This summer, I’ve spent a decent chunk of time at our family’s cottage in the Muskoka region of Ontario, Canada.
Apart from beautiful lakes and scenery that really takes you away from the noise and rush of city life, Muskoka is also home to three fantastic craft brewers – Muskoka Brewery, Lake of Bays Brewing Company, and today’s featured brewer, Sawdust City Brewing Co.
I don’t know if it’s something in the water up there, but every one of these breweries make excellent craft beer, and Sawdust City in particular doesn’t appear to know how to make a bad one.
Case in point – their 1105 Tripel, 2016 edition.
1105 Tripel – All Flavour, No Filler
Brewed in partnership with Ryan Morrow, brewmaster at my local craft brewery Nickel Brook, 1105 Tripel is, as the name suggests, a Belgian-style Tripel.
Given that one of my favourite beer styles is Belgian, I was looking forward to tasting this, especially as Sawdust’s Lone Pine IPA is quite probably one of the best IPAs I’ve tasted, period.
The 1105 Tripel didn’t disappoint, and was a treat from start to finish.
Opening the can, the scent of fruit was tinged with something sharper – a spiciness that suggested this was going to have a multitude of tastes as you drank more, and that’s exactly what was delivered once poured.
Pouring an inviting amber colour, the 1105 Tripel scores immediately on looks. I don’t know about you, but the warmer a beer colour, the more I usually feel it has to offer.
Taking a first taste, the earlier aroma of fruit can be immediately felt on the tongue. Not too overpowering, not too sharp, but a clearly potent mix that drinks easily.
Given this comes in at 11.05% ABV, this is a strong beer that drinks like a medium one.
Continuing with the beer, the fruit gives way to a more malty taste, that lingers on the palate long after you’ve swallowed. The warmth of the malt combines with the cold fruit to offer a nice combination that counters the other perfectly.
That spice I mentioned earlier? That’s the lasting flavour that stays with you once your glass is empty, and reminds you that this beer is one that will kick your taste buds into overdrive.
As I poured my second, I looked at the ingredients more, and saw that 1105 Tripel is finished with Brett B, or Brettanomyces Bruxellensis to give it its full name.
This yeast is a classic ingredient in Belgian-style beer, and is normally used during secondary fermentation to create the kind of intensity Belgian ale is known for.
The use of it in this Sawdust Belgian adds an interesting aging benefit: if you can manage to stop yourself from drinking this beauty as soon as you buy it, the Brett will start to affect the taste.
The longer you leave it, the more the yeast will start to devour the sugars of the brew, and the result will be a new mix of tastes and aromas.
I saved a couple of cans from the summer trips to the cottage, so I’m looking forward to opening them in the coming weeks (and I’ll probably update this post with the result).
In the meantime, if you can locate the 1105 Tripel at your local LCBO or you find yourself in the Muskoka region, do yourself a favour and pick a few up. You won’t be disappointed.
- ABV: 11.05%
- IBU: 30
- Style: Belgian
- Taste: Fruity and warm, with a spicy aftertaste
- Rating: 4.8/5
- Untappd reviews