Katy Vs. Sasha 33
Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go head-to-head tasting Ottawa beer. This week they sample Covered Bridge Brewing Company's Double-Double.
While I may not be a fan of the Tim Horton's Double-Double (a coffee preference so popular it actually made it's way into the Dictionary), I am fond of Covered Bridge's sweet stout version.
Once poured, this opaque jet black stout has aromas of biscuits, vanilla with coffee and dark chocolate rounding it out. For those that enjoy their Double-Double's the flavour is full on sweet thanks to the additional of lactose (milk sugar) with background notes of fruity dark chocolate and coffee. It is 7.4% ABV and there is a noticeable heat in the finish.
Who needs after dinner coffee when you can have a mug of Covered Bridge's Double-Double?
What better way to celebrate #canadianbeerday than with Covered Bridge's Double Double, a play on a Canadian favorite at the local Tim Hortons.
The sweet stout pours the color of a black coffee and you get coffee in the aroma right away however there's a distinct presence of dark chocolate as well. Those flavours are echoed in the taste with dark roasted malts giving a slight bitterness. There's a creaminess in the mouthfeel like a double double coffee would have but without the overly sweet taste. The balance of roast from the malts to sweetness makes it very easy to drink.
I'd definitely drink this in place if my cofffee every morning if I could. If only Double Doubles actually tasted like this…
Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go head-to-head tasting Ottawa beer. This week they sample Dominion City Brewing Company's Galloping Hessian.
When I first started getting more involved with craft beer and learned about pumpkin ale I went on a pumpkin rampage. Not only did I buy what was available at the LCBO, but I travelled into the US and bought some of what was available there too! I was drinking the fall seasonal will past Christmas and got slightly sick of it, but this pumpkin obsessive behaviour helped define what I like and dislike and I've become quite the pumpkin snob.
Dominion City Brewing Company's Galloping Hessian falls into pumpkin ale's I like category. Solid base beer (brown ale) with pumpkin and added spicing. Not enough to make you feel like you're drinking pureed pumpkin pie, but the right about to warm you up when the wind rattle your windows.
This is a solid pumpkin beer that tends more on the malt and spice side without hitting that sickly-sweet liquid pumpkin pie territory. Appropriate for horseback riding, pumpkin smashing or when you need that extra bit of courage to cross a bridge.
I'm definitely a lover of pumpkin beer so I was excited to try Dominion City's Galloping Hessian Pumpkin Brown Ale – which is a mouthful to say – which is ironic, because the horseman has no head….and thus, no mouth.
But on to the beer! Notes of toffee and pumpkin spice waft from the amber brew. The toasted malt flavour is apparent in taste along with a hint of nuts and dried fruit and the pumpkin spice. It's often difficult to find the right balance of spice in pumpkin beer but I feel like they've done a good job.
Overall a nice light, malt forward beer, with a cinnamon toast like flavour. I was expecting a tad more bitterness from the hops in this brew based on the description, but definitely would reach for it again.
Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go head-to-head tasting Ottawa beer. This week they sample Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company’s Night•Märzen.
I always look forward to Beau’s Night•Märzen. The brilliant copper is a reminder that fall is on the way and that my favourite festival, Beau’s Oktoberfest, is on the horizon. Usually if I have enough money squared away I’ll order a couple of boxes of this fall treat to sustain me for a few months. This year I’ve had to survive on dribs and drabs as I’ve made a promise to myself to concentrate my beer money on homebrewing efforts. Still, this malt forward lager is delightful with flavours of toasted malt, bread and a subtle herbal and grassy hop to keep it in check.
Seek out the stock that’s left of this beer now and enjoy it while sitting in a pile of leaves, carving a pumpkin or something equally fall-y.
I’m sipping on this beer on a cold fall day – the perfect time to dive into this Oktoberfest offering, who’s deep orange color reminds me of the fall leaves that are covering the ground right now.
In line with the style, the aroma is rich with munich malts which are also present in the sweet taste. It has a slight bitter, dry finish due to the 30 IBUs which is a tad higher than normal for the style but still offers a solid medium bodied beer that is great for stein clashing at Oktoberfest celebrations or hunkering down on a cold fall evening.
Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go head-to-head tasting Ottawa beer. This week they sample Covered Bridge Brewing Company's Seoirse the Great.
I'm not a big Irish Red drinker. In fact, I think the only other Irish Reds I've had have been from macro breweries and may have contributed towards my dislike of Irish Reds. Then comes Covered Bridge Brewing Company's Seoirse the Great, a darker version with 6% ABV and a lot more going on in the glass.
Seoirse the Great poured dark copper with ruby highlights and fizzy head that didn't stick around. The aroma was full on sweet with toffee, raisins and not a hint of hops. The flavour was more of the sweet toffee with dark fruits and a subtle dry roast grain finish. This is a smooth sipper with low carbonation which helps highlight the malt sweetness and slight alcohol warmth in every sip.
Overally I enjoyed the beer, but this is definitely for someone who's palate sits on the sweeter side.
So far I've been a big fan of the beer that John vanDyk has been producing at Covered Bridge Brewing in Stittsville and his latest Seoirse the Great, an Irish red brewed in memory of his grandfather has followed this trend.
At first when I poured mine I thought the bottles had gotten mixed up as it's on the darker scale for color, pouring pitch black, but it has a tinge of red when held up to the light.
The caramel malt aroma grabbed my attention right away and continued in the flavour along with some sweet and rich toffee notes. At first sip I thought I was getting some hop bitterness on the finish but once I explored the beer a bit more I realized it was the flavour of the dark roasted grains coming through.
Overall a really great choice for a fall beer with a reasonable ABV of 6%. If you like a beer with a spotlight on sweet malts and a dry roasted finish this is the beer for you!
Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go head-to-head tasting Ottawa beer. This week they sample Dominion City Brewing Company's Land is Strong.
You know you drink a lot of bitter IPAs when you sip on something that's labelled 92 IBU and you marvel at the Belgian yeast characteristics over the bitterness.
Land is Strong pours a cloudy copper with a rich, creamy off-white head that vanishes leaving little trace. The aroma is full of phenols – spicy clove, pepper, even a little banana, with some hop earthiness coming in as an afterthought. There's more of that banana, pepper, clove craziness in the flavour, but with added caramel malt notes and a bitter hop-filled finish with a nice alcohol warmth (expected at 8% ABV).
A good beer, but I feel the yeast characteristics are taking centre stage when it was supposed to be the fresh Cascade hops turn to shine.
Land is Strong wet-hopped Belgian IPA is the first of Dominion City's Terroir series, which will feature a different regionally-sourced ingredient in each brew.
For this beer they chose fresh-picked Cascade hops from Lot 17 Hop Yard in Campbellford, ON which is apparent both in the aroma and taste.
The pour was light orange-brown in color with a thick off-white head that dissipated pretty quickly.
I felt as though the earthy bitterness from the hops overpowered all of the other characteristics when the beer was first poured, but once you gave it time to breathe, the sweet caramel malt started to shine through along with herbal & pepper notes.
At 8% the beer packs a 1-2 punch and you can detect a hint of booziness on the finish so you may want to stick with grumblers if you aren't wiling to share, which is possible as overall its a very nice balanced choice.
Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go head-to-head tasting Ottawa beer. This week they sample Big Rig Brewery's Scotch Ale.
I'm going to admit a bias here, I don't like Scotch Ales. They tend to be heavy with sweet caramel flavour, bumped up alcohol and smokey with peat-smoked malts added to make it comparably to its single-malt cousin. It's just not my thing, but I'm not one to refuse a glass of beer when it's handed to me so I gave Big Rig's version a try.
Pouring dark brown with beautiful garnet highlights when it catches the light, Brewmaster Lon Ladell's Wee Heavy has great aromas of thick malts, caramel, brown sugar and a hint of peat. With a luscious body and soft carbonation the flavour is as intense as the aroma with more caramel malt, brown sugar, dark fruit, peat and a slight vanilla/oak finish.
While Sasha was challenging herself with a second glass I was busy taking on the full Growler!
I was happy to review this week's bevvie – Big Rig's Scotch ale as I've yet to give it a go!This smooth ale pours a dark copper with a thick off-white head and right away the the smoky aroma is present from the barley which has been smoked with peat moss.The taste mirrors the smoky aroma but adds much more in the dark caramel roasted malts and hint of plum and no hop bitterness to be found.The finish has just a hint of booze with low carbonation and a medium mouthfeel.The tagline for the beer is "for the Bold and Brave of heart" maybe because although the ABV is 7.2% – which not super high but if you this beer as much as I do you'll bravely pour a second glass!
Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go head-to-head tasting Ottawa beer. This week they sample Belle Hop Porter from Beyond the Pale Brewing Company.
I know we're clinging to those last four days of summer, hoping the leaves will stay green for a few more days (at least a weekend) more, but it's time to give in. The days are getting shorter, the sun is getting hard to find and aren't you getting a little tired of drinking session IPA after session IPA? When the weather changes beer seasons change and now is a great time to start bumping it up a notch and cozy in to those higher alcohol beers. Beyond the Pale's Belle Hop Porter is a great brew to snap you out of that seasonal mood swing and have you looking forward to the dark and complex world of cold season beers.
Belle Hop Porter pours a deep brown with mahogany highlights and a frothy mocha head that lingered in the glass. Aromas of roasted malt and dark chocolate were prominent with a slight green pepper note as it warms. The flavour is predominantly malt with an emphasis on coffee, roast and dark chocolate but there is a noticeable bitter hop at the end.
With a light body and hidden alcohol flavours this 7.8% ABV brew could be very easy to drink, especially if you're inside on a rainy day with Netflix.
I’m super excited to get back to our Head to Head series and what better way to kick it off than with Beyond the Pale’s Belle Hop Porter.
Mine poured a dark brown with a slight reddish tinge and a tan head that left behind a nice thick lacing on my glass. The espresso notes definitely take over the aroma along with just a hint of nut.
The taste consisted of deep coffee notes mixed with a hint of dark chocolate – almost like eating a chocolate covered espresso bean.
As it warms you just get a hint of booziness and the beer finishes off with a nice bitterness, a little nuttiness and toffee sweetness with the coffee taste lingering on the palate long after the last sip.
Overall a great choice for a cool fall evening or pretty much anytime at all – although at just shy of 8% ABV you might want to share it – or you might not!
Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go head-to-head tasting Palm by Brouwerij Palm NV.
First things first, Palm is not made from Palm trees and it's not imported from some place warm where palm trees are native – come on, I couldn't have been the only one who thought that. Palm is a Belgium Pale Ale brewed in Steenhuffel, Belgium where brewing can be traced all the way back to 1747!
Palm pours a wonderful amber colour, very similar to the colour of the bottle it's packaged in, with a sudsy head that quickly disappears. There are sweet aromas of caramel and honey mixed in with roasted malt and a pleasing herbalness. The sweet malt flavours play with a slight crisp fruitiness and enough bitterness to lend balance making a very refreshing drink.
This beer isn't overly complicated, but it's tasty, it's great with food and it's kind of fun to think of people enjoying it in a Belgium castle.
Considered a Belgian amber beer, Palm mirrors the color of it's style, pouring a translucent amber with very little head.
Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go head-to-head tasting L'assoiffé 12 by Brasseurs du Monde.
As much as you may think my life revolves around beer; that I sit in a room surrounded by bottles writing witty beer tweets as my job. I don't. I actually work rotating shifts which is why sometimes you'll see me having a beer at 7:00am (after shift) or posting cat videos on Facebook at 1:00am (staying awake).
I've noticed depending on when I come off shift determines the type of beer I want. When I'm in the middle of a string of shifts I want something straight forward without much complication and a low ABV. When I'm off for a "weekend" I want indulgence, lots of flavour and I'm willing to go higher in alcohol.
L'assoiffé 12 is a weekend beer. At 11.5% ABV this beer is loaded with complications and flavours that'll have you parked on the couch trying to figure out what's going on in your glass. Flavour-wise I picked out sweet flavours of plum, fig; spices like nutmeg, clove and a little cinnamon and a pleasant warm finish.
The downside is that the beer seems a little out of balance with the sweetness level being fairly high and spice level right up there. If Brasseurs du Monde were able to strike a balance between the two this would be a solid Belgian Quad.
On a cold winter day sometimes you want to be warmed up with a nice 11% ABV ABT from Brasseurs du Monde's L'assoiffé 12.
Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go head-to-head tasting Mort Subite Kriek from Brouwerij Mort Subite.
Mort Subite Kriek Lambic. In reading the name there are so many things to explain. What's a Lambic? For a very basic description, a lambic is a beer produced with spontaneous fermentation; the unfermented wort is left in open tuns so wild yeast and bacteria can fall in and ferment the beer. There are many subcategories of lambics, but they all have a funky sour taste in common. A Kriek is a Lambic beer that has cherries tossed in after the fermentation has started. Finally, Mort Subite means 'Sudden Death' in French and is also the name of a dice game played by locals in a café in Brussels.
Phew, with that behind us let's talk more about how the beer tastes!
Pouring ruby-red with Champagne-like bubbles and a pink foamy head, Mort Subite has big aromas of sugary sweet cherries – almost medicinal, like cherry cough drops. The flavour is very similar to the aroma with cherry dominating the palate and a slight sour funk coming in subtly at the end. Instead of whole cherries being tossed into the tun Mort Subite uses cherry syrup which may explain why there's a concentration of cherry and less stinging tartness.
Serve Mort Subite Kriek in a flute as an aperitif or as a Thursday afternoon treat – it made my afternoon feel fancy.
Mort Subite Kriek pours the color of raspberries, however it's the sweet cherry filled aroma that hits you right away.
At only 4.5 ABV this Kriek Lambic, brewed with sour cherries has a dry tart flavour, just as you would imagine from these cherries, which brought me back to my childhood, when we used to pick them from the trees at home.
A slight berry-like sweetness balances out the sour. This I believe, comes from the Elderberries,referenced on the label. I've actually never had an elderberry but they balance the sour cherry very well in this beer.
Overall a very nice lambic – great to have on a summer's day! I just wish the oak-aged flavour had come through a bit more.
Mort Subite Kriek is available at the LCBO and select pubs and restaurants.