Review: Hickson India Pale Ale (Brasserie Les 2 Frères)
Lately the LCs have been getting a very solid selection of Quebec beers. We've gotten some Dieu du Ciel beers that I've never tried before, a few Trou du Diable and even a beer from Microbrasserie Charlevoix - making it the first time that Charlevoix has been available in Manitoba since 2012! Those are some of the most popular Quebec breweries so when I saw beers by Terrebonne, Quebec's Microbrasserie Les 2 Frères at a few random LCs in Winnipeg, I was giddy! Les 2 Frères aren't exactly a well known brewery.. especially outside of Quebec. Their Hickson India Pale Ale and Charles Henri Blanche are available in Manitoba.. for now. Those are the very same two beers I picked up in a beer spending spree at a dépanneur across the street from Marche Jean Talon in Montreal back in April. Tonight, I'm sampling Hickson India Pale Ale.
Appearance: The first thing I notice about Les 2 Frères beers is the unique labels that give off a hand drawn sort of appearance to it.. I love it! Hickson pours a cloudy unfiltered orange peelish colour with an incredibly thick amount of off-white foamy head. The foam slowly goes down, but only subtlety. The appearance is exactly what I like in my IPAs.. especially unfiltered!
Aroma: This is a very aromatic IPA coming from Quebec! I'm getting notes of pine - a lot of pine, grapefruit, a spiciness from pepper, a bit of "Hostess Iced Tea" powder, lemon, mild fresh cut grass aroma and fresh paint.
Taste: Pine is the very first flavour that pops out in my mind here.. followed by a rich grapefruit bite to it. A moderate amount of metallic bitterness, a hint of lemon and a good amount of yeast.. which gives it a yeastier, breadier bite than most IPAs I've seen in the past year or two.
Overall Thoughts: I haven't really had any IPAs in weeks, but I can feel the hop burning sensation in my esophagus.. so I'm going to need to burp a lot in the next few minutes! It's a great IPA with a liberal amount of hops which I find is something that's not all that common in Quebec yet. I don't believe that this beer is that fresh, likely two or more months old but it's still quite tasty. I'm going to request my local Liquor Mart to bring this in but I'm not going to hold my breath. 53 IBU (tastes like it would be at least 65), 6.2% ABV