Review: Trou du Diable's Shawinigan Handshake

Two and a half years. That's how long it took me to write this review. I've had this review in my drafts folder since April 14, 2015 while I was in Montreal, but unfortunately I never got around and finishing the review.

A proof is a proof!

The beer of choice for this long awaited review was Trou du Diable's Shawinigan Handshake. I remember first hearing about this beer back before Trou du Diable was a household name in the Canadian brewery industry. Ever since I heard about it in late '00s/early '10s, I've always wanted to try it, but unfortunately I had to wait until visiting Montreal a few years ago to finally get my hands on a bottle. Shawinigan Handshake comes in two label designs - one with Jean Chretien choking the devil, and one with Jean Chretien choking Hockey Night in Canada's Don Cherry.

Why did it take me so long for me to review this beer? Well, I was hoping to see this beer available through MLCC here in Manitoba, but it never did. It was briefly on tap at Barley Brothers way back in the day, but that's it. I found a few bottles at the CO-OP Liquor Store in Saskatoon, so of course I had to take a few with me and finally finish my review!

Appearance: This Pugnacious Strong Ale pours a medium, somewhat cloudy golden-orange body, a great deal of micro-carbonation like your typical lager. There's a whole finger's worth of creamy beige foam on top, not going anywhere except gradually clinging to the side of the glass.

Aroma: Notes of banana, clove, Chinook to give it a bit of a floral hop presence to it, a great deal of citrus notes here and there, and a good amount of breadiness at the end. This beer kind of reminds me of banana bread. Judging by amount of asshole wasps (not pictured) that are circling the beer, I think they're enjoying this beer more than I am so far!

Taste: Notes of banana again, cloves, bubblegum, a great deal of lemon, a light note of spice on the tongue, orange peel and a good amount of carbonation for the mouthfeel. This is quite on point for a wheat ale. Decently sweet yet dry, a hint of spruce, and a profile that simply just pops out and pairs well with the last remaining 20C+ days of 2017.

Overall Thoughts: It's a shame that this has still never been sold in bottles in Manitoba. Rt Hon Jean Chretien is definitely a polarizing character to Manitobans, but this beer is absolutely tasty. I wish I saved a Don Cherry version of the bottle for the new NHL season in a couple weeks.. ah well, maybe next year! Citrusy, wheaty, bit creamy and lots of banana - a great early autumn treat! 6.5% ABV

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