Friday, February 1, 2013

Day 1 - Beer 1 - Kichesippi 1855 at 8 Locks Flat

My hands nearly froze to the plastic cup outside next to the Rideau Canal at 8 Locks Flat. Minus 20 and a set of Highland Dancers are setting up to open Ottawa's Winterlude festival and celebrate the Scottish folk who helped build the Rideau Canal. I recently discovered my family's clan (McCowan of Clan MacCallum) and met this incredible bagpiper, Keith, a fellow member of Clan MacCallum.

Keith honored the start of the 100 Beers in 100 Days blog by playing Rowan Tree, the song of our clan, kilt-clad in nigh-freezing weather. I can't think of a better sendoff.

While I had unfortunately left my kilt at an Irish Store unpurchased, I went in jeans and heavy jackets, but passed on the gloves in order to hold my beer proper. As heads of the event, Kichesippi had brought out their Ottawa staple, a full-bodied red in salute to the founding of Ottawa, Kichesippi 1855.

This was an incredible start and to be honest, 1855 may have an unfair advantage, being served from an ice-cold keg in ice-cold temperatures. But 1855 is a fine tribute to Ottawa and one of the best beers I've had on this side of the border.

The malts were strong and the finish was just bitter enough to create a unique balance. I apologize for the slight upnosed attitude of the last line, but great beers deserve the accolades, and I want to sound like I know what I'm talking about when recommending a beer of this quality.

A solid flavor and incredibly smooth. Did I make a huge mistake by setting the bar too high?

Day 1 - Beer 1 - Kichesippi 1855
Kichesippi Brewing Company, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Alcohol Rating: 5.2%
Class: Red
Rating: 9 out of 10
Quote: "$%&#, this is good....$%&#, it's cold."

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