Top 3 Beers of 2015 (So Far)25 Jun 2015
For summer 2015 I am predicting light, crisp tastes will be the big thing. For me, 2014 was the year of hazy, knockout IPAs like Le Castor's redoubtable Yakima, with its notes of mango, freshly cut flowers, and diesel fuel. 2014 was also the year of saisons, a varied and complex bunch, some of which were as heavy as the IPAs, while others were like blanches but with a bitter punch lurking behind mild banana bread.
So far in 2015, there have been encouraging signs everywhere, but Trou du Diable is still, pint for pint, the best brewery in Québec. Their new offerings rank #2 and #3 on my list. However, it's Dunham that truly distinguish themselves with the incomparable Cyclope. I'm happy for Dunham, particularly after a 2014 characterized by lack of innovation and a beer list that was starting to feel a little stale.
This IPA perfectly summarizes what I feel the tendancy will be for the summer months. By way of an evolution, la Cyclope is a lot drier and crisper an offering than its 2014 counterparts. The tropical fruit is gone, and you get a piney citrus in its place. Note that Cyclope is prominantly marketed for its mosaic and lemondrop hops, although apparently there is a "beta" build with completely different hops. Interested to try this.
L'Amère de Glace (Trou du Diable)
Champagne, pink grapefruit, bergamot, and a faint hint of shoe leather. A crisp and bitter lager in the pilsner style, but so astringent it makes Czech pilsners taste like Chips Ahoy. This is dry, dry, dry but at 4.5% it's an incredible value for a hot summer afternoon.
Aldred (Trou du Diable)
Here's another one clocking in around 4.5%, which is interesting because last year Trou du Diable's batting average seemed to be up around 6.2%. This is a light, blonde ale. It doesn't make the dramatic entrance of L'Amère de Glace, instead serving as a mild, humble compliment that won't dominate the tastebuds. I think this is in bottles only, I haven't seen it on tap.