Monday, September 30, 2013

A Tale of Two Breweries

Living on the Ontario-Québec border, I have a great advantage when it comes to finding great craft beer. I can go to my neighbourhood LCBO, where I have a good selection of Ontario beer, and I can go to places, such as Bières du Monde, where the selection of awesome Québec microbrasseries is abundant.

That's exactly what I did last week: I went to both places and found two imperial porters. But which province's brewers delivered the best beer?

Let's take a look:
Obsidian Imperial Porter—Oak Aged Series—Rum Barrel (9.2% ABV)
Cameron's Brewing Company
Oakville ON
Beer O'Clock rating: 4
Appearance: deep brown to black, with a creamy, deep taupe head that settles to a dense foam cap.

Nose: rum and coke, dark chocolate, and rich malt.

Palate: oak, cedar, cigar, coffee, and bitter cocoa, which culminate in a roasted malt and espresso finish. There is not much alcohol picked up on the palate at first, but it does build without overpowering.

Overall impression: this is a rich, decadent porter, possibly one of the best I've had in a while. All of the flavours work, and I savoured every drop.

This was the first beer I've had from Cameron's: it won't be my last.

Later in the week, I paid Ryan, of Bières du Monde, a visit, and walked out of his shop with more porter.
Porter Baltique Grande Cuvée—Black Lager (10% ABV)
Les Trois Mousquetaires
Brossard QC
Beer O'Clock rating: 3
Appearance: deep walnut with a fizzy taupe head that settles to a fine lace.

Nose: coffee, prunes.

Palate: more prunes, cedar, eucalyptus, sour cherry, and bitter malt. This porter finished with lots of alcohol and dark chocolate.

Overall impression: this is an intense, serious porter. It is definitely one to share (it came in a 750ml bottle and was too much for me to finish by myself). I found that the alcohol overpowered the other flavours and would have liked to see it better balanced.

Still, I enjoyed it and will drink it again.

As you can see, I enjoyed the Obsidian over the Baltique, though I do recommend both to anyone who loves porter.


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