Black Butte 23rd Birthday Reserve – Deschutes (Bend, Oregon, USA)

Black Butte 23rd Birthday Reserve – Deschutes, 10.8.% ABV, (Bend, Oregon)

On the front and back label:

“Black Butte XXIII: Porter brewed with cocoa nibs, orange and natural flavors added, with 25% aged in Bourbon Barrel. XXIII. So where to next? What’s 2011’s rich imperial take on Black Butte Porter? Just for kicks, you dream. Orange zest perhaps? From Spanish Oranges, Seville, to be exact. And Chocolate nibs. Pampered nibs from the artisanal alchemists at Theo’s. Maybe some chilies? Pasilla Negra only, please. That would be crazy wouldn’t it? Welcome to crazy. Get it while you can.”

My notes:

  • My Rating: A+
  • Why I like: wow amazing unique flavour
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek
  • How much: $30 , 1pt 6 fl.oz., 10/2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours jet black, minimal head, micro CO2, thin ringed retention. A lot of coffee, caramel and malts on the nose. This beer is an OMG beer. Bold flavours of malted caramel up front, smooth 6/10-sweetness level milk chocolate, orange oil in the background, orange peel near the finish along with a spicy peppery finish. Toffee from the bourbon barrel aging, and a bit of roast coffee as well. High complexity, high depth, excellent transitions, excellent carry, long length, excellent drinkability. The ABV is well hidden and this is a delight to drink. Try it before I buy all of the rest available.

Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne (France)

Notes: initially very active co2 streams, later slow moving delicate bubbles. Green apples in the nose. Green apple flavour, very tart, melon, 5/10 sweetness, long finish.

Hr. Frederiksens Væsel (Weasel) Brunch (Imperial Stout)- Mikkeller (Denmark)

Hr. Frederiksens Væsel (Weasel) Brunch (Imperial Stout)- Mikkeller, 10.7% ABV, (Denmark)

My notes:

  • My Rating: A
  • Why I like: great body, texture, and flavour
  • Where I got it: Firefly
  • How much: $20 , 50cl, 3/2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: maybe with friends
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours jet black, nice frothy foamy head, micro CO2. Massive roasted coffee nose. Right away there is a burst of roasted coffeebitter milk chocolatedemerara sugar, figs, prunes, cocoa nibs, burnt malts, all the while with a very whipped creamy mouthfeel, and subdued alcohol even though you can detect its presence. Finish is ultra-long and a sharp bitter lingering coffee bitter. High complexity, high depth, excellent transitions, excellent carry, great drinkability. It is very similar to their beer geek brunch.

Sparkling Riesling NV – Dr. Loosen (Germany)

Sparkling Riesling NV – Dr. Loosen, 12% ABV, (Germany)

On the back label:

“Sparkling wine has a rich tradition in the Old World. This one is made from crisp, fruity Riesling, the grape that made Germany famous. Try it and see what it does for your world. Pop. Clink. Sparkle!”

My notes:

  • My Rating: C-
  • Why I don’t like: overly sweet and cloying
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor stores
  • How much: $18 , 750ml, 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to Champagne aficionados: no way

Tasting notes: pours clear light yellow, a multitude of super-active CO2 streams, large CO2 bubbles. Sugary white table grape and green apple on the nose. Sugar hits you right away, 8/10-level sweetness (03 on the BCL scale), much too sweet and unbalanced, tastes of white grape, candied green apple, but fights with the alcohol for presence on the palate. Sugar and alcohol flood the palate all at once. Not that enjoyable.

Gose – Upright Brewing (Portland, OR, USA)

Gose – Upright Brewing, 5.2% ABV

“A wheat beer brewed with coriander and salt

My notes:

  • My Rating: B+
  • Why I like: good body for low ABV
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek (?)
  • How much: ~$12 , 1 pt. 9.4 fl.oz., 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours clear amber yellow with a sizable thick foamy head, some retention, lots of active CO2 streams, sticky lacing. Bright sweet wheaty malts and apricot on the nose. 7/10-level sweetness fruity banana, apricot up front, great fullness, medium malts, yeast, coriander in the background, creamy mouthfeel, and the salt kicks in near the finish, which is clean, crisp, and leaves only a hint of roughness on the tongue. Medium complexity, medium depth, great transitions, great carry, great drinkability. Great balance of flavours and texture.

 

Crooked Tooth – Phillips Brewing (Canada)

Crooked Tooth – Phillips Brewing , 5% ABV, (Victoria, BC, Canada)

“brewed with pumpkin and spices”

My notes:

  • My Rating: C+
  • Why I like: nice spices
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6 , 650ml, Halloween, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours clear orange with a shade of brown, almost zero head, a few slow-moving CO2 streams. Baked pumpkin pie on the nose. Tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg, light caramel up front, tingly-creamy mouthfeel, but body fizzles in the mids to the finish. Finishes watery, malty, and leaves a roughness on the tongue. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, okay carry, good drinkability. A decent pumpkin ale, not the best, but worthy of trying once.

Stag’s Hollow Con-Fusion 2009 (Canada)

Con-Fusion 2009 – Stag’s Hollow, 13.2% ABV, (Okanagan, BC, Canada)

On the back label:

“A heady nose of lycee [sic], melons and the perfume of Spring blossoms, leads to a delightful palate of ripe melons, grapefruit, Asian pears and Turkish Delight candy. Best enjoyed well chilled on the patio with sunshine and good friends. Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Muscat.”

My notes:

  • My Rating: C+
  • Why it’s okay: fruity sweet but cloying
  • Where I got it: VQA Kensington
  • How much: ~$20 , 750ml, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: nah

Tasting notes: pours clear light golden yellow. Alcohol and bright green melon on the nose. Drinks very fruity up front, notes of lychee, stone fruit, melon, all the while mixed with the alcoholic backdrop. Medium-cloying sugars in the mid and finishes slightly salty. Can’t say it’s super-refreshing but at least it is quite drinkable.