Mandarin Orange Amber Ale – Dead Frog Brewery (Aldergrove, BC, Canada)

Mandarin Orange Amber Ale – Dead Frog Brewery, 5% ABV, (Aldergrove, BC)

My Notes:

  • My Rating: C
  • Why I kind of like it: N/A
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $12 for a 6pack, Summer 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: No

Tasting Notes: pours amber orange (no surprise), micro CO2 with ringed retention, thin sticky lacing. A bit of malt on the nose. Aromas of mandarin orange and orange peel up front mixed with cutting-sharp chilled CO2 bubbles (stings the palate), and then finishes medium malty bitter – long and lingering bitterness. Viscosity is thinnish, low-medium complexity, low-medium length, low depth, and low carry. This beer is refreshing but it dies out fast in the mid and finish. I only enjoy the mandarin orange aroma, but one bottle is enough.

Nikka Whisky from the Barrel (Japan)

Nikka Whisky from the Barrel, 51.4% ABV, (Japan)

From nikka.com website:

“Matured malt whisky and grain whisky are blended and then re-casked (a process known as “marriage”) to create a rich harmony of distinctly different whiskies. “From the Barrel” is bottled directly from re-casked barrels of whisky and features almost the same alcohol percentage. At 51.4% alcohol content, this whisky possesses a distinctive personality characterized by solidity, depth of taste and a richly expanding aroma.”

  • Style: Japanese Whisky
  • My Rating: B-
  • Taste Profile: Light peat/smoke/oakiness -> caramel/vanilla/alcohol -> numbness/warmth finish.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $60, 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to friends: yes

Tasting notes: pours clear medium-dark caramel brown. Potent alcoholic fumes on the nose in addition to smoked oak, caramel malts, vanilla. Starts off with light peat & smokiness, oakiness, 7/10-caramel sweetness, transitioning into alcohol, vanilla, medium numbness, warmth, alcoholic finish. Medium-high complexity, good transitions, okay smoothness, okay drinkability.

Pepper Lime Lager – Dead Frog Brewery (Aldergrove, BC, Canada)

Pepper Lime Lager – Dead Frog Brewery, 5% ABV, (Aldergrove, BC)

My Notes:

  • My Rating: D
  • Why I kind of like it: N/A
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $12 for a 6pack, Summer 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: No

Tasting Notes: pours slightly cloudy tinted brown with a very small head, small CO2, ringed retention, and runny lacing. Coffee crisp on the nose (interesting!) and malted caramel. Muddled black pepper mixed with very mild and faint lime up front, roughness on the roof of the mouth, unclean short finish, thin-bodied with no carry. Low complexity, low depth, low length. One-note and quite uninspiring. The pepper isn’t firey or aromatic nor is the lime.

Jerome Andean Red Ale (Jerome Roja) – Jerome Brewing Co (Argentina)

Jerome Andean Red Ale (Jerome Roja) – Jerome Brewing Co, 6% ABV, (El Salto, Potrerillos, Mendoza, Argentina)

-Brewed slowly with barley malt from the Argentine pampas, Patagonian hops, and Andes pure mountain spring water.

On the side label:

“This is an Andean Red Ale of great character. Slightly bitter, with toasted caramel flavors and long-lasting notes of spice and fruit on the finish. Aged 3 months prior to bottling.”

My Notes:

  • My Rating: C+
  • Why I kind of like it: buttery mouthfeel, toasted malted caramel
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek, Summer 2010
  • How much: $8 for 660ml
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Yes

Tasting Notes: pours caramel brown with a good sized dissipating head, beautiful and bountiful CO2 streams, micro carbonation with thin top retention, sticky lacing all around. Faint dark malts and caramel on the nose. Excellent buttery soft smooth mouthfeel, 6/10 bittersweet caramel up front, traces of cinnamon spice, a bit of malts and bitter hops, medium off-dry hopped lingering sour bitter finish. Low-medium complexity, medium depth, medium length, medium-high body. All-around good beer, but nothing terribly wow in the now. The sourish finish is somewhat unpleasant without any food to wash it out.

Black & Blue – Dogfish Head (Milton, DE, USA)

Black & Blue – Dogfish Head, 10% ABV, (Milton, Delaware)

On the side label:

“Black & Blue: Malt beverage fermented with black raspberry & blueberry puree”

My Notes:

  • My Rating: B+
  • Why I kind of like it: fruit beer! with a sour finish
  • Where I got it: W. 16th, 12/2010
  • How much: $26 for 1 pint 9.6 fl. oz. (750ml)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: If I see it on sale
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Yes

Tasting Notes: pours reddish copper brown with a thicker than normal viscosity, small head that dissipates, CO2 retention mainly on the outside, runny lacing. Faint raspberry and mild blueberry on the nose, not much else. Going down, lots of of raspberries up front, blueberryness on the start and mid, and a pervasive clinging sourness that is there throughout from start to finish. It brings up thoughts of lambics but no barnyard funk here – clean field fruits mixed with malt and a 7/10 sourness that turns dry. I think this is successful given the high ABV and delicious drinkability.

Olde English “800”, 8% ABV, (USA)

My Notes:

  • My Rating: F
  • Why I kind of like it: N/A
  • Where I got it: ?
  • How much: >$5
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: No

Tasting Notes: pours amber yellow, small head, small CO2 with ringed retention. Strong sugary sweetness on the nose, not much else. Very strong malt flavour and not much else. Potent and unexciting. Long malted finish, low complexity. Can only be drunk chilled; when >12C, there is a really astringent roughness going down.

Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc (France)

Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc, 5% ABV, (Strasbourg, France)

-Flavoured wheat beer – Fresh & Fruity

My Notes:

  • My Rating: C-
  • Why I kind of like it: somewhat fruity
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $12.50 for a 6pack, Fall 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: No

Tasting Notes: flavoured wheat beer, with glucose syrup, orange peel, and coridander. Light bodied beer with an orange blossom water taste, some creaminess, traces of rose, a bit of tang and citrus. Off-dry finish with a very mild short bitter finish. Short Length, Low-med complexity, low depth, but somewhat refreshing, crisp, and sippable. Overall lacking in wow factor and quite predicable halfway through. It leaves a mildly unpleasant dry roughness in the mouth after each sip.

Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew – Dogfish Head (Milton, DE, USA)

Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew – Dogfish Head, 9% ABV – 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz., (Milton, Delaware)

On the front side label:

“Miles Davis’ seminal Bitches Brew album was a game changer – a bold fusion of rock, funk, and jazz. To honor the 40th anniversary release, Dogfish Head has created a bold, dark beer that’s a fusion of three threads imperial stout and one thread honey beer with gesho root. Like the album, this beer will age with the best of ‘em.”

  • brewed with honey and gesho
  • gesho = shiny-leaf buckthorn = African shrub, used in the same way hops are used. Gesho is used in the brewing of Tella, a traditional Ethiopian Beer; It is also used in the making of Tej, an Ethiopian type of mead.

My Notes:

  • My Rating: B+
  • Why I like it: full bodied coffee and rounded honey sweetness
  • Where I got it: W.16th
  • How much: $33, Feb 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Yes

Tasting Notes: pours inkjet black, big head, great mix of large and micro CO2, very sticky lacing. Loads and loads of roasted coffee on the nose. Going down, it has a medium-oily mouthfeel, medium-heavy thick viscosity, and silky CO2 with a tingly finish. Initially tastes of honey 6/10 bitter-sweetened coffee, heavy maltiness, and then a slight coffee sourness, and finally a mild aromatic coffee finish. Also some notes of prune in there. Medium complexity, Med-high depth, long finish, full-bodied. I enjoyed it while I had it, but you get the flavour profile after having drunk a 1/3 of the bottle.

Pomtini (Pomegranate, Orange, Vodka)

  • 1.5 oz Vodka, the sweeter variety such as Iceberg, Russian standard, or Rain
  • 1 oz pomegranate juice = 1/2 fresh pomegranate, juice pressed from the arils
  • 0.5 oz orange juice =1/2 small orange

Tasting Notes: This cocktail has an eye-catching opulent orange/pink colour, deceptive semi-sweetness (it looks candy-sweet), and citrus-fruitiness. It’s nice as an apertif, and could use a bit of pomegranate liqueur to make it a digestif.

Ruffino Orvieto Classico 2010 (Italy)

Orvieto Classico 2010 – Ruffino, 12% ABV, (Italy)

On the back label:

“A well-known wine produced from grapes grown in the beautiful area near the town of Orvieto. With a fresh, delicate bouquet accented with hints of pears, Ruffino Orvieto Classico is delightful with seafood and with meats.”

  • Orvieto is a blend of mainly Grechetto and Trebbiano, in addition to Malvasia, Drupeggio, Verdello, and Canaiolo Bianco.

My Notes:

  • My Rating: C
  • Why I may like it: clean apple/lemon fruitiness
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor store
  • How much: $14, November 2011

Tasting Notes: pours a clean bright yellow, lighter than apple juice, with a few bubbles. Lots of lemony citrus, a bit of apple & pear, with a dry finish. Lots of acidity but since I like off-dry, mildly sweet wines, this one doesn’t do it for me like the Gray Monk Kerner or the Little Straw Riesling; This is only average and okay for cooking (Risotto).