Beau’s Winter Warmers – T.J.’s Take on some big Beers

BeausBeau’s Brewery prides itself on being all natural, and has launched a special series of beers to fund its expansion in to clean energy. Just a 30 minute drive from Montreal, Beau’s has collaborated with le Trou du Diable and is at the forefront of experimentation in the Canadian craft brewery scene. Oh, and they have really cool looking bottles too!

photoRecently, a friend stopped by the brewery en route from Montreal to Ottawa and picked me up a few new selections. More than almost any other beer, I look forward to enjoying Beau’s all to myself. They offer a solid line-up of beers and rarely miss the mark, delivering exactly what I expect from the style that is always playfully displayed on the label.

Wild Oats Series No. 1 – Matt’s Sleepy Time Belgian Imperial Stout – Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

IMG_0545Sleepy Time – which is a great name for a stout, by the way – poured out into a huge frothy head, thick and coffee colored. The color of the beer was Guinness-black. The scent was a heady caramel malt, with clear chocolate notes and a mix of dried raisins and dates. The taste comes off like a strong coffee, with a light, pleasing carbonization that fizzes enough to effervesce and carry the other flavors.  Rather than the syrup you find in other examples of this style, the Belgian yeast keeps it light, making it easy to drink.  The 8% ABV is hidden nicely under the oats and the oak balances the warming effect you should feel with this percentage of alcohol. I’m reminded of an 80% dark chocolate bar, with that semi-sweet character. Loved it!

Wild Oats Series No. 3 – Screaming Beaver – Oak Aged Double IPA

IMG_0577Screamin’ Beaver had a reddish amber color, looking like varnished cherry wood. At 9% alcohol and 99 IBUs, I was expecting this beer to punch me in the face as soon as I popped off the cap. It was big and boozy, with equal parts malt/caramel and fruity/floral. The taste is malty, with strong caramel flavors and very little hoppiness. It has a mellow feel, similar to a British strong ale or vintage ale. The bitterness is completely smoothed out by the oak, making it sweet and very easy to drink. I would classify it as an IPA for people who don’t necessarily like IPAs. Yes, Americans have better IPAs with big, floral, resin-y hop bombs but, I like this take on it.

An Article by T.J. Blinn