Hopfenkönig – Schloss Eggenberg (Austria)

Hopfenkönig – Schloss Eggenberg, 5.1% ABV – 330ml, (Vorchdorf, Austria)

  • Style: Pilsener
  • My Rating: C
  • Taste Profile: Dry-hopped bitter malts -> yeast/metallic -> crisp clean light hopped bitter finish.
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek/W.16th
  • How much: $4 (after 10%), Sept 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not really

Tasting notes: pours clear light golden yellow, small head, ringed retention, micro CO2, some slow streams, cool pull tab a la Japanese energy drinks. Straightforward malts on the nose. Drinks with a semi-dry medium hopped bready maltiness up front, yeast, silky carbonation, metallic, somewhat watery, finishing clean, crisp and lightly hopped bitter. Low complexity, low-med depth, good transitions, average carry, decent drinkability. Average at best, nothing exciting.

Scrapona Moscato D’Asti 2009 (Italy)

Scrapona Moscato D’Asti 2009, 5.5% ABV – 375ml, (Italy)

  • Style: (lightly carbonated) Moscato D’Asti
  • My Rating: B+
  • Taste Profile: Sweet/light syrup/fizzy -> muscat/apple/pear -> mild tart/tangy/light cloying finish.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $15, Summer 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours golden yellow with light carbonation and a few bubbles on the side of the glass. Drinks with a 9/10-sweetness, lightly syrupiness, slightly sticky, mild fizzy/burpiness, tastes of dense muscat grape, apple/pear, mild tartness/tang/sourness, finishes slightly cloying as it warms. Highly sippable.

Hobgoblin – Wychwood Brewery (England)

Hobgoblin – Wychwood Brewery, 5.2% ABV – 500ml, (Whitney, England)

On the back label:

“Full-bodied & well balanced with a chocolate toffee malt flavour, moderate bitterness & a distinctive fruity character & ruby red glow.”

  • Style: Premium Bitter/ESB
  • My Rating: B-
  • Taste Profile: Creamy airness -> sarsaparilla/malts/chocolate -> sharp lingering bitterness.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $3.50, Summer 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Tasting notes: pours root beer brown with a hint of red, small creamy head, thin retention, tight clusters of CO2 streams. Hints of malts on the nose, but otherwise muted. Drinks with a crisp creaminess airyness up front, tastes of sarsaparilla, malts, mild chocolate, cutting quickly into a sharp lingering bitterness. Low-medium complexity, medium depth, okay transitions, okay carry, decent drinkability.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale (Delaware, USA)

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, 7% ABV – 12 fl.oz., (Milton, Delaware, USA)

On the front label:

“A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg.”

  • Style: (pumpkin) Spiced Beer
  • My Rating: A-
  • Taste Profile: Caramel malts/fizzy -> cinnamon/nutmeg/pumpkin -> malty light bitter clean finish.
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek
  • How much: ~$18/6, Autumn 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours cloudy orange brown with a smallish head, thin ringed retention, not much CO2 activity. Caramel malts, cinnamon, and nutmeg on the nose. Drinks with intense thick caramel malts up front, nicely spiced with strong notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, pumpkin, slightly fizzy, finishing malty and clean light bitter. Medium complexity, medium depth, good carry, good transitions, good drinkability. Super solid.

La Frenz Riesling 2009 (Canada)

La Frenz Riesling 2009, 11.0% ABV – 750ml, (Penticton, BC, Canada)

from the La Frenz website:

“This variety should be delicate and elegant in structure which can only be achieved with super gentle fruit handling in the winery. The hallmark of great riesling are flavors of honey, lime, and even green apple: this vintage is loaded with fruit concentration. The palate is just off dry with just enough residual sugar to balance the natural acidity of the variety. This wine was recently compared in style to the great rieslings of Eden Valley, Australia, and given the wine’s track record I tend to agree!”

  • Style: (Vintage) Riesling
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: Fruity apple/lime/pear -> sour/tang -> clean med-deep finish.
  • Where I got it: Direct website order
  • How much: $19, Aug 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: 50/50

Tasting notes: pours clear light golden yellow wit ha few bubbles hugging the glass. Inviting lime-pear-apple on the nose. Drinks with a straight-forward fruitiness up front, red and green apple, lime, pear, transitioning into medium acidity, 4/10-sweetness, bright tang, med-deep sour, clean finish. Definitely goes down much easier with food to coat the mouth, otherwise the acidity(6)/(sweetness(4) balance is off for me.

Nickel Brook Green Apple Pilsener (Ontaria, Canada)

Nickel Brook Green Apple Pilsener, 4.0% ABV – 473ml, (Burlington, ON, Canada)

On the back of the beer:

“This one of a kind beer is brewed as a pilsner style, and then combined with natural apple juice and essences. Refreshingly smooth with a clean crisp finish, which compliments or combines for cooking with any poultry, pork or seafood dish. Brewed at 4% alc. vol this is the perfect beer alternative for those looking to try something new.”

  • Style: Fruit Beer
  • My Rating: D+
  • Taste Profile: Yeast/roughness -> apple juice/tang -> dry rough finish.
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $5 (after 10%),  Sept 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours golden mildly cloudy yellow-slightly-orange with a with nice massive creamy head, not much lacing, thin retention, lots of streams. Muddled apple juice on the nose. Drinks yeasty 6/10-sweet up front, airy, roughness on the tongue, apple juice, light tang, rough dry finish. Low-med complexity, low depth, no good carry, okay transitions, not that good drinkability.

Bushmills White Label Irish Whiskey (Ireland)

Bushmills White Label Irish Whiskey, 40% ABV – 750ml, (Country Antrim, Ireland)

On the back label:

“Welcome to Bushmills, on Ireland’s rugged Antrim coastline, a region with a license to distil granted in 1608 and still home today to Ireland’s oldest working distillery… and one of its finest whiskeys. Triple distilled for smoothness, Bushmills is a whiskey with notes of honey, ripe fruit and sweet spice.”

  • Style: (Blended) Irish Whiskey
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: Green apple -> caramel/alcohol/warmth -> clean finish.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $32, Summer 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to whiskey aficionados: not fully

Tasting notes: pours golden filtered apple juice yellow. Caramel and alcohol burn on the nose. Drinks with a green apple aroma, 6/10-sweetness, light caramel, alcohol in the mids, numbness, warmth, smooth and light flavour, watery viscosity, finishing clean. Low-medium complexity, medium depth, good smoothness, good sippability.