I am done feeling overwhelmed. Folks, catching up with beers to review is impossible, in fact, never mind catching up… keeping up alone is impossible. When I first started collecting beers and documenting them I was quite impressed with how quickly my beer list was growing without becoming a drunk. I would walk into an LCBO or any other SAQ stores in Quebec and well over 85% of the beers on shelves, I had tried. The remianing15% is actually a huge number; heck, if 99.9% is good enough, this means that 2 airplanes leave O’Hare airport unchecked everyday. Scary isn’t it? This equation means that well over 2 000 airplanes come and go everyday at O’Hare. Eventually I visited beeradvocate.com and was quite surprised to see how big the world of beer was. For starters, there are over 100 breweries in Ontario and the same in Quebec, well over 2750 breweries in the U.S. and in case you’re curious, Canada has more breweries per capita then in the U.S. So, with this many breweries in Quebec and Ontario, in the rest of my country and just south of the border -in my wife’s homeland, the United States of America-, you can now multiply these rough estimated numbers by say, an average of 8 different makes (Beau’s alone has 30 in their Wild Oats series) this folks gives us an estimated quantity of well over 24 000 beers. Add Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, etc… Now use the same equation as our airplane example (0.01%) and you have 240 beers. If I get to try 99.9% of every beer in the U.S. and Ontario and Quebec, I will be missing 240 beers in my review. This number grows everyday. Guess what, by the time I was done writing the previous line, 2 new beers were released; we’re now at 242 (I am making this up but you get the point).
So, lately, when at Castro’s, I have stopped rushing to peek in their refrigerator to see what new beers they may have gotten their hands on (well, not really) and simply enjoy a beer without always making it an assignment; as it should be. The first beer I have been ordering lately is St-Ambroise’s Oatmeal Stout. Which I have mentioned at least once in my last 3 posts… Although they keep it on their blackboard as McAuslan’s Oatmeal stout, it’s actually a St-Ambroise.
So given my enjoyment of this beer, here is my review of St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout on tap (not bottled). I love a good stout. Even if I’ve praised Muskoka’s Chocolate Cranberry Double Stout (Winter Beard) I love a good straight forward stout. I am done speaking about McAuslan for a while… too many beers await my scrutiny.
LOOK: Awwww, black as night with a good head that leaves behind beautiful lacing.
SMELL: The smell is incredible. Less is more is the way to do it. The roasted malts, caramel, oatmeal and some slightly burnt coffee make for a wonderful smell that promise an excellent taste and sure enough…
TASTE: The nose teaser delivers the promise of a quality taste. Imagine a great bowl of oatmeal with minimal brown sugar but where the milk has been substituted with black coffee; that’s the taste, with a little bit of chocolaty roasted malts. Nice smokey hints at time.
FEEL: The beer has a great light and wet mouthfeel with great creamy carbonation. Excellent drinkability.
FINISH: If you have the discipline to let it warm up a little you’ll find a little more of the alcohol taste and sweetness in the last sips.
CONTEXT: This is a great stout. I can’t think of anything that could have been done differently.
Pairing: Fine cheeses, chocolate desserts, grilled meats, game
Price: $7.00 / pint on tap
Availability: All year round
Beer type: Stout
Brewery: Mc Auslan
Country / Region: Montreal, Canada
That’s it for St-Ambroise… Next, 3 Maple beers.