.com:

“Hommel is the local abbreviation of humulus, from the botanical name for the hop plant. Confusingly, it also means bumble bee in Flemish. Poperings Hommelbier is a hoppy, golden-bronze, ale. It is made from a blend of winter, summer and aromatic pale malts.”


  • Style: Belgian Ale
  • Taste: Unbelievable undetectable alcohol sweet liquid lager barley malt honey light hops
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $4.70 CAD (after 10% off) – 33cl., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: unlikely
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes definitely

Visual: Pours almost clear pale deep orange with suspended bits of yeast, super clustered activity like a snow globe, 0.5cm lasting frothy head.

Nose: light sweet floral liquid barley malt, light apple notes. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: super fine-smooth CO2, crisp bite

Mid-palate: metallic-lager liquid barley malt, (lvl-4-sweetness), light short tangy

Finish: grainy barley malt exhale, honey, subtle light bitter hops

Summary: Unbelievable that this is 7.5% – too smooth to be true. Not a ton of pronounced flavour but a superbly executed balance of ultra-creamy mouthfeel, barley-grain, plus a little extra citrus-floral notes from the hops that compliment the whole experience. 3/4 through and still amazed at how smooth it is.

Spencer Trappist Ale – Spencer Brewery (Spencer, MA, USA)

Spencer Trappist Ale – Spencer Brewery., 6.5% ABV, 11.2 fl.oz., (Spencer, Massachusetts, USA)


on the back label:

“Inspired by traditional refectory ales brewed by monks for the monks’ table, Spencer is a full-bodied, golden-hued Trappist ale with fruity accents, a dry finish and light hop bitterness.

St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, is home to a community of Trappist monks and the first American Trappist brewery. Following the Benedictine tradition of ora et labora (prayer and work), the monks pursue a simple life of contemplative prayer, manual labor and hospitality. The brewery helps support the monks and their charitable outreach.”

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  • Style: Belgian Ale
  • Taste: Balanced honey-chamomile light brown sugar barley malt dry subtle bitter
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $6.30 CAD (after 15% off) – 11.2 fl. oz., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: good quality, but not worth the CAD price tag

Visual: WARNING, GUSHER! Pours dirty orange brown with large suspended sediment, a small head with a fine 1mm layer of micro retention, clusters of active streams.

Nose: apricot-persimmon, honey-chamomile barley malts – interesting. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp, tingly- small fizzy

Mid-palate: hints of apricot, honey-chamomile, (lvl-4-sweetness), light brown sugar barley malt

Finish: dry barley malt exhale, a tad thin, hints of woodiness, subtle bitterness

Summary: Decent all around quality of entry, taste and smoothness. I enjoyed the balanced sweetness and crisp mouthfeel. It’s also nice that it finishes dry and clean, unlike a typical Belgian which might get too heavy. The length I find somewhat short however.

Jardinier – The Bruery (Placentia, CA, USA)

Jardinier (Belgian-style Pale Ale) – The Bruery, 4.9% ABV – 1 pt 9.4 fl.oz., (Placentia, CA, USA)


on the back label:

“Jardinier, which is French for ‘gardener’, was inspired by the fresh, thirst quenching beers on the Belgian dinner table. A perfect beer for any occasion, casual or ornate. Jardinier is best enjoyed fresh. The ideal serving temperature is 45°F (7°C). Best servied in a tulip or wine glass.”

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  • Style: Belgian Ale
  • Taste: Creamy crisp soft bodied tangerine wheat malt dry wheat malt
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $11.80 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 1 pt. 9.4 fl.oz., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no, only slightly engaging

Visual: Hefty bottle. Pours opaque pale golden orange with a LARGE foamy head, 3mm retention with sticky lacing, barely visible singular micro streams.

Nose: pineapple wheat, Belgian yeasty, tangerine. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, foamy-airy CO2, light-bodied entry

Mid-palate: tangy banana wheat malt, yeasty-airy, (lvl-2)-sweetness, background soft bitter hops, tangerine hop oils,

Finish: pineapple exhale, wheat malt palate rough DRY

Summary: Solid quality mouthfeel, decent body for a less than 5%er, good brightness as advertised. Not particularly deep (as expected), some palate roughness in the finish. A table beer indeed, not too interesting.

Albert 3 The Space Monkey – Le Trou du Diable (Shawinigan, QC, Canada)

Albert 3 The Space Monkey (Universal Beer) – Le Trou Du Diable, 5.49% ABV, 600ml., (Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada)


on the back label:

“Albert is a brave beast who was launched into space by the Trou du Diable’s team in an avowed effort to conquer those palates perpetually searching for dry and hoppy beers. The data collected inside its pressurized cockpit indicate the presence of malty flavors, combined with a hint of light, but lasting bitterness. We are confident that, just like Albert, you will be blown away. Try it and get a taste of heaven!”

Ingredients: water, malted barley, malted rye, malted wheat, hops, yeast.

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  • Style: Belgian Ale
  • Taste: Sour-tangy yeasty wheat malt intrusive funk trace banana-apricot lingering hops
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $8.70 (after 5% off) – 600ml., May 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Visual: (Their own bottle for their brewery, raised lettering and devil on the bottom, odd size 600ml). Heftier than average bottle cap. Pours cloudy yellow-orange with a massive super foamy lasting thick head, barley visible scattered bubbles.

Nose: yeasty wheat malt, apricot. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: huge crisp bite

Mid-palate: background sourness, wheat malt yeasty, (lvl-4-sweetness), funky banana-pineapple-apricot fruity

Finish: subtle lingering bitter hops, almost salty

Summary: Decently drinkable when chilled, the funk and hops start drying out as the beer warms. More funk than fruit, some grains in the mids.

Christmas Slaapmutske – Browerij Slaapmutske (Belgium)

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Christmas Slaapmutske, 7.4% ABV, 33cl., (Melle, Belgium)


  • Style: Belgian Ale
  • Taste: Brown sugar dark prune/date malty sweet cola thick body
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $4 (after 10% off) CAD – 33cl., December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50, pretty standard

Visual: (Cellared for 3 years). Pours muddy brown-reddish with a very small dissipating head, ringed micro retention, lots of steady streams.

Nose: caramel brown sugar, prune/plum. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-slick

Mid-palate: background light subtle sour, (lvl-6-sweetness), toasted malt, brown sugar, prune/date

Finish: cola malty soft sweet finish.

Summary: Pretty standard malty dark fruit Belgian ale, good body, good balance, good drinkability – All around good, nothing too spectacular.

Hommelbier Nieuwe Oogst Fresh Harvest 2014 – Brouwerij Van Eecke (Belgium)

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Hommelbier Nieuwe Oogst Fresh Harvest 2014 – Browerij Van Eecke, 7.5% ABV, 75cl., (Poperinge-Watou, Belgium)

printed on the back of the bottle:

“1624 Watou, Flanders fields, even before Belgium was born, we already brewed in our traditional family brewery. 1981 hommelbier became the ambassador of the Poperinge Hops (which is called hommel in our local dialect). 2014 The heat in June and heavy rain in August, have marked this exceptional ale with unique malt and aromatic hop taste.”


  • Style: (fresh hopped) Belgian Ale
  • Taste: Cream-fizzy grassy lemon sweet barley soft bitter hops
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $12.85 CAD (after 10% off) – 75cl., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes definitely

Visual: Hefty bottle, twisty wire cap and composite cork. Limited edition 2014. Pours golden yellow with  a large lasting super creamy head, 2cm retention, a ton-load of densely clustered fast activity. Impeccable.

Nose: elderflower, honey lemon citrus malt, very clean. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp-micro bubbly-fizzy, subdued hops

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-sweetness, tangy (MAIN) grassy fresh hops, lemon, sweet barley malt

Finish: burpy, soft bitter hops, grassy hop cone exhale.

Summary: Drinks incredibly smooth and creamy bubbly textured with enough body to make it interesting. A very nice meal beer, though you get somewhat bloated if you keep sipping. Great balance and liveliness inside the bottle.