Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Review! - Quebec Beer #2: A Sultry Black

A wonderful Christmas Eve to you all!  It's cold and clear and shaping up to be a lovely white Christmas in Waterloo.  I hope all of you managed to get wherever you wanted to be for the holidays, and that the day is filled with family, happiness - and hopefully an ale or two!

Thought I'd do a quick review before the festivities truly begin, this being another gem from my Quebec Beer Haul!  Enjoy! 

Beer: Porter Baltique Grande Cuvee
Brewery: Les Trois Mousquetaires (Brossard, PQ)
Type: Baltic Porter
ABV: 10%

Baltic Porters are similar to Russian Imperial Stouts, in that their high ABV's and big malt profile meant for better shipping to colder climes - in this case, the Baltic ports of Russia.  Rich, hearty, full of boozy goodness - a great winter brew as well!

Les Trois Mousquetaire's version is one black hole of a brew from which light cannot escape. Seriously, this stuff is dark.  As the brew warmed up in the tall bottle, I was more successful in producing a bit of mocha head, but not much.  There's little lacing as well, with just a thin ring surviving. Looks like this is what other folks have got from this batch as well, so I'm not worried.   Great colour, though.

Nose is lovely - dark and milk chocolate, coffee, cream, cherry, grape, figs and raisins. A wonderful roasty smoke taste as well.

Tastes as good as it smells: a luscious blend of flavors from the imperial stout palette, but it distinguishes itself with a creamy, milk-stout character and a fruity profile more reminiscent of an English brown or plain porter.  Lots going on here.  Molasses, espresso, hazelnut also make an appearance.  Finishes slightly dry and bitter.

The body is thick and creamy, with slightly higher than expected carbonation, but this was definitely a good thing to keep the thickness and ABV in check. Not chalky or anything - a good silky feel.

Not the best looking brew on the block, but this brew scored big points where it counts - the flavor department. Lots of tasting notes to keep even the most discerning beer geek busy. I've been very happy with LTM so far, and their Baltic Porter, while not the blow-you-away brew beer I was expecting, was certainly a quality, flavorful brew. Well worth a pick up if you can find it!  (Grade: A-)

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I'll see you after the holiday!

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