Monday, August 29, 2011

Pauwel Kwak

Since I seem to love Belgian ales so much, I thought I'd have another. Today's beer comes in a 330mL brown bottle with 8.4% alcohol/vol. It has an ingredients list that gives little surprise. There really isn't much to the bottle or label. Nothing flashy other than "KWAK" in big letters.

When opened, I could immediately smell the malt and a bit of hops. There was also a light aroma of fruity esters. When poured, no head formed. There was not an overabundance of bubbles, but they were noticeable. The beer had a deep copper/light brown colour. The aroma had dissipated rather quickly after the pour.

The beer had a very nice taste. Slightly nutty in flavour, and sweet. The feel in the mouth wasn't very soft, but wasn't hard either. There was also a bit of warmth from the alcohol. Of the Belgian strong ales I've tried, this beer had one of the most subdued flavours, while still retaining all the characteristics I love about this class of beers. This by no means the beer was flavourless.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tripel Karmeliet

I can't seem to get enough of the Belgian strong ales. Today's beer is a tripel. It comes in a brown 330mL bottle, with 8.4% alcohol/vol. And it looks like it has won multiple awards too. The label lists the ingredients as: water, malt, wheat, oat, hops, and yeast. Interesting blend!

When opened, the fruity aroma was quite pronounced. I could also smell a lot of yeast. When poured, it formed a generous head that lasted a while supported by lots of small bubbles. The beer itself had a light gold colour. The yeast smell had all but disappeared, leaving just the fruitiness.

The first sip didn't live up to my expectations. The beer tasted unfinished. I can't really describe it better than that. It had a medium feel in the mouth, and almost no warmth from the alcohol. There was only a slight bitter aftertaste, and didn't taste hoppy at all. As far as Belgian ales go, there are far better choices.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Delirium Tremens

Since I seem to have taken a liking to Belgian strong ales, I figured I'd treat myself to one today. I'm no longer doing the Monday/Wednesday/Friday beer samples, as I think I need a bit of a break at this point. Instead, I'm just going to randomly sample beers as I find them and want to drink them.

Delirium Tremens comes in a unique 330mL bottle; it is an opaque off-white with black specks. There is a blue foil covering the bottle cap to give it an added air of distinction. It has 8.7% alcohol/vol.

When opened, I was greeted with the strong malty aroma that other Belgian strong ales have, coupled with a slight fruitiness. It poured with a gargantuan head and lots of large bubbles. The malty aroma was somewhat subdued after being poured, with the fruitiness taking over. The beer had a pale yellow colour to it.

The first sip was rather complex. A little bit of spiciness, and a bit fruity. The beer had a medium feel in the mouth. There was almost no bitterness at all. There was a noticeable warmth from the alcohol. After a few sips, the subtleties died down. This is a fairly good beer.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

O'Hara's Irish Stout

Finally an Irish brew. Judging by the label, today's beer appears to have won some kind of awards. It comes in a 500mL brown bottle with 4.3% alcohol/vol.

When I opened the bottle, a few aromas were immediately noticeable. Coffee, chocolate, malt, and a hint of hops. When poured, a thick brown head formed. The head lasted a long time and left a nice lace on the glass. I could not see any bubbles in the beer, if only because the beer was so dark. The chocolate and coffee aromas were still present, but the hops were nowhere to be found.

The first sip was very refreshing. The beer started off smooth, but ended up with a sharp feel in the mouth. It also had a prolonged bitter aftertaste. The coffee and chocolate flavours were not overpowering. This beer very closely resembles Guinness, only slightly less bitter, and with more chocolate flavour.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kirin Ichiban

I'm a bit scared of today's beer. The label claims "One of the world's most unique premium beers". Most unique? That can either be good or bad. It comes from Japan, which usually has rice as an adjunct, but the label also mentions 100% malt (I hope there's also some hops in there). It comes in a 355mL brown bottle with 5% alcohol/vol.

When opened, there was a slight malt and hop aroma. Not terribly strong. The beer poured a clear pale yellow, with a slight head (which didn't last very long). There were lots of large bubbles. There was very little aroma after the beer was poured, and I could not identify it.

The first sip was clean and smooth but weak. There was no bitterness, and a slightly prickly mouth feel. I consider this beer close to water. I could see somebody sitting on a patio drinking it. But there are probably better (and cheaper) alternatives for a patio beer. If I was in Japan on a hot day, I would drink it. But there's no reason to drink it anywhere else.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Inveralmond Blackfriar

Today's beer is a Scottish ale. It comes in a 500mL brown bottle with 7% alcohol/vol. It gives an entertaining story on the back label which has absolutely nothing to do with the beer. But at least they tried. It also has an ingredient list: water, malted barley, malted wheat, hops, yeast. So far so good.

When opened, the bottle let out an aroma of sweet malt with just a hint of hops. When poured, a finger-thick head formed that lasted a while, supported by lots of small bubbles. There was also a lot of sediment in the copper-coloured beer. The sweet malt aroma was still apparent after the pour, along with a slight fruitiness.

The first sip was fairly bitter given the amount of malt it smelled like. The beer had a medium feel in the mouth. There was also a slight warming in the stomach from the alcohol. With subsequent sips, a complex flavour took form. A beautiful lace also formed as the glass emptied. This beer would be a great introduction to non-domestic beers, as it sits in the middle of the road in terms of everything (not too extreme on any front).

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sagres Preta

My first Portuguese beer today. The label say it's a "dark beer". There is also a list of ingredients: water, malt, corn, and hops. They are very brave to admit putting corn in their beer. I now have very low expectations. It comes in a 330mL brown slightly odd-shaped bottle, and has 4.1% alcohol/vol. Weak.

When I opened the bottle, I could smell malt, but also a strong coffe smell. The beer poured with a thick head that disappeared almost instantly. It had a very dark colour, almost black. I could not see any bubbles at all. The coffee aroma was still there, and not much else.

The first sip tasted like weak coffee. The beer had a soft feel in the mouth, and there was no aftertaste. I very fairly unimpressed by this beer. The more I drank it, the less I could smell the coffee, and more I could smell something else. Metallic perhaps? I wouldn't recommend this beer to anyone.