Ambre de la Chaudière – Mill St. Brewery (Toronto, ON, Canada)

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Ambre de la Chaudière (Bière de Garde) – Mill St. Brewery, 7% ABV, 355ml., (Toronto, ON, Canada)


on the back label:

“This is a northern French style of farmhouse ale traditionally made in the winter months and then laid-down in the cellar (thus the ‘Bière de Garde’ appellation) for drinking throughout the year. Ours is a traditional amber beauty presented unfiltered with the yeast still in it to add to the slightly fruity/spicy aroma and creaminess of palate. Named after the famous falls beside our Ottawa brewery, this beer pays homage to a time gone by when honest craftsmanship and simplicity were truly valued.”

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  • Style: Bière de Garde
  • Taste: Clean smooth honey toffee barley malt hints of oaked chamomile
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $15 CAD (after 10% off) – 6 x 355ml-ish, September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: decent, not particularly memorable

Visual: (seasonal sampler 6-pack). Pours clear copper brown with no significant head, super thin ringed retention, some steady singular streams.

Nose: softly sweet malted barley, light oak (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: crisp-malty, smooth soft CO2 entry

Mid-palate: honeyed (lvl-5-)-sweetness, medium thick toffee barley malt, brown sugar, woody, chamomile floralness

Finish: clean toasted sweet barley malt.

Summary: Good transitions and all around clean flavours, although somewhat too straightforward. It could use a bit more complexity and palate textures. Alcohol is well-hidden.

Humphrey Biere de Garde (Beer w/ Rosewater) – Parallel 49 (Vancouver, Canada)

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  • My Rating: D+

Humphrey Biere de Garde – Parallel 49 Brewery, 7.0% ABV – 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

On the front left side label:

“This effervescent ale is a complex, malty style traditionally brewed in the Nord-pas-de-galais region in Northern France. We’ve combined it with subtle rose water for one dashing beer. This looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Ingredients: Pilsner, French Munich & Cara vienna malts, willamette hops, rosewater, yeast.

  • Style: (flavoured) Bière de Garde
  • Taste Profile: watery sweetness -> fizzy malts/caramel -> rosewater/anise/dry malty finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5.50, June 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear deep copper brown with a sizable head, not much retention, no lacing, a few steady streams. Sweet toffee malts on the nose.

Attack: immediate watery mouthfeel, 5/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: fizzy, biscuity malts, caramel/toffee

Finish: off-dry, hints of rosewater/anise, dryish malty finish.

Overall quite boring and unsophisticated – no flavours or particular qualities stand out.