Sunday, October 31, 2010

Beer Review: Sapporo (Japan/Canada)

Hey all. I'm back from the realm of non-posting with a fresh new crisp update for you all. Are you ready to have your minds blown?

Today I'll be reviewing Sapporo, since many of you have asked this.

Where to start... ok well first of all, let's break some myths about this beer. If you are drinking it in the States or in Canada, sorry to break it to you, but its not important from Asia. It's in fact brewed in Canada. So if you are paying $10 a can for it, you are getting ripped off.

Let's get to it

Looks: Golden opaque with a thin white head that doesn't last.
Smells: Strong citrus, some hops, rice. A bit aggressive on the nose I find.
Tastes: Rice, lemon. Quite crisp, fresh. Leaves a long bitter after taste.

Looks: 3/5 - Nothing particular about its looks. Rated up because I like the can.
Smells: 3/5 - Again, nothing really particular here. It smells like a typical rice beer.
Tastes: 6/10 - Again... nothing really particular here. Its a rice beer that's basically an upgraded bud. I mean that in the nicest of ways possible.
Overall: 12/20 - Have when you have sushi. Otherwise, stick to your local brewers.


Edit: Ok ok smartasses, I made a type, big deal. 12/20 :P

Saturday, October 30, 2010

No Post: Second in a row!

Sorry about that guys. Just got home a few minutes ago, so as you can guess, no new review today. Thankfully, you can expect something tomorrow, promise.

In other news, I've mostly been reviewing the beer's I've been wanting to review. What would you guys like me to review? Let me know in the comments, I'll make a list and I'll TRY to get my hands on some (no promises, but I'll try my best).


Friday, October 29, 2010

No Post: Sorry guys

Sorry guys, no post today. I know I haven't been the best with them this week, but real life is really in the way of things lately. Funerals suck to organize (don't worry, just helping, not someone I was close to). Thankfully, it will all be over tomorrow. I'll try to get you guys a post tomorrow, if not I guarantee one Sunday for sure.

tl;dr: Update tomorrow after it or Sunday.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

J Answers You: Drinking and Rating your beer.

In today's "J answers You" I'll be talking about how to rate beer. Since many of you have expressed wanting to expand your horizons, its important that you know what to look for when you pour yourself a beer.


First things first: You'll want to prepare your beer. This means getting it the right temperate to drink it. Now normally, this would be cellar temperate, so more or less the temperature of your basement. In order to get to this, I would suggest leaving it in your fridge. Although it is colder than your basement, by the time you have poured your beer and examined it, it will have warmed up a little. Under no circumstances should you freeze it! I know lots of people that enjoy putting their beers in the freezer. This is a bad idea, you'll damage the taste of the beer.

Second step: Find a place to rate your beer. Someplace where you won't get distracted and leave it sitting on a table for half an hour.

Third step: Pouring your beer. Silly I know, but it is important. Beers are made to be drunk out of glasses, not bottles. Ideally you'll want the right type of glass too: a pint pub glass for stouts, ales and lagers, a champagne glass for lambic beers and a chalice glass for belgian ales. These will help you get the most out of your beer. For most beers, you'll want to tip your glass a bit and slowly fill it. For stouts and lagers, you will want a smaller angle.

Forth step: Rate your beer.

The rating:

Looks (Appearance): What does your beer look like? What color is it? How much head does it have, how long does it stay? Basically just try to describe what your beer looks like. Things to keep an eye for are sediments. Some beers are supposed to have them, others not.
For me, if I rate a beer highly on its looks, it means that by just looking at it I want to drink it.

Smells (Aroma): What does your beer smell like? Take your time, give it a good sniff. Try to detect what the beer smells like. Is the smell too overpowering? Does it smell like fruits? Malt? Chocolate? Try to pickup the obvious smells and the less obvious ones too. Personally I like to keep a small cup with coffee beans nearby in order to clean my nostrils between smells (one good smell of it and you'll find them cleared right up). This might help you pickup on the more subtle aromas, as does swirling the glass.
Again with this, the higher the mark, the more I want to drink it.

Tastes (Flavor / Palate): Now I'll split this into 2 parts. Most people will rate taste only on flavor, however its important to also consider Palate.
Palate: For those of you that don't know what this is, its basically: How does this beer feel in my mouth? Is it smooth? Harsh? Does it feel watery or filling? There's no real tip to this one. Try lots of beer, know what you should be expecting from the kind of beer you are drinking.
Flavor: What does it taste like when it first hits your lips? What about after you've swallowed? How long does the aftertaste like and what does it taste like? Try to detect everytaste that comes at you. Is it bitter? Sweet? Does it have anything special about it?
Rate your taste over how much you enjoyed drinking your beer and how willing you would be to drink it again.

I hope this will help you all with your tasting and your exploration of future beers.


News from J's house: My cat (who's 17), recently starting pulling out clumps of his hair with his teeth. Anyone know why he might have started doing this out of the blue? I've already set up an appointment with the vet next week, but I'd love to see if I could do anything for him before then. Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Beer Review: Murrays Pilsner (Australia)

Wow I'm really late tonight. Sorry about that, real life stuff getting in the way. Today I'll review a special treat from Australia, the Murrays Pilsner. I know today is supposed to be a Misc day, but I've decided to switch it with tomorrow's post as I'm not done writing it and I had this review already done.

Looks: Cloudy orange with a small white head that shrinks quite fast.
Smells: Lots of hops, citrus, clove, pine and fruits.
Tastes: Hops with some malt. Quite sweet that turns into a long bitter. Lots of flavor with each mouthful. The malt especially comes out near the end of each sip. Quite refreshing.

Looks: 3/5 - Looks good, but disappointing head. Decreased in size far too fast for my liking.
Smells: 4/5 - Good aroma, a bit strong on the noise. Let's you know exactly what you are in for when you smell it.
Tastes: 7.5/10 - Pretty good, though I think the transportation might have damaged the quality of the bottle for the one I drank, so unfortunately I'll have to give it a 7.5 until I get a chance to review it again. Still quite a good Pilsner.


News from J's house: So today I got home to find out that the building next to mine installed billboards right in front of my window. Now every time I look out of it I get to see a smiling lawyer talking about chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy. I guess they are going for all of the US owners in my neighborhood (which there are quite a few). Either way... It's really annoying, they didn't use to have adds on that building before. Has this happened to anyone before?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beer Review: Dieu du Ciel Aphrodisiaque (Canada)

Sorry about the late post. Real life got in the way today. Just a head's up, tomorrow's post might be late too.

Today I'll be reviewing the Dieu du Ciel Aphrodisiaque, a Canadian Stout.

Looks: Dark brown with a nice thick creamy beige colored head.
Smells: Chocolate, rich vanilla, cloves, brown sugar.
Tastes: Caramel, chocolate milk. Not nearly as sweet as the smell would let on. Oily body that leaves a nice long finish with lots of bitterness, chocolate and vanilla.

Looks: 4/5 - Pours well, the head stays nice and creamy for quite a while.
Smells: 5/5 - Really offers a lot to the nose. The vanilla and chocolate is really present and just lovely.
Tastes: 9/10 - Delicious, plain and simple.
Overall: 18/20 - If you ever come across one of these, get it, drink it, love it.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Beer Review: AleSmith IPA (USA)

Hello everyone. It's time for another beer review. Today I'll be reviewing the AleSmith IPA, a nice Indian Pale Ale from San Diego.

Looks: Hazy amber with a nice big frothy white head that stays quite a while.
Smells: Caramel, pine, spice, grapefruit.
Tastes: Caramel malt, grapefruit, spice. Slightly bitter with a nice warm finish, leaving a slight citrus flavor after.

Looks: 4.5/5 - Gorgeous. The head stays big and frothy for so long it's just great.
Smells: 3.5/5 - Nothing really particularly distinguishing in the aroma, found it a bit too intense on the citrus for my nose.
Tastes: 8.5/10 - Very good drink. I can see why it has a good reputation out there.
Overall: 16.5/20 - Definitely one of the better IPAs out there. Very smooth and probably one of the better US beers that I've had a chance to sample.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

J Answers You: Finding your beer. (Montreal)

So I was asked in the comments:

"J, where do you find your beer?"

Good question! If you like beer, its important to know where you can find some. Now, I can't really list places outside of Montreal, as when I'm out of town I tend to go to bars and not shops, but I can give you a few pointers as to where you'll be able to find some nice places for beer in Montreal. Do note I'm talking about real beer here. If you just want a case of bud, go to your local super market (and stop reading this blog until you grow a taste for real beer).

*the best*
Le Grand Duc - rue Mapie, Longueille.
By far some of the best selection around. This is where I go when I want something I can't find Anywhere else. They've had at least good 500 different kinds of beers on their shelves at one point or another. The prices are very reasonable considering some of the beer they have there too.

Le Paradis de la Bière - Corner Beaubien and De Lanaudière.
Good selection of local beers and a few decent choices in terms of foreign beers. Low priced too.

Métro Joannette Supermarket - l’Église in Verdun.
One of the best spots to go for local beers. They have some of the best selection out there. Can be a bit pricey though.

Épicerie Au Coin Duluth - Duluth Est.
Great selection of local beers, low prices and awesome service too (one of my favorites since its not far from where I live). The owner loves his beer and he always goes out of his way to try and find some nice local bottles.

I also have a few other places I sometimes go to. If you guys want me to list them, I'll make a "Finding your beer part 2" next week.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Alcohol Review: Glen Breton Ice 10 Year Old (Canadian Whisky)

Howdy everyone, today I'll be reviewing a gift that I got from a good friend of mine, a bottle of Glen Breton Ice 10 Year Old.

Looks: Light golden, a bit oily, still poured well.
Smells: Malty, biscuits, grass, a light touch of toffee.
Tastes: Sweet, light peat, spices, ginger, a bit oily.

Looks: 4/5 - Beautiful color that really shines off the casks it was aged in.
Smells: 4/5 - Great aroma, delicate and sweet, not too strong.
Tastes: 9/10 - Aging in ice wine barrels gave it quite a unique taste, offering something new to what most whisky drinkers are used to.
Overall: 18/20 - It really doesn't taste like a 10 year old bottle. Its just plain amazing, it really offers something new that you won't taste in typical Scotch Whiskys.


PS: For those of you who say might say I spelled "Whisky" wrong - think again. American and English "Whiskeys" are different from Canadian and Scottish "Whiskys", as they have kept the old original ways of spelling it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Beer Review: Darwin Rolling Hitch (England)

Hey everyone, just a quick beer review today, let's get on to it.

Today I'll be reviewing the Darwin Rolling Hitch, an American style Pale Ale from England.

Looks: Dark amber with a nice frothy white head.
Smells: Fruity, hops, Amarillo, grassy.
Tastes: Bitter, malt with a touch of caramel. The finishing taste is fruity and dry, doesn't stay on the taste buds very long.

Looks: 3/5 - Nothing special.
Smells: 4/5 - Interesting aroma, but not particularly developed.
Tastes: 7/10 - Decent, nothing really special about it.
Overall: 14/20 - Decent average beer, give it a try if you can, but don't go out of your way for it.


PS: As suggested, I'm also you going to try actual number ratings. Hope this works for you all. Let me know.

Edit: I have over 100 followers! Thanks guys, you are all awesome.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

J Answers You: The dreaded beer belly.

Hello dear readers. Remember when I said today's post was going to be late? Yeah I lied. Turns out I have enough time between my 2 exams to squeeze in some writing for you. Thus I bring you today's new type of post: The "J Answers You". What exactly is "J Answers You" you ask? Well since I've started the blog, I've noticed that sometimes people ask me questions (either in the comments or in emails). So the J Answers will be dedicated to answering your questions that you have asked (of course they need to be about things related to this blog - so please feel free to ask more in the comments).

Today's question came to me by email:

"J, you drink a lot right? I bet you must have one hell of a beer belly."

Now that I look at it, its not very flattering. Silly asker, let me rephrase that into something more appropriate.

"J, you are wonderful and your body is the pentacle of human beauty and perfection. How do you keep off that pesky beer belly?"

Much better.

Truth be told, my body is not the pentacle of anything. However, I don't have a beer belly (even though I do love my drinking) and today we'll talk how you can avoid having one too.

See its pretty simple. Beer bellies come from sitting all day drinking beer. How can you avoid them? Well easy: Just don't sit around all day drinking beer. Now I'm all for drinking beer, but when you drink 10 bottles a day, followed by over-sized meals and no exercise, that's how you end up with a beer belly.

Take me for example: I love my beer. I really do. However, I'll have maybe one or 2 a day at most. Moderation is the key. I also try to get some physical exercise in there every once in a while too (about 3-4 times a week). I also try to eat healthy and not snack on junk food all the time. And that dear readers is how you can keep your beer away while still being able to enjoy a nice cold one after a long day.


PS: Got more questions for me? Post them in the comments, I'll note them down and try to answer as many of them as I can in the next installment of "J Answers You". Tune in tomorrow for more beer reviews.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pub Review: McCarold (Montreal, QC, Canada)

Hello everyone! Wednesday is upon us, so Pub Review time! Today I'll be talking about a great little place on che. de la cote-des-Neiges: The "Pub McCarold".

First of all: this place is a REAL pub. No loud club music blasting, no 14 TV screens showing sports, none of that stuff. Its an authentic "British" pub: tables, stools and a well stocked bar (and when I say well stocked, I mean that). The selection here is wide and varied. You'll find every local beers, imported beers and even a few rare gems that are hard to find anywhere else (I'm looking at you, bottles of Delirium Tremens that are sought out by everyone). They also have a great selection of liquors too for those of you that prefer those.

Like all pubs, the also serve, you guessed it, food! Eating there is always a pleasure. From their fish and chips (one of the best in town), to their delicious burgers and even to their goat cheese pizza, everything is delicious. The service is good and fast, the staff is nice and the prices are more than fair.

tl;dr: Great food, lots of choices, awesome place to go relax, not expensive. Try it out! Its right in front of metro Cote des Neiges.

Location: 5400 che. de la cote-des-Neiges


PS: Expect tomorrow's review to be late, as I have a night exam and won't get home until late at night. Promise starting next week I'll actually write these in advance and try to get them all posted at the same hour everyday. What time would suit you guys best? I'm thinking around 6pm EST. Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Beer Review: Unibroue La Fin Du Monde (Canada)

Howdy everyone. On today's menu: Unibroue La Fin Du Monde. Not much time to talk today unfortunately (stupid midterms) but they'll soon be done. So expect a lot more after them.

Looks: Golden, see through. Nice big frothy head of thick white bubbles that last quite long.
Smells: Bananas, spices, citrus, dough, very light alcohol smell.
Tastes: Wheat, spice, cloves, light malt. The creamy head really adds a lot to the taste. Slight bitterness, but not too pronounced. Very smooth aftertaste, very refreshing for the taste-buds.

I'd probably say this is one of Unibroue's better beers. Its easy to drink and enjoy. Especially nice after a long day when you just want something refreshing to cool off.


PS: Someone asked for pictures. Although my camera is on the fritz right now, I'll try to find pictures of the bottles and add them to the blog when I have time. Eventually I hope I'll be able to post pictures of the bottles and of the glasses after being poured (when I get a new camera haha).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Beer Review - Chimay Bleue (Belgium)

Another late update! Sorry about that everyone. I was unable to come online before now as my internet was down (terrible excuse I know). Thankfully that left me plenty of time to sample today's beer: the Chimay Bleue.

Now this is a beer from Belgium and I've never had it before, so it will be something new for all of us!

Looks: Hazy dark brown that turns dark cherry red in the light. Large beige head that diminishes quickly.
Smells: Cherries, brown sugar and a hint of caramel. Quite a strong smell of alcohol.
Tastes: Quite bitter, tastes of yeast, spices, bananas, alcohol. The aftertaste is quite short and very malty. The alcohol is quite noticeable, but it is a 9%, so it is quite strong too.

Overall, quite good, but a little disappointing. The taste of alcohol is a bit too dominant in my opinion, taking away from the other flavors in there. Also due to the strong alcohol content, it needs to be drunk slowly and since its aftertaste is so short, it leaves the pallet wanting more, making harder to enjoy it.


PS: I'm thinking of doing a bit of a schedule for the updates, let me know how this sounds / if you guys would like it in another way.

monday: beer review
tuesday: beer review
wednesday: restaurant/pub review
thursday: misc (can be anything)
friday: beer review
saturday: drink review (i'll try to review things other than beer)
sunday: misc (again: can be anything)

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Beer Review: St. Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe (Canada)

Howdy all. Sorry about the late post, midterms and all that in the way. So let's cut to the chase and get straight to the beer that I shall be reviewing for you today: the Imperial Russian Stout from St. Ambroise.

Looks: A nice dark body, almost like black velvet, along with a nice thick and creamy head that's between dark-beige and light chocolate.
Smells: Black coffee, along with a very rich dark chocolate smell (very powerful might I add). A slight hint of roasted malt and nuts, along with a small presence of the smell of Bourbon.
Tastes: Dark chocolate, dark fruit, moccha. Bitter, yet sweet. The taste of Bourbon is very hidden at first, but as your beer warms up, it really starts to come out a lot more. Very rich and very filling.

It's a great beer, especially now that the colder weather is starting to come in as the soft taste of Bourbon will definitely warm you up. A very good balance between the bitterness and the sweetness. Just be sure to take your time with it if you ever come across one.


PS: Since you guys are pretty split up, but leaning more towards more beer reviews, I'll try to focus on those. Of course I'll be slipping in pub/restaurants reviews in there too (and because Jacob asked so nicely, I'll even do other alcoholic beverages - never bad to mix things up once in a while).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beer Review - Dieu du Ciel Solstice d’Hiver (Canada)

Its time for our first beer review! Are you all ready?

Let's start with a good old local Canadian beer. As mentioned today, I'll be reviewing the Dieu du Ciel - Solstice d’Hiver.

Looks: A nice dark red/copper tone and a medium sized head that's very light.
Smell: Caramel, citrus, raisins, spice and a very light touch of alcohol.
Taste: Starts off sweet, with the taste of caramel and fruit with a taste of brown sugar. Lightly bitter, but not enough to take the taste away from the sweetness. A hint of citrus or possibly cherries? Leaves a nice long bitter-sweet aftertaste.

Overall a very good beer. Its smooth to drink, be careful though, as you can't always taste the alcohol in it and it does still have a light punch to it. Highly recommended for those that enjoy beers with full aromas and a sweet taste.


PS: So I get to know my audience better, what would you guys like more of? More beer reviews? Pub/Restaurant reviews? Leave your suggestions / how I can make this blog better for you in the comments.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pub Review - Ye Olde Orchard (Montreal, QC, Canada)

Hey Hey Hey! Now I know no one is reading this... yet. So I think its time to add some content to the site, don't you think?

 Let's start with one of my all time favorites - the "Ye Olde Orchard" pub and grill on Monkland Av. I love this place with my whole heart, and I mean that. The atmosphere is nice, the people are friendly, the bartenders are awesome and of course the beer on tap is cold (and they have a great selection too). This place also has a nice twist to it. Since they never got their bar license, every pint you order will come with a free plate of pasta (that is if you didn't already order some of their delicious meals to go with it). So not only do you get great beer, you also get a free snack! (Eating it however, is entirely optional).

Now on the downside, they do broadcast major sport games - which don't get me wrong, is perfectly fine considering they are a pub and all, but since during winter their terrace is closed, it does make the insides VERY crowded. Not a place to go if you have enochlophobia.

Also: they serve breakfast and its pretty damn great. Just be sure to be hungry, because the serve big portions.

tl;dr = Its awesome. Go there now. Just avoid nighttimes if you feel like having a cozy beer.


Edit: It was asked - here's the address: 5563 Monkland Av., Montreal

Let's go for one more drink.

Howdy Everyone. Welcome to Always More Beer.

Straight to the point: What is this blog about? Well it will be about me and adventures and of course, our one and favorite drink - beer! Now in case you are too lazy to read my info, you'll see that I'm from Montreal - a GREAT place for beer (and food in general). So expect me to be posting about my discoveries of various beers (and restaurants / bars / pubs where they can be drunk in).

Here I come Montreal - get your taps flowing, as there will be drinking tonight.