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Thursday, July 16, 2009

22.5/24 Tripel Karmeliet, Belgian beer, 8.4%

6/6 First Impression: Presented in a manly, yet elegant chalice fit for a king, this golden-amber coloured beer has a subtle fruity aroma. The wide-brimmed chalice has frosted fleur-de-lis along four sides, and makes you want to raise it in triumphant victory after a long battle against the army of hops and wheat. The first swig is buttery-smooth with a slight sharpness on the palette, and no lingering aftertaste.

5/6 Speed Rating: This isn’t a guzzling beverage by any means, but that isn’t to say that one couldn’t pound these babies back all afternoon. It’s just that if one were to imbibe exuberant amounts of the same beer for hours on end, one might not necessarily choose to lose their senses on such a “high-end” seeming beer. It would be like having a speed eating competition where the product is an aged for forty days porterhouse chipotle steak made from better than triple A beef.

5/6 Intangibles: When I tried this particular bevy for the first time I was at The Fat Belgian on John Street. It is an elegant bar-bistro that serves extremely decent food. More importantly their beer selection is vast and although slightly eccentric, each brings their own unique qualities to the menu. The servers are similarly unique and perhaps a bit eccentric, but who’s really looking at their personalities?

I tried Tripel Karmeliet again at the Beer Bistro; and for anyone who has been to that fine establishment, you would know that that place automatically adds an extra point to the intangibles column of the Booze Bros (dot CA!) beer review. It’s simple really, any place that has a larger selection of beer than they do food, is a place worth going to.

6.5/6 Overall Taste Quality: Yes, I said “6.5” out of six. The beer actually altered my genetic makeup, and increased the number of taste receptors on my tongue. It then implanted memories of sexual encounters with Jessica Alba into my head, and played them on loop for the next two hours.

22.5/24

Intoxication level: 0, although just looking at the wonderful, grail-like chalice filled with liquid of hope seemed to increase my intoxication level before even taking a swig.

5/24 Elora Special Bitter, Old Mill

Reviewed on September 30, 2008
5.0% Alc./Vol.

First Impression:
Nutty aroma. Very nutty... like a squirrel's BM, but in a disturbing way it is pleasing to the nose. The first chug was bitter, as the label indicated; comparable to a Tankhouse or Waterloo Dark. What the label didn't mention was the lingering aftertaste of fresh tar, and the feeling you get that there isn't any alcohol in the liquid; or carbonation for that matter. Although it is not the worst bitter beer I've tried, it certain has room for improvement.
rating... 2/6

Speed Rating:
If the "not" joke was still in style, I'd place it at the end of the following sentence: "This beverage is really poundable, and I could drink it all night long." The best before date states that I still have another two months to drink this beer, and that sounds about accurate -- if I'm lucky I'll finish it in one month. I've already begun doing what I normally do when having sex: I'm pretending it's another beer -- and the fact that I'm pretending it's a light beer doesn't say much for it.
rating... 1/6

Intangibles:
The labeling seems simple enough, perhaps too simple. I want a lion, or a moose on my beer. Or guns, even... yeah, guns!
The most redeeming qualities are the foil top and the size of it. As opposed to the more traditional sizes, this premium ale comes pint size!
rating... 2/6

Overall Effect:
Let's just say that I'd be better off using this liquid to de-clog my bathtub drain, or maybe I'll go thin some paint with it. I sure-as-shit ain't gonna finish the thing. Go ahead and tell me that's alcohol abuse, and I'll throw it right back at you (not literally, 'cause it'll probably burn your face off). They call it "special" bitter, but they probably meant it like "the process to make this beer was accidentally retarded".
rating... 0/6

Total: 5/24
Level of Drunkness: 0 (Maybe even more sober now).

20.5/24 Waterloo Wheat

Reviewed August 5th, 2007
Brick Brewing Co.

6/6 First Impression: It came in a traditional 650mL bottle with a hog logo on it. The beer was almost amber, although I may have been fooled by that dark brown glass bottle it was served in. It had a nutty scent that was pleasantly sweet. The first swig was light, and easy to down; it was as sweet as it smelled. There was no bitterness at first, and no after taste. Eventually a slight bitterness crept up on the tongue the more it was imbibed(bedeebd).

5/6 Speed Rating: Can I pound it? SURE! But to be fair, after 5 or so of these 650mL bottles, I might want to switch it up a bit.

4.5/6 Intangible: I went to Cambridge to celebrate my friend's quarter century birthday. It was two full days of drinking and partying, and to begin the second day, I thought I'd start with something to rate for the good ol' Booze Bros. I went into the LCBO and at the front they were doing taste tests for Brick products. They didn't have the Wheat variety, but I did try the dark. Scrumptious! Anyway, I looked on the shelf to pick up some dark, and beside it I saw the LIMITED EDITION Waterloo wheat series. I knew I had to rate it... I loooove wheat bears.. I mean "beers"; I just got back from the party.

5/6 Overall Taste Quality: Whelp... I like wheat beer and this definitely beat some of the Rickards crappier blends. Brick made a good move by giving it a 'limited' status.

20.5/24

Intoxication level: 0/6; unless you count anything left in the veins from the night before. Can you believe I drank a daiquiri?!?

17.5/24 Labatt 50

Reviewed July 16th, 2007

3.5/6 First impression. (See "Intangible" section for glass type) The brass coloured light ale was served to me with minimal head -- and I'd like at least some head with my beer, thank you very much barkeep. There was a faint aroma that I could only place as a 'floral scent' of some kind. Its flavour reminded me of a saloon in an old western movie; something about a leathery boot taste. The taste seemed to last in the mouth for quite some time after imbibing, and left a copper flavour on the tongue (you'll never catch me copper!).

6/6 Speed rating. A '6' you say... This means that it must be EXTREMELY POUNDIBLE. Very easy to drink at first, until you realize just how long the aftertaste seems to linger. With each new sip the beer becomes more bitter, and more saloon/boot/western tasting. The warmer the beer gets, the worse it tastes... so you'd BETTER pound it back fast!

4/6 Intangible. So far I had been drinking beer in a cold, heavy mug, with a handle and some girth on it... just the way I like it. But when I asked to try a 50, it was served to me in a tall, thin glass with a stem like a wine glass! The pub was my local watering hole, giving the beer extra points, but the service was worse than at Jack Astor's Front Street when head office is not in, and there is only a 'supervisor' on duty instead of an actual manager. That is a big minus in my books. If my glass EVER reaches empty (twice I might add), and five extra minutes passes before I hear those wonderful words "can I get you another beer?" then we have a problem.


4/6 Overall taste quality. There is something about this beer that reminds me of sneaking into my grandfather's basement cellar, and taking whatever alcohol I can find. Yes, it's true... this beer was introduced in 1950, and was Labatt's number 1 beer until my year of birth (1979) when Blue took its place -- thanks for the history lesson, Labatt website. But they must have started a whispering campaign saying that 50 is coming back, because no one over, well, my age would normal walk into a beer store and say "hey, let's get some 50".
I don't really know how good this beer can actually be, considering I'm the first person to review it. It's not like the beer is unattainable in pubs, and to see that no one would even think to give it a review...
Okay, so I don't HATE it, and certainly wanted to give it at least a 50.. haha? so overall taste quality gets a 4.

17.5/24 Total

Intoxication Level 0.0005/6 I couldn't resist.. I had a Blanche de Chambly to start.

21/24 König Ludwig Weissbier

Reviewed July 12th, 2007

5.5/6 First impression. As a fan of wheat beers, I was eager to try this one. Served in a sexy tall and thin glass, the beverage was opaque, like most wheat beers, with an ocre tinge to it. Its aroma has a hint of corriander / lemon, much like its flavour. Compared to most wheat beers, it has a full flavour; not too rich or bland, with a definite sweet aftertaste that leaves the palette as quickly as it hits it.

5/6 Speed rating. I don't often pound wheat beers back, but I did down this tasty beverage quite quickly.

5/6 Intangible. Drinking at the Beer Bistro can't be a bad thing, although I wasn't served by a hot chickita who pretends to be attracted to me, just so I'd tip her better. But I will give the beer an extra point for the following reason: After I finished my beer I let out a lovely gassy burp that tasted like... BANANA!! Yep, my breath had the taste of banana on it after belching out the leftovers of the pint.

5.5/6 Overall taste quality. I like... eh, very muuuch. But then again, I'm a sucker for wheat beers.

21/24 Total

Intoxication Level 0/6

20/24 Fuller's London Pride Premium Ale

Reviewed May 7th, 2007
Griffin Brewery, Cheswick

5/6 First Impression: With the colour of caramel, this beer's scent resembles chestnut, with a hint of cocoa. The first gulp was crisp, with a slight bitterness that quickly disburses into a calmer flavour, lasting in the mouth for a brief time in the front of the tongue.

5/6 Speed Rating: Easily downable, but in strides. This is a beer to enjoy slowly on a sunny afternoon. Attempting to pound glass after glass will force the lasting bitterness to turn to distaste.

5/6 Intangible: The bar was a typical Elephant-and-Castle-like place, with brass bars, and wood everywhere. It felt traditional. The beer came in the form of a FREE sample, and came out of a pump tap instead of the usual kind of tap. It was intriguing to watch the barkeep pump the draught instead of letting it simply pour into the glass. Extra points for the pump mechanism.

5/6 Overall Taste Quality: A pretty good beer for something not domestic. Considering I dislike hoppy beers, and still delight in this one, it gets my approval.

20/24

Intoxication level: 0.00000001/6. I sipped a Keiths before tasting the FREE sample.

17.5/24 Sinha Stout

Reviewed April 11th, 2007
Sri Lanka Import

4.75/6 First Impression: Purchased from the LCBO, this stout beer comes in a slender brown bottle, with the head of a male lion for a logo. The beer is dark, and pours like a cola. No matter how well you angle the glass, a massive amount of thick head is produced. This 8% by volume, 330mL serving is nearly black, and non-transparent. Its aroma is typical for a stout, similar in scent to a Guiness, with nutty, and liquorice hints to them.

The taste is heavy in nut and oak flavours, with a slightly bitter finish. It appeared that all the gas had quickly deserted the actual beverage when poured, finding its way to the head of the beer.

3/6 Speed Rating: Although I wouldn’t normally say I could pound this down over and over, I found that I have nearly finished the bottle, and I haven’t even hit the halfway mark in my review. I didn’t rate this beer high for speed, as I believe it is not one to be finished quickly. I would enjoy slowly imbibing the beverage with a nice red steak to complement it.

5/6 Intangible: 8%!!! An import from Sri Lanka, a place you would not expect to produce a decent beer. The label brags 5 international gold awards. What does that mean? Probably that someone in the CEO’s circle of friends decided to make up an award, and give five of them to his friend. Well, I’m going to create (and patent) a new award for beers. It’ll be called a “Shapiro”, named after a kick-ass person, with style and grace (me). This beer will receive a Shapiro for simply being the first beer I’ve ever seen from my roommate’s place of birth. Oh yeah… when receiving a Shapiro, please keep your speeches brief.

4.75/6 Overall Taste Quality: I am not much of a stout drinker, yet this one does not offend my palette like the others do. I’d have to say that overall it is a pretty decent beer. The fact that I began the day with curry goat and rice and peas, followed by beef roti and doubles… well its been an Indian Afternoon!

17.5/24 and 1 Shapiro.

Intoxication level: 0, and climbing; what with an 8% alcohol content.



19.5/24 Butler’s Pale Ale

Reviewed March 31st, 2007
An exclusive beer to the Firkin’ pubs.

6/6 First Impression: Presented in a long, wide, 22oz frosted mug, this beer has a gold transparent look to it. The shear fact that it comes in a mug that isn’t half-pint sized is a bonus, but the extra 2oz simply tops the chart. But I can’t give it a 24/24 just yet. Sure, you get more than your average pint, but what if you’re drinking 22oz of utter feces?
Moving on… The aroma has a hint of cedar in it, like you know, all those times you walk up to a tree and stick your nose in one of the bark elbows. There is also a slightly fruity scent coming from the beer that made my mouth water.
Butler’s tasted slightly hoppy; something not unusual for a pale ale. It had a crisp, cold taste as it was freshly poured into a chilled mug. Now, I know that Ale’s should not be served to cold, so as not to dull the flavours, but I daresay I liked the beer just as it was. There was a tiny bitterness at the back of the tongue as it went down, but nothing that a Keith’s or other ale’s wouldn’t have.

5/6 Speed Rating: I believe that this is a good, standard beer in the sense of poundability. There is no good reason why anyone could not guzzle these back with ease.

3.5/6 Intangible: I must recount (copy/paste) my assessment in the Beer Review: Rickard’s White, as this was the next beer on my list…
So as not to insult the bartender more than I have to, I will merely say that she was unattractive. Being served a beverage in a crappy generic glass by an unkept, homely looking female does not add to the experience in the slightest. The bar itself was a cookie-cutter Fox’n’Firkin’n’Fiddle’n’Philthy’s, which rates an exact 5/10 on my tavern’o’meter.
Normally, I might take away marks for the fact that I was allowed to drink the sh*t that was Rickard’s White, but that is the fault of the establishment, not the beer itself (even though it is the establishments exclusive beer).
Being amongst my friends helped the beer out, as everyone was wide-eyed when they first saw the 22oz mug.

5/6 Overall Taste Quality: Although I would not consider this the greatest beer in all of Fantasia, I could safely say that if I were ever at a Firkin pub again (not an outrageous idea), I would order the Butler’s before any of the other draughts, including my standard Creemore or Keith’s choices.

19.5/24

Intoxication level: 0.031415926535/infinity. Although I couldn’t say that I was completely without alcohol in my system, having the soda-pop… I mean Rickard’s White in my system did contribute something other than the stimulation of my gag reflex.

5.5/24 Rickard’s White

Reviewed March 31st, 2007

Rickard’s White is their new wheat beer, garnished with an orange slice.

2.5/6 First Impression: The product has a light yellow / off white colour to it, with a good inch and a half of head. Though served in a generic glass without a label, the crispness quickly stimulates your palette; making you want to waste no more time before downing it.
The aroma is pleasant, consisting of the standard scents wheat beers generally offer (such as coriander); however most of those scents were masked by the heavy odour of the embarrassingly large slice of orange placed on the glass’s rim. The overpowering citrus seemed to almost ruin the natural scent of the beer. I was instructed to squeeze the orange juice into the beer, but I thought to hold off on that until I had made an opinion on the beer by itself.
The beer was very light tasting (though I may be comparing this to a Hoegaarden, or a Blanche de Chambley), and had a fizzy, soda-like finish. There was a slight bitterness to it as well. Adding the juice of the orange made the beer sweeter, and changed the flavour all together. Even with the added citrus, there was a certain lack of flavour all together, as though the company did not allow the beer to brew long enough. My best analogy would be when you dip a tea bag into hot water for only a second or two: You can still taste the Earl Grey, but it is weak and barely enjoyable.
The only reason I gave this category as many points as I did, was because the shear thought of getting to try a new wheat beer was quite stimulating. Before the beer hit my lips I was as gitty as a fly on sh*t; excited that I would beer rating a new, wonderful beer.

0/6 Speed : There is no way that even on a hot day on a patio, after working hard labour for 12 hours, could I pound this 20oz beverage down. I would even say that after a while the taste becomes slightly offensive. It is the fizziness that interrupts the flavour, even though the flavour itself is already not very potent. I feel like I’m drinking soda water made from Lake Ontario.

2/6 Intangibles: So as not to insult the bartender more than I have to, I will merely say that she was unattractive. Being served a beverage in a crappy generic glass by an unkept, homely looking female does not add to the experience in the slightest. The bar itself was a cookie-cutter Fox’n’Firkin’n’Fiddle’n’Philthy’s, which rates an exact 5/10 on my tavern’o’meter.
Furthermore, the extremely obvious attempt to keep up with the Jones’s by the Rickard’s enterprise has brought their other products down a notch in my books. I can imagine a board meeting in their head office after the CEO’s give their lackey’s their new assignment: We need a new flavour. Go fetch me a beer that is not like the others, but not unheard of in the urban culture; I dunno, get me something from Europe. They’re always setting the trends, right? Then the new intern presents his idea using power point. He shows the Hoegaarden wheat beer, with it’s lemon twist in it, then proceeds to the Blanche de Chambley and its lemon slice along the side of its slender glass. He then says, okay, so, imagine Rickard’s… White!
Then the CEO’s roar in unison, ‘We love it! Go and rip off their recipe and get us a wheat beer… And don’t waste any time with the subtleties, we just want it to mildly taste like beer.’
I’ll give this category 2 pity points, since I normally love wheat beers, and their attempt at trying to add a good flavour to their repertoire was at least a gallant effort. And now I can say, ‘yeah, I love this Blanche de Chambley. It’s so much better than those other crappy wheat beers.’

1/6 Overall experience: I would not order this product again if a gun was put to my head. Even if Mila Kunis, Erica Durance, Carmen Electra, Brooke Burke, Jenna Jameson, Tara Reid, Angelina Jolie, Teri Hatcher (ten years ago), Jaime Pressly, Beyonce Knowles, Jessica Alba, Taryn Manning, Charlize Theron, Cameron Diaz, Keira Knightly, Eva Longoria, and Devon Aoki said that they would have a dirty, all day orgy with me if I just drank a whole pint of the stuff, I still wouldn’t drink it. Maybe if they added Lucy Lui, and Kristen Kreuk I would do it.
I’d better order some fries and gravy quick… And a DIFFERENT beer!

5.5/24

0/6 Intoxication Level: As it was my first drink of the night, I was completely sober. Besides, you’d have to be at least a 5/6 to order it again.