I have a summer project. It stems from when I was 16 and going to the National Hotel in Calgary to see my friend's band play. I didn't have an allowance, so had to watch my pennies, and the beer was cheaper than pop at this particular establishment. So you can imagine how good it was. As a result, I came to loathe beer. Since I was having some success overcoming my distaste for white wines, I decided it was time to take on my long-time palate nemesis.
My pal Suresh was very excited to hear about this and offered to take me and some other folks out to Beer Bistro for a tasting flight. For $6, you can choose any 3 of their extensive draught list, and the servings are quite generous. Since I've determined that the bitter hops is the flavour that turns me off beer, I tried to choose ones that downplayed that element.
- From lightest to darkest, first up was the McAuslan St-Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale from Québec:
- very pleasant apricot nose
- lovely tawny colour
- full bodied
- strongish bitterness at the back
- silky mouth feel
- fruity at the tip of the tongue
- still too beery a taste for me
- Next was Blanche de Chambly from Québec
- light, floral nose
- golden, straw colour
- no bitterness, but not much of anything else, either
- that it's unfiltered contributes to the trace of weight
- hint of pear, lemon on the outside
- This beer definitely got more complex the longer it sat. Perhaps it needs to oxidize, like a wine?
- I ended with Koningshoeven Dubbel Trappist Ale from the Netherlands
- This was definitely my favourite of the three
- gorgeous ruby colour
- deep, sweet caramelly nose with hints of berries
- perfect amount of bitterness - dark chocolate?
- molasses prevalent to balance that bitterness
- very rich, so definitely a sipper
While I was happy to try these beers, and learned quite a bit from doing so, my real goal is to find a brand more readily available at both liquor stores and restaurants/pubs that I can be consistently happy with. The quest continues. What's your favourite brew?