Mission Hill Martin’s Lane Riesling 2009 (Canada)

Martin’s Lane Riesling 2009 – Mission Hill Winery,13.0% ABV – 750ml, (Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada)

  • Style: Riesling (Single Vineyard, 1st Vintage, 400 cases)
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: Red Apple -> Tart Green Apple -> Puckering sourness -> Light warmth
  • Where I got it: @Mission Hill Winery
  • How much: $28, July 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours crystal clear medium golden yellow. Inviting apple aroma on the nose. Fruity red apple up front, tart green apple, medium sweetness (6/10), honeydew melon, puckering acidity and sourness near the finish, light tang and warmth and almost salty. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, good carry, decent drinkability.

Pineapple Express Wheat Ale – Whistler Brewing (Canada)

Pineapple Express Wheat Ale – Whistler Brewing,5% ABV – 650ml,(Whistler, BC, Canada)

On the back label:

“A Pineapple Express can be many things. And in Whistler, it’s the perfect excuse to kick back and enjoy a few ales. This golden beauty’s just the ticket. We start with a light blonde ale grist, and add a ratio of pure wheat malt. We then blend pineapple crush into the mash, and drizzle juice into the fermenter. We’ve been brewing award-winning wheat ales for five years now. This one’s as fresh as a warm breeze – straight from the shores of Maui.”

  • Style: Fruit wheat ale
  • My Rating: B-
  • Taste Profile: Pineapple sweet -> wheat malt-> off-dry-> rough finish
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6, July 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: maybe
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours cloudy yellow-orange with minimal head, a few slow-moving CO2 streams. Pineapple juice on the nose. Smooth and fruity sweet pineapple (5/10) up front, light wheat malts in the mids, tingly fizzy mouthfeel, finishes off-dry light bitter and slightly rough on the palate. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, okay carry, very good drinkability. Quite good for a seasonal beer.

Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale – Rogue (Newport, OR, USA)

Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale – Rogue, 6.5% ABV – 1 pt.9.4 oz, (Newport, OR, USA)

13 Ingredients: Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt, Weyermann Beechwood Smoked Malt, House-smoked Hickory Malt, Great Western 2 Row, Munich, C15, C75 Malts; Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Pure Maple Flavoring, Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution & Independent Hops, Free Range Coastal Water & Pacman Yeast Specs: 14º PLATO 30 IBU 76 AA 30º Lovibond World Class Package: 750ml painted bottle.

  • Style: Smoked Beer
  • My Rating: B
  • Taste Profile: Intense smoke->watery malts-> maple caramel-> lingering smoke
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $16 (after 10%), Jan 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours maple syrup brown, smallish head, some slow-moving CO2 streams. Very intense and aromatic applewood & hickory smoke on the nose. A burst of hickory smoke up front, light and watery malts in the mids, light sweetness (3/10), minor saltiness, light maple caramel, finishes with a long smokiness and a light bitterness. Some medium sourness as the beer warms. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, decent carry, good drinkability. Definitely a unique beer and one of the best looking bottles I’ve ever seen.

King Heffy – Howe Sound Brewing (Squamish, BC, Canada)

King Heffy – Howe Sound Brewing, 7.7% ABV – 1L, (Squamish, BC, Canada)

On the front side label:

“This beer, a high gravity hefeweizen brewed with German hefe yeast, Pale and Munich malted barley, White Wheat and Amarillo and Saaz hops. The special hefe yeast gives a unique banana, clove and vanilla aroma to this delicious summer beer. Truly cloudy but sunny inside! A toast to King Heffy!”

  • Style: Imperial Hefeweizen
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: Aggressive sweet malts -> banana clove-> rough bitterness
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $8.50, June 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, barely

Tasting notes: pours cloudy golden orange yellow with a smallish head, foamy CO2, lots of active CO2 streams. Lots of malted bananas and cloves on the nose. A burst of alcoholicsweetness up front (7/10), medium malts mixed with banana, cloves (anise), hints of vanilla, finishes rough with a jagged bitterness. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, okay carry, decent drinkability. Decent aromas but the malts are too aggressive and cloying on the palate.

Moulin des Costes 2010 Bandol – Domaines Bunan (France)

Moulin des Costes 2010 Bandol – Domaines Bunan, 13.5% ABV – 750ml, (Bandal, Provence, France)

  • Style: (Bandol) Rosé
  • Winner of Medaille d’Argent Paris 2011
  • Bandol reds and rosés are made up of at leas t50% mourvedre grapes
  • the rosés typically have spicy, earthy, and strawberry aromas

My notes:

  • My Rating: C
  • Profile: Dry -> Fruity -> Alcohol -> Sour -> Flat finish
  • Where I got it: Liberty Wines
  • How much: $38, Feb 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: mmm, no

Tasting notes: pours a medium-light pink with extreme clarity. A very strawberry-red field berry fruity and inviting nose. Upon sipping, it comes off as dry, notes of strawberry,mild tinging spice, alcohol warmth in the mids, medium-high sour (7/10) acidity near the finish, and a flat carry. Not my type of wine.

Pike Tandem Double Ale – The Pike Brewing (Seattle, WA, USA)

Pike Tandem Double Ale – The Pike Brewing Co., 7.0% ABV – 1pt 6fl.oz., (Seattle, WA, USA)

Ingredients: Water, Malt, Hops, Coriander, Organic Sugar, Yeast.

  • Style: American Strong Ale
  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I like it: well-balanced and drinkable medium dark ale
  • Where I got it: W.16th
  • How much: $6 (after 10%), 12/2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours almost black yet brown, small head, smallish micro CO2, some visible slow-moving CO2 streams. Sweet medium caramel malts on the nose. Bright fizziness up front, followed by a medium sweet (5/10) malted caramel mid, coriander in the background, creamy fizzy mouthfeel, light chocolate, finishes with mild hops, light oak, and a medium soft and lingering bitter finish (6/10). Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, good carry, nice drinkability. Solid though nothing exceptional.

La Frenz Semillon 2009 (Canada)

Semillon 2009 – La Frenz,12.5% ABV – 750ml, (Penticton, BC, Canada)

  • Style: White Wine
  • My Rating: C-
  • Why I don’t like it: no awesome flavours in this
  • Where I got it: ordered direct from their website
  • How much: $20, 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear light yellow. A bit of green apple on the nose. Low-medium sweetness (3/10), a hint of salt, minerals, green apple,med-high tartness(7/10), medium sour (5/10). Transitions from bright -> dark -> tangy -> dark. Can’t say that it is particularly refreshing due to it’s salty/beefiness; definitely not for me.

Sorachi Ace – Brooklyn Brewery (NY, USA)

Sorachi Ace – Brooklyn Brewery,7.6% ABV – 1pt 9.4fl.oz., (Brooklyn, NY, USA)

On the back label:

“Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is a classic saison, a cracklingly dry, hoppy unfiltered golden farmhouse ale, but featuring rare Sorachi Ace hop. Fermented with our special Belgian ale strain, we add Sorachi Ace hops post-fermentation. After 100% bottle re-fermentation with Champagne yeast, the beer emerges with a bright spicy lemon zest aroma. It tastes like sunshine in a glass, and that suits us just fine, especially with seafood dishes and fresh cheeses.”

  • Style: Saison
  • My Rating: A-
  • Why I like it: super smooth creamy ale
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek
  • How much: $12 (after 10%), 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: maybe, with friends
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: def yes

Tasting notes: pours clear mellow yellow with a thick foamy creamy head, very nice clustered fast-moving champagne CO2 streams. Very nice aromatic tangerine oils on the nose. Super velvety mouthfeel, tastes of smoothtangerine, medium sweetness (5/10), light and soft hoppiness, coriander, finishes mildly tangy and off-dry soft bitter. Medium complexity, med-high carry, excellent transitions, great carry, fabulous drinkability. The creamy velvety mouthfeel is 2nd to none.

Starboard (fortified Red Wine) – Kettle Valley Winery (BC, Canada)

Starboard (NV) – Kettle Valley Winery,20.0% ABV – 375ml, (Naramata, BC, Canada)

On the back label:

“Kettle Valley Winery operates on the Naramata Bench, a strip of land extending 40 km north from Penticton that is one of Canada’s premium wine producing areas. This wine is a fortified blend of MALBEC and PETIT VERDOT grapes from our King Drive vineyard on the Naramata Bench. The grapes were hand picked at approx. 25 brix. The wine was barrel aged in French oak.”

  • Style: (fortified) Dessert Wine
  • My Rating: B
  • Why I like it: fruity, spicy, and drinkable
  • Where I got it: Taphouse (N. Van)
  • How much: $23, sometime in 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours very dark purple-red. Alcohol, cassis, and blackberries on the nose. Starts off with a fruity burst of cassis and blackberries up front, controlled sweetness (8/10), slight sour acidity (3/10),  that smoothly dissipates transitioning in to a light-med tannic lightly spiced oaked, purple table grapes, and raisins. Medium complexity, medium depth, excellent transitions, great carry, fabulous drinkability. Recommended with cheese.

Beer Geek Bacon – Mikkeller (Denmark)

Beer Geek Bacon – Mikkeller,7.5% ABV – 50cl, (Denmark)

  • Style: Smoked
  • My Rating: A-
  • Why I like it: peated beer, with exceptional balance
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek
  • How much: $12.5, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: maybe
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours black/brown with a very nice creamy foamy head, silky bubbles. Peat, smoke and burnt wood on the nose. Peated scotch up front, burnt wood, silky creamy mouthfeel, thick malts, caramel, vanilla, dark bitter chocolate, good sweetness (6/10), finishes bittersweet. High complexity, high depth, excellent transitions, excellent carry, great drinkability. An A-class beer; only mildly heavy, but nothing to complain about.