Barley Mowat 

Parallel 49 Braggot, Sahti Claws, Toques of Hazzard

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Another big ole dump of seasonals from Graham With and the brew crew at Parallel 49, and another triple review by me. P49’s massive brewing capacity fuels their penchant for mass-dumping beers on the market in triplicate. Where most breweries can only afford to dedicate brewing capacity to a single one-off at a time, P49 apparently has no such constraint.

The giant fermenters are apparently pumping out enough Old Boy, Hoparazzi and Gypsy Tears that the little vessels can be handed over to interesting one-offs. And by “little” I mean “25hl conical fermenters”–tanks large enough to be a regular micro-brewery’s main line. It sure is nice to live in a province where a single brewery can profitably produce literally hundreds of hecto litres of beer at a time.

But I digress, on to what I think of these latest releases.

Sahti Claws

Sahti is a traditional Finnish beer that relies upon Juniper berries for bittering instead of (or in addition to) hops. I know all this because I just read it on Wikipedia. The concept of Juniper-infused beer is an intriguing one; perhaps this beer will finally bridge the gap between gin and beer? One can only hope.

APPEARANCE Dark–almost brown–with a very tightly laced, off-tan head.
NOSE Piney, resiny hops dominates completely. Is this the Juniper or the Simcoe or the Juniper? No one knows.
TASTE Sweet, intense hops, but virtually absent malt/sugar body. Fairly one-dimensional.
STATS 7.7% ABV / 35 IBU / Juniper-infused
SHOULD I BUY IT? Meh. There are better beers out there, and this can be roughly simulated by throwing an ounce of gin in an okay IPA.

Toques of Hazzard

As a general rule, I’m not a huge fan of White IPAs. I fully admit this is a personal flaw rather than anything inherently wrong with the style. I just don’t get all a-tingly over these beers as I find the melange of flavours to be almost haphazard (except the juicy, fragrant Powell Street Citra White IPA).

Does jacking up the typically already high ABV to extreme levels change that for me? Not really. However, some of the citrusy sweet awesomesauce that makes Powell Street’s White IPA so appealing can be found in Toques, and that does score it some points.

APPEARANCE Pours cloudy orange-amber with a persistent, tight white head. This is a pretty beer.
NOSE Orange peel with a yeasty punch in the back. Definitely intriguing.
TASTE Bright citrus tang over thin, almost wheaty malt. Strong candy-like sweetness almost completely masks the very high ABV. This is a dangerous beer.
STATS 9.2% ABV / 76 IBU
SHOULD I BUY IT? Ya know what? Definitely worth a try. If you buy two, though, it WILL sneak up on you.

Braggot

Another weird style? Why not? Braggot is a half-beer, half-mead concoction that seeks to combine the best of both worlds. Unlike the Sahti above, I didn’t have to go look up this definition since the beer world has been all abuzz over Parallel 49’s Braggot for about a year now. We’ve been gossiping about this beer so long because it has spent ten months slowly aging in barrels. That should be enough information to influence your purchase decision right there–assuming you can find any of the beeswax dipped bottles at your local LRS.

APPEARANCE Deep auburn, almost black. No carbonation. Thin, quickly dissipating head. High alcohol shows legs.
NOSE Rick oak/vanilla. Some sweetness lingers from the honey. Low hops. Some caramel.
TASTE Sweet and rich with a curious spiciness and high viscosity/luxurious mouthfeel. Hits most of the dark fruit checklist: plum, date, caramel.
STATS 10.2% ABV / 8.5 IBU / Braggot
SHOULD I BUY IT? Yes, yes, oh dear me, yes. Good luck with that, though.

Coles notes:

Brewery Parallel 49
From Vancouver
Name Sahti Claws Toques of Hazzard Braggot
Style Shati Imperial White IPA Braggot
SOA Now n/a Bronze Silver
SOA Potential n/a n/a Silver
Drink Now Now 2015-2018
Availability Most LRSs, some LDBs and at the brewery Uh… Darbys, maybe?
Cost ~$7 / 650ml ~$8 / 650ml ~$15 / 650ml
Similar Beers None Every other White IPA None


Nothing more silver than honey, sez I.

Written by chuck

December 9th, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Posted in Beers

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One Response to 'Parallel 49 Braggot, Sahti Claws, Toques of Hazzard'

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  1. Darby’s no more. Just found a case at Toby’s, there are 11 bottles left (maybe there is more, I didn’t ask). There are several reasons in my opinion why they still have it:
    – not such a posh neighborhood
    – higher prizes (16.35)
    – they just put it out today, after having it a couple of days in storage
    I also picked up a bottle of the Moon Under Water Wedding Ale (also almost a full case on the counter)
    There are also some Hermannator bombers, 2012 OCD, OBD, Kaleidoskope (not the only location in Vancouver) around … and lots of barley wines.

    Frank_Z

    16 Dec 13 at 23:43

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