Calgary Co-Op Okotoks Haul (24-Jul-2014)
Yes, that’s two hauls in two days. Figured I’d stick my head in a branch I’d never tried before. Oh my goodness. Self-control? I’ve heard of it, but decided I want no part of it.
Shmaltz Brewing Company He’Brew Death Of A Contract Brewer Black IPA at 7.0% ABV
Pours a deep cola brown with two fingers of fluffy light tan head, good retention, and sticky moderate lacing. Nose is light, with resiny hops, faint fruit and bitter chocolate. Taste is light floral and grassy hops, and citrus, with a bitter finish. Mouth feel is medium to light, with low carbonation and a lingering bitter finish.
I… Dunno. To the extent there’s any dark or roasty aspect to this, it feels a little unbalanced. Both the nose and the flavour feel like they’re predominantly IPA, with the “black” tacked on after the fact. It’s a decent enough IPA, but I’m not convinced it’s a “black IPA” in anything but colour. That being said, I feel like I’m damning it with faint praise – it’s certainly a decent enough IPA all on its own. I just can’t shake the feeling that this is a bit of a bandwagon black IPA.
Brouwerij Het Anker Gouden Carolus Tripel Abbey Tripel at 9.0% ABV
Pours a slightly hazy gold with two fingers of fluffy white head diminishing to a thin skim and light spotty lacing. Nose is Belgian yeast bubblegum, cloves and banana, with a little hop bitterness. Taste follows suit, starting sweet and moving to a bitter, peppery finish. Mouth feel is medium to light, with decent sustained carbonation and a bitter, warming finish.
Really, really nice Belgian. And for $2.50 a bottle? Unbeatable. Unbelievable! I’d have to say it’s an even better quality-for-price ratio than Leffe! If it weren’t for the fact that the best before was last week, I’d go back to the store and buy out everything they had on the shelf. Mind you, I’m convinced there’s nothing at all wrong with it now. Really, highly recommended.
Gigantic Brewing Company Too Much Coffee Man Belgian Strong Ale at 8.2% ABV
Pours a nearly complete black, with just hints of ruby brown around the edges, with one finger of dense tan head, excellent retention, and moderate to heavy lacing. Nose is overwhelmingly coffee, with hints of chocolate and dark fruit, some lactose. Taste is bitter coffee with milk, faint caramel. Mouth feel is medium to full, but creamy, with a dry, bitter finish.
Badly named. This is by no means “too much” coffee, but “just the right amount of coffee”. The underlying beer isn’t all that thrilling, though, but not bad by any means. This is like a big boy’s version of a Starbucks iced coffee, and I mean that in the best possible way.
Phillips Brewing Company Kaleidoscope IPA American IPA at 6.5% ABV
Pours a clear light gold with two fingers of foamy white head diminishing to a thin skim and moderate spotty lacing. Nose is hop forward, lots of Mosaic citrus, pine, and tropical fruit, but with a hint of caramel malt. Taste starts balanced sweet and bitter, but the bitter grows to dominate, becoming almost peppery. Mouth feel is slightly watery and light bodied, with a lingering bitter, sticky finish.
Quite nice! Flavour starts surprisingly mild, given the nose, but the hop bitterness and peppery bite build as the bottle progresses. The crystal clear appearance of this beer suggests this to be a far less enthusiastic IPA than it actually is. Not quite as robust as their Amnesiac, but it makes up for that in the very decent finish.
St. Austell Brewery Proper Job IPA at 5.5% ABV
Pours a clear gold with two fingers of foamy white head, excellent retention, and heavy lacing. Nose is citrus, pine, and tropical fruit. Taste starts sweet and citrusy, giving way to a bitter finish. Mouth feel is watery, with medium body and sustained carbonation.
Pleasantly light and fruity, with nicely balanced sharp hop bitterness and mild malt. The ABV may be a little high to consider this a session ale, but it’s not far off that. Quite drinkable.
Green Flash Brewing Co. Green Flash West Coast IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.1% ABV
Pours a slightly cloudy orange with a fat finger of white head diminishing to a thin skim and moderate sticky lacing. Nose is pine and citrus hops against a caramel malt background. Taste is similar, with a blend of bitter hops and caramel malt. Smooth mouthfeel, medium body and an off-dry lingering bitter finish.
Big hops dominated by pine, just the way I like it. There’s a lot of malt as well, though, that definitely cuts the impact of the hop bittering. Not entirely sure what’s missing here, but this doesn’t have the character one might expect from nearly 100 IBU. No bottle date, so perhaps it’s simply age. Decent, without being stellar.
Patrick Ryan originally shared this post:
Shmaltz Brewing Company He’Brew Hop Manna American IPA at 6.8% ABV
Pours a hazy orange with a fat finger of thick white head with great persistence and heavy chunky lacing. Nose is pine, citrus, tropical fruit, and grassy hops against a sweet caramel malt backbone. Taste is similar, with a blend of bitter hops and caramel malt. Smooth mouthfeel with medium body and an off-dry lingering bitter finish.
Not bad, but not really the hop profile or malt balance I prefer in an IPA. The mango flavour plays slightly too dominant a role, and there’s a stronger sweet malt presence than I’d like. The hops blend loses its edge against the malt background, and though it’s hop forward, it’s missing the resiny sharpness I prefer.
Goose Island Beer Co. Matilda Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7.0% ABV
Pours a cloudy copper with a ridiculously unmanageable head, requiring ten or fifteen minutes to tame to three or four pillowy fingers, great retention and heavy lacing. Nose is dominated by brett, with a distinct sour edge, against stone fruit and caramel malt. Taste starts out sweet, but moves quickly to sour, with a lingering sour and bitter finish. Mouth feel is slightly heavy, with lower than expected carbonation.
Oh, that’s nice. That’s very nice. Mildly funky and sour, with just enough brett to be interesting, but not overwhelming. Loads of character, with a gentle warming as the bottle progresses.