Bottle Shop & Tasting Room at Brasserie Harricana 

So funny enough, I was working on my previous post on Brasserie Harricana beer when I noticed that Noah – the always eloquent and taker of the beautiful black background photos of Beerism had just published a post about these new barrel aged beers from Harricana.

20171007_143255.jpg

He reviews in his trademark style both the green label and pink label releases, it was serendipitous that I was in the midst of drinking some of this stuff myself.

At the end of his post he mentioned that there was the launch of Harricana’s bottle shop this past Saturday at 1 pm. He must-have prime connections that my hermit ass must not to have such advance info.  I hopped at the chance to scope it out and I am much grateful to the man that I did.

First of all, if you haven’t been the the Brasserie itself, what are you waiting for. The room is beautiful, the contrast of modern and colder elements (the marble, the bars, the gold accents) against the more rustic ones (the pink leather chairs,  the wood, the vintage accents). The beer selection is varied and is also offered in smaller pours, the food and service top tier. It’s great and unpretentious.

The tasting room/bottle shop is upstairs from the bar, accessed from the pink door on the side of the building at 7205 St-Urbain.

20171004_174333-e1507325117736.jpg

Guided by the heady smells of fermentation…or the signs, one takes the stairs up to a bright and airy space. The first corner houses a bottle fridge, a growler filling station & this also doubles as a cash.

20170930_133442

Yes I said growler station! Last year Quebec finally adopted legislation concerning the sale of beer on tap. Alas its bogged down in the usual simplicity/innovation cramping red tape this province is famous for. Nonetheless it’s a first step and still  great news for consumers and producers alike.

22046001_1118199431648352_813347962447418138_n-e1507400002759.jpg

Currently they offer 950ml growlers, the deposit is 4$ and the beers on tap will be priced between 10-14$. They had 6 selections available when I passed by (A blonde, Scotch ale, a stout with fruits and a sour beer with wild herbs, you can check the Brasserie’s Facebook page for updates)

20171004_173939

The rest of the room is taken up fair variety  of different types of barrels of fermenting beer, storage for upcoming and current stock and a ping pong-table, that got some action from some staff members and friends.

20170930_132755

On the day of my visit the charming proprietor Marie-Pier Veilleux was pouring tastes of the 3 current iterations of the 7205 series (I reviewed .001 here) , they also had a few pink label beers for sale (69 and 343) and some merch (bottle openers and glasses, more to come according to staff)

They mentioned that for the moment they plan to keep the shop open until 7pm, unlike the pub downstairs it’s cash or credit only so be prepared. It’s a great addition to their business and a way to offer tastings sessions and events without crowding the bar downstairs.

I hate to gush on like a fanboy about anything but I must profess my love for Harricana, if you’re a whisky fan the parallel I can make is that their ethos remind me a lot of the early days of Bruichladdich. Solid production chops with the will the experiment and try unconventional techniques to achieve their results and a branding and marketing that eschews a lot of the trappings of their respective genres (the salmon pink color that ties everything together reminds of the Laddie’s aqua color scheme) I look forward to what they will bring out next.

7205 St-Urbain 2nd floor, 7/7, 3-7pm

*growler shot credit is from the Harricana Facebook page, same with logo

Franck

The Balvenie 12 Single Barrel Review

 

English review further below:

the-balvenie-distillery2

Balvenie 12 Single Barrel

47.8% Alc./Vol

Évaluation: 76/100 

Je ne suis pas très familier avec la gamme de produits de Balvenie, j’ai entendu de bonnes critiques, le master blender David Stewart à une réputation assez formidable. Une ou deux bouteilles s’est déjà présenté dans la liste de sélection de notre club mais ça n’a jamais été plus loin.

Donc lorsque une opportunité s’est présentée de tester ce nouveau single barrel lors d’une dégustation à la SAQ j’étais très intéressé.

Cette édition est un whisky de 12 ans vieilli en en fût de bourbon de premier remplissage. Il y a moins de 300 bouteilles par baril dans cette édition. J’ai omis de noté le numéro de baril et bouteille lors de ma dégustation. Il se détaille à 129$.

Balvenie12yoSBFF

Nez : Vanille, fleur fraichement cueilli, vomit de bébé, miel amère, une légère odeur de « Pledge » au citron. On ressent beaucoup la vapeur de l’alcool, un peu de brioche et crème anglaise. Après un temps, sucre d’orge, les bananes séchées et un peu les bonbons à saveurs tropicales.

Goût : Astringent, un peu vin blanc, toffee, tire éponge, toffee, bonbons aux citrons. Un peu épicé vers la fin, le chêne un peu fade et il laisse un résidu collants aux lèvres (c’est une première mais pas mauvais), je trouve l’ensemble un peu retenu.

L’alcool en bouche est beaucoup plus fort qu’en laisse croire le dégrée, il n’est pas très doux or particulièrement intéressant. Le manque d’équilibre et la finale courte laisse tomber rapidement l’intérêt du début.

À ce prix, surtout qu’il n’est pas à plein « cask strength », je ne suis pas vraiment certain de sa valeur. Ce n’est pas tout à fait le bourbon oak typique un peu « easygoing » auquel je m’attendais, ce n’est pas du mauvais jus, simplement pas très inspirant.

Franck

—————————————————————————

Balvenie12yoSBFF

Balvenie 12 Single Barrel

47.8% ABV

Score: 76/100 

I’m not very familiar with Balvenie’s products,I’ve heard good reviews and master blender David Stewart has quite the reputation. We’ve toyed with the idea of getting some editions for club purchases before but it just hasn’t come about yet.  So when the occasion to try this new single barrel release during a tasting event organized by our liquor board stores (SAQ or nutSAQ I recently discovered that nickname to my delight) came around I was stoked.

This edition is 12 year old malt from a first fill bourbon barrel, less than 300 bottles are available of each barrel. I failed to note the barrel number on the bottle served. It’s only available in select stores and it’s priced at 129$

the-balvenie-distillery

Nose: Vanilla, baby sick, fresh cut flowers, sour honey, slight lemon pledge edge to it. Lots of alcohol on nose brioche/custard, banana chips and artificial tropical fruit candy..

Palate: Astringent, almost Sauvignon blanc edge, toffee, honeycomb, lemon drops. Slightly spicy finish, dry oak, it’s sticky on the lips but a bit shy.

The alcohol in mouth feels stronger than the ABV lets on. I did not find it very smooth or particularly interesting, it started off with promise but felt unbalanced and very short. At this price for something that isn’t cask strength either I’m not really sure who the target audience for this is, since it’s not quite the toffee/vanilla/bourbon cask easy-rider I thought this would be.  It’s not bad juice, just not very inspiring.

 

Franck