Beers 1,068 – 1,070: Stoutoberfest

In the midst of getting a company off the ground you’d think I’d have more to talk about than what beers I’ve had. No. No, I don’t. All the serious business is taking off over at, so that leaves the emptying of the cellar as the primary focus over here. I’m sure other things will come up. I’m realizing I need a real smartphone, though. Gotta get on that. So what brought me to illustrious #1,070?

Garrison Brewing Oktoberfest Brau: A 4.9% Märzen from Halifax, Nova Scotia. I have to go on record with a shocking revelation – I have not yet thoroughly enjoyed a Garrison product. I know people love their stuff, especially the Imperial IPA, but I just don’t. Unfortunately, this was no exception. I had enjoyed a stunning Sam Adams Octoberfest beforehand and this simply didn’t measure up. Muted flavours, lacking in the expected malts, just disappointing. I think my last hope is Martello Stout cask at Cask Days in two weeks.

Cannery Brewing Maple Stout: A 5.5% Stout from Penticton, British Columbia. Gotta love a stout whose slogan is “stout, dark and handsome.” I’d had a couple Cannery products a number of years back and found them acceptable but certainly not memorable. Still, I love the combination of maple and stout so what the heck. The aroma was solid, great maple base coming from an artificial maple flavouring they add. That same product issues a great maple flavour a step above the common flavours one expects from “maple.” The big victory here is the huge body, smooth and silky mouthfeel. It’s like drinking a lamb. Not really.

Black Creek Stout: A 5.0% Stout from Toronto, Ontario. I still haven’t made it out to see this brewery, a replica of a historic brewery located at Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto. Every GTA kid remembers the field trips to Pioneer Village, what with the bonnets and butter churning. Turns out they now churn out some solid, old-fashioned, traditional beers. They don’t go crazy, just delivering solidly brewed basics. This roasty, dry stout is no exception.

Oh, and speaking of Cask Days – I got my ticket. I’ll be hitting the 12-5 session, and I hope to see some of you there. Flag me down if you’re going to join me!

Beers 1,060 – 1,064: Including the Phantom Addition

It was a packed long weekend, I might get into a few of the other details, but since most of the interest around here nowadays is in what I drink let’s have at it:

The Ghosttown was one of the weirdest beers I’ve ever had. It would seem cost prohibitive to add absinthe to a beer but that’s certainly what I tasted. It wasn’t a thick or heavy stout, running somewhere closer to a dark brown ale with odd flavouring than a stout. The Goliath was a traditional English Bitter, well done but not worthy of adulation and praise by any means. The Vobiscum Triple was tasty enough, and hid its 9% well, but I’ve had far, far better triples in my time. I still hold good memories of their Blanche, though.

Ah, King Goblin. So if you know much about beer you’ve probably tried Hobgoblin, unless you were scared off by the “lagerboy” insults of the label. King Goblin takes the 5.2% Hobgoblin and waits until there’s a full moon (for serious), then removes the pale malts and adds some Sovereign and Cascade hops to the Styrian and Fuggles to create a stronger tasting, darker 6.6% brew that bears some similarities, but is really more than “stronger Hobgoblin.” I loved it. I’m always amazed at Wychwood’s ability to churn out full-flavoured, strong ales that also refresh. It’s tough to do.

So where’d beer 1,060 come from? Research. I was updating Facebook Timeline on the weekend with my old vacations, sorting through old blog posts here, and found an entry indicating I had enjoyed a Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat years ago. Who knew? It’s on the list.