Brewtopia Events LLC

Beers of Canada
Blind Beer Tasting
bold beer tasters   
(Clockwise from back left): Wayne (brewer for Buckhead
Brewery and Grill), J.R. (brewer for Max Lagers), Gary
(manager of Melton's), Kerri, Thel, Jeremy (brewer for
Texas Cattle Co.), and Owen.
Owen Ogletree (director of Brewtopia Events LLC) gathered together some brewers and beer enthusiasts on July 13, 2003 at Melton's App and Tap, Decatur, GA to sample and comment on several mixed styles of beers from Québec and other parts of Canada.  This beer sampling was done as a blind tasting where no one was aware of the brands that were being served.  Beers were informally commented upon and ranked according to Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines.  First, second, third places, and honorable mention were awarded to the beers we felt represented their individual styles in extraordinary fashion.  Drop Owen an email to share your comments and opinions.

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Commercial Beers -- Blind Tasting Comments...

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Melton's App and Tap was gracious enough to host our evaluation of these beers. This pub and restaurant is nestled off East Ponce De Leon Avenue in Decatur and features a fine beer selection and superb pub food (including pasta, sandwiches, salads, burgers and a brunch menu).

2500 N. Decatur Road, Decatur, GA
ph: 404-634-9112

Melton's App and Tap

St. Ambroise Vintage Ale
Brasserie McAuslan - Montreal, Quebec
English Barleywine (9.4% abv)
Aroma: Malt, rum, plums, caramel, molasses, coconut.
Appearance: Ruby, garnet hints with good carbonation for a barleywine.
Flavor: Woody English hops, great malt content, smooth toffee flavors.  Alcohol is there, but in the background. This beer is well-aged.  There is a really nice malt-hop balance.

Ephemere (Beer with Apple Must)
Unibroue - Chambly, Quebec
Fruit Beer (5.5% abv)

Aroma: Nice aroma of real apples.  Apples dominate - there is very little beer aroma.
Appearance: Slight haze with a white head. Effervescent and champagne-like in appearance.
Flavor: Carbon dioxide balances the slight sweetness.  Slight caramel apple finish with elegant flavors all around.  This is a surprisingly good beer that tastes like real green apples.

Unibroue - Chambly, Quebec
Belgian Specialty Ale (7% abv)
Aroma: Nice phenols, alcohols and complex aromas.  Spice, flowers, and honey are also present.
Appearance: White, nice head.  Slight haze.  Yellow color.
Flavor: Very drinkable.  Flavor is deceiving - does not give away alcohol content.  There are low levels of hops with a nice acid finish.  Spicy phenol undertones are very subtle.  This is a mildly complex ale that is smooth and soft.

X.O. (Beer with Cognac)
Benedictus, Quebec / L & L S.A.S., France
Specialty / Experimental Beer (8% abv)
Aroma: Sherry, whisky, fruit, and malt.  Berry/grape-like aromas are pleasant.  The aroma is subtle and perfumy.
Appearance: Clear with a dark copper / reddish / mahogany color.
Flavor: Flavors improve as the beer warms to room temperature.  This is a very different, unique beer.  There are flavors of grape tannin with a slight astringency - oaky and very wine-like.  There are also notes of sweet honey.

Calumet Double Porter Fume
Brewery Le Chaudron - Montreal, Quebec
Smoked Beer (6.4% abv)
Aroma: Nice balance of smoke and chocolate / burnt character.
Appearance: Jet black with a tan head - gorgeous.
Flavor: Dark grain astringency makes the beer a bit dry.  Very roasty with good smoke qualities.  There are also nice caramel notes and a big burnt grain character.

La Bolduc
Unibroue - Chambly, Quebec
Historical Beer (5% abv)
Aroma: Slight DMS (corn, butter) notes.  Lightly hopped with an earthy, woody aroma.
Appearance: Golden and clear with an attractive, white head.  Clear and bright.
Flavor: Slightly tart and lactic with a dry finish. This is a refreshing beer that is light in body and light in hops - not what one would expect from an "ancient ale."  As it warms the flavor becomes more and more like a Canadian lager.

Bock de Joliette
Micro-Brasserie L'Alchimiste - Joliette, Quebec
Bock (6.1 % abv)
Aroma: Malt with apple hints (acetaldehyde?).  Aroma also has butter, caramel, and toasted notes.  Smells a bit like citrusy American hops as well (not right for style).
Appearance: Clear and dark gold / light copper in color.
Flavor: Malt, grain, toast, Munich malt, butter and a slight acidity.

Boreale Cuivree
Les Brasseurs du Nord - Blainville, Quebec
Belgian Specialty Ale (6.9% abv)
Aroma: Malty, buttery, and toffee-like.
Appearance: Clear, bright, medium gold in color.
Flavor: Dark grain hints with a raisin toast undertone.  Sweet finish with some nice grain flavors and a mild spice character.  Malts are a bit like a Scottish ale.  This is malty, but not very Belgian in character.  However, this is a delicious beer.

Sergeant's IPA
Old Yale Brewing Company - Chilliwack, British Columbia
India Pale Ale (5.5% abv)
Aroma: Butter and diacetyl is overwhelming.  There are also some toffee / caramel undertones.
Appearance: Golden in color with some yeast particles (bottle conditioned).
Flavor: Paper, acid, butter.  Problems cover up any nice malt and hop character.  This is a slightly infected beer that is very dry.  Should have more clean malt and spicy hop aroma and flavor.

Tord-vis (Maple Strong/Smoked Beer)
Brasserie Le Cheval Blanc - Montreal, Quebec
Specialty / Experimental Beer (6% abv)
Aroma: Malty, sweet aromas. There is also fruit, spice, clove, and mild tobacco hints.
Appearance: Medium gold with a beautiful clarity.
Flavor: Mild maple, medium body, mild sweetness, slight astringent smoke that is ash / cinder like.  The smoke character is not very refined.  Needs more malt, maple, and mellow smoke qualities.

Bonte Divine
Microbrasserie Charlevoix - Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec
Spice Beer (7% abv)

Aroma: Mild clove, sweet orange peel, mild spice, fruit, apple, and caramel notes.  Beer has a complex, yet light aroma (subtle).
Appearance: Slight haze with a copper color and good carbonation.
Flavor: Complex, light spices with medium malt and body.  This coats the tongue and has a sweet start with a bit of a dry finish.  This is an interesting beer.  More malt might be nice.

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