Archive for December, 2014

Spearhead Sam Roberts Band Session Ale

Posted: December 30, 2014 by Kenny in Craft
Tags: ,

sam-robertsThis is totally a gimmick beer, since Sam Roberts Band hasn’t had a decent song in a decade (outside of Toronto). But, in keeping with the tradition of music and beer going together (so far, we’ve had AC/DC, Iron Maiden and City and Colour beer) why not try it.

Kevin had this the night before and sent me a pic from a fancy dinner thingy he was at, and said it wasn’t that great. Keeping in mind Kevin doesn’t like hoppy beer and this was a session ale, I knew I couldn’t really trust him.

After a very long day of taking care of 1, 3, 4 and the wife who were all down with the flu, I thought I deserved a beer, but not a big one. It poured out dark amber and smelled like a dry, hoppy beer. The description said it was a blend of English and American ales, which meant, to me, it was going to be sweet and flat.

I was right on both accounts. It was sweet like an American ale and was flat like an EPA or an ESB. It did, however, have a nice kick of hops right off the top, but they faded quickly. Whatever hops they used were flat, not bright, like a Centennial or Cascade hop.

It was decent, but not the greatest session I’ve tried this year.

Country of Origin:  Canada 
Alcohol Content:  4.5% 
Sequence: First
Finished:  Yes
Vessel:  Glass by way of bottle



Forked River Weendigo

Posted: December 29, 2014 by Kenny in Craft
Tags: ,

IMG_20141225_152856_editI finally made it. Beer 1,000! When I tell people that I hit 1,000, they say “Wow, a thousand beers in three years”. At that point, I tell them it’s 1,000 unique beers in 3 years, way way more if you count all the ones I don’t check in on. Then they get this shocked look on their face.

For 1,000, I wanted it to be special, so I decided that I was going to drink a Forked River beer to celebrate this milestone. Those guys have been nothing but fantastic to me and my hobby. I enjoy hanging out with the men behind the beer as much as I enjoy their beer.

So, when I went there one day to grab the 4 new beers they released (all barrel aged) I talked to Dave about hitting 1,000 and wanting to use their beer to do it…any recommendations? His options were Weendigo, an imperial stout aged in Jack Daniel’s barrels, or Catharsis, which is a Belgian quad that  has spent some time in red wine barrels . Clearly, I went with the first one. Clearly, this was a special beer, it had a wax seal on it!

On Christmas day, we packed up the family and took off to my brother’s house, as usual. I normally bring a bunch of beers with me, but this year, Kevin and Teri were in Winnipeg visiting her father, so I was the only one drinking. I brought a Stella (a Christmas beer in its own right) and Weendigo. Right before we were about to drop the turkey in the deer fryer, I poured it out.

It was dark black and had a big mocha head on it. It smelled like a big stout but there was a hint of extra booze on the tail end of it. It had been out of the fridge for a while so I didn’t have to wait long to drink it.

It tasted like an imperial stout, but as you swallow, you get the unmistakable flavour of bourbon. You can also taste the char and the wood it was aged in.  For a 10% beer, you can barely taste the alcohol in it. It was thick but smooth, and full of flavour. I would say it is one of their very best beers. I can see why they would be proud of this one.

Country of Origin: Canada
Alcohol Content:  10.2%
Sequence:  Third
Finished:  Yes
Vessel:  Glass by way of bottle


Trappistes Rochefort 10

Posted: December 24, 2014 by Kenny in Imported
Tags: ,

rochefort 10Jackie was on her way here from Toronto for, what seems like, a bi-weekly visit. She stopped by the Queens Quay LCBO, the best one in Toronto, and called me to play a game of has-Ken-had-this-beer. I’m sorry to say that I won, again. She only found two. This was one of them.

When I read on the Bar Towel that Rochefort 10 was coming soon, I anxiously waited….and waited. It never made its way to London, as is the case with a lot of these special imports. So when Jackie said she saw it there, I had her grab two. (little did I know that the next weekend, they made it to London).

I figured the best time to drink such a storied beer was when we had a bunch of the gym girls over to celebrate Sexy Jenn’s 40th birthday. I also wanted to be tame and only have one or two, so I made my first one 11%.

It poured out dark purple and it smelled like booze and plums. I tried it cold, which I know is wrong, but I like to experiment. It was thick, malty and very boozy. As it warmed through the night, it mellowed out and the most subtle hint of plum came out. Now, you may all know that I HATE plum tasting beers. There hasn’t been one that I have liked, but this was so faint, that the only thing it did was cut the booze a little and then disappear.

This was an amazing beer, even better than Rochefort 8, which I found very harsh and boozy for 9%.

I wanted to grab some more so I could share it with David, but when I asked him if he had it, he said “of course”. What else would I expect from a man who buys ALL the trappist beers at a liquor store and regularly has business trips to Belgium?

Country of Origin: Belgium
Alcohol Content:  11.3%
Sequence:  First
Finished: Yes
Vessel:  Not the right glass by way of bottle


Southern Tier Warlock

Posted: December 23, 2014 by Kenny in Craft
Tags: ,

warlockIt was a rough day. 4 was sick (like very sick) and the wife was on her way out the door to work. I had to try to get the other 3 down while carrying around 4 so he didn’t get into anything. Then, I had to try to get 4 to sleep without giving him a bottle, since it would have ended up all over me if I did. He finally crashed at 8 and I was done. I needed a big beer.

Warlock is a pumpkin stout. That will work just fine. I poured it out and settled in for a night of The Walking Dead.  It was super black on the pour and smelled like your typical pumpkin beer with the nutmeg, the pumpkin spice, the pumpkin….but there was a sweetness that cut through all of that on the nose booty (??).

It tasted like a typical stout in your mouth, but as it went down, you could taste the residual spices and pumpkinness of it. It was pretty delicious. It was smooth, spicy and had a dry finish.  It’s an interesting take on both pumpkin beer and stouts.

After I checked in, Southern Tier suggested that I try mixing it with Pumpking. THAT actually sounds like a good idea, however, this was the very last Warlock in the city when the wife bought it.

Next year.

Country of Origin:  United States
Alcohol Content:  8.6%
Sequence:  First
Finished:  Yes
Vessel: Stein by way of bottle