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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weekend Beer Tastings

It is Saturday night, I have way too much beer kicking around and I am too lazy to go out. This can only mean one thing - beer tasting!

St. Peter's G-Free

The "G-Free" stands for gluten free...if you hadn't already figured that one out. This beer is the 6th gluten-free beer you can get at the LCBO...well, while the quantities last. Wait...the sixth? I bet you didn't know the LCBO sold so many gluten free beers, eh? Well at the time of this review these beers are - Nickel Brook's, Bard's Gold, La Messagere and Lakefront's. OK, before the angry comments come, let me clear something up - yes, there are only 4 names listed (which makes 5 with St. Peter's), but I say that there are 6 beers in total...well obviously one of these brewers sells more than 1 kind of gluten-free beer at the LCBO.

Well, onto the beer. The beer is brewed with 3 ingredients - water, sorghum and hops. Sorghum, according to the most trusted source on the internets, Wikipedia, is a type of grass raised for grain and you can read more about it here.

The brew pours with a thin, bubbly head which quickly dissipates without a trace. As seen in the overexposed photo (I apologize for the lack of lightbox shots in the recent months) the beer has a light amber color, which is much darker than I actually expected. The aroma is hoppy with a sour undertone. Probably flavourful hops had to be used to cover up the sourness.

The flavour is sour and hoppy and reminds me of a poorly brewed batch of pale ale I made last year...which I still ended up drinking. But after a few sips the taste gets better and the sourness dies down a bit to make this beer faitly enjoyable. Some bitterness also slowly starts to emerge and after a few more sips the two start to balance each other out. The low alcohol content and the light flavour make it easily drinkable.

The finish is sour but with lingering hop notes. I think the choice of flavourful American hops was a very wise one.

Though the start was rocky, I actually enjoyed this beer. If you like American hops but can't enjoy bold west coast IPAs, I strongly suggest giving one of these a shot.

Lake of Bays Rock Cut Baysville Lager

OK, obviously for this photo I wasn't lazy enough to not set up my lightbox and take a decent picture, but I was lazy as always with the editing.

Rock Cut was recently added to the LCBO shelves and just in time for the summer months and Victoria Day weekend.

The lager is amber in color and pours with a thick, creamy head which recedes in a couple of minutes with some lacing behind. Off the bat you that this will be a flavourful lager with its darker-than-mass-market color.  The aroma further confirms this with a healthy dose of malt reminding me of a German lager.

The flavour is very similar to German lagers, however, the mouthfeel is a tad lighter and there is a bit of copper beneath the maltiness. The finish is crisp and a little dry with a bit of lingering sweet malt and light hops. The lighter mouthfeel made this beer exceptionally drinkable and very refreshing in the warm weather for me and the first one really hit the spot. I cannot wait to stock up.

Try this if you like Mill Street's Organic Lager or Stock Ale. Lake of Bays Rock Cut is as light and refreshing as the Organic Lager with a flavour profile between the two. Though I enjoy West-coast style IPAs, I always keep some Stock Ale and Organic Ale in case I want something refreshing and light. I think I will start keeping some cans of Rock Cut as well.

Molson Canadian Wheat

I got a can of this when it was first released a few weeks ago, but it just ended up sitting in my fridge until the long weekend when I had some time to sample a few beers.

Molson's Wheat pours and looks like any other macro wheat - light gold in color, cloudy and pours with a thick and creamy head which remains on top. The aroma is blend between a regular molson and a true wheat beer with grains and some spices trailing far behind.

The taste is surprisingly light, refreshing and very easy to drink. I kinda like it...at least the first few sips. The reason why I liked it at first is because this lacks the traditional wheat beer profile and leans more towards macro lagers with enough wheat added to call it a wheat beer, yet not enough for Molson to offend their target audience. There are very little spices, banana or citrus notes....OK, OK, there are almost none. So if you are looking for a wheat beer, then I suggest you look elsewhere. However, if you are looking for an easy to drink, light and refreshing beer and you don't care about the style, then this will be perfect for you.

I almost forgot - I said I only liked the first few sips. Why is that? Because after a few more sips a light sourness starts to emerge and build up with each sip. At first, it is subtle, but the more you drink, the stronger it gets. Also, the finish starts to develop a level of dryness that requires water to be drank, thus making this beer a little less enjoyable.

Overall, this doesn't quite fit the wheat profile I expected, but it is an inoffensive and easy to drink beer that will most likely appeal to Molson's fans.

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