Josh Rubin wrote a great review of Les Trois Mousquetaires Porter Baltique in the Toronto Star today. It's a beer I love, having had my first in May 2010 after a beer run to La Belle Province. But I noticed something on the bottle that accompanied Josh' article. The bottle said "Automne 2010" and the strength was 9.2%. That's up there in the middle. Digging in the stash I pulled out one that I bought in Gatineau, Quebec a couple of weeks ago and, upper left, it just said 2011 with a strength of 10%. My photo, to the right, from the first bottle I had was "Automne
2010 2009" and the strength was 10%. Then I go to the website of province's government store, the LCBO and see that it is described as a 2011 - but the strength is only 8.3%. And it costs two bucks more than the one I got in Quebec... hmm...
Don't get me wrong. Whatever it is, It's a hell of a beer and I will be buying more of the Ontario offering to join their Quebec cousins in the stash. It's a long winter in Canada. And I appreciate year to year vintage variation but there is something about this that seems a step more than that. Is there not a small chance that the LCBO lab police have intervened? They "conducted almost 368,000 tests on 15,700 different beverage alcohol samples prior to their sale in fiscal 2003-04" you know. Have the egg heads in white lab coats (sorry) determined that the beer is 20% inflated or is it a different batch?
Better go get a photo of one that's actually on the shelf. See if the label says 8.3% like the website.