Bob’s Your Dunkel – Mt. Begbie Brewing (Canada)

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  • My Rating: B

Bob’s Your Dunkel – Mt. Begbie Brewing, 8.0% ABV – 650ml, (Revelstoke, BC, Canada)

On the front label:

“All it takes is heaps of wheat, chocolate, munich malt, pure mountain water, a little hops, and a traditional German yeast and ‘Bob’s your Uncle Dunkelweizen’. It’s just that simple! (Did we forget to mention it’s unfiltered with great clove characteristics?)”

  • Style: Dunkelweizen (weizenbock)
  • Taste Profile: sweet creamy/silk -> malt/brown sugar/caramel/bourbon/banana/vanilla -> light bittersweet clean finish.
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey
  • How much: ~$8, March 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: Gotta support local breweries! Might as well eh, since we don’t get too much stuff from south of the border here on the west coast of Canada. Pours a nice med-dark copper brown with a smallish head, thin foamy retention, some slow streams. Sweet med-dark caramel malts on the nose – sweet and inviting.

Attack: burst of 8/10-sweetness, creamy/foamy nice silky mouthfeel

Mid-palate: sweet malts, caramel, brown sugar, mild woodiness, light bourbon/wood, light banana/vanilla

Finish: mild candied-sweetness, light-med malty bitter, clean & crisp

I like it. Alcohol takes a backseat or even the trunk as the malt/caramel/bourbon ride shotgun. Great balance and drinkability.

Rosée d’Hibiscus – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel (Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Rosée d’Hibiscus – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, 5.9% ABV – 341ml, (Quebec, Canada)

On the 6pack box:

“The Rosée d’Hibiscus is a soft spoken wheat beer. The rose colour comes from the hibiscus flowers added during the brewing process. The aromas and flavour of this tropical flower are very prominent in the beer, giving it a slight acidity and a very agreeable fragrance. (Noted: 2006 to 2009 vintages 5.9% abv; 2010 vintage 5.0%)”

Ingredients: water, malted barley, wheat, hibiscus flowers, hops, yeast, spices.

  • Style: (Spiced) Wheat Ale
  • Taste Profile: Sour-tangy light pukey strawberry-banana wheat ale
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $22/6pack, May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not really

Tasting notes: (Man I hate buying 6packs. You gotta love a beer a lot to not get sick of it 5 more times after the 1st. Well this only came as a 6er and I love me my spiced beers… ) Anyways, this pours a nice glowing orange-copper-red with almost no head but lots of active streams, larger CO2, minor sediment. Strong hibiscus flowers on the nose, orange & fruity.

Attack: 5/10-sour/tanginess, 6/10-sweetness,

Mid-palate: familiar wheaty banana, more tartness along with roughness, hibiscus, minor yeast, mild funk + sour

Finish: partially rough with accumulating phlegm from the sourness, acidic, light sticky, citrusy not-so-smooth

Overall somewhat interesting, but also hard to finish the entire bottle because the sourness is too powerful and lingering for my tastes. I think it needs more brighter florals to balance it out.

———————————————————————————————————————

-= March 27, 2014 =-

(2nd-tasting): Somewhat rough-sour-pukey up front, lots of airy wheat notes in the mid, berry-fruit throughout. Decent when chilled, but I can tell it’ll be overly sour/palate-wrecking when closer to room temp. Upgraded from C to C+.

Innis & Gunn Spiced Rum Finish (Scotland)

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  • My Rating: B

Innis & Gunn Spiced Rum Finish (47-day matured), 6.9% ABV – 330ml, (7.4% single boxed variant also exists), (Edinburgh, Scotland)

-this is part of their Limited Edition 3-pack which includes their branded glass

On the back label:

“This limited bottling of Innis & Gunn has been finished over oak infused with Caribbean Spiced Rum. The result is absolutely delicious, bursting with the flavours of Caribbean spices along with our signature notes of vanilla, toffee and oak.”

  • Style: Barrel- Aged Ale
  • Taste Profile: Gentle caramel malts -> malts/rum/cinn/nutmeg -> light bitter malty clean finish
  • Where I got it : Legacy
  • How much: $16/3pack +glass, November 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados:

Tasting notes: pours medium brown-amber with a nice size creamy heady, thin retention, some active streams. Vanilla & toffee malts on the nose.

Attack: gentle 7/10-mellow sweetness mixed with caramel malts

Mid-palate: more malts, minor alcohol detection/rum, trace amounts of cinnamon/nutmeg, mild pepperiness

Finish: soft crisp caramel light bitter malts, clean finish.

Very smooth and drinkable. I like it more than their original.

Chapeau Kriek Lambic Beer (Belgium)

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  • My Rating: C+

Chapeau Kriek Lambic – Brewery de Troch (LEFT: New label since 2012, RIGHT: Old label prior 2012), 3.5% ABV – 37.5cl, (Wambeek, Belgium)

Ingredients: water, barley malt, wheat, hop, yeast, sugar flavour, cherries (20%)

  • Style: Fruit Lambic (Kriek)
  • Taste Profile: Creamy/fizzy/sweet -> cherry/wood/tart -> sticky/cloying/sugar overload
  • Where I got it : Legacy
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off), March 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: just once; also for non-beer drinkers/gals

Tasting notes: pours a deep vibrant blood red with a nice small lasting head, foamy CO2, lots of active streams. Aromatic shweeeeeet cherries and their juice on the nose, so sweet it’s almost candy-like.

Attack: mostly creamy/light fizzy mouthfeel, bright 9/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: fading sugars, dense fruity richness of cherries, light woodiness, med-sourness, light-med tartness

Finish: light stickiness of the sugars, mainly clean, minor sugar-overdose fading alertness

Initial blows your mind with the clean cherry coming through with a minor oaked backdrop. After a 1/3rd through, the sugars becoming cloying and the palate is no longer excited by the fruitiness or sugars. Sugar overload 1/2way through. Reminds me of a soda.

Innis & Gunn Winter Beer 2011 (Scotland)

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  • My Rating: C+

Innis & Gunn Winter Beer 2011 (48-day matured), 7.4% ABV – 330ml, (Edinburgh, Scotland)

-this is part of their Limited Edition 3-pack which includes their branded glass

On the back label:

“Every ingredient we have used to brew this beer has been selected for its intensity of flavour. Amber and Cara malt have been added to give a rich, almost chewy, malt backbone and body and we have used a classic blend of aroma hops, Fuggles, Goldings and Styrian Goldings to add their signature vibrant characters.”

  • Style: Barrel- Aged Ale
  • Taste Profile: Yeasty CO2 -> malt/caramel/aniseed -> off-dry/whisky/bitter-malt finish
  • Where I got it : Legacy
  • How much: $16/3pack +glass, November 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours a med-dark copper brown with a smallish head, micro CO2, some active streams, sticky lacing. Sweet caramel malts and a hint of brandy on the nose.

Attack: Yeasty carbonation, partially watery

Mid-palate: 4/10-sweetness, malts, light aniseedy caramel, slight orange peel

Finish: cuts off-dry, mild whisky notes, light bitter-light malted cleanish finish.

Overall pretty underwhelming. Not bold or flavourful enough for my tastes.

Tantalus Riesling (Canada)

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1) Old Vines Riesling 2008 – Tantalus, 12.1% ABV – 750ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: C
  • Style: Riesling (picked from vines planted in 1978)
  • Taste Profile: heavy richness -> pineapple/lemon/melon/med acidity -> heavy tang/tart/puckery/sticky finish
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $34 (after 10% off) , May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to casual wine drinkers: no, it doesn’t grab my attention

Tasting notes: Just checked their online ordering availability on their website and everything but their Pinot Noir is sold out! Hmm.. high expectations for this wine. Well then. Pours standard white wine yellow with a few countable bubbles in the glass. Strong pineapple and lemon citrus aromas on the nose.

Attack: strong intensity-high density richness, 3/10-sweetness,

Mid-palate: cuts dry, pineapple, lemon/lime, melon, light minerality, medium acidity

Finish: med-heavy tartness, heavy tang, very cloying, medium puckery, thick sticky finish with phlegm build-up

Although there are rave reviews on this wine, it’s not my cup of tea. It’s too dense and aggressive without having the playful brightness I like in Rieslings. I respect the body on it but not really session sippable.

2) Riesling 2010 – Tantalus, 12.2% ABV – 750ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: B-
  • Style: Riesling
  • Taste Profile: dense sugars -> apple/pineapple/lime -> tang/sourness/balanced finish.
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $25 (after 10% off) , May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to casual wine drinkers: 50/50

Tasting notes: pours a clear very light yellow. Very bright fruity apple/pineapple nose.

Attack: dense sugars that gradually dissipate, 6/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: apple, pineapple, lime, medium acidity

Finish: light-med cloying, medium tang, medium-light sourness.

Good playfulness, balance and drinkability. I definitely like the Riesling more than the Old Vines.

Russian Standard (RUS) VS. 42 Below (NZ) – Wheat Vodka Round 1

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This will be a battle of wheat vodkas. Actually Russian Standard is a winter wheat vodka but close enough.

1) Russian Standard – 40% ABV – 750m, Russia, ~$27 CAD

  • their lowest tier vodka; the others being gold, platinum, imperia (in order of grade)
  • continuous column distillation, winter wheat

VS

2) 42 Below – 42% ABV – 750ml (*note: This is an old bottle. New ones are now 40% ABV, lowered due to tax reasons and to be more competitive), New Zealand, ~$35 CAD

  • distilled from wheat
  • now owned by Bacardi, but still operates out of NZ

Criteria:

Nose: First up, the Russian Standard. It has quite a pronounced roundness, composed alcohol, lime, and a kind of rubber/plastic, and minor tingliness in the nose. For the 42 Below the nose is amazingly clean and muted, without much alcohol detection nor tingliness. There is a faint lemony scent and tingliness if you get your nose right in there. Vodka supposedly being a “neutral” spirit, the winner goes to 42 Below for it’s neutrality.

Taste: The Russian Standard brings a soft supple 3/10-sweetness with a hint of citrus, slightly thicker than water viscosity (between a syrup and water), medium alcohol burn in the mids, followed by aniseed and pepperiness. Alcohol hits the nose with medium nasal burn. The 42 Below on the other hand, drinks with a bold 5/10-citrus sweetness, not as thick as Russian Standard viscosity but still thicker than water, more intense aniseed in the mids, a noticeably softer light-med burn, longer length, and a softer, gentler nasal burn. For me, the winner the has to be 42 Below for it’s more pronounced flavours with less alcohol burn.

Final Notes:

  • Russian Standard has a thicker viscosity, less aniseed, more burn, and a lower price. Good as a mixer/infusions.
  • 42 Below is smoother (less burn), with bolder flavours of citrus and aniseed. Better as a mixer to get people drunk.

As with any drink, taste is a matter of preference, how much $$ $ u wanna spend, and national pride. Personally I prefer 42 Below because it is smoother to me. Also it has won more than a dozen of awards in international competitions.