Sunday, 17 February 2013

Shawinigan Handshake Weizen IPA

I had a bottle of Shawinigan Handshake Weizen IPA at a Toronto beer bar. It was definitely tasty, but for some reason, it was bordering on unconscionably expensive. This innovative and flavourful brew comes from La Trou du Diable brewery in Shawinigan, Quebec. It contains 7% alcohol and it's sold in 500mL bottles featuring a caricature-ized Jean Chretien giving Satan a friendly choke.  I wonder what our former PM thinks of this treatment ...

Shawinigan Handshake pours a brassy golden colour.  It's slightly cloudy and topped with a thin layer of off-white head. The aroma is both sweet and quite hoppy with what I thought was a slight ginger note. The flavour is a compelling blend of wheat beer sweetness and bitter IPA bombast.  It moves from sweet to bitter with notes of fruit in the initial sip.  This quickly gives way to a highly bitter, boozy body.  There is a curious flavour combo of banana sweetness and serious hops dryness. Additionally, there is a slight smokiness and a very dry finish. I'd love to know what the IBU count of this stuff is.  It actually tastes stronger than its 7% alcohol content.

I would definitely recommend giving this stuff a try.  It's a very interesting hybrid brew, and one that is well crafted.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10.

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