Limited Edition Imperial Stout (Fuller’s Brewery)

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Origin: Chiswick, London, England

Beer Style: Imperial Stout

Alc./Vol.: 10.7%

IBU: 150

Malts: N/A

Hops: Sovereign, Centennial

Suggested Glassware: Snifter

Suggested Serving Temperature: 5-8° celsius

Availability: Year Round

Where to buy: Select LCBO locations

This review is for a very special beer from Fuller’s Brewery in London, England. I was lucky enough to be given a bottle of their Limited Edition Imperial Stout.  As Fuller’s described “This limited edition brew is a unique collaboration between brewery and beer writer. Melissa Cole brought her vast experience to the tasting table and helped us deliver a stout worth writing home about.” This Imperial Stout sits at a whopping 10.7% and as the box says, can be cellared for 9 years. This beer was bottle conditioned in a 500ml bottle, placed in a well designed yet classic box.

This Imperial Stout was very unique. The beer poured a rich black, with a thick tan head which faded rather quickly as the beer sat. Being that the stout was bottle conditioned, there was a little bit of settlement in the glass. Like a lot of stouts I drink, I allowed the beer to warm to slightly below room temperature, which I find really helped the beer to open up and experience the full flavours and aromas. This beer has a wide range of of aromaticDSC02827 notes to it. I first noticed a sharp alcohol smell to the beer, which didn’t last long. After that first smell, the true character of the beer really started to show. I experienced a hint of roasted dark chocolate, with light notes of dried fruit. The aromas didn’t stop there, at the end of noted a slight floral smell, but was very subtle.

From the smell and appearance of the beer, you would expect a very strong and over powering beer, but this was the complete opposite. This Imperial Stout actually had a very nice balance of bitter and sweet, with a hint of floral notes.   At my first sip,  I instantly noticed bitter dark chocolate, which had a very creamy character to it. Now, I don’t know if it was just me, but I did notice a slight smoke or tobacco taste. That could have been from the roasted notes of the beer, but I definitely could taste some smokiness to the beer. The finish of the beer was very nice. The beer had a nice floral finish to it, that took away all the bitterness of the dark chocolate. According to Fuller’s, they use dried rose buds which gave a hint of Turkish delight. Personally, I didn’t notice the Turkish delight but like I said, I did notice the floral notes.

I was extremely impressed with this stout. At this time of year, stouts are definitely one of my go to beer styles and this would be one I would be drinking on a cold winter’s night. This beer was very warming and for a 10.7% stout was very easy drinking. Mind you, I could only drink one of these a night, but it would be worth it.  I personally think that this beer would be better with a little age on it, but if you can get your hands on a bottle grab one and give it a try. I plan to cellar a couple of these for a few years and review them again once they have some age on them.

Shoot me a message or follow me on Twitter (@_bottomlesspint) and let me know what you think.

Cheers!

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Pretzel Raspberry Chocolate Ale Now Available at the LCBO

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The pink bottle is back! Rogue Ales has collided with Voodoo Doughnut yet again to create Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Pretzel Raspberry Chocolate! This is the third beer in the Rouge Voodoo Doughnut collaboration. This unique artisan creation contains a baker’s dozen number of ingredients including pretzels and raspberries from one of Voodoo’s signature doughnuts. This very unique beer is now available at the LCBO in 750ml bottles, priced at $10.95.  Check online (http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/search?searchTerm=Rogue) at the LCBO for store availability as it is just rolling out into stores.

Tasting Notes: 860e11a2-dc47-4ca4-9f4d-2a319385310b

The aroma begins bready with subtle toasted malts, and milk chocolate, before developing a hint of raisin.  Midway through the aroma there are notes of raspberry and slightly salty pretzels before a long, lingering chocolate finish.  The aroma at least hits all the expected notes, with the right mix of doughnut-y malts, raspberry, pretzel, and chocolate.

Food Pairing:

Deserts, Crème Brulee, Donuts.

Ingredients:

2-Row, Munich, C120, Chocolate, Black – Kiln Coffee & Rogue Farms Dare™ and Risk™ Malts; Rogue Farms Rebel Hops™; Pretzels, Rasberry Extract, Chocolate, Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water

 

*Information provided by Premier Brands, Ltd

Happy Pilsner (Beau’s Brewery)

Origin: Vankleek, Ontario, Canada

Beer Style: Bohemian Pilsner

Alc./Vol.: 5.3%

IBU: 30

Malts: Pilsner, Carafoam, Acidulated (All Organic)

Hops: Organic Hersbrucker

Suggested Glassware: Pilsner Glass

Suggested Serving Temperature: 5-8° celsius

Availability: Seasonal (Oktoberfest)

Where to buy: Beau’s brewery or select LCBO locations

This review is of Happy Pilsner, which is my second beer from the Beau’s Oktoberfest pack. Like the name says, Happy Pilsner is a pilsner, no brainer right? Beaus’s first brewed this traditional lager for their 2010 Oktoberfest party, so 4 years later they were very happy for this beer to return.  My love for pilsners had me excited to try this beer and compare it to some of my other favourites.

Happy Pilsner (I’m just going to call the beer “happy” so I’m not saying pilsner so much) came in the Beau’s traditional 600ml bottle with beautiful label art. The beer poured a hazy pale blonde colour with a thick, pure white head. Once the beer was in my glass, I instantly noticed very floral/herbal notes. It was almost like I was smelling a freshly steeped camomile tea. “Happy” had a bouquet of aromas coming from it. Not only did I smell the floral/herbal notes, I also noticed notes of lemon and grassy aromas which finished off with sweet honey. In all, it was a great smelling beer that had a great freshness to it.

My first sip did not disappoint…. you could say I was pretty happy. Right away I tasted the herbal notes that I noticed in the smell. It honestly tasted like I was drinking a cold camomile tea. That quietly changed into a slightly more bitter, yet citrus palette. The beer was not overly bitter and was not an over powering citrus flavour, but yet it was well balanced with the herbal notes and the bittering effects. I noticed that the mouthful of the beer did leave a dry, almost champagne effect on my cheeks. “Happy” has great lacing down the glass, and retained a thin, white head, right down to the last drop.

My overall impression of this beer was very happy. As I said before, being a pilsner fan, I was very excited to try this beer and I was not disappointed at all. I would definitely recommend this not only to people that like pilsners, but to anyone because the beer was very enjoyable and easy drinking. So, if you can still get your hands on the Oktoberfest Mix Pack at your local LCBO or you’re lucky enough to get to the brewery, do it! You won’t be disappointed.

Shoot me a message or follow me on Twitter (@_bottomlesspint) and let me know what you think.

Cheers!

Old North (Lake of Bays Brewing)

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Origin: Baysville (Muskoka), Ontario, Canada

Beer Style: Porter

Alc./Vol.: 8%

Suggested Glassware: English Pint/Shaker

Suggested Serving Temperature: Leave it in the snow outside your house for half an hour before consuming

Availability: Seasonal (Late Fall/Winter)

Where to buy:  Lake of Bays brewery or select LCBO locations

Evenin’, all. Mike here; I’m @beermostly on Twitter and Instagram – Matt has been kind enough to extend his hand to a fellow beer lover and begin what I’m sure will be a fantastic partnership here at The Bottomless Pint with guest reviews. Let’s dive in.

Ah, stout and porter season. Warm your soul with beers to intimidate your significantly less-snobby friends!

Old North Mocha Porter holds a special place in my heart. At its launch, I got very excited at the idea that coffee, one of my favourite drinks, could be woven into my other favourite drink… beer. It also holds this special place because on Christmas morning 2012, I realized I hadn’t refrigerated my beer selection for that day. In a panic, I stuck the tall bottle in a snowbank on my back deck for about half an hour, and during gift opening time (among many a chocolate covered almond and stolen pieces of peameal bacon from Mom’s frying pan) I cracked the bottle and poured (what would that day be) my morning coffee.

Sentiments aside, this is a beautiful beer to look at. The 750mL bottle is perfect for sharing. Into a wide mouth glass pours a light brown head on an opaque dark chocolate brown body whose carbonation is mid-range, with a lingering foam and a floating, delicate lace on the glass and the top of the beer all the way down. The 2014 version is 8% – one higher than last year’s.

At first sniff, you get a scent not unlike the one you get when you empty your used grounds from your coffee machine – a wet, roasty smell that, for the inexperienced nose, would intimidate. Drinking a first sip, you are greeted with a velvety, deep malt and chocolate flavour that can only be described as “more-ish” – very, very pleasant and incredibly medium bodied beer with bubbles that make you lick your lips.

Through the glass, the coffee flavours shone through. Sourced from Diesel House Coffee Roasters, the flavours extend a warming bitterness that makes drinking this at 9AM on Christmas Day absolutely acceptable. With minimal alcohol taste (but lots of punch after an entire bottle), the beer finishes with an espresso flavour and warm, tasty, rich body that becomes better as you drink it. An absolute treat!

10629696_10152292408845904_6492939900423753687_nMike Burton is an advertising student, lover of Toronto, and a Cicerone Certified Beer Server. He asked us to tell you that. In the grand scheme of things, this means nothing, but feel free to follow his entertaining Twitter and Instagram feeds @beermostly.

Dial “Z” for Zwickel (Beau’s Brewery)

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Origin: Vankleek, Ontario, Canada

Beer Style: Zwickelbier

Alc./Vol.: 5.7%

IBU: 27

Malts: Pilsner, Munich, Acidulated, Carafoam, Caraaroma (All Organic)

Hops: Strisselspalt, Triskel (All Organic)

Suggested Glassware: Mug or Stein

Suggested Serving Temperature: 7-10° celsius

Availability: Seasonal (Oktoberfest)

Where to buy: Beau’s brewery or select LCBO locations

This review features a beer from the Beau’s Oktoberfest mix pack. It will be one of four reviews I will be posting, as I drink my way through the pack.  Dial “Z” for Zwickel is a zwickelbier style beer which is,  as the Beau’s website states, “Closely related to kellerbier, zwickelbier literally means beer sampled directly from the maturation vessel in the beer cellar. This German-origin beer takes on the character of the base style: in the case of Dial ‘Z’, an amber lager.”

Dial “Z” poured a a dark copper colour with a hazy clarity to it. The beer had no visible settlement at the bottom of the glass or during the pour. Once poured into the glass, I instantly noticed the freshness of this beer. Right off the bat, I could smell lemon grass notes with a sweet smell of bread/yeast. I also noticed light hints of caramel aromas. The beer poured with a very think head in my stein, which faded out to a thin off white colour. The head left little lacing on the glass as I drank the beer.IMG_6981

At first taste, I experienced fresh lemon grass and citrus notes. There was not a lot of bitterness to Dial “Z”, but had more  sweet bread and yeast notes. The beer was a medium body, with a light creaminess to it. The beers carbonation really brought out the freshness of the beer, and helped bring out all the flavours. Dial had a dry finish to it but the dryness did not take away from how fresh this beer really was.

My overall impression of this beer was amazing. It was something I really enjoyed and never experienced before. The freshness of the beer really blew me away. It was easy drinking and definitely a beer I wish I could get my hands on year round. So, if you can find the Oktoberfest Mix Pack at your local LCBO or your lucky enough to get to the brewery, be sure to go and pick up a couple to try for yourself.

Shoot me a message or follow me on Twitter (@_bottomlesspint) and let me know what you think.

Cheers!