Current Tastings of Pilsner Urquell, Old Tomorrow Canadian Pale Ale, Two Belgian Whites From “Batch”

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This may be the first bottled Urquell I’ve had which hasn’t any, even a hint, of off-taste from light damage. This is down to the brown bottle which replaced the green one some years ago, and also the freshness of this bottle. It was packaged about 6 weeks ago, about as fresh as it can come realistically for an export.

This one had a soft taste and seemed a touch undercarbonated, which I’m good with anyway. I’ve been a devotee of the can for a long time but might switch if this quality keeps up.

 

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This is Old Tomorrow Canadian Pale Ale, an Ontario craft product now well-established here. The draft seems better than the can with extra nuances.

This kind of beer is a cross between IPA as it’s currently understood and traditional pale ale. It drinks better in 20 ounce pints than 14 (or 18), and the older glasses are getting harder to find in Toronto. Will some agree with me the old English pint is the perfect measure for certain beers?

 

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These two were bought from the fridge at Batch, the Molson-Coors brewpub on Victoria Street in Toronto. I like some of the draft beers there, especially the pale ale and the Creemore-brewed Hops & Bolts India Pale Lager, but was disappointed in the beers shown. They have the advertised flavours, but I got strong Belgian yeast notes (clovey, raisins) in both.

I’m not a fan of that taste as it tends, as here, to overwhelm other qualities in the beer. But also, I’ve always thought that the Belgian white style (wit) uses a more neutral yeast to highlight the subtleties of the wheat, barley malt, hops, and coriander or other flavourings in the beer.

For example, the well-known Blanche de Chambly doesn’t have that taste, nor Hoegaarden as far as I know. I don’t even think Blue Moon does.

The collaboration was similar to the regular Batch Witbier but bigger in all respects.

4 thoughts on “Current Tastings of Pilsner Urquell, Old Tomorrow Canadian Pale Ale, Two Belgian Whites From “Batch”

  1. I recently moved to the west coast. Establishments here actually call a 14-oz glass a “pint”. Huh. Give me a 20-oz pint for all beers under 6% —

    Thanks for clearing up my abiding frustration with Pilsner Urquell, a beer I drank many times in Prague but could never quite figure out in its green-bottled form over here. I now understand that what I was tasting (sour straw) was light damage. I don’t much like tinned beer, but at least it does not have that particular flaw.

    • Thanks Andrew. The canned one actually is pretty reliable. It uses a 9 month best-by system (on base), so you can calculate packaging date easily. If you get it under 3 months or even a bit more it is excellent.

      Gary

  2. Gary.
    I’ve always felt that the 14 or 18 oz. glasses were designed for quaffing, sadly.
    Additionally, I find them visually unattractive, almost industrial.
    I agree entirely that the 20 oz. glass suits certain beers more……
    They’re more contemplative.
    Alan.

    • Well, certain beers have good flavour but in a rounded, balanced way. They drink better in gulps than sips. A jagged or strong beer needs a smaller glass. I can see now why the great helles and dunkel were served in litre sizes (never of course quite full due to foam, but containing enough beer still). It makes sense. I don’t like the 14 ounce glass much but it seems the new norm here anyhow.

      Gary

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