Ok, so as luck has it, I had another new (and cold) APA in my fridge this evening and inspired by my blogging of the last 24 hours, I figured, hey, I can do this now. But first, here’s a bit of the backstory to why these beers are in my fridge. First, let me dispel any notions that there is some weird Canadian migration of beer bottles underway as a result of the last Quebec election. No, this is the result of a field trip a few weekends ago to a Quebec retailer in Gatineau called BroueHaHa, a place dedicated to Quebec microbreweries. Carrying over 300 different beers, all I can say is, it’s a good thing it’s across a river and in another province.
Back to our story, now ….
So two of anything doesn’t make a trend – and two APA’s (American Pale Ale) has just whet my palette to learn more. I can’t say that I’m won over from my IPA love, but I’m certainly intrigued and I suspect there are more in my future.
If you caught last entry on my first taste of an APA, then you’ll understand what I mean when I say that round two definitely answered the call with respect to alcohol – at 6.5%, a few sips and the mind already takes wing with a few beats and the digestive tract quickly warms. A good start. As you’ll see from the picture, the colour is substantially deeper and getting much closer to an amber within even hints of a ‘brown’ in there as well. The first thing that hits the palette isn’t the hops, it’s the malts – sweet and definite carmel, there is no question you have something yummy in your mouth from the first sip. The label claims “complex citrus flavors” which is one way to say that the typical citrus flavours of an IPA are masked or wrapped up in something else – a bit of clove and pepper perhaps, some metallic undertones, and then a bit of lime zest. But through it all, the malt lingers and carries through the mid to even the aftertaste.
By chance, as you’ll read soon, I chose to make an asian-inspired salad with sweet/sour/salty to go with it – and I don’t think I could have picked a better beer to pair. I may be being slightly irreverent here, but I’m personally going with Thai Pale Ale as way of remembering the odd layers of this beer. I wouldn’t call it sophisticated – there is a rusticness to this beer. “Hearty” would be more apt – something you’d imagine the stout character on the label drinking (if he wasn’t a prohis). And without intending offence, this is definitely a strong brew intended for those strong of palette. I’m not totally sure of it myself, but since there are 5 more mates in the box, I think I’ll have more occasion to come to a conclusion on this one.
Stats: 6.5% ABV. 100 IBUs. Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec.
Colour: Dark-copper. Filtered (while it pours cloudy, it clears up through the drinking.
Mouth Feel: Strong start with a heavy finish. Strong carbonation.