Sunday, October 24, 2010

tasting notes

the tasting notes from this week's beernesday at st. augustine's
and i had help this week, from both lara and ananda - thanks friends!

i started my night with a sampler, as always
mill street brewery original organic lager:  4.2%  100% organic.  brewed with imported malt and hops, this german pilser offers a light, crisp and refreshing flavour with a clean finish.
rogue ales brutal bitter:  6.2%  an imperial bitter with exotic traditional floor malts, citrusy, hoppy flavor, stupendous hop aroma.
salt spring ales whaletail ale:  5%  an altbier that is amber coloured and packed with flavour.
pike brewing xxxxx stout:  7%  full-bodied velvety malt texture with hints of chocolate, licorice, and espresso on the palate.

amanda hated the mill street when she tried it a few weeks earlier (and since i didn't see it on the intervening beer lists, perhaps this is from a different keg) so i thought i'd see if i agreed with her!  brave of me, but i'm willing to take one for the beer team!
i thought it was a perfectly good beer.  i'm not sure i found it all that light, but definitely crisp and refreshing.  its a typical pilsner and very nice that its an organic one.  at only 4.2%, this would make a good session beer on a summer day
not sure i'd necessarily have it again though...

i love the brutal bitter
like i love most of rogue's beers - maybe its the pac-man yeast?
regardless, this one is delicious
hoppy, floral, pairs well with the salmon burger and greens with lemon thyme dressing
makes me happy to be swilling something so hoppy!

the whaletail ale is yummy, but what the heck is an altbier?  what is that distinctive flavour?
crisp, flavourful, tastes like burnt something on the tongue...
their website says:  SALTSPRING WHALETAIL ALE
A Salt Spring Style Alt, Whale Tail Ale was originally created for Moby’s Pub on Salt Spring Island with assistance by Barry Edwards. Whale Tail Ale is an amber coloured beer packed with flavour. Our brewmaster’s favourite, this ale is highly hopped with Mount Hood for bittering and Cascades for aroma, which perfectly accent its aromatic malts. Notes of caramel, citrus, biscuit, toffee. 
which doesn't really tell me what an altbier is...
thank dog there's wikipedia:  Altbier (often abbreviated to Alt) is the name given to a form of German top-fermenting beer that originated in Westphalia and spread to parts of the Rhineland later.  The name Altbier, which literally means old [style] beer, refers to the pre-lager brewing method of using a warm top-fermenting yeast. Over time the Alt yeast adjusted to lower temperatures, and the Alt brewers would store or lager the beer after fermentation, leading to a cleaner, crisper beer than is the norm for some other top-fermented beers such as British pale or mild ales.
well that helps a bit - definitely found it clean and crisp!
normally i don't much like the caramel, biscuit or toffee notes, but apparently they hopped this beer well enough for me to quite enjoy it!
in fact, i suggested ananda have a pint of it when asked for my beer suggestion of the evening!

the xxxxx stout is one i'm pretty sure i've had before (but am too lazy to look up)
big malt flavour, but i wasn't getting the licorice
definitely the chocolate and espresso thought
its thick and creamy and rich and delicious
would definitely have this again, but probably just in the sampler size

the bottles we had will have to wait for another post...

lara found the rogue ales hazelnut brown nectar to be "a-freaking-mazing"
the cannery maple stoud "too sweet (i guess that is implied by "maple")"
the tinwhistle black widow dark ale "dark indeed.  argh.  hair on your chest"
and the crannog backhand of god "always a winner"
i love lara!

ananda found the upright six "okay at the beginning, weird and not good too bright aftertaste"
the granville island robson street hefeweizen "always good, refreshing, and a very even blend. very good"
the crannog backhand of god "classic, wake you up coffee and chocolate pastry.  coffer aftertaste makes you want more"
and the howe sound pumpkineater imperial pumpkin ale "nice that a pumpkin has lots of flavour; nice flavourful; too strong flavour for a whole beer.  should only be sampled, like dessert"
i love ananda!

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