probstblueribbon (2698) - Nepean, Ontario, CANADA - APR 2, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500 mL bottle from the brewery via Lubiere (merci!), served at cellar temperature in a tulip glass. Gushed slightly.
App.: Hazy deep amber, huge dirty tan head.
Aroma: Large amounts of peachy fruit, lots of juicy piney, resinous hops, orange juice and peel, some bubblegum esters, a bit of dark rye bread crust.
Palate: Medium+ body, soft but full effervescence, some astringency.
Flav.: Much like the nose with a good deal more crystal malt; more or less dry, quite bitter with a nice long pine-resin finish.
Nice stuff – tweaked American IPA style. Good balance, which means an emphasis on hops for me.
blankboy (5729) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 17, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draught at Vices & Versa. I agree with HogTownHarry, this was indeed the best beer of our Montreal weekend, kudos to Hopfenstark and please send some our way to Toronto!! Pours a cloudy, murky orange-amber with an average size off-white head. Very nice aroma of fresh, juicy resiny hops and fruit nicely balanced by sweet toasty malt. Flavour’s nice and hoppy and so easy to drink, it’s incredibly well balanced. Pleasant long bitter finish. Medium to full bodied. Fan-friggin’-tastic!
beerbiere (101) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 17, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cask at Vices et Versa. Hazy orange/copper topped by a 2 inch head. Surprising for a cask conditionned beer, although I feel the waitress was not too talented at pouring it (she took a spoon and scalped its head!). Aroma evolves mainly around grapefruit, there are some flowers (Burton beers comes to mind) but also some raspberries which I find add a nice and unexpected touch. The malts provide a firm background to the powerful yet controlled bitterness. It displays the sweetness of orange with a enough presence to balance the grapefruit peel bitterness and the tartness of raspberries and citrus makes it very refreshing. Body is mineral like (once again Burton water comes to mind), chalky and medium to round body. I have a strong preference for the cask version versus the draught one. Superb, amongst the best IPAs I’ve had. If the intensity of the hops is more westcoast influenced, I still find it closer to English IPAs.
HogTownHarry (5973) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - FEB 15, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draught. At Vices et Versa. Best beer of the weekend - Fred, please send a regular shipment of this to Ralph at Volo - please!! Very cloudy amber-orange with an average sticky off-white head. Very potent dry bitter aroma, herbal, juicy, resiny, decent sweet roast malt - the aroma really kept shifting around on me, now and again it was like a hoppy fruit cocktail. The taste is amazingly balanced, and layered to - having the brewer sitting at the table with you can be an advantage, as I told him it started very malty and juicy, almost pineapple, then before it could seem too sweet, the crisp, dry, resin hop bitterness balanced it perfectly - self cleansing on the palate! The mouthfeel was a highlight for me 5-4+ - crisp, dry, light, no hint of that 6.5% alcohol at all, and a hint of tongue-tingling acidity in the finish. I started with a pint of this, then ordered a sampler tray of other beers - I wish I weren’t a ratings slut, I would have been happy to sit and drink 4 of this one.
Gorbalev (2887) - Ontario, CANADA - FEB 13, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at Vices et Versa. Beautiful dark orange, thick creamy white head. Really resiny hops in aroma - same again in taste. Medium to full bodied yet perfectly carbonated and incredibly drinkable. Lots of hops, but lots of malt to balance things out. The best pint I had on my Montreal trip, congrats to the brewer on a very fine effort.
GregClow (2805) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 11, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draught (6 oz. sample) at Vices et Versa, Montreal. Slightly hazy golden-amber. Fantastic aroma of sweet tropical fruit (pineapple, papaya) and firm resiny hops. Medium mouthfeel. Flavour is big and well-balanced, with sweet and toasty malts to hold up against the resiny citric hops. Finish is long and bitter, but not astringent, just really crisp and refreshing. Damn good!
EnSiFeRuM (501) - Quebec, CANADA - FEB 6, 2008
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
En fût à la Ninkasi. Couleur cuivré-orangé avec des reflets rougeâtres. Mousse fugace qui ne reste pas longtemps. Au nez les agrumes se font très convaincants. Le citron, la pêche et le pamplemousse dominent. En bouche on goûte d’abord le caramel et par la suite une solide ametume.
ClarkVV (3734) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - OCT 23, 2007
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Draught pint at Vices et Versa on 9/29/07
Everyone at the table just got done talking about unfiltered IPAs and the fact that they shouldn’t be hazy. So I was a little tremulous when this pint showed up rather cloudy, with a thin, off-white head atop. Blotchy, wet lacing and moderate to poor retention were the rest of the specs, but I just don’t think a cloudy/muddy IPA is very appealing. A little haze is fine, but this was obviously chalk full of yeast, protein and other break material.
And it would be one thing if it just created a slightly smaller head and poor lacing, but sure enough, the flavor and aroma were definitely dulled. Of course, I’ve never had the beer before, but having their saison in bright condition, before this, I could tell that this was not the way it was intended. I dont know if Vices et Versa just did not let the keg settle long enough, or if this was just a poorly conditioned batch.
Regardless, the aroma was fruity, moderately bitter and a bit doughy/bland. Mostly the bitterness broke through, leaving the lighter, more crisp and lively hop notes muted and wet. Malts were crackery, mostly well-attenuated and didnt seem to interrupt the hop notes.
Similar issues with flavor, with the bitterness far exceeding the flavor, leaving too much citrus acidity and grainy malt texture to throw the beer out of balance. There were no flaws, and I could catch passing notes of light tropical fruits and juicy hop flavors (lime, orange, cherry, sweet resin), but the strong, chewy/doughy blandness and pronounced bitterness severely hindered these flavors. Will have to try again and rerate if/when it is in better condition, as these ratings suggest this is not what I should expect.
beerbuzzmontreal (3490) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 20, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sampled on tap at Vices et Versa. Pours a cloudy amber color with a medium, creamy, white head. Appealing aroma of resinous and piney hops with toasted malt. Very good flavor of resinous and piney hops with a sturdy toasted malt back-bone and a bitter finish that lasts. The body is light to medium with a creamy texture and gentle carbonation. Very good and very well done.
DougShoemaker (3147) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 28, 2007
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Mildly citrus nose,some malt also, orange/copper, small custard head. Taste is sweet, juicy oranges, nicely backed with malt. Medium bodied, balanced, very creamy. Really fine!