Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale - Advent Calendar Day 7

The first week of this year's Beer Advent Calendar is wrapping up with this Nordic Pale Ale from Kissmeyer Beer.
5.6% alcohol, 30 IBUs

Hazy medium yellow with a medium beige head. Right off the bat you get lots of white grapefruit aromas from this. Behind that there's a touch of white flowers, oranges, and pine, and behind that some caramel and dried herbs. Very pretty aromas. The taste is crisp and bright with the grapefruit and pine dominating. Very clean crisp finish. I'm a fan.

Reading the web site after the tasting, I see that this beer "features a unique northern-inspired medley of ingredients. Sweet Gale, Yarrow, Dried Heather Flowers, Rose Hips, and Cranberries comprise its balanced fruit-and-herb bouquet, while a Maple-Syrup addition rounds out the complex character of the beer". Wow. I have to say that even given my background, I can't pick up most of that in the aroma. Sheena picked up a bit of cranberry, but that's it. I like to think it's that it all becomes blended and intertwined creating new aromas. It really is a pretty beer.

Kissmeyer Beer is one of the Beau's "B-Sides" beers, produced in conjunction with guest brewers. The style of this harkens back to the time before beer was generally limited to only hops as the herbal addition.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Hops & Robbers - Advent Calendar Day 6

Today's beer advent calendar reveal is the Hops & Robbers Session IPA from Double Trouble Brewing Company. 5.7% Alcohol, 50 IBUs

This is a slightly hazy medium orange-gold with a thin white head. The aromas of this beer are pretty straightforward; toffee, orange, oatmeal, and a little cinnamon and pine. The taste is fairly round, with medium malt and a bit of hops showing. The flavour is mainly a light oatmeal and orange. Clean finish.

That said, Double Trouble needs a bit of a history lesson on what "session" generally means.  You can look it up yourself, but it's generally limited to beers of less than 5%, and usually more towards the 3-4% ABV level. This is actually labelled both "Strong beer" and "Session IPA", and I'd argue that is it neither.

I hate it when meaningful things become meaningless marketing terms.

If you want to try a great example of what a session IPA should be check out this one from Day 1 of the calendar.

Monday, 5 December 2016

All or Nothing Hopfenweisse - Advent Calendar Day 5

Today's Beer Advent Calendar reveal is the Hopfenweisse from All or Nothing Brewhouse.  It has 5.1% ABV and 25 IBUs.

Hazy orange-gold with a thin head. Aromas of peach, grape candy, white flowers, and tropical fruit.

The taste is crisp and clean, with flavours mirroring the aromas.

A light and happy beer that would be nice with light cheeses. I'm pairing this tonight with leftover lemon chicken stew.

If you feel the urge to try this one for yourself, you can actually pick it up at your local LCBO!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Wine and Cheese Pairing

At my last wine tasting with Natalie MacLean, we were given some cheese from a local producer and were challenged to find a good Ontario wine pairing. Here's my choice.

This cheese is great on its own, so I thought going "like for like" would be a nice approach. I wanted to try a find a good red wine pairing for this, and after trying a few potential wines, the Henry of Pelham 2012 Pinot Noir jumped out as a great match. The smokiness and light tanginess of the cheese blended in to the smokiness of the wine, with its added bright fruit characters just adding the right amount of sparkle without taking anything away.

I tried some bigger wines and was surprised that the best pairing was a Pinot. I think in this case, the body, flavour, and tannins are all at just the right level for this cheese, enhancing it without overpowering. Once again, Henry of Pelham doesn't disappoint. If you're a red wine fan, this is the pairing for you.

Riptide Rye Pale Ale - Advent Calendar Day 4

When I opened Day 4's entry for this year's beer advent calendar, I found the Forked River Brewing Company's Riptide Rye Pale Ale with a 5.7% alcohol.

Slightly hazy medium orange-amber with a fine white head. The aromas are fairly subtle, with rye cereal, orange, cinnamon, floral, and caramel. The taste is well balanced, crisp, and slightly rounded with medium malt, orange, floral hops, and cinnamon. The hops show a little more bitterness in the finish.

The balance of this beer makes it nice for those that are not into super hoppy, super-dark, super floral, etc, beer.  It's got flavour, body,  and character, but doesn't push the envelope.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Alpha Bomb - Advent Calendar Day 3

Day 3 what will it be?

Today's selection from this year's Beer Advent Calendar is the Big Rig Brewery Alpha Bomb

It's an unfiltered IPA with 6.6% alcohol, 87 IBU

Big Rig is local, and makes at least a couple of beers that I enjoy. I've had this before in growlers, and the canned version is pretty much bang on, give or take. It's a very slightly cloudy medium orange copper colour, with a small, fairly dense beige head. The aromas are pine, creamy caramel, orange, and a little orange melon. The taste is clean and crisp with lots of hops and pine, orange, and caramel flavours.

I'm going to try this with a dinner tonight of a Pasanda (creamy coconut and peanut) Chicken Curry  and rice, and I expect it to pair quite well.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Scottish Ale - Advent Calendar Day 2

Day 2 of this year's Beer Advent Calendar is a Scottish Ale from Highlander Brew Co, South River, Ontario

A clear medium-dark copper with a fine beige head. The aromas are coffee, rye, oatmeal, and orange rind with a little copper. It's fairly soft and round in the mouth, and a little creamy, with flavours of rye, slightly burnt coffee, and orange. Great beer for medium cheeses or pastrami sandwiches.

5.4% alcohol

Their web site has an 8% alcohol version of this called "Wee Heavy" that should be quite nice based on this beer.