This coming Friday May 21st, Brasserie du Bas-Canada will be “hosting” a spring bottle and can release! And by hosting, I of course mean that they will be having an online release where you can purchase a crazy lineup of eight new beers.
Not only have Bas-Canada’s been one of the few who pioneered New England IPA’s in Quebec, and who have arguably reinvented the Imperial Sweet Stout in the country, but their popularity has also continued to grow steadily over the last three years as they delivered a steady stream of hazy IPAs, sweet stouts, fruited sours, and luxurious barleywines. To this day, I don’t think there is a brewery in the country that has come close to quality of pastry stouts these folks are delivering (perhaps Messorem…).
If you are available to head out to Gatineau, I definitely recommend trying to get your hands on some of these beers. I need to warn you though, they will sell out fast – like in minutes. The sale will take place first for beers on Friday, May 21 at 6:00PM on their online store www.bascanada.beer. The sale of glasses, t-shirts, and other merchandise will take place at 6:30PM the same day. The time slots to collect your purchases would be:
- Saturday May 22 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Sunday May 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Tuesday May 25 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
I was extremely fortunate to get my hands on four of the eight beers ahead of time to tell you all about it. Here are my thoughts.
The first beer is Citadelle, an 8% Double IPA with Nectaron, Galaxy, Mosaic and Simcoe. The nose is bright and dank. Lots of grassy and piney notes meet serious tropical layers. Tree sap and mango flesh with tangerine rinds also come through.
The palate matches, with a lovely zesty and bright profile that delivers both under-ripe sharpness and some deep and rich ripe fruitiness. Layers of mango and fresh orange juice mix with light pine. It’s a touch dank, but mostly a fruit bomb and the booze is very well integrated, as well as being not too sweet. What a nice balance!
Razzia is a 10.5% Imperial Sweet Stout with lactose, hazelnut, coconut, and Hazelnut Coffee. The nose is all hazelnut, with layers of milk chocolate and a big vanilla punch. Cake batter and general chocolatey rich aromatics come through, as well.
The palate is luscious as usual, carrying an insane body and some deep, rich flavours. Molten chocolate from the brilliantly integrated vanilla creates that standard cake batter flavour we have come to expect from their stouts, while huge hazelnut and coconut layers compliment everything with some further dessert-like complexity. The coffee is there, but more of an afterthought, lending earthy and roasted characters and that hazelnut-coffee vibe you get in from those types of brews.
Secousse is a 10% Triple IPA and a Citra monster, showcasing Citra, Citra Cryo and Citra Incocnito. The nose is massive citrus up front alongside some rich stone fruits – peach in particular. Dank and grassy hops mix with grapefruit pith to round out the intense and inviting aromatics.
The palate is luscious and juicy, delivering loads of fresh orange juice and big mango. Grapefruit and white grapes mix with zesty passionfruit and just all things juicy. It’s thick and rich, while the booze makes itself known without being too sharp or too sweet. Bas Canada really knows how to nail a TIPA, and this is just another example.
Monument is an 11% Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout – and that’s it! No lactose, no coconut, no coffee. It’s kind of an exciting shift for me as BBC’s pastry stouts are (in my opinion) the best in the country, so seeing how they pull this one off will be fun!
The nose comes in with dark chocolate and light licorice accents alongside ample bourbon vanilla notes, deep oak spiciness, and hints of black cherry.
The palate is incredibly luscious up front, delivering that exact same body and density you’ve come to love in the BBC lineup of Imperial Sweet Stouts. However, where this differs is that instead of coconut or vanilla, we are provided with rich oak and bourbon, which carries a very different vanilla-like experience. Instead of that lava cake chocolatey thing, it’s more of a dark chocolate and spirit character. There is a sweetness here for sure, and it’s even a touch sticky, but the 11% and barrel tannins keep everything perfectly balanced.
This beer is a game changer. It’s beautifully nuanced while being bold and in your face. They have managed to take what they do best and morph it into something more classic. Amazing stuff here.
As I stated above, if you’re interested in trying to get your hands on some of these amazing beers, you can try your luck this coming Friday, the 21st at 6:00PM by visiting www.bascanada.beer. Once again, it will sell our FAST, so you’ll need your finger on the trigger.
As well, if you’d like to see Craig and I interview the two owners of Brasserie du Bas-Canada on the BAOS Podcast, you can watch us right here!