Day 2 of Taste-Mas: Beau’s Bog•Water Eastern Ontario Gruit 600 ml

Photo 12-14-2013, 8 14 32 AM
The inspiration for Bog•Water came from the Alfred Bog, a 10,000 year old peat bog located in Eastern Ontario that is home to many rare or endangered plants and animals. Like its namesake, the gruit style of beer is rare as well. Bog•Water’s malt and yeast profile is that of a Belgian Dubbel, a very contemplative and complex ale. Wild harvested bog myrtle, an herb used in brewing extensively until the 1500s, was added to provide bitterness, a sweet aroma, and herbal spicy notes. The result is a beer style we can claim is truly our own, an Eastern Ontario Gruit.
Photo 12-15-2013, 7 58 48 PM
Before the introduction of the Bavarian Purity Act of 1516, many herbs and spices were used to flavour and preserve beer. Bog myrtle (sweet gale) and hops were two of the most dominant herbs, and in parts of Europe bog myrtle was so extensively used that you could pay your taxes with it! While on the whole, the purity act was a very good thing for health and quality of beer, it had the unfortunate consequence of destroying many excellent interpretations of beer that used herbs other than hops as an aromatic and preservative. We are proud to bring back the all-but-lost technique of brewing with wild herbs in this spicy, fruity interpretation of the gruit style.
Photo 12-15-2013, 8 01 53 PM
Malty, with a plum-like fruitiness that is offset by spicy, earthy bitterness. 600 ml, 6.6% alc./vol.
Photo 12-15-2013, 8 02 54 PM

  One thought on “Day 2 of Taste-Mas: Beau’s Bog•Water Eastern Ontario Gruit 600 ml

  1. December 15, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Day 2 sees us drinking a Gruit Ale. The pour is nice with some carbonation and a nice caramel coloured head, that quickly dissipates. The colour of the beer is a very dark caramel and the taste is very smooth with, what I think, is a hoppy aftertaste. I agree with the earthy bitterness and spicy taste, not sure about the plums though. Thumbs up for a bottle, or two, after digging yourself out of a snow storm.

  2. December 15, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    This fellow has a huge beige head, but my pouring might be at fault. It does dissipate quickly though, as electrictoolbox mentioned. It has a strange, strange, appealing flavour which is probably due to bog myrtle, apparently called Gale. That could have been written the other way around since I’ve never heard of either one of those things until today. It’s a plant flavour, but not chlorophyll. More of a spice than an herb, cloves? It stimulates the sides of the tongue. Anyway, I like it. I like it more than yesterday’s chocolate and cranberry.

  3. December 15, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    A follow-up: Don’t have a sip for a couple of minutes and what’s left is vanilla. I still like it.

  4. Chris Bale
    December 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    With a beer named Bog Water i couldnt help being curious and perhaps a bit hesitant!
    Again the bottle is a bit larger than your standard beer at 600ml. But the alcohol content is a bit less compared to the Winter Beard from Day 1 at 6.6%.
    The colour was again dark, dark caramel. When pouring there was a lot more head today. However, when tasting, it wasnt too carbonated – again, it does down smooth. Actually today, i finished this beer in no time! Perhaps this was in part to the killer busy weekend! A perfect way to finish a Sunday!
    There was a distinct smell to the beer but not too abrusive!
    The tasting notes state malty – absolutely. Plum-like fruitness? Sorry my tase buds are not that civilized to detect this. The tasting notes also stated “offset by spicy, earthy bitterness”. Again, didnt really detect any spiciness. Bitterness, sure.
    Beau’s recommends pairing the beer with banana split, kielbasa or roquefort. Unfortunately, i didnt have any of these options readily available! However, the Beau site also compared Bog Water with its malt/yeast profile to that of a Belgian Dubbell – they can usually be served as an after dinner digestif or with a dessert. I went with cheese. I have to say it went really nice with cheddar and smoked gouda!
    Recommendation: I may actually prefer this beer over the Winter Beard from Day 1. Worth a taste at the minimum!

    Busy day at work on Monday! Hoping the Granville Lions Winter Ale delivers!

  5. Russ
    December 15, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    I’m getting a hint of clove in both the flavour and the smell. Then there’s a bitterness that I think is what Beau’s is referring to as “earthy”, but I don’t think that’s the word I would use. It is bitter, but by far not the most bitter beer I’ve tasted. It is reminiscent of hoppy too, but that’s not the perfect word either. With a bit of imagination I almost get a hint of mintiness, but not like chewing gum mint, more like chewing the bitter leaf of wild mint I used to find in the forest when I was a kid (which in all likelihood was not wild mint at all…). I could imagine this beer going really well with a bright vanilla ice cream, bananas and corn syrup, but you would not want chocolate or strawberries in this banana split.

  6. Chooch
    December 15, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    So after reading the tag on the bottle and finding out it was made with myrtle I had my first sip of the Bog Water. The aftertaste was pure cloves – with a little digging I found that cloves are a part of the myrtle family. Now it makes sense!!

    This brew is another fantastic offering from Beau’s. One of my favorite little breweries in Ontario!! I can sense some of the same qualities of their flagship offering “Lug Tread” but this has its own life without doubt.

    It is a smooth brew with just the right amount of carbonation. I have to agree with the good doctor in that I find a small hint of mint as well in the tounge. This gives way to the myrtle (cloves) and finishes clean.

    A very good brew to finish off a busy winters day!!

  7. December 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Good pour with a respectable head. First swig……huh?what! What the #^&@. Had to re-read the label. Ah “spiced”. Why does spiced always mean coriander!!! (read Chooches infomercial about cloves/myrtle, thanks …props)….still “coriander” in my book! Generally to destroy that foul coriander taste you haveta toss in an orange slice(OT actually makes Hoegaarden drinkable). I actually sat down and pondered doing this but this isn’t a pilsner…it just didn’t make sense to me. Fortunately the coriander disappeared and I was able to muscle through the rest. The end was better than the beginning.

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