The Wench's Notes

A place for short beer reviews (That is short reviews of beers, not reviews of short beers. Not that I have anything against short beers.) Main site:

Fridge Status August 7, 2013


Well now, it has been a while since I did one of these. Let’s see what’s in the tiny little fridge in my room this month.

St. Ambroise 2012 - Vintage Ale - McAuslan (Québec)

Bourbon Barrel Aged Deviator - Doppelbock - Cameron’s (Ontario)

Barrel no. 145 2009 Vintage - Sour Ale - Rodenbach (Belgium)

Manor House Intrigue - Brown Ale - Worn Old Hat (homebrew)

Brooklyn Summer Ale - Brooklyn Brewery (US)

Dakota Pearl Pale Ale - Ramblin’ Road (Ontario)

Black Lager - Silversmith Brewery (Ontario)

D&D Dark Dungeon American Brown - Doug Appledoorn (homebrew)

Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel - d’Achouffe (Belgium)

De Wallen Barrel Aged Sour Framboise - Amsterdam (Ontario)

Wayward Son Belgian Style Golden Ale - Radical Road (Ontario)

Éphémère Cherry - Unibroue (Quebec)

La Seigneuriale - Unibroue (Quebec)

Blanche de Chambly - Unibroue (Quebec)

Review: Ass-Kicker IPA by Garrison Brewing Co.

Garrison Brewing Co. (Halifax, NS)

Unfiltered IPA

6.7% ABV

A few months ago my dad went to Halifax on business and, knowing his daughter well, went and visited the Garrison Brewing Co. which was near his hotel. He bought me a few goodies, mainly a sample 6-pack of their beers, a wonderful hoodie and Ass-Kicker, which unknown to him, was a specialty beer that just got released that day. Talk about luck, eh?

Described as the beer that’s so right when everything went wrong, apparently the making of this beer went through a number of problems (loose clamp, stuck fermentation, hop substitution, chilling problems…). The bottle is cute, with the label attached to the bottle with a rubber band and the text upside down.

So it’s been sitting in my fridge since then and yesterday I thought, hell, I should open this up. And here we are.

COLOUR: Deep honey orange. Thin white head.

AROMA: Really heavy marmalade aroma with orange peel behind it glaring at you. Hint of vanilla mingling around the party and the citrus notes of the cascade hops is standing in the corner working up the nerve to say something.

TASTE: Just like in the aroma, the marmalade is the star of the show with it’s friend the orange rind. Quite bitter with a warmth brought on by the grains. Vanilla slowly sweeps things up at the end. Aftertaste is quite bitter but warmth is left over.

VERDICT: Quite tasty beer! Definitely an IPA suited for Spring/Fall where the weather is in between freezing and boiling. 


A month already? Damn. Here’s what’s in my fridge right now.

St. Ambroise 2012 - Russian Imperial Stout - McAuslan (Québec)

St. Ambroise 2012 - Vintage Ale - McAuslan (Québec)

Bourbon Barrel Aged Deviator - Doppelbock - Cameron’s (Ontario)

Westvleteren XII - Trappist Belgian Ale (Belgium)

Ass-Kicker - IPA - Garrison (Nova Scotia)

Puddle Jumper - Rhubarb Hard Cider - Living Sky (Saskatchewan)

Barrel no. 145 2009 Vintage - Sour Ale - Rodenbach (Belgium)

Tropidelico - Fruit Lager - Wellington (Ontario)

Summer Weiss - Weiss - Muskoka (Ontario)

Canadian Cider - Cider - Molson Coors (Colorado)

Red Racer White - White Ale - Central City (BC)

Rosmarinus Aromatic Ale - American Pale Ale with Rosemart - Big Rock (Alberta)

Maverick & Gose - Gose - Great Lakes X Amsterdam (Ontario Collaboration)

Project X Brown Saison - Brown Saison - Great Lakes/Greg Clow (Ontario Collaboration)

Arctic Panzer Wolf - IIPA - Three Floyds (Illinois)

Manor House Intrigue - Brown Ale - Worn Old Hat (homebrew)

ROGUE Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale Review


Rogue Brewing (Newport, OR)

Brown Ale

5.6 abv

Firstly, I have to say that I was warned about this beer both before and after I bought it. The words “disgusting” “prepare your sink for a dump” and “dear god why did you get this?” were used by many people.

But I also heard good things in equal measure. “delicious”, “wonderful” and “great” were also words used.

So because I’m someone who makes poor life decisions, I decided to see for myself what all the fuss was about.

I was going to pair this with a chocolate dip doughnut but there ended up being no chocolate on it (it stuck to the inside of the bag it was in). The vanilla of the doughnut added a bit to this, but it was quick. Here’s the review of just the beer.

AROMA: Smoke. Like someone has a fire going and in rage threw a bottle of maple syrup in to it. Not that unpleasant when you think about it, but it takes some getting used to.

TASTE: Tastes just like it smells. WAAAAAAAAY too much smoke. But there are some nice earthy notes to it along with a strong hint of maple syrup and a twist of vanilla. Aftertaste is smoke and chemicals which destroy it.

VERDICT: While it isn’t the worst beer I’ve had, it’s definitely not good. I’m glad I thought to pair it with the doughnut, as the vanilla notes made it a bit more tasty.

I appreciate what Rogue was going for in this. As it warmed, I saw what they were aiming for and appreciated the weird feelings of nostalgia I experienced with it (I spent a lot of time at Pioneer Village as a child, so the smell of burning firewood and maple syrup hold a nice place in my heart) but this is oversmoked and completely falls with that and the chemical aftertaste it brings.

Instead of dumping this, I’m going to attempt to put it in a french press with unsweetened flaked coconut just to try.

Also I think I’m done with bacon beers.

EDIT TO ADD: So I infused it with coconut and although the aroma and taste was significantly more doughnut-like, the smoke in this beer was so great that it couldn’t be saved. Down the toilet it went.


I have a new fridge in which to store beers for reviews/recreation/wonder.

Here’s what’s in it.

St. Ambroise Erable - Maple Ale - McAuslan (Québec)

St. Ambroise Scotch Ale - Scotch Ale - McAuslan (Québec)

St. Ambroise 2012 - Russian Imperial Stout - McAuslan (Québec)

St. Ambroise 2012 - Vintage Ale - McAuslan (Québec)

Cream Ale - Cream Ale - Cameron’s (Ontario)

 Dark 266 - Amber Lager - Cameron’s (Ontario)

Bourbon Barrel Aged Deviator - Doppelbock - Cameron’s (Ontario)

Westvleteren XII - Trappist Belgian Ale (Belgium)

Ass-Kicker - IPA - Garrison (Nova Scotia)

(2) Bourbon Barrel Dragon’s Milk - Russian Imperial Stout - New Holland (Michigan, USA)

Puddle Jumper - Rhubarb Hard Cider - Living Sky (Saskatchewan)

Classic Vienna - Vienna - Bushwakker (Saskatchewan)

Cheryl’s Blond - Blonde Ale - Bushwakker (Saskatchewan)

Matilda - Belgian Strong Ale - Goose Island (Chicago, USA)

Matador - IIPA aged in Spanish Cedar - Flying Monkeys (Ontario)

Barrel no. 145 2009 Vintage - Sour Ale - Rodenbach (Belgium)

Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale by Left Field Brewery

Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale by Left Field Brewery (Toronto, ON) – 5.5%ABV

Left Field is a new brewery out of Toronto (though currently contracting out of Grand River Brewing in Guelph). As you can probably guess from their name, they are Baseball themed, which goes well with baseball season arriving soon. Started by Niagara College brewing school graduate Mark Murphy and his wife Mandie, their first offering is Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale. What is an Eephus? Well, it’s described as a “seldom-thrown and unexpected pitch”, usually at slow velocity (55mph, as opposed to a regular pitch, which is about 80-100mph), which throws the batter off guard.

For Toronto folk, they have a launch coming up April 5th at 3030 (3030 Dundas St. West) at 7:07pm.

On to the review.

COLOUR: Dark brown. No head whatsoever.

AROMA: Warm, earthy malt notes.

TASTE: Nice caramel notes with a a slight bitterness all rounded out well with the creaminess of the oatmeal. Carbonation is pretty minimal and I feel like I’m missing out on things a bit there, as it’s tasting a bit flat.

VERDICT: I’d drink this while spending a day in watching a game (bonus if it’s a particularly chilly and rainy day) and aside from the low carbonation it’s a pretty comfortable Brown Ale.