Across the Nation Collaboration!
This is the second post in this series … as mentioned in the previous post, Central City Brewers and Distillers has collaborated with twelve other breweries in celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary.
Working my way from East to West, the next in the series is from Prince Edward Island. The aptly named brewery is P.E.I Brewing Company. Their brewing history reaches back to 1997 and continues strongly through today brewing award-winning beers.
As in the previous post, I will be using the 2015 BJCP Guidelines to score each beer based on Aroma (12 pts), Appearance (3 pts), Flavor (20 pts), Mouthfeel (5 pts), and Overall Impression (10 pts). You can see the standard score sheet here.
The Evaluation. The beer is called “Biere d’ici Honey Ale.” From the description: “Prince Edward Island may be small but it is also known as the birthplace of Confederation. Brewed with local PEI honey and maritime grown hops, this brew is a lighter take on the bière de garde style.”
With this description, I will judge this beer under category 24 (Belgian Ale) with the sub-style being 24C … Bière de Garde. I will add my notes for the categories from above and then score it based on the total points available. My assumption with this “Honey Ale” is that the honey was used to add flavor and aid in the dry finish.
Aroma. Medium-low bready malt character that fades away. I detect some Pilsner-ish malt notes. Very light honey accents, but not overpowering. A low, floral hop nose in support, but very faint. No esters perceived. (8/12 pts).
Appearance. Pours to a light copper color with a small, off-white. Does not persist. Bubbles continue from the bottom of this brilliantly clear beer. (3/3pts).
Flavor. Grainy, bready malt character up front. Again, pilsner malt seems prominent. Light honey notes. Medium hop bitterness competes with malt for balance. Malt and hop bitterness both linger into the dry finish. Aftertaste is more toward the hop bitterness–not to style. Clean lager fermentation character. (13/20 pts).
Mouthfeel. Medium body with high carbonation. Low alcohol warmth. Very effervescent. Not astringent. Expected a little creaminess for style–not there. (4/5 pts).
Overall Impression. This is a very good beer — quite drinkable! The honey is a nice addition. For the style, especially with an amber version, I would expect a little more malt character in both aroma and flavor. Also, the hop bitterness is a little high for style — maybe reduce the bittering hops by 15 – 20 percent? Otherwise, cheers! (7/10 pts).
That’s 35 out of 50 points bringing this beer into the Very Good category. A big thanks again to both breweries for making this one! As noted above from the description, the “lighter take” on the style is probably why the malt flavor/aroma is a little more subdued.