Skaha Summer Ale – Cannery Brewing (Penticton, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Skaha Summer Ale – Cannery Brewing, 5% ABV, 20 IBU – 650ml, (Penticton, BC, Canada)

On the front left-side label:

“Skaha Lake is one of the freshwater lakes that surround Penticton in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. Time honoured summer traditions such as rock climbing and cliff diving have made the Skaha Bluffs famous.”

On the front right-side label:

“This blonde ale is a refreshing, thirst quenching beer that is perfect for a hot Okanagan day. Using different hops each year will give this ale a distinct flavor and unique aroma. The addition of white wheat malt and German ale yeast create a body that is soft and delicate with a crisp, dry finish.”

  • Style: Blonde Ale
  • Taste Profile: Crisp sweet hopped barley malt
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5 – 650ml, July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nothing outstanding

Visual: Pours golden yellow with a smallish creamy head, sticky lacing, a thin layer of retention, several slow streams.

Nose: faint apple juice, hints of malts (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: crisp barley malts

Mid-palate: tingly-fizzy-crisp. (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) barley malt, red apple, grainy

Finish: very soft bitter hops, hopped bitter-sweet barley finish.

Summary: Drinks more like a crisp lager than a wheat ale. A very nice crisp mouthfeel perfect for hot summer days and nights. Recommended as a meal beer.

Scaldis Blond Triple – Brasserie Dubuisson (Belgium)

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Scaldis Blond Triple (aka Bush Blond Triple) – Brasserie Dubuisson,10.5% ABV – 750ml, (Pipaix, Belgium)

On back label:

“Scaldis Blond Triple offers real finesse and a marvellously balanced taste. Its natural re-fermentation in the bottle gives it fizz and fullness. Brewed with : water drawn from beneath the Brewery, barleymalt, sugar, hops and yeast.”

  • Style: Blond Triple
  • My Rating: B-
  • Taste Profile: Creamy/sweet/alcohol -> malts/caramel/citrus/honey/peach -> smooth off-dry finish.
  • Where I got it : W.16th
  • How much: ~$18 (after 10% disc), November 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours translucent golden orange with suspended lees, a wonderfully thick pillowy head, very thick and sticky lacing, some visible streams. Inviting sweet floral malts on the nose. Drinks with a mainly creamy/light fizzy mouthfeel, subdued alcohol in the background mixed with building 9/10-sweetness, main flavours of malts, caramel, hints of citrus, honey, peach, with wheat and yeast overtones, finishing smooth, light malty and off-dry. Medium complexity, med-high depth, good transitions, good carry, decent drinkability. Creeper effect as you might expect from a smooth 10.5% ABV beer.

Blonde de Chambly – Unibroue (Canada)

Blonde de Chambly – Unibroue, 5% ABV – 341ml, (Quebec, Canada)

On the back label:

“Blonde de Chambly honours the heroic Filles a Marier (marriageable girls) later know as Filles du Roi (King’s daughters). These brave single young women came to Nouvelle France in 1665 to help populate the colony. Many of the married officers and soldiers of Carignan-Salieres Regiment, who built Fort Chambly on the Richelieu River and forged the legendary Iroquois peace of 1667. Most French Canadians are direct descendants of these extraordinary ancestors.

Mild and refreshing Blonde de Chambly has a floral nose and a light citrus bouquet. With it’s foamy white head and lively effervescence, it is an ideal partner for an unforgettable sensory experience.”

  • Style: Blonde Ale
  • My Rating: C
  • Taste Profile: Sharp burpy -> banana/apricot/wheat -> dry (unbalanced) finish.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: ~$24/12 variety pack, Summer 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours cloudy golden orange-yellow with a large thick foamy head, good retention, lots of very active streams. Mild funk, light citrus & sourness on the nose. Drinks with a sharp burpy bubbliness up front, 7/10-sweetness up front & mild sourness, fading into banana, apricot, wheat/grain, mild coriander, almost salty, cutting dry across the tongue, and an aromatic wheaty exhale. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, okay carry, decent drinkability. The dry finish of this beer is a bit off-putting. Watery mouthfeel.

Guldenberg – De Ranke (Belgium)

Guldenberg – De Ranke, 8.5% ABV – 33cl, (Dottignies, Belgium)

from ratebeer.com:

“A strong blonde ale of about 8.5% alc. by volume that claims vaguely to be an “abbey” beer, Guldenberg bears no resemblance whatsoever to any Tripel you may have sampled, except in color perhaps. It is very hoppy and malty (though not quite as assertive as De Ranke’s XX Bitter). Made in small batches only on the weekends, they are quickly gaining a reputation as the best specialty beers of Belgium.”

  • Style: Belgian Strong Ale
  • My Rating: B+
  • Taste Profile: Fruity tangerine/malts -> bitter hops/coriander -> strong hoppy dryness
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $4.50 (after 10%), December 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours cloudy golden orange, smallish head, ringed retention, lots of slow-moving CO2 streams. Malts and hops on the nose. Medium tangerine/orange citrus fruity sweetness (5/10) up front, quickly transitioning into sweet malts, sharp bitter hops, coriander, finishing with a strong dryness. Medium-high complexity, med-high depth, great transitions, great carry, good drinkability.

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.

Moinette Blonde – Brasserie Dupont (Belgium)

Moinette Blonde – Brasserie Dupont, 8.5% ABV, (Tourpes, Belgium) (listed in “1001 beers you must taste before you die”)

On the back label:

“Moinette Blonde is brewed in an authentic farm-brewery dating back to 1844. Since then the Dupont Brewery has remained and independent concern, still in the hands of the founding family, where beer is produced following traditional and time-tested brewing methods. With a coppery blond colour Moinette Blonde is a real thirst quencher thanks to its finely tuned balance between mellowness, bitterness and fruitiness. The real second fermentation in the bottle means the buyer can store this beer for many years prior to consumption, a time during which the tastes will evolve both in complexity and harmony.”

My notes:
  • My Rating: B+
  • Why I like it: rich flavour and good balance
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor
  • How much: ~$12 , 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours slightly cloudy orangish-yellow with lees, nice thick foamy head, lots of slow-moving CO2 streams. Standard honey/chamomile/floral nose. Drinks with a balanced sweetness (7/10), honey, chamomile, tangerine, brown sugar, and ends with a clean lingering soft bitterness (5/10) and more chamomile. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, good carry, good drinkability. Solid and balanced. Becomes boozy as it warms up.

Leffe, (Belgium)

Which I like better: Leffe Blonde

1) Blonde, 6.6% ABV

My Notes:

  • My Rating: C+
  • Why I like it: very crisp and drinkable
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $15, 6x330ml
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No, not complex enough
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: No

Tasting Notes: pours glowing dark orange, small head, nice lacing, thin layer of retention, ultra-micro CO2, tons of active CO2 streams. Consume between 5-6C. Medium-thick malts on the nose. Starts very creamy, 6/10 sweetness, mainly malts, banana and faint notes of honey and chamomile. Finishes malty 3/10-bitterness. Low-medium complexity, medium depth, medium bitter length, not much carry, good transitions, great drinkability. Not much in terms of a wide range of flavours, but extremely crisp and pairs well with heavy foods – creamy pasta, meat, lamb, pizza, etc.

2) Brune, 6.5% ABV

On the back label:

“The authentic Belgian abbey beer: The roasted barley malts give this Leffe Brune its sweet caramel yet bitter taste”

My Notes:

  • My Rating: C+
  • Why I like it: sweet caramel malts
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $17, 6x330ml (after 10%)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No, not complex enough
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: No

Tasting Notes: pours milk chocolate brown, nice thick foamy head, thick retention, sticky lacing, plethura of CO2 streams. A bit of malt on the nose, but otherwise rather muted. Detection of alcohol up front, fizzy tingly and then creamy CO2, caramel malts, fig/date/redberry fruitiness, 7/10-sweetness level, roasted 6/10-bitterness level with a dry lingering alcoholic finish. Low-medium complexity, medium depth, medium length, okay carry, good transitions, great drinkability. A decent beer but too sweet for my tastes. A 6-pack is overkill.