Matt’s Sleepy time Belgian Imperial Stout: Almost Matthew’s perfect beer

As a follow up to the last post, here is a review on one of Beaus star beers: Matt’s Sleepy Time. I received a bottle of this beer from my dad for my birthday. I think he chose it because of it’s name and the style of beer, which are right up my alley!

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What about the specs?

Matt’s sleepy time is a Belgian Imperial Stout that is 8% and an IBU (International Bitterness Units) of 38 that is aged on oak staves and can be bought in 600ml bottles from the LCBO or on tap at select locations.

The Pour

It poured dark brown with two fingers of caramel colour head. The head lasted well after the first sip and eventually settled at 1 finger. This dark completely opaque beer was a little more brown than most other imperial stouts.

The Sip

As I lifted it up to take a sip I couldn’t help but be captivated by the light caramel smell. After further inspection, hints of dark grains, roasted malts, milk chocolate, cloves and herbs from the belgian yeast became more apparent. The first sip was a smooth operator. It had medium body that coated the tongue with a little fizz but was not harsh. The end of the sip was a little sticky but soon faded away. This beer was velvety, not harsh and as it opened up it became smoother while retaining its balanced palate. I do however usually prefer less carbonation in my imperial stouts and higher body.

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The glorious taste

As the sip covered my tongue a wave of light coffee, burnt malts and chocolate milk covered my taste buds. A few sips later I could taste a note of vanilla and raisins and as I was finishing my glass I could taste hints of fig and raisins. Although the IBU is 38 which is medium high, I felt that its bitterness was medium low. The bitterness was one of the balancing factors that was well hidden by the coffee overtones. To sum up the flavour it is rich and amazing. As I was finishing the bottle it became obvious that this rich and tasty beer is definitely one to try again.

The packaging says yes!

The bottle and images really spoke to my marketing/design side. I looooovvvve the packaging and marketing of this product. Beau’s really appealed to my marketing side. I give these guys additional points for creativity and execution of this product. The bottle is so nice that I will be keeping an empty of Matt’s sleepy time somewhere in my 605 sq feet condo.

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The sum of the parts

It looked great.

It smelled good.

It felt good.

It tasted amazing.

This is one balanced beer that will take you for a nice ride. If you like imperial stouts you will want to pick this one up for your next late night revelry. This beer is really good but I will admit that when it’s both an imperial and a belgian, the expectations are high. Matt’s Sleepy time was amazing but not great. My preference is for a heavier body and lower carbonation for the Belgian/ imperial stout combo than this beer had to offer. I am however looking forward to drinking this one again the next time I am in Ontario!

I give this beer a 4.3 + bonus points out of 5.

Cheers and À votre santé!

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Matt

 

Extra Extra

Full Rating

Appearance: 4.5 / 5

Aroma: 8 /10

Palate: 4/5

Flavour: 9/10

Overall 4.3

La Buteuse Extra Strong Divine Ale

This week I tasted La Buteuse from Le Trou du Diable. What a smashing beer! This beer, like many other Quebec tripel style beers, have a cataclysmic story attached to it. They say that if you drink this beer you may have a vision of Père Buteux. This microbrew located in Shawinigan has a strong character and the beer that I picked up this week certainly lived up to it! DSC_0076

What originally attracted me to this beer was its bottle and the description on it. Nothing like a creepy priest meets devil story to make you want to try a beer! This is a an extra strong divine ale brewed in the Belgian Tripel style with an ABV of 10%. This style ale is typically very high in alcohol and tends to be very full bodied and crisp. One of the great things about living in Quebec is that you can find great tripel-inspired local beers and Trou du Diable really follows through with this Extra strong Divine Ale.

It filled my tulip glass with deep amber apricot almost copper colour and created two and a half fingers of off white head. A few small patches and trails of carbonation were visible through its slightly opaque clarity. Once settled it had very little head. The colour was more coppery than your typical tripel suggesting that it may be a little more hoppy. buteuse in tulip glass

It smelled of fruits, mild spices and herbs, apricot, ale malt and citrus hops. As it opened up the fruity aromas became pronounced. The look and smell of this beer is very enticing for those who enjoy Trappist beers. The first sip was amazing! It was crisp, a little harsh and heavy bodied but it felt nice and velvety around the tongue. Just the right ting of carbonation for a tripel. As it opened and warmed up it became smoother while maintaining its carbonation til the end. It was one very balanced beer that maintained its character til the very last sip.

As the beer touched my tongue I was brought into a delicious landscape of citrus, ale malt, spiced and a little kick of bitter at the end. Although the alcohol level was very high it was masked by the mildly sweet savoury flavours. Drinking this beer I could picture myself sitting on a bank of le Trou du Diable being tempted to let myself slide slowly into its pull.

Overall this beer was amazing for both its balanced palate and depth of flavour! The hardest part of doing this review was stopping and appreciating why it was soooo good. I just wanted to drink it down as soon as possible (which for a tripel is not that easy). This was a 600 ml bottle priced just under 10$. This is now one of my favourites and I will be recommending it for years to come and most definitely drinking again! Overall I rate this beer a 4.5 out of 5.

Cheers and À votre santé,

Matt

PS. Here is the link to the story, it is very creepy…

La Barberie Stout Impérial: Perfect start… sticky finish

This week I tasted a local imperial stout that I had never tried before. La Barberie is a small cooperative brewery that is based in Quebec city. They pride themselves for their unique brews, local tasting room and their ability to engage with the community.

La Barberie Imperial stout comes in a 5oo ml bottle, ABV of 7.5% and retails for $4.95.

At first pour this Imperial Stout lived up to its name. It poured a rich dark brown colour and gave about two fingers of caramel head. The head settled down to about a 1/8 inch and lasted until the very last sip, slowly lacing the glass on it way down. Once poured it was a dark brown colour that was just a touch lighter than other imperials I have had. For stout drinkers this pint screamed just pick me up and sip me already!

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This beer started with a strong roasted oatmeal smell that was followed up by a coffee almost caramel smell that ended with a sharp hoppy finish. As it opened up the smell became a little sweeter and the hint of coffee became more pronounced. The smell led me to expect a rich balanced full body beer that would have a hoppy aftertaste.

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The first sip was harsh and more carbonated than I like my imperial stouts to be. Although it had a good medium to heavy body that rolled nicely in the mouth, after about half a pint it became a little sticky on the tongue. It was slightly less balanced than I was expecting and dryer than other imperial stouts that I have tried.

Then there was the taste…

It was roasted, a bit sweet, I could taste oatmeal and a hint of coffee and chocolate. It was well rounded at first with the roasted oatie mildly sweet taste but by the middle the hop took over and as it warmed up it seemed to get more roasted and peaty. A bit underwhelming compared to the original smell.

Overall I like this beer, but it definitely is not one of my favourite stouts. It was a bit of a downward slope of an experience. It started really high with the pour and the smell. The palate and flavour were a bit of a bust. It was much harsher and more one dimensional than I was expecting. I became tired of drinking it about 3/4 of the way through my pint. If you were to try it, I would recommend sharing a 500 ml bottle and using a classic pint glass or even a flute, which I would not normally use for an imperial.  For my detailed specs click on read more after the article

Overall I rate this beer a 3.5 out of 5

Cheers and À votre santé.

Matt

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A taste of beer!

The journey of a thousand beers starts with one sip.

For the last year I have been trying various beers in hopes of learning about the drink that I have been drinking for the last 13 years. I realize that there is no particular type of beer that I prefer (despite the name of the blog). I just simply relish savouring each beer and trying to understand why it tastes the way it does.

I have dabbled a little in home brewing in hopes of understanding the process and origin of the flavours that I am tasting. I used a pre-made grain kit and made 9 bottles. It took 4 hours of hard work, 1 month wait and a surprising level of attention to detail but in the end it was worth every minute.  I was amazed at how hard the process was and at the nuances that were involved in developing its flavours. This has given me a profound respect for all brewmasters and the art of creating a great tasting beer.

Who Am I?

I am from Montréal and my tastes have been influenced by some of our best local beers. This blog will surely lean towards Montreal’s local brews and brewpubs. Don’t worry, there are plenty of local pubs and I will be trying bottles from wherever I can get them.

I have made this blog to share my findings with fellow beer drinkers. If there is something that I like almost as much as beer it’s talking about beer! Whether it is in a pub, on a beach, at home or on the interwebs, I love discussing beer! So I invite you to share some of your favourite beers and to let me know what you think of my blog.

Cheers and À votre santé!

Matt