Yup, we just skipped over March 17th. How did I manage to avoid drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, even though I went to a bar? It was a number of factors (working till 8:30pm and knowing I had to work in the morning, bad selection of all alcohol), but mainly that being the sober person around an area congregated upon by drunken frat boys is not a big enticement to drink (you would think the opposite would be true). And as I heard quite often in the days surrounding St. Paddy’s Day, it is quite often the people who don’t drink the rest of the year who celebrate in full force. But I made up for the lack of beer on Wednesday with a nice dinner at The Monk’s Table on Thursday, which included splurging on a bottle of Gouden Carolus Easter Ale.
The beer was quite nice, though a bit lacking in depth. Ripe peach and apricot dominated the initial flavours, but gave away to esters and spicy yeast at the finish, with a heavy dose of alcohol as the beer warmed up. I don’t know which Easter the bottle came from, but the best before date on the bottle was from one month ago, so it definitely had aged. There was a healthy dose of candi sugar present throughout, but did not overpower the other flavours. Average mouthfeel for a Belgian ale. While not a beer that must be tracked down, I was happy to cross off another Het Anker beer from my “To Drink” list.
This was my first time at The Monk’s Table and was quite impressed. Our servers were attentive, the food was excellent and there was a nice atmosphere. We were allowed to linger and slowly finished the bottle, which is always appreciated. The draught and bottle list aren’t huge, but they emphasize quality over quantity. Our waiter was also quite willing to talk with us about the beer as we were unfamiliar with some of the British taps. Sophie wanted me to point out that the choice of glasses were a bit odd (funny how her opinions sneak in her), but I simply viewed them as mini-chalices. I’ll definitely be making a trip back the next time I work in the area.
If you’re lucky enough to buy a bottle of the Easter Beer, know that the 2010 version is a dark ale once again. If it is anything like the Cuvee Van de Keizer Blauw, it will be worth whatever you pay for it (and if anyone knows where I can find the Blauw in Toronto, please let me know).
Today: 550mL. Year-to-date: 74.35L.