They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Saturday, 12 May 2012

International Beer Swappin

It's that time.

My international beer buddy Eric Michaud from Quebec sent me a few beers again a few weeks back, so it's only fitting I tell you all about them here!

It was a pretty similar deal to the first swap, but there's just more beer this time. So with some great beers that Britain has to offer sent back his way, let's see what Montreal has to offer up this time;

Broue Pub Brouhaha Gaz de Course Barley Wine.
First up comes this big ass 11.9% Barley Wine. It has an intensely sweet and rich aroma. Loads of sherry, raisins, honey and toffee, big - full on resinous hops and a lot of charred caramel. The colour is great. Really, really dark for a BW but held up to the light you get a super red velvet colour coming through. It starts really sweet with loads more honey and some dark chocolate. It's slightly grainy in texture. It's big on the fruit too, grapes, apples and oranges are all the order of the day. Floral with the alcohol completely hidden. The next time I make a beer, I must remember to use Centenial, Simcoe and Amarillo in the same brew, and then age it for 8 months before consumption - Delicious.

Benelux Grande Armada Reserve Whisky Aged Vintage Ale.
This beer straight up stinks of American Whisky. It's huge on the American oak and vanilla, I don't really get much else in the aroma. To be fair it's quite a dominating aroma, but there is still loads going on here. Almonds and vanilla is in the flavour with some herbs, some spice and some smoky bitterness, but it's all about the whisky in this brew. I'm not too sure about this beer, and I don't really know anything about it. How long has it been in the barrels? Which barrels? It's a little difficult to make impressions on it, it's very unique. As it warms up I'm enjoying it a little more though... you know as well as I that I'm a big fan of whisky...

Les Trois Mousquetaires Porter Baltique Grande Cuvee.
I know for sure I've never had a Baltic Porter that was 10% before, so this should be fun (and in such a big bottle too..). It has a big aroma about it. Wood smoke, chocolate and cherries, alcohol, a little salt (it would be a perfect beer to pair with seafood) and a heap of decadence. Winner of the World Beer Awards 2010 Best Baltic Porter award, it has a lot to live up to. It certainly does not disappoint! It tastes like pure luxury. It has a fantastic sweet cherry stone quality which eventually dries out into a very mild lingering bitterness. You don't get any booze, in fact it's already half gone - it's a very dangerous beer indeed. A little more drying wood, a lot of bitter dark chocolate, the label stating mochaccino is pretty spot on.
Simply Stunning Beer, I'm not surprised it won. I just wish I had a few more of these, it's a perfect sharing desert beer.

That was my three beers. I do hope that Eric enjoys the beers that I sent him back - there's some pretty good ones in there! I'll say my thanks again to Eric here, we'd all be better off if more people had your generosity, and a little drunker too, you do like to send Quebec's strongest... I mean finest ;)

I'll be in touch soon,

your beer pen pal, Ghosty.


  1. I've always wanted to get friends from elsewhere in the world to mail me beer but I'm worried that I'll get charged a shedload in duty. Do you get charged?


    1. No, not at all. When I do beer swaps with people, it's usually when they bring beers to the shop whilst visiting Leeds, and I give them beers then and there at the shop. It just depends how many you can fit in your travel luggage with me really.

  2. A funny fact about Quebec province. The law forbid any brewer to tag "beer" on a beer of 12% and more. So what happens when they do brew stronger beer is they tag it at 11,9%. So that barley wine you had was probably stronger than you thought!
    I'm glad you appreciated those beers (did you had them all in the same session?).
    I will probably receive the ones you sent somewhere in June as the courrier girl should return home then.

    1. That's a bit of a weird law... why would they do that? No I didn't have them all in one go, I think my notes would have gotten a little muddled if I did! Looking forward to your thoughts on the beer, hope they get back in one piece :)

  3. Ghosty: I was surprised to read that you had bottles of Grande Armada Reserve. Any tips on where one might still find this unique double brun?