Review: Le Corsaire Brown Ale (revisit)

I first reviewed this beer two years ago but felt like it was a good time to revisit this beer!

Seven years ago today I left Quebec City for the last time. I've been planning on visiting again because I absolutely love that city - I lived in the city during the summers of 2006 and 2008 and fell in love with that city quickly - the city has lots to offer, affordable craft beer at the grocery stores and dépanneurs, amazing local cuisine, and I've met some amazing people there every time I've gone.

This year's Brandon Beer Festival is postponed until further notice due to COVID-19 but one of my best memories of the festival was two years ago - While every year there's new breweries partaking in the beer festival, the furthest a brewery ever travelled for the festival was a few hundred kilometres.. well, that is until Lévis-based Le Corsaire Microbrasserie made a visit to the festival. Frankly, I was surprised to see a Quebec brewery's peeps come all the way to the event. Many beer geeks I know lingered around their booth longer than most because the beer just came to Manitoba only a few days earlier, so it was new to a lot of people.

I've promised Daniel at Le Corsaire many times during my visits to Montreal that I'd take the train into Quebec City to come check out Le Corsaire but unfortunately things always got in the way to do so, but once all this stuff is over and I can travel out east again, I will finally make the visit!

Today's review is Le Corsaire's Brown English, an English-style Brown Ale. From the website: Refined, smooth and rich, this Brown Ale is combined with the savory flavors of both the northern and the southern parts of England. Allow yourself to be transported by this beer’s aromas of hazelnut and biscuit. These tantalizing flavors are sure to awaken the buccaneer in you. Suggested pairings: Old cheeses, Sunday roast, Any meal with gravy! 5.0% ABV

Appearance: Pours a dark brown ale with a ruby red hue to it, it's very dark but nowhere near as heavy as as a porter or stout. The head is fairly minimal with a yellowish-beige appearance to it that is a tad reminiscent of an oatmeal beer once it settles down a bit. With the sunlight hitting this glass, I realized that this glass is a glass I bought in Quebec City back in 2008 for the 400th birthday of the city, it's held up pretty well!

Aroma: Roasted malt profile that gives off moderate roastiness to it with a bit of coffee, a good dose of caramel, a huge dose of cocoa nibs, hints of biscuits and hazelnut.

Taste: An English Brown Ale with a roasted maltiness to it that gives off a moderate amount of coffee-like flavour to it that is quite present in the mouthfeel and aftertaste. Again, I get a good amount of cocoa nibs in this beer to give it a bit of a chocolatey flavour to it, hint of hazelnut, toffee and a hint of earthiness at the end.

Overall Thoughts: This is a style you very rarely see breweries ever make here in Canada, aside from Fort Garry with their Fort Garry Dark. A very underappreciated style that needs more love when Porters and Stouts are getting all the attention. Quite roasted with a bitterness to it, yet has a nice silky smoothness on the palate that made me savour more than expected. Next time I'm in Quebec, I'll make a daytrip to Québec-Lévis and check out Le Corsaire.. expect pictures one of these days, if this pandemic ever ends 🤷🏻‍♂️

First review:

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