Hip Hops

three beers

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.

  1. 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

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

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