Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/10/2015 (2180 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
One thing I see a lot of on social media from beer snobs is their hatred of pumpkin ales — they love to hate them! Well, a lot of people hate the trend of pumpkin spice in everything.
Don’t worry — aside from Fort Garry’s Happy Jack Pumpkin Ale that I reviewed last week, pumpkin beers are on the way out to make room for some new treats.
The folks at Lake of Bays Brewing out of Baysville, Ont., (Muskoka area) are excited about the Grey Cup coming to Winnipeg, so they introduced the Chris Walby Pigskin Pilsner, which sounds as Winnipeg as a Muskoka beer can get (sorry, Farmery). It retails for $15.89 per 1.89-litre growler and is only available at the 10th Street and Victoria Avenue Liquor Mart locally.
Meanwhile, the folks at Craft Beer Importers Canada are bringing out their popular beer advent calendar sometime in the near future. It retails for $133 and features a unique selection of 24 different beers from all over North America. Last year, the calendar featured some interesting beers, including a beer from Nøgne Ø out of Norway.
The price is a bit too steep for me, so I don’t think I’ll buy it this year. But you should expect a few other breweries to come out with their own beer advent calendars soon as well.
Lastly, have you tried Wisers Hopped Whisky yet? What are you talking about, Cody? Wisers doesn’t make beer. Of course they don’t — but they just released a new whisky that infuses notes of hops and malt to give it a bit of a dark ale vibe.
I’ve reviewed several brews that incorporate whisky or their barrels before, so it’s pretty cool to see Wisers come out with a product influenced by beer. I wonder what a beer aged in one of those barrels would taste like. You can find this at Liquor Marts in Brandon, Minnedosa, Neepawa, Roblin and Virden for $27.99 per 750 ml bottle.
The newest treat at the Liquor Mart that I can’t stop buying is Unibroue’s La Résolution dark ale.
It was around this time last year when this potent brew made its debut and somehow Liquor Marts got their hands on bottles before many dépanneurs in Montreal did.
As soon as I tried my first bottle, I did a special order for an entire case of 12, 750 ml bottles because I assumed that this beer would sell off the shelves and never appear again — the norm for seasonal beers here in Brandon.
Thankfully the beer was still around for a few months, so I got to enjoy it over Christmas and New Year’s. Also, I was able to age a bunch of it because Unibroue’s dark ales are constantly evolving in the corked bottles. In four years time, it will be a great treat at Christmastime.
La Résolution tops out at a whopping 10 per cent ABV, making it one of the stronger beers at the Liquor Mart. It pours a rich, muddy brown with a hint of a reddish hue. It’s incredibly carbonated, so I recommend chilling this for at least an hour. It has a good amount of light beige froth on top, going nowhere.
The aroma is reminiscent of Unibroue’s Trois Pistoles, which, if you have ever tried it, has a sweet, dark chocolate and dark fruit aroma, with a touch of alcohol. Trois Pistoles is simply hard to explain to someone if the strongest beer they’ve ever had is Shock Top — it’s an experience in itself.
After the Trois Pistoles-style aroma, I find a bit of a Belgian yeastiness you tend to find in every Unibroue beer. The aromas that really pop out are the whiff of cinnamon and nutmeg — but not in the pumpkin sense as this beer is as far away from a pumpkin ale as they get. Light amounts of brown sugar and a hint of pepper spiciness are always present.
For taste, the first impression I get is cinnamon, nutmeg and roasted malt, followed by brown sugar, a bit of chocolate, and lots of dark fruits such as raisins, plums, figs and dates. It’s creamy on the tongue and leaves a bit of an aftertaste of dark fruit and cream.
This is not a beer I recommend drinking by yourself — especially if you just recently started buying craft beer for the first time. Frankly, I recommend sharing this with three or four of your friends and family because a 750 ml bottle may end up being a bottle drain if you aren’t accustomed to heavier darker ales.
I remember trying Unibroue’s heavier ales back in 2004 and I had a hard time stomaching them because they were simply too heavy.
I recommend sampling this with a homemade poutine (fresh curds are mandatory) on a chilly evening when the Jets (or Habs) or Wheat Kings aren’t playing.
You can find La Résolution at the Corral Centre and 10th and Victoria Liquor Marts for $6.15 per 750 ml bottle.
Age this if you can.
• Pint rating: 5 pints out of 5.
Cody Lobreau is a Canadian beer blogger who reviews every beer he can get his hands on as he believes that he should try every beer twice to get an understanding if it’s truly good or bad.