East Kelowna Ross Hard Apple Cider (Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

East Kelowna Ross Hard Apple Cider, 6% ABV – 1L, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

-comes in a plastic bottle, ’nuff said

  • Style: Apple Cider
  • Taste Profile: dense red apple -> alcohol/filtered apple juice/tang -> off-dry/light acidic finish
  • Where I got it : W.16th
  • How much: ~$8 (after 10% off), sometime 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no way

Tasting notes: pours medium golden yellow with no head whatsoever (sadly) and almost no CO2 action. Strong apple juice aroma on the nose.

Attack: dense filtered apple flavour

Mid-palate: alcohol, 6/10-sweetness that dissipates, more filtered apple juice (like Sun-Rype), tangy

Finish: cuts off-dry, light-medium acidity, finishing with hints of lime.

The flavour isn’t awful but the carbonation could use a little more jazz.

Innis & Gunn Scottish Pale Ale (Scotland)

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  • My Rating: B

Innis & Gunn Scottish Pale Ale (41-day matured), 7.0% ABV – 330ml, (Edinburgh, Scotland)

On the back label:

“To make this beer we have carefully selected only 5 ingredients to impart the most intense flavours. Pale Ale and Munich Malt give it a delicious body and maltiness. And to balance this, Super Styrian, East Kent Goldings and Styrian Goldings have been added to create a wonderful vibrant hop character that will leave your palate tingling. Its the perfect beer to savour on long, lazy summer nights spent with good friends.”

  • Style: Barrel- Aged (Scottish) Pale Ale
  • Taste Profile: sweet malts -> alcohol/caramel/malt/butterscotch -> light malty caramel finish
  • Where I got it : W.16th
  • How much: $4 (after 10% off), December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours a light toffee brown with extra clarity, minimal head, lots of CO2 activity. Sweet caramel malts on the nose.

Attack: 8/10-burst sweetness

Mid-palate: alcohol, caramel, malts, butterscotch, mild raisin,

Finish: alcoholic, malty light caramel bittersweet with a touch of warmth and tingliness.

I really enjoy the butterscotch aroma, good sweetness, and decent body.

La Corriveau – Brasserie Le Bilboquet (Canada)

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  • My Rating: B-

La Corriveau – Brasserie Le Bilboquet, 5.5% ABV – 500ml, (Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada)

On the back label:

“Hanging from the gallows, La Corriveau watches you as you are savoring this black beer with espresso and dark chocolate aromas. Its deep color is topped with a rich and unctuous cream that hides a sharp bitterness, worthy of the gloomy ideas that haunted this legendary murderer’s mind.””

  • Style: Oatmeal Stout
  • Taste Profile: fizzy/sweet malts -> dark roast coffee/chocolate/malt/ginger -> lingering bitterness/mild sour finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $8.50 (after 10% off), January 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, it’s quite balanced

An interesting read at wiki: La Corriveau

-The legend goes that a wife living in 18th century Quebec gets sentenced to a public hanging for murdering her husband. Why would she do such a thing? Why else, self-defence of course. Although she admitted to murder her reason for committing the crime was ill-treatment from her husband. Totally believable. Anyhow a good dark read whilst sipping on this dark brew.

Tasting notes: pours opaque jet black with a sizable foamy head, long retention, thick lacing, several active streams. Dark roast and malts on the nose.

Attack: mostly fizzy/tingly mouthfeel, 6/10-dark malt sweetness

Mid-palate: espresso/coffee, medium roast, deep/long coffee bitterness, chocolate, malts, hints of ginger

Finish: lingering coffee bitterness, medium sourness.

Rich, deep, but only medium-complexity. Good depth for a 5.5% ABV.

La Gaillarde – Unibroue (Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

La Gaillarde – Unibroue, 5% ABV – 341ml, (Chambly, Quebec, Canada)

On the front label:

“La Gaillarde is a beer on lees, bottle refermented, resulting from the marriage of cereals and aromatics. It is brewed according to an ancient medieval recipe developed by the hardy women of the Middle Ages. Gaillarde is a mild and slightly spice golden ale with a malty nose.”

  • Style: (Traditional) Ale
  • Taste Profile: lemon citrus/dry/creamy -> coriander/orange/wheat -> dry/burpy/light malt finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $23/12pack mixed, December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours cloudy yellow-orange-amber, with a massive creamy head, good retention, some lacing, very active streams. Big citrus aromas up front with a slight sourness and mild barnyard.

Attack: tingly lemon citrus, 2/10-sweetness (dry), creamy mouthfeel

Mid-palate: coriander, lemon, orange, wheat/yeasty, light wheat malt

Finish: cuts dry, tangy, mild burpy, light malty non-bitter finish

Generally refreshing and a decent session/meal beer.

Autumn Wheat Lager – Big Rock Brewery (Canada)

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  • My Rating: C

Autumn Wheat Lager – Big Rock Brewery, 5% ABV – 341ml, (Calgary, AB, Canada)

On the front label:

“Pale Barley Malt ripened by prairie sunshine then carefully brewed along with rich Caramelized Wheat Malt, this 5% lager will fill your glass with golden amber hues and a toasty malt character that is reminiscent of fall harvest and the turning of the seasons.”

  • Style: Wheat Lager (wheat + barley)
  • Taste Profile: medium sweet bready/yeast -> malt/caramel -> thin flat finish.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $13/6pack mixed, December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear copper-amber with almost no head, very thin retention, bits of lacing, a few countable slow streams. Sweet light caramel malts on the nose.

Attack: half fizzy/half creamy CO2, 5/10-sweetness, notes of bread/yeast

Mid-palate: malt, coriander, light caramel

Finish: thin-bodied, watery mouthfeel, very light lingering bitterness, flat finish.

Quite average. Don’t love it, don’t hate it, but won’t drink it again.

Tugwell Creek Kickass Currant 2009 Mead (Canada)

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  • My Rating: C-

Kickass Currant 2009 Black Currant Melomel – Tugwell Creek Meadery, 12.0% ABV – 750ml, (Sooke, BC, Canada)

On the front label:

“A full bodied Black Currant honey wine with a robust fruity nature. Intense cassis and rich mouth appeal combine with a subtle honey background and a kiss of French Oak. Try pairing with your favourite red or cured meats or wild game.”

  • Style: (fruit) Mead
  • Taste Profile: tart/tangy/sour -> off-dry cassis/grape/tart/alcohol -> tart rough/alcoholic/dry finish
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: ~$33, sometime in 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to the curious: no

Tasting notes: Pours a clear dark reddish-purple. Lively cassis on the nose with all it’s tang and natural aroma.

Attack: super 10/10-tartness from the black currant, 7/10-tanginess

Mid-palate: 3/10-sweetness (off-dry), cassis, fruity red grape, lingering aggressive tartness, cuts dry, induced salivation, alcohol detection

Finish: tart roughness in the mouth, light alcoholic warmth, dry-rough mouthfeel finish.

This is definitely a wine that has to be paired with a meal – preferable with something meaty or saucy. I can’t say I love it but I do like cassis so hey I can’t hate it.

Winter Spice Ale – Big Rock Brewery (Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Winter Spice Ale, 6% ABV – 341ml, (Calgary, AB, Canada)

On the front label:

“Brewed with both pale and caramel malts, it gives off an amber glow and, upon first sip the depth of flavour is revealed: notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and a hint of ginger. This season brew has an alcohol content of 6% and is sure to warm your heart!”

  • Style: (Winter) Spiced Ale
  • Taste Profile: sweet caramel -> malts/cola/cinnamon/root beer -> fizzy/light malt bitter finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $13/6pack mixed, December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no, not amazing enough

Tasting notes: pours clear beer bottle brown with a small quickly dissipating head, no retention, a few streams, largish bubbles. Sweet malts with cinnamon and nutmeg on the nose.

Attack: 7/10-sweetness, caramel

Mid-palate: cola, cinnamon, hints of ginger, caramel, root beer, and malts

Finish: mostly clean, slightly fizzy, very light malty bitter, just a touch of roughness on the palate.

A very nice and clean brew – nothing spectacular but easy-going and very drinkable.