Aug 26, 2011

Simple Malt Altbier

Simple Malt Altbier photoA surprisingly tasty brew

There have been several simply designed Simple Malt (brewed by Brasseurs Illimités) bottles at my local shop for quite some time now. I was always intrigued by them, but it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I finally decided to pull the trigger and purchase a nice little variety sampling from the Quebec-base brewery.

Knowing absolutely nothing about the company (their website is devoid of helpful information), I decided to start off this series of tastings with the Altbier. I wasn’t honestly expecting much from the beer. Perhaps it’s the relatively unadorned label artwork or my lack of familiarity, but I went into the beer with plenty of skepticism. I ended up, however, pleasantly surprised.


Altbier pours a hazy copper in color with a slowly collapsing khaki head that results in decent lacing.


Wafts of rich, sweet caramel, a light fruitiness and distant, piny hops fill the nose.


The nose on this beer presented itself as a fairly standard altbier, but the surprise lies within the slightly tart cherry presence that comes out amongst the caramel malt and earthy hops. It’s certainly not a lambic level of tartness, but there’s a definite cherry presence to this beer that was a unique surprise. Shifting from the fruitiness and caramel malt, the beer finishes with a moderate level of hop bitterness.


This brew was certainly one of the more unique altbiers that I’ve had. The sour cherry presence was a pleasant curiosity — completely unexpected and oddly appropriate for the brew. While I enjoyed my first dive into the Simple Malt brand, this particular beer probably isn’t for everybody and I’m not sure I would buy it again. That said, it was a nice one to sample, at least once.

Rating: 3.5/5

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