Bah Humbug!

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Bah Humbug! – Wychwood Brewery, 5.0% ABV – 500ml, (Oxfordshire, England)

On the back label:

“Brewed with the choicest hops & malt, lightly spiced with cinnamon, this is a rich ale complemented with subtle tones of dried fruits. Beer with Cinnamon. (Note: cloves and coriander but no cinnamon in the listed ingredients)”

  • Style: Spiced Ale
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: Caramel-orange -> fizzy/cloves/coriander -> malty/med-bitter finish.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $3.50, November 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear medium dark copper brown with a very small head, light retention, lots of active streams mainly in the center. Malts, cloves and hints of orange peel on the nose. Drinks with 7/10-sweet caramel malts up front, light cocoa, sweet orange peel, light malted bitterness, coriander and cloves near the finish, fading partially thin/watery and medium bitter. Medium complexity, medium depth, okay transitions, okay carry, decent drinkability. Okay flavour profile but body thins out at the finish.

Anderson Valley Boonville Imperial IPA

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Imperial IPA – Anderson Valley Brewing, 8.7% ABV – 500ml, (Mendocino County, CA, USA),

On the back label:

“This IPA was first created in honor of our second decade as a brewer and purveyor of the finest ales in the world. This limited release, over-the-top brew is loaded with excessive amounts of malts to balance 20 separate additions of the finest Pacific Northwest hops to create the kind of product ‘… that made California craft ale famous.’”

  • Style: Imperial IPA
  • My Rating: A
  • Taste Profile: caramel sweetness -> mellow hopped/creamy/coriander/grapefruit/orange blossom -> soft creamy hoppy bitter
  • Where I got it: W.16th
  • How much: $5 (after 10%), February 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: perhaps
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours orange copper brown, smallish head, a few slow streams. Caramel citrus malts on the nose. Drinks with a very balanced caramel 7/10-sweetess, sharp – mellow hoppy bitterness, amazing creamy mouth feel with hints coriander, grapefruit, orange blossom, finishing soft creamy and hoppy bitter. Medium complexity, med-high depth, excellent transitions, great carry, excellent drinkability. Almost perfect, highly recommended.

Whistler Brewing Winter Dunkel (Canada)

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Winter Dunkel – Whistler Brewing, 5% ABV – 650ml, (Whistler, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“For this holiday season, we have brewed a special Dunkelweizen beer with a twist. Our Brewmaster has adapted this classic, filtered dark wheat beer into a unique festive beer. Brewed using 100% organic chocolate from the Whistler Chocolate Company, a blend of spices and a twist of orange zest. Delicious, complex malts and light citrus balancing notes present a soft hint of festive, seasonal flavours.”

  • Style: Dunkelweizen
  • My Rating: B-
  • Taste Profile: cacao/orange zest -> malts/caramel -> watery/malty/light bitter finish.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5.75,  December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours dark beer bottle brown, small head, a few slow streams. Aromatic dessert chocolate orange on the nose. Drinks with authentic cacao up front, and orange zest, akin to chocolate orange confections, malts, caramel, finishing on the watery side, malty light bitter. Medium complexity, med depth, good transitions, decent carry, decent drinkability.

Estrella Damm Inedit (Spain

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Estrella Damm Inedit, 4.8% ABV – 750ml, (Barcelona, Spain)

Attached mini paper pamphlet:

“Aromatized with coriander, orange peel and licorice.

Inedit means “Never been done before”. In cooperation witht the brewmasterd of Estrella Damm, Inedit was crafted by the globally acclaimed chef Ferran Andria, Juli Soler and sommeliers Ferran Centelles and David Seijas from ElBulli Restaurant.

A skillfully brewed blend of lager and wheat beer styles, Inedit uses a combination of barley malt, wheat, hops, coriander, orange peel, yeast and water. Uniquely brewed to create a complex aroma and opaque appearance, a floral nose leaves a sensation of fresh yeast and sweet spices. Lightly carbonated with a creamy texture, the soft full body leaves a long and lasting finish.”

  • Style: Witbier
  • My Rating: B-
  • Taste Profile: orange citrus -> coriander/dryness/wheat -> fizzy/dry/malty finish
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $7,  December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours cloudy yellow-orange with a smallish head, not much activity. Tangerine citrus nose. Drinks with a bold orange citrus up front, coriander, dryness, wheat, 6/10 sweetness, fizzy finishing dry and light malty. Medium complexity, low-med depth, good transitions, good drinkability.

Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen

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Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen, 5.8% ABV – 500ml, (Aying, Germany)

  • Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: sweet malts/hops -> caramel -> clean/malty bitter finish
  • Where I got it: ???
  • How much: ~$6,  December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: kinda

Tasting notes: pours light copper orange, smallish head, some subtle streams. Malts on the nose. Drinks with 8/10-sweet malts, hops, caramel, finishing clean and malty bitter. Low-med complexity, medium depth, decent carry, decent drinkability. Decent balance and body.

Wells Banana Bread Beer

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Wells Banana Bread Beer, 5.2% ABV – 330ml, (Bedford, UK)

from ratebeer.com:

“This dark golden coloured ale hugs the palate with great intensity. Its malty aroma is complemented by the gentle nose of Banana. Its flavour unfolds with a sensual sparkle and a smart crispness, which balances its aroma perfectly. Tropically fruity; its ripe banana flavour, emphasised by a hint of bitterness, comes from the addition of real fair trade bananas and finishes with an emphatic, steely dryness.
2005 Recipe changed from 5.5% to 5.2%”

  • Style: Fruit Beer
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: banana bread/caramel -> fizzy/malts -> watery/malty bitter finish
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $3.50,  December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not strongly

Tasting notes: pours clear beer bottle brown, almost non-existent head, a few slow streams. Caramel malts on the nose. Big banana bread flavor up front, caramel, 6/10-sweetness, fizzy, malts, however fading watery, and malty bitter finish. Low-med complexity, low-med depth, not that good carry, okay drinkability.

Alhambra Reserva 1925

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Alhambra Reserva 1925, 6.4% ABV – 330ml, (Spain)

  • Style: Strong Pale Lager/Imperial Pilsener
  • My Rating: C-
  • Taste Profile: creamy/fizzy -> alcohol/malts -> dry rough/med bitter finish
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $13/6pack,  December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours light copper orange, almost no head, a few slow streams. Muted nose. Drinks creamy fizzy up front, alcohol detection, malts, dry roughish med bitter finish. Low-med complexity, low-med depth, not much carry, okay drinkability.