I received a tweet (on twitter, duh) a few weeks back. I didn't know this person at the time but his name was Eric Michaud (His twitter name being: @pbemichaud)
He tweeted me something along these lines: "Hello Ghost Drinker, I've been following your blog for about 5 months, and I'd love to let you try some Qc beers?"
I was a bit skeptical, but tweeted back; if he wanted to do a beer swap at the shop then it would be something I'd be happy to do. I didn't really expect anything to come from this. Turns out I was wrong.
Eric was a big beer dude from Montreal.
So when it was last saturday, when a man turned up who said he had a few beers for me, I was kind of pleased under a little skepticism. That was until he whipped out these MoFos!!
Look good don't they?!?!
I should say so! I made sure that he was paid back in kind for the beer swap.
I'll start out with the Corps Mort (roughly translated in my limited languages as Body Death.... inviting!) from the A L'Abri de la Tempete Brewery. This 11% Barley Wine describes itself on the bottle as: "A robust salty Barley Wine, brewed with smoked grain" which has been inspired by "A solitary rocky outcrop off the coast of the islands"
The thing that worried me was the little tag at the bottom of the bottle stating "**May contain traces of smoked herring!"
Turns out my fears were short lived as this (seriously now!) was the most interesting Barley Wine I've ever had! It came across with a beautiful pure orange hue. The aroma consisted of sweet sweets, candyfloss and sticks of rock were mixed in with a little caramel apple attitude. There were salty notes in the mix too. It was rather floral, but with an obvious alcohol presence.
The flavour was great! You get a big smoked malt influence to start, but it's perfectly balanced and very well restrained, so doesn't make itself overpowering. Lots of Big dried fruit flavour - lots of apricots. All the aromas are in and about too, even a slight saltiness, which with the smoky touch reminds me of a couple of whiskies I've tried in the past.
A salty sweet, complex beer, which if I had the opportunity I'd drink again and again!
Next I'll move onto the Peche Mortel (Which translates as Mortal Sin) from the Dieu du Ciel Brewery. This is an Imperial Stout brewed with fair trade coffee, which they almost beg you to drink in moderation. You should know me and Imperial Stouts by now though!
I've never smelled so much coffee in a beer before in my life. Seriously, nothing else compares to the intensity of this, it's like espresso in a bottle, freshly ground beans and the bushes all blended into one!
This beer drinks like silk.
Once again It's the strangest Imperial Stout I've ever had, and I'm bloody loving it! Dark chocolates, orange pith, masked alcohol (even at 9.5%) leather, treacle, sweet dried fruits and a huge in your face attitude. A fantastic beer, and one that could speak better for itself than I ever could! It's gone now and that makes me a little upset because I know I may never drink this beer again, but...
It looks like in the search for great and good beers you don't just have to look to the UK and the US. Take it a little north and you'll find quite a few gems!!
Thanks again to Eric for bringing these beers along, I thoroughly enjoyed both of them, and I hope you enjoy what I gave you in return.