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Any Denison's sightings yet in the GTA? (BEER)

duckdown Oct 2, 2009 12:18 PM

Hey folks, just wondering since LCBO.ca doesn't seem to be listing it in their product search yet, has anybody spotted Denison's beer in the LCBO's yet?

Supposedly it was coming to stores as of last weekend.. I looked at the list of locations that are supposed to be carrying it and I visited the Meadowvale LCBO but its nowhere to be found as far as I can tell.

Just curious if anyones seen it yet.. looking to hopefully pick some up for this weekend!

  1. duckdown Oct 6, 2009 01:28 PM

    OK, well, I managed to find the beer in Oakville at Upper Middle & Eighth Line, and I had 1 beer since I've bought it, but it was last night and wasn't completely chilled either...

    This might sound crazy; but I'm wondering if my beer has kind of "turned" or something.. First of all, from the second I poured it and smelled it, I was kind of surprised and not really in a good way; for some reason the beer smells like WINE of all things. It doesn't have much of a beer scent, or citrus, or banana, or spice. It smells like *wine*..

    I went onto ratebeer immediately to see what other people said about the beer and they describe a COMPLETELY different beer than what poured into my glass.. they all mention citrus, banana and spice (like most other weissbier's im used to... hacker-pscholl comes to mind) but mine actually smells like a white wine. It pretty much tastes like a wine too.. Not much of a beer flavor and definitely none of the fruit or spice.. almost like it turned a little rancid or something.. I'm so confused

    I've only had one glass of it and it was last night and wasn't completely chilled/... so i'm going to give it another shot tonight... i am just very surprised so far...

    is it possible my beer turned or bad or something? maybe it's been stored in improper conditions. the can says it hasn't been pasturized or anything like this... or maybe i'm just being crazy and my pallette/nose are playing tricks on me... but i really don't think this is it, because I usually am pretty good when it comes to beer tasting notes

    thoughts? comments? concerns? flames?

    fire away

    cheers

    16 Replies
    1. re: duckdown
      haggisdragon Oct 6, 2009 02:01 PM

      That's weird. I drink Denison's on tap all the time, and it does vary a lot from pint to pint. It is a very sensitive beer due to the live yeast, and gets pretty yucky near the end of a keg. But what you're describing is beyond anything I've tasted, Sounds like its definitely spoiled. What colour is it? It should be a cloudy golden shade when its fresh, and gets a darker browny shade as it ages.

      1. re: duckdown
        g
        Gary Oct 6, 2009 02:22 PM

        Ah, very interesting! So I'm not crazy.

        Last weekend we were at the Victory Cafe, my first visit, and I was excited because I heard they took their beers seriously. Ordered a Denison's Weissebeer and it was awful. Bitter, acidic, sour, winey, all of the above. Nothing like the sweet, spicey banana-hued concoction I've had at other bars like Volo and the Queen & Beaver. I left most of it, which I never do, and met friends later in another part of the bar and they had also drank a bad Denison's earlier in the night and left most undrank. Looking back I should have complained right away, but the bar was packed, the staff was run off their feet and I didn't want to seem like a pretentious wanker. I don't know if this odd taste was a result of the batch of Denison's in the keg, or if their draft lines were dirty or something.

        Also, I have the same problem all the time with the bottles of Mill St. Wit I buy to take home from the brewpub's store. I'd say 80% of the time it is delicious, sweet with a hint of spices like coriander. The other 20% of the time it tastes slightly sour with a raw alcohol aftertaste (I could see it described as "wine-like" as you have, duckdown). I thought it was just my tastebuds until one time I drank two back-to-back and found the difference very noticeable as soon as I tasted the second beer. Usually all bottles in the same 6 pack have the same taste.

        Does anyone know if wits/whites/wheats can go "off" more easily than other types? I never see this with other beer types (though I've had ales/lagers in clear or green glass bottles go "skunky" which is quite different). It's starting to annoy me because I hate wasting money on premium beers that don't taste as good as I know they should.

        1. re: Gary
          duckdown Oct 6, 2009 02:48 PM

          yeah!

          you have done a much better job of describing it than me... but honestly, it reminded me of a bad wine

          the denison's is NOT being refrigerated at the lcbo, maybe this has something to do with it? maybe our cans were being held somewhere warm and they've gone sour or something?

          i'm pissed because i bought 8 tall cans of the stuff and i just know that this is not what its supposed to be like...

          1. re: duckdown
            haggisdragon Oct 7, 2009 04:36 AM

            Hey Duck, I got myself 8 cans last night and drank two. I was a bit worried from your report, but so far so good. Nice clean spicy banana nose, refreshing yeasty, citrus taste. Maybe you just got a dud can. A funny side not though, I was eating some cantaloupe with my second can and this significantly changed the flavour of the beer for the worse: the sourness you were talking about suddenly became prominent. Avoid this pairing!

            1. re: haggisdragon
              duckdown Oct 7, 2009 03:29 PM

              Hi haggis, thanks for the heads up.

              As of today I've still only had that one can, however, i plan on drinking one or two before I head out to the pub tonight so I will give it another honest go and report back.

              thanks for the report though.

              Oh, and also, people on another forum have been experiencing the same thing as me. Someone actually even got a hold of the owner, a fellow by the name of Michael Hancock and supposedly he has been hearing reports of this as well. The LCBO has been notified there might be potentially some bad batches out there and will give a full refund, so we'll see if the ones I have require that course of action

              Cheers!

              1. re: duckdown
                haggisdragon Oct 8, 2009 04:38 AM

                Interesting. I had a bad one last night too, too acidic, with a bitter aftertaste. That's really unfortunate that his very first batch to go to the stores isn't perfect. I've never met Michael, but I get the idea from his blog, and from other brewers I've talked to, that he's a real perfectionist. I wonder if it has anything to do with where he's producing the beer. Since I've been drinking Denison's he's moved from the Black Oak brewery, to Mill St, and now Cool. Maybe some growing pains?

            2. re: duckdown
              k
              kwjd Oct 7, 2009 08:16 AM

              It shouldn't matter if beer is kept refrigerated or not. Room temp is fine to store beer. If it was held somewhere with extremely hot temps I could understand, but I wouldn't think that would happen at an LCBO.

              Thanks for your review though... I do love this when I've had it on tap at and maybe I'll just stick to having it that way for now.

            3. re: Gary
              haggisdragon Oct 7, 2009 04:53 AM

              Hey Gary, as far as I know weiss beers are pretty volatile, because of the active yeast in the mix. They change quickly with age, so your pint at the Victory sounds like a typical bottom of the barrel pour. It depends how quickly they go through the product. This shouldn't really happen with cans/bottles though, unless they've been stored in a very extreme environment at some point. I've had lots of bad pints that taste just the way you've described, but never a bad can/bottle. It does depend somewhat on the condition of your palate though, as per my cantaloupe story below.

              1. re: haggisdragon
                g
                Gary Oct 7, 2009 05:23 AM

                Haggis, makes sense about the live yeast causing volatility. But I remember I had to wait a long time for my pint at the Victory because they were "changing the keg" so if anything it should have been the top of the barrel pour, unless they were having some other issue and that was just an excuse. As for the palate, I agree that is a factor, but I'm talking about extreme knock-your-socks-off taste differences here, not subtle notes.

                1. re: Gary
                  haggisdragon Oct 7, 2009 09:54 AM

                  Well, if you got the very first pour from a new keg, you were actually getting the very last dregs of the previous keg. Depending on the length of the draft lines from beer fridge to taps, it takes 1 or 2 pitchers before you're getting the fresh stuff. The bartender should throw away these first couple of pitchers, but if the they're really busy, or if the owners are really tight with spillage, they might not, and then you get stuck with what they served you.

                  1. re: haggisdragon
                    haggisdragon Oct 13, 2009 04:39 AM

                    Here's an update on the Denison's situation. I received an email from Michael Hancock this morning, addressing our concerns over the 'off tasting' cans. Here's what he said:

                    'You are quite right and I am taking this very seriously. The problem has arisen with those cans that have been stored unrefrigerated either in the storage area or the retail area at the LCBO stores. This is why we have had praise from some consumers and complaints from others. The problem appears to have been caused by a minor contamination of the yeast by beer spoilers, undetectable until last Friday. Please be assured that only the taste of the beer has been compromised. Ultimately it is our responsibility to produce a stable product that does not 'turn' so quickly when unrefrigerated. We are therefore pulling all remaining stock from the stores where it has not been continuously chilled. I am interested to know which store you bought the beer from.
                    To further answer your questions, the situation is under control in that new brews with fresh yeast are being produced this week, but will not be ready for sale for around four weeks. I am glad that you are one of those who at least know how good the beer is under other circumstances.
                    We will obviously find a way to make amends to those who have had a bad experience. Please keep your receipt as we compile a list of those who need replacement beer that's totally up to past standards.
                    This certainly has been a disappointing setback but we hope it will become a distant memory as time goes by.
                    Thanks for taking the time to write.'

                    1. re: haggisdragon
                      c
                      childofthestorm Oct 13, 2009 12:18 PM

                      This is interesting - I had a bad can which led to a rather unpleasant night a week ago Sunday. I just didn't want to post about it here as I love the beer and don't want to be slamming a small producer. I wondered, was it something I ate instead? But no it was definitely the beer - and not just the taste either. I'll spare everyone the details.

                      But good to know they are on top of the situation - I had a draft pint over the weekend and it was excellent as always, and am looking forward to regularly having tallboys in the fridge.

                      1. re: haggisdragon
                        duckdown Oct 13, 2009 01:50 PM

                        That's a bummer, because I bought about $35 dollars worth of bad product and obviously did not keep my receipt... I don't even take the receipt from the LCBO normally. Guess theres no re-embursement for me...

                        edit: wait, think this counts a receipt? http://www.redflagdeals.com/forums/any-denisons-sightings-yet-beer-796914/#post9539441

                        I am glad he is taking serious measures to remove the stock from the stores because it will do more harm than good for the company name... I certainly look forward to the new batches being produced in four weeks.

                        By the way, in case he is interested, this is the store I got the spoiled cans from: http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo-ear/jsp/stor...

                        Cheers

                        1. re: duckdown
                          c
                          childofthestorm Oct 13, 2009 04:15 PM

                          LCBO is usually pretty good about taking stuff back, you should call them, explain the situation, and maybe point them to this thread. I've brought in a corked bottle of wine sans receipt and get a full refund.

                          1. re: childofthestorm
                            duckdown Oct 14, 2009 03:10 AM

                            Hi , thank you for the response.

                            The beers are all gone though.. I would think he would believe I really bought them though, considering the multiple posts I've made on forums and the picture I posted above.

                            Empty cans and all.. I regret to admit I am somewhat of an alcoholic, and I hang around the same kind of crowd it seems. The cans were drank.

                            ..Mainly because they were the only ones I had cold.

                            Would be nice to see the brewmaster's response to my experiences but I guess he doesn't post on these forums...

                            Time will tell I guess.

                            Cheers

                            1. re: duckdown
                              k
                              kwjd Oct 14, 2009 11:01 AM

                              The brewmaster does reply on the thread here (if you go to the later pages):
                              http://www.bartowel.com/board/viewtop...

            4. gregclow Oct 3, 2009 08:51 PM

              I saw Michael from Denison's today (Sat.), and he said that it finally started hitting shelves yesterday. It should be at all of the stores listed on his website soon, if not already.

              4 Replies
              1. re: gregclow
                duckdown Oct 3, 2009 11:54 PM

                Frig, no kidding? Cause I called Meadowvale who said it hadn't arrived yet, then called Queens Quay just to compare and they said it didn't even arrive at their warehouse yet.

                Damn it!

                I could have been enjoying that tonight!

                1. re: gregclow
                  duckdown Oct 3, 2009 11:55 PM

                  oh and i should add none of the places i called of the multiple people i'd talked to had even the slightest clue about it

                  1. re: gregclow
                    g
                    Gary Oct 4, 2009 07:42 AM

                    As of today the LCBO website search is finally displaying results for this beer. It's apparently at a number of stores, mostly the more northern parts of the city, including over 100 bottles at the Bloor West Village location. http://tinyurl.com/denisons

                    1. re: Gary
                      duckdown Oct 4, 2009 01:06 PM

                      beauty!

                      good find! thanks

                      looks like it hasn't arrived at any locations outside central toronto really... that explains why meadowvale hasn't had it.. can't wait till this reaches the west end

                      cheers!

                  2. m
                    maple99 Oct 3, 2009 11:55 AM

                    Got it! East York Town Centre, of all places.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: maple99
                      Paulustrious Oct 4, 2009 06:45 AM

                      Which is one of the least central centres I have ever seen. I lived in East York for three years before I discovered it.

                    2. Paulustrious Oct 2, 2009 01:47 PM

                      Is this the list you saw?

                      http://www.denisons.ca/

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Paulustrious
                        duckdown Oct 2, 2009 03:44 PM

                        thats the list

                        i checked their meadowvale location a day or two ago and saw nothing... wondering if any of the other locations are faring better

                      2. k
                        kwjd Oct 2, 2009 12:39 PM

                        I didn't think it was out yet, even though I originally read it was going to be out the last weekend of September. The LCBO usually takes forever to get a new beer on the shelves. The autumn release was supposed to be out on Sept 14th and there are only 4 of 14 out now. I am doing a daily search on LCBO.com for Peche Mortel and it still isn't there.

                        Hopefully this comes soon though!

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