Quick Tastes of the St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout

July 1, 2010

I think everybody on occasion craves the smooth and utterly creamy texture and sensation that can only come from a well crafted stout. Others, like me, crave it quite often. In the world of stouts there is much confusion and also variety. One major brand dominates this land, and is regarded as the be-all and end-all of creamy stouta. A meal in a can they say. I don’t think so… Not even close.

I will direct your attention to the St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout by McAuslan, and introduce you to a truly creamy stout. This beer is available at the LCBO in 6 packs, and its delicious, but from the bottle it does not render all of its creamy and silky abilities. It is however poured on draught at bars and pubs across the city, and that its where this remarkable stout shines. Shines with silky, creamy awesomeness.  Read the rest of this entry »

Quick Tastes of the 2010 Innis & Gunn Canadian Cask

June 30, 2010

This is the second year that Innis & Gunn has graced us with a special beer designed just for Canadians in order to celebrate Canada Day. The Canadian Cask is brewed with malted rye and is aged in Canadian Club Rye Whiskey Barrels, as opposed to the Original Innis & Gunn which is aged in Bourbon barrels.

Rye beers are an interesting creature. They are not terribly different from a regular beer brewed with malted barley, and most rye beers are brewed still with a portion of malted barley. But rye produces 2 new characteristics in beer – it creates a smoother and more creamy body and mouthfeel, and it adds a distinct sweetness that can only be found in rye beers. It is different from the wide variety of flavors you get from malted barley – it tends to be more of the toffee candy side of things, and can also show a deep mellow sweetness that it blatantly obvious, but somehow subtle and relaxing on your palate.   Read the rest of this entry »

Quick Tastes of the St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale

June 25, 2010

Its hot and steamy outside, the thought of movement is tiring, and nothing would treat you better than a cold, delicious, lightly sweet and supremely refreshing beer. Hell, you’d even settle for a lemonade! Luckily though, such a beer does exist, so you can forget about the juice. From Quebec, McAuslan’s St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale is just that, a wheat beer brewed with the essence of apricot. Mmmm.

Apricot really has a beautiful mellow sweet flavor that lends itself perfectly to beer. It is not sugary sweet, nor is it tart or aggressive. It is just calm enough to play along with the beer rather than dominate it. Honestly this beer treats me so well every time I reach for one. And it is those sunny, dry mouth, hot-as-hell out moments where I will reach for one with a huge smile on my face. Read the rest of this entry »

Quick Tastes of the McAuslan St. Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout

June 24, 2010

It is big, creamy, luscious, and filled with deep rich flavors. So why did I buy 10 bottles and put 6 of them in my storage locker!? There is a good reason actually. This beer is packed with thick and velvety flavors of bittersweet bakers chocolate, dark espresso beans, roasted coffee, charred wood, light bourbon and gentle vanilla. It is 9.1% abv and is loaded with flavors and texture – really it is remarkable right now.

But some of the best things in life build with age. I have been experimenting with ageing certain beers that are generally higher in alcohol content, and richer in flavor to see if they improve or not. The first observation I have made it that they do! Not all beers will, but if you can learn the styles and characteristics of a beer that appear young, and simply need to mature, then you can build a glorious beer cellar to behold for many years. I do anticipate that this big rich Russian Imperial Stout by McAuslan will age exceptionally well; but only time will tell… I plan on opening one every half year for the next 3.  Read the rest of this entry »