The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #3 – Chateau Civrac Old Ale

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The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #3

Chateau Civrac Old Ale – Penpont Brewery, 7.5% ABV – 330ml, (Cornwall, UK)

on the front-left label:

“A deep malty brew, with fantastic depth of flavour and a slight tart note from the wild yeasts present during the aging process. Aged for several months in oak wine casks. This beer is smooth but complex.”
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  • Style: (Bordeaux Barrel-Aged) Old Ale
  • Taste: Blackcurrant caramel/toffee malt woody medium bitter hopped
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yep

Visual: Pours clear copper brown without much head, a very thin layer of micro retention, a few countable super slow streams.

Nose: caramel malts, wet wood, hints of alcohol. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: incoming alcohol + caramel sweetness

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-sweetness, light tart/tangy/fizzy, (MAIN) caramel malts, toffee, blackcurrant

Finish: alcohol detection, subtle lasting bitter hops, woody malt exhale.

Summary: The caramel character reminds me of Innis & Gunn, but with a dark fruit twist and more alcoholic punch. This one went down quite fast.

Penpont Ginger Beer (UK)

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Ginger Beer – Penpont, 4.2% ABV – 500ml, (Altarnun, Cornwall, UK)

On the back label:

“Our alcoholic ginger beer is a traditionally made, fiery refreshing take on this drink.”

  • Style: Ginger Beer
  • My Rating: D
  • Taste Profile: Artificial sweetner/rough mouthfeel -> spicy ginger/lemongrass -> rough mouthwash-like spicy/mint finish.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6, November 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no way

Tasting notes: pours clear light copper brown with no head, no retention, and almost no activity – very uninviting. Authentic and somewhat candied ginger on the nose. Drinks with a kind of disgusting aspartame/sucralose (artificial sweetener) 5/10-sweetness up front, very rough mouthfeel, transitioning into a med-spicy ginger, partial lemongrass, finishing with a mouthwash like minty-burn and artificial sweetnener roughness on the tongue and mouth. Low complexity, low depth, okay transitions, no good carry, awful drinkability. Stay clear of this one – not total crap, but still crappy nonetheless.

Clouded Yellow – St. Austell Brewery (est. 1851), 4.8% ABV, (Cornwall)

On the back label:

“Clouded Yellow is a bottle conditioned British wheat beer full of character, with gentle spices, tangy wheat and a delicious soft vanilla flavour. True to European tradition, this golden beer can be served cloudy by gently swirling the last few inches in the bottle to rouse the natural yeast sediment. Alternatively, clear beer can be achieved by very gently pouring in to a glass and carefully leaving the sediment in the bottle. (Brewed with coriander seeds, whole cloves and vanilla pods.)”

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I like it: clean spiced flavour
  • Where I got it: Sobey’s (Southbrook)
  • How much: $6.70, 50cl, May/2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: nah
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure

Tasting notes: pours almost clear brown orange, thin head, micro CO2. A very inviting bright nose of coriander, cloves, honey, and chamomile. Tastes of cloying malts up front orange, coriander, creamy vanilla (mild), clover honey, and chamomile. I don’t really like the watery-thin body up front but the flavour kicks in the mids and ends mildly dry bitter. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, okay carry, quite good drinkability.