Le Castor: The Beast and a Russian Beauty

Le Castor Brewing Company, was one of the first few micro breweries I dove into when I moved to Quebec and it’s always had a grasp on me since then. My main love story began with the Yakima IPA, which I always raved about however, In recent times, maybe due to experiencing different IPAs, and hazy IPAs, my palate has changed. I am unsure if it is something occurring with the brewing or if it is just me. It is always hard to tell. As you experience more and more beer, and as styles evolve over time, our palates can mature, grow and change. Kind of like lifting weights. If you do the same routine exercise all the time, your body will get used to it.


There was one beer that has eluded me since then the Catherine Grand Reserve aged in Rye. I previously reviewed the Catherine Grand Reserve aged in Rum along with other Le Castor Rum aged beers, you can read more here Here: Why Is The Rhum Always Gone ?

I was happy to see the return of the Catherine Grand Reserve Rye and was finally able to get my hands on a bottle. Let me just say I went out and bought more bottles after I cracked this one open.


Le Castor Catherine Grand Reserve Rye
Imperial Stout || ABV: 11% || IBU: –

This beer is named after Catherine, the Empress of Russia from the 18th century. The tale speaks of a time when Peter the Great had a love for porters and stouts from England. But upon receiving some directly from England the beer had spoiled whilst on its long journey. The British came to the rescue by increasing its alcohol level to ensure safe transport. What this created was a deep, dark, strong, complex, warm stout which became a sensation in Russia. Notably with the Empress Catherine the Great.


This homage to this old story, holds true to the taste. Le Castors Russian Imperial Stout really gives way to dark roasted qualities, with an amazing rich body, and complexity shining throughout.

The aroma has this amazing burnt wood character that dominates the nose along with some roasted malts. Taste is just absolutely divine. The drink ability on this for an 11% is a mystery to me because it feels so light and easy to drink. The flavors shine with a smooth velvety chocolate accompanied with great earthy, woody characters. The finish has a touch of a boozy feel and a tad heat but very minor and not enough to disrupt the rest of the beer but, just enough to add a bit of intensity to it. Now I see why the Russians enjoyed this in the truck loads, goes down quick, warms you quick and saves you from the decrepit cold that lingers outside. It will get a bit bolder in taste as time goes on. But its drink ability remains unwavering. Since I do have a few more bottles of this I am interested to see how it develops over the course of 6 months and 1 year.


You may not be able to find any more of this sitting around anywhere. But maybe in some secret or quiet stores here and there. But if you did not get a chance to have this one, I would extremely recommend it!



Words + Photography by Hopcitizen

Your Ordinary Beer Citizen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.