Monday, March 25, 2013

Hop Head

My taste in beer has evolved over the past year or so, where I've gained an affinity for the bitter, hoppy flavours of a bold IPA. But over this weekend, my desire for more bitterness was blown away by a powerful rye wine from a Québec microbrewery.
The Red Sashes 2012 Rye Wine (11% ABV)
Brasserie Dunham
Dunham, QC
Beer O'Clock rating: 4
Appearance: a heavily sedimented, reddish amber (almost caramel) with a creamy white head that lasted throughout my tasting.

Nose: toffee, a hint of vanilla, grapefruit, and an extreme waft of hops.

Palate: the hops punch you squarely in the mouth and mix with a creamy citrus spice that blows you away. There is a long, hoppy finish that leaves a strong bitterness.

Overall impression: this is the most bitter beer I've ever had, at a whopping 148 IBUs. It reminds me of a barley wine but tastes much better with the fruit flavours. Although it's a strong beer at 11 percent ABV, the alcohol is not what blew me away.

This is an extreme ale that is well worth trying if you like lots of hops and lots of bitterness, but it's not a cheap drink. At $5.49, plus taxes (Bières du Monde has it but is running low) for a 341ml bottle, it's one of the pricier beers out there. But I found it worth the cost, so get some while you can.


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