Beer… my other beverage passion

So here is a picture, courtesy of of my new glassware. I’m using this “Gourmet Glass” as my Belgian beer glass, so I can sip in style. No seriously, I was looking for a Riedel beer glass, which doesn’t actually exist, but I came across these in Caban. I immediately decided I needed a pair. They are beautiful. Sort of a cross between a brandy snifter and a Bordeaux glass. Plus, they are in the Vinum series, which is the mid-level offering from Riedel, the world’s top wine glass manufacturer. I just finished my last bottle of St. Bernardus Abt 12 out of one of those.

The Abt 12 is probably my favorite beer of all time. It’s brewed in the small Belgian town of Watou, and is a Quadrupel brewed to a whopping 10% alcohol volume. This beer is serious. Molasses, coffee and a slight spiciness are dominant in this abbey brew. The only problem is its availability. In Calgary, the only place I know of it being available is Bin 905, an upscale wine shop on 4th St. There, a four pack of 330mL bottles will set you back $17. That’s a bit pricey. However, it is worth every penny and it’s not likely another beer like this will arrive soon (although I believe Bin 905, along with their selection of Carolus and Corsendonk, will be getting Westmalle in the fall). If you are familiar with Québec’s Unibroue, the Abt 12 is similar to Trois Pistoles, but with much greater clarity and cohesion amongst the flavors. Do not get me wrong, Trois Pistoles is one of the better beers around, but the Abt 12 is in a league of its own (well, along with say, Westlveteren). Check out Beer Advocate for reviews of these beers and their rankings. This site is comprehensive and has incredible support among craft beer enthusiasts. The Abt 12 last time I looked rated 11th in the world!



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49th Parallel El Salvador La Montaña
Excellent coffee for everyday drinking. Well expressed acidity and classic El Salvador profile.

Bulleit Bourbon
By far the best bourbon available in BC for the price. $35 for a bottle gets you the highest rye content bourbon on the market. Lots of spice and typical bourbon corn sweetness. Excellent on its own, but also makes a mean Old Fashioned. Better than Knob Creek in my books and pretty close to Woodford Reserve.

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