[Editor’s Note: After being MIA for a month, we are finally posting Part 2 of the Brews Brothers coverage. Sorry, you beer fans had to wait this long!]
Last time we talked, Colin and I had just finished the first 6 beers in our Brews Brothers boxes. Now it’s time to finish those bottles and share our thoughts and opinions. Enjoy!
Les Portes Du Penitencier – Black Table Saison – with Townsite Brewing
Colin – This smells really bready, then has like a fruity ester that comes in after the bread.
Bryan – It has a decent smell. Like it might be something good, but I remember not really digging it.
Colin – Well, it certainly is boring. It just tastes, I dunno, bland. Do you get bland?
Bryan – Yeah, I had this one before and wasn’t that impressed. The opening gives you hope and then it kind of disappoints.
Colin – It has a nice taste up front, but fades into a really meh aftertaste. I think the roasted malt gives it a little more up front, that’s why it begins so nicely, but then it just sort of dies at the end.
Bryan – I can’t really argue with that.
Tiger in your Tank – Kellerbier – with Steel & Oak
Colin – That’s definitely smokey!
Bryan – Call me crazy, but I feel like I’m getting some bubblegum smell in with that smoke.
Colin – That’s possible though, sometimes the esters can give that essence.
Bryan – It’s an interesting blend, not something I would expect. But it’s good.
Colin – You know, I’ve had a few Kellerbiers and I didn’t really like them. But I’m digging this. I don’t think they usually have smoke, but I’d say that’s the Steel & Oak spin on it. Everything I’ve heard from them is how they’re the masters of smoke.
Bryan – They’re really established themselves here as the guys that do that well. Like how Four Winds have shown they’re awesome with Brett, S&O have shown they’re the best around at using smoked malts.
Colin – I like this. It’s got a good malty base with a smokey finish. It’s an enjoyable take on the style.
Stormy Monday – N2 Smoked Brown Ale – with Persephone Brewing
***I decided to follow the “Invert To Pour” instructions on this supposedly nitrogenated brown ale. I was rewarded with beer all over the table, floor, and my pants. I should have known better.***
Bryan – That went well.
Colin – That was the worst nitro pour I’ve ever seen in my life. Look at that, there are no cascades at all. This is terrible. They shouldn’t even call this a nitro.
Bryan – Brutal.
*I cleaned up and grumbled for a while before we started to drink again*
Colin – I’m getting a lot of caramel, chocolate, coffee, and a bit of smoke in the aftertaste. A bit of a mild bitterness but nothing crazy. I do think it nails the taste profile at least. What do you think?
Bryan – Well, other than the fact my leg is now wet, it does taste nice at least. It has a weird mouthfeel, like it’s part fizzy but not.
Colin – Yeah, I think it’s that screwed up nitro. The mouthfeel is totally off. I’m noticing as it warms up the smoke is dominating more and the chocolate is coming out more too. All in all, it’s a pretty nice beer.
Bryan – Right, when half of it isn’t on my floor. The nitro was a failure but at least the beer isn’t, such a shame it isn’t all it could be.
***There was also a lot of sediment at the bottom of our glasses. Something we would expect in a bottle of fermented beer, but not this.***
Smokestack Lighting – IPA – with Rossland Brewing
Bryan – Ah I like this one. That’s a nice nose.
Colin – The nose is really nice! It has a fruity, tropicalness to it. It smells juicy.
Bryan – And it tastes pretty fruity too, with a little bit of a lingering bitterness.
Colin – It’s not a sweet IPA either, like Red Racer is pretty sweet. But this one is pretty dry. It’s really good though. I’ve never heard of Rossland, so I didn’t know what to expect, but this is good. It’s nothing really crazy, but it’s a good example of the style. And it’s not boozy at all for 7%!
Bryan – If I’m ever skiing at Red Mountain Resort, I’ll know there’s some good beer nearby in Rossland.
Colin – I don’t know where that is, but there’s so much good beer in BC, I can’t imagine finding good beer should ever be a problem.
Bryan – You’re right. There should always be good beer available wherever you are!
One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer – Barrel Aged Smoked Scotch Ale – with Firehall Brewery
Bryan – So here’s a funny one. It’s a Barrel Aged Smoked Scotch Ale. That name makes it sound awesome, but get ready for something really, really strange.
Colin – The nose is super weird.
Bryan – Wait till you taste it.
Colin – Wha….wow. In my mind, I have an idea of what this beer is supposed to taste like. And this is not it. This is just…super weird.
Bryan – I wonder if this is what it’s supposed to be. It’s like eating sour meat.
Colin – There is definitely a sour meat component going on. The smoke tends to be associated with meat, so I can see that. But you know, it’s not that bad. At least I can drink this. I mean, they must have intended this, I think. If it was accidental, I think it would be more like infected meat. Like death and decay. This tastes and smells like they meant it to be this way. I don’t know why they would want it to be that way, but it seems intentional.
Bryan – Yeah, that makes sense. I see what you mean. And it has a weird thing where I start to enjoy it once I get used to it. It takes a little bit, but it happens. Then I don’t really mind it at all. I like sours, so that always helps.
Colin – I think this is a really challenging beer. It has a bit of smoke, and some cherries, and the sourness, maybe even a very slight sweetness. You know, it’s like eating red wine with bacon. I’m actually kind of digging it now that I’m over the shock. But I can see why people wouldn’t like it. It’s either completely insane, or genius. And I’m really not sure which one it is.
Bryan – That’s amazing. And I think you’re right. Every time I drink this I feel strange about it; shock, then enjoyment. You certainly wouldn’t expect it from the style, but at the end of the day, it’s not bad when you get past the craziness.
Colin – Now that it’s warming up, I’m starting to get the bourbon barrel too. It’s super light and hard to find past the sour, but I think it’s there.
Bryan – And it’s a bit dry now, too. Didn’t notice so much at first but definitely a very dry sour now.
Colin – Yeah, this beer is super weird. And I’m enjoying it heartily. But this is such a strange example of the style; I hope this doesn’t put people off of it.
Bryan – Yeah, if this had been my only one, I’d be absolutely blown away by the flavour of a “normal” one because it would be so different from what I expected.
Stone Crazy – Imperial IPA – with Powell Street Brewing
Bryan – This has a real fruity nose.
Colin – Very!
Bryan – And a solid bitter hop finish.
Colin – Has a nice, sweet, malty backbone to balance the hops. I feel like it’s not super crazy for the style, but it’s also really nicely balanced.
Bryan – I’m tasting some grapefruit in there, from the tart and bitter side of it.
Colin – Yeah, that and I’m getting a bit of papaya too. A little bit of the sweet and tropical to go with it. It’s kind of in line with Powell Street’s other beers in that it’s not over the top but really well balanced.
Colin – For me the box was solid overall, but maybe didn’t include as many boundary pushing beers as I thought, considering these were all one-offs. I think the only ones that really pushed were the basil IPA and the smoked scotch. Overall it’s still pretty good value for the money; for 12 unique beers it’s not bad at all.
Bryan – Absolutely. It doesn’t have a lot of really mind blowing beers, but in general it’s a lot of very decent stuff that I totally enjoyed drinking. And of course, drinking is always better with company!