Hold on a sec. Before I start writing I’ve gotta get myself a cold one poured or I’ll be thirsty the whole time I’m writing. Maybe you should too.
Okay. Bevvy in hand? Good.
Wednesday turned out to be Hubby’s birthday. Though I had thought about it earlier in the week I hadn’t made any plans so I was scrambling on his big day. Luckily there was a beer tasting scheduled at Willow Park Wines & Spirits that night and I was able to secure two tickets.
We started out by giving André Trudel, main brewmaster at Le Trou de Diable, a traditional Calgary swearing in. Issac Tremblay, general manager of the Shawinigan QC brewery escaped but just barely…We had some lovely cheese pairings lovingly selected by Mike Tessier (Artisan Ales importers), Dave (the Willow Park beer guy), and Adrian Watters of the Springbank Cheese Company. My favourite for the night was the Lindsay Bandage. Yes, that is the name of a cheese so called because it is aged in cheese cloth as opposed to wax.
Anyway, the beer. Our first taste was La Pitoune, a Czech style Pilsner with a very light yellow colour and lots of bubbles. The beer was very fresh tasting and dry. It was the beer with the least % ABV during the whole night at 5 %. Our second beer, and my second favourite was the Shawinigan Handshake. For those of you who don’t know, the Shawinigan handshake is in reference to an incident which occurred between Jean Chrétien and an anti-poverty demonstrator during which the then Prime Minister grabbed the demonstrator in a choke hold. A cartoonified version of Jean Chretién appears (with his blessing) to be choking le diable on the label but not for long. JC has asked to be featured choking Don Cherry on the new labels. The beer is a German style Weisse beer with a cloudy straw coloured look and clove and banana tones.Next up the saison…and this one was a dandy! It’s probably the darling of the brewery…coming in at 7% ABV the Dulcis Succubus had an intriguing flavour brought about by the method of aging the beer in barrels that had previously contained Sauternes. I think this one was my favourite of the night.Now I’m looking at my notes and they are getting increasingly difficult to decipher….next up we had La Morsure, an IPA with NZ hops which gave the beer an earthy pine and grapefruit nose. The beer is unfiltered so that it is left with more aromas and is less oxidized.And lastly, but not least we had the Le Sang D’encre Stout. Made with English yeast but also a bit dry for a Stout due to the hops. I really enjoyed this one with the coffee and chocolate tones. I also found it a bit smoky….like chickory because of the smoked malt.I was really happy to have the chance to check out this amazing beer from Québec. If you can find it in store make sure you snatch it up because it won’t be there long!