Beer Of The Week: Gulden Draak

May 28, 2016 § Leave a comment

Gulden DraakI recall a time when I thought beer either can in a bottle with a blue label or a bottle with a red label. In fact there was a time that, like in politics, families were either Labatt Blue or Molson Canadian families. Those times have long since past and the diversity in beer choices rivals that of wine choices.

At the beginning of the craft beer renaissance there was a lot of talk about Belgian beers and Belgian brewing. It was at this time I was introduced to the multi-time World Beer Champion – Gulden Draak.

Price ~ $4.00 (330ml), $8-$10 (750ml)

Score ~ 9.1 Best Buy

Right away you can tell that you are not dealing with your run of the mill brew. At 10.8% alcohol it is a bit of a monster that pours dark brown in the glass. The nose shows caramel and Christmas cake, with generous malty greatness. The palate is big and broad. Caramel, toffee, candied fruit and nuts dominate the flavours, while the finish makes you think of the holidays and is dry.

As much as the above breaks things down, I think the beauty of this beer is in the whole package. There is a whole lot going on and it is all really enjoyable.

I went to the Van Steenberge website and found a very cool looking cocktail of all things – replace the Irish Whisky in an Irish Coffee with Gulden Draak. This is now on my list of things to do.

As for food pairings, this would be ideal with stews, hearty meat based pastas, smoked cheeses, and, yes chocolate.

 

Cheers

Dork UnCorked

Beer Of The Week ~ Steamworks Jasmine IPA

May 14, 2016 § Leave a comment

Steamworks Jasmine IPAOver the last few years I have strayed away from IPA’s. Specifically because they seem to have continued upward growth in hoppy bitterness.

Recently I was introduced to an IPA that I really really enjoyed. At first I had it in my fridge for a few days and was apprehensive, but then one night the combination of the temperature and  meal seemed to force me to open it.

Price ~ $6.00

Score ~ 8.1/10 Over Delivers

I just love what the Jasmine infusion does to make this IPA stand out. I have hand many an IPA and after awhile, they are seem the same. However one you put your nose to this brew, you will quickly understand what makes it stand out.

There is a gentle floral component that is not only attractive but also tempers, or balances, the hops. the result is a fully enjoyable IPA that is memorable and craveable… if that is even a word. In fact I have now bought this beer on a number of occasions.

Store Section ~ Craft ‘Bomber’ Section

Availability ~ both public and private stores.

Cheers

the Dork Uncorked

PS- below is a link to the Wine Folly book on Amazon. Yes this is an affiliate program and it helps us keep the blog going, having said that I highly recommend this book and use it myself. It is colourful easy to read book that you can have a resource. Enjoy.

<img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-15993″ src=”https://dorkuncorked.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/wine-folly-image.jpg&#8221; alt=”Wine Folly Image” width=”202″ height=”250″ />

 

Beer of The Week May 7-13: Bridge Brewing Lemon Gin Saison

May 7, 2016 § 1 Comment

Bridge Lemon GinAlways looking to improve on the offerings here, I have enlisted some of the most respected palates in the Craft Beer world to provide a Beer of the Week Each Week.

This week features Jami Wood of Spinnaker’s Spirit Merchants in James Bay.

For Jami this beer was so good that it inspired her to bake a cake with the beer being a key ingredient.

Pick of the Week: Bridge Brewing Lemon Gin Saison

Format: 650ml

Price: $7-$8/650ml

Availability: Private Stores only; very limited stock available – get it now!

Tasting Notes/Technical Info: Brewed with the addition of juniper berries, lemon peel, coriander, and pink peppercorns, and fermented with a French Saison Yeast, this beer is unique and super drinkable. Juniper, used in moderation, emphasizes the gin flavours, while coriander adds depth and complexity. The saison yeast used expresses peppery, spicy and citrusy notes, which play well with the lemon zest and pink peppercorn.

ABV 5.5% IBU 24

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

Category 12 Transmutation Belgian Specialty Ale

February 17, 2016 § 2 Comments

TransmutationThis is a first. I haven’t really written about beer as there are lot of people out there that seem to cover the category well, however this one tickled me quite a bit. Really unique brew with serious artisan bent and tons of local flavour (pun intended).

One of the toughest things to do when you have a brilliant idea that you clearly see as your future is to convince your spouse (I know of this all too well).

Michael Kuzyk, proprietor of Category 12 Brewing, got his doctorate in microbiology and biochemistry from UVic and had a very distinguished career working and leading some of the world’s most highly regarded labs. His true calling was brewing and after honing his craft as a homebrewer he had ideas of becoming a craft brewer, but he had to convince his wife Karen.

The best way convince anyone that you have what it takes to be a successful brewer is to brew something they love- walk your talk – and this is exactly what Michael did.

Karen wasn’t as much of a fan of beer as Michael until she tried the Transmutation although it wasn’t called that at the time. Transmutation is a Belgian Specialty Ale and what makes it really special is the handmade, yes handmade candy that is added to the brew. What you get is a strong Belgian Ale of the Trappist Tripel tradition with lovely sweetness while maintaining its refreshing body.

Only 200 cases of bombers are produced and they are starting to hit stores today (Feb. 17, 2016). Below is a list of stores that you will find it at today. I would act fast given how quickly it sold out last year.

Spinnaker’s James Bay & Vic West

Vessel Liquor

Metro Liquor University Heights, Tuscany Village and Brentwood

Cascadia Uptown, Quadra and Langford

Cook St. Village Liquor Store

The Strath

Estimated price $8-$10/650ml

You can also get growler fills at the brewery (link to brewery) 1L $8.00 1.9L $16

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

PS – do me a favour and let the store or the brewery know who sent you.

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