Stag Apple Scotch Ale – Tin Whistle Brewing (Penticton, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: B-

Stag Apple Scotch Ale – Tin Whistle Brewing, 8% ABV – 650ml, (Penticton, BC, Canada)

on the front side label:

“Stag Apple Scotch Ale combines juice from freshly pressed Okanagan apples with rich Caramel malt to create a massive and Majestic Scotch Ale.”

  • Style: (apple) flavoured Scotch Ale
  • Taste Profile: alcoholic caramel sweetness -> red apple/malts/brown sugar -> off-dry bitter hoppy malty finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5.50, July 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: caramel + apple sounds great already! Is it so? Pours clear beer bottle brown with a smallish micro CO2 head, a bit of retention, clusters of fast activity.

Nose: red apple juice and brown sugar caramel malts

Attack: alcoholic 8/10-caramel sweetness

Mid-palate: red apple, thick malts, brown sugar,

Finish: off-dry, soft bitter hops, red apple exhale, malty finish

Summary: Quite a basic flavour profile but enjoyable nonetheless.

Red on Red Imperial Red Ale – Collaboration (Canada)

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  • My Rating: B-

Red on Red Imperial Red Ale – Central City / Flying Monkeys Collaboration, 9.5% ABV – 650ml, (Surrey, BC, Canada)

on the front side label:

“The Canadian flag – red in the east; red in the west. Double Red. A perfect style for the ‘East meets West’ collaboration born at the 2012 Session Toronto Craft Beer Festival between BC’s Central City Brewers & Distillers and Ontario’s Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery.

This Limited Edition Double Red Ale has been single-hopped using the first release of the  brand new ‘Mosaic’ hops bringing out floral notes of Papaya and Guava, creating a unique flavour and aroma when married with the Pale, Munich, and Three Crystal malts.”

  • Style: Imperial Red Ale
  • Taste Profile: sweet brown sugar -> papaya malts/caramel/brown sugar -> sour/tangy/grapefruity bitter hop/malty finish
  • Where I got it : W.16th
  • How much: $9 (after 10% off), June 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Cool label. Pours beer bottle reddish-brown with no head, very thin ringed retention, a bit of lacing, some steady streams.

Nose: Papaya and hints of guava

Attack: 8/10 quickly fading brown sugar sweetness,

Mid-palate: papaya fruity malts, caramel, brown sugar

Finish: medium sourness, tangy, lingering grapefruit sharp bitter hop/med-heavy malted finish

Summary: Medium to full-bodied, quite balanced but weighs on the palate because it doesn’t have any refreshing characteristics. The 9.5% abv is decently hidden.

Cheakamus Chai-Maple Ale – Whistler Brewing (Whistler, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Cheakamus Chai-Maple Ale – Whistler Brewing, 5% ABV – 650ml, (Whistler, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“A mild ale with all the freshness of maple syrup – and a little bit of springtime spice for good measure. This dark bronze ale is made with real maple syrup added right to the mash. Then, a trace of chai tea is added during the filtration process. The result is a highly complex, mildly spiced palate structure. One taste, and a simple truth is clear: complexity can be a very beautiful thing.”

  • Style: (Chai-Maple) Spiced Ale
  • Taste Profile: cream maple sweetness -> cola/root beer/caramel malts -> burnt bitter roast finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6, July 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: maybe in a cocktail, but not by itself
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, novelty factor

Visual: beautiful artwork on the label, lovely colour scheme. Pours dark cola brown with a sizable somewhat lasting creamy head, lots of barely visible fast activity.

Nose: sweet maple syrup and chai (clove, cinnamon, coriander, ginger) on the nose – very inviting

Attack: cream-fizzy, 5/10-maple sweetness

Mid-palate: watery mouthfeel, cola/root beer, caramel malts

Finish: bitter black tea, maple exhale, burnt roast bitter off-dry finish.

Summary: A gimmicky try-one-time-only beer. It lacks finesse, real depth, body and balance to be a winner. Exciting on paper but falls short on delivery.

3 Weeds (Witbier) – Lighthouse Brewing (Victoria, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: B-

3 Weeds – Lighthouse Brewing, 7.5% ABV – 650ml, (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Ingredients: A Belgian style Wit brewed with pilsener and wheat malts, rolled oats, coriander, ginger and hops.

  • Style: Witbier
  • Taste Profile: creamy crispness -> pineapple/banana/yeast/malt -> coriander/ginger/soft bitter hop finish.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6, July 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not quite

Visual: low-rez sticker label, seasonal, and no other info other than the ingredients. Pours cloudy light marmalade orange with a small lasting foamy head, thin layer of retention, some lacing, lots of activity.

Nose: Sweet fruity banana and pineapple malts on the nose.

Attack: creamy-fizzy mouthfeel, crispness

Mid-palate: 5/10-sweetness, pineapple, banana, light yeasty in the malts,

Finish: dry coriander, hints of ginger bitterness, banana exhale, mild soft bitter hoppy finish.

Summary: Good balance and complexity in this one. Flavours are soft and subdued but blend together well.

Lindemans Framboise Lambic (Belgium)

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  • My Rating: B+

Lindemans Framboise Lambic, 2.5% ABV – 355ml, (Belgium)

on the back label:

“Lindemans Framboise is a lambic made from local barley, unmalted wheat, and wild yeast. After spontaneous fermentation raspberries are added, creating a secondary fermentation and yielding a beer of exceptional flavor and complexity.”

  • Style: (raspberry) Fruit Lambic
  • Taste Profile: sour-sweet/fizzy -> raspberry/tangy/tart/cassis -> mild barnyard/fruity finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $14 for a gift box (2*355ml+glass) (after 10% off), December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: in a cocktail
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: for casual drinkers/girls

Visual: foil cover, bottle capped, and finally corked – superbly sealed. Pours very dark blood red with almost no head, ringed retention, micro bubbles, lots of slow activity.

Nose: Super fruity natural raspberry juice on the nose

Attack: incoming 8/10-sourness, 6/10-sweetness, fizz-tingly mouthfeel

Mid-palate: ultra rich raspberry flavour, tangy, med tartness, hints of cassis

Finish: hints barnyard sourness, smooth med sweet fruity finish

Summary: Excellent rich raspberry flavour with good mouthfeel and drinkability.

Sir Perry Berry – William’s Orchards (England)

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  • My Rating: C+

Sir Perry Berry (flavoured Pear Cider) – William’s Orchards, 6% ABV – 500ml, (Bristol, UK)\

Ingredients: Fermented Pear Juice, Strawberry flavour, colour, yeast, ascorbic acid, carbon dioxide.

  • Style: (strawberry) Flavoured Pear Cider (perry)
  • Taste Profile: fading sharp sweetness -> fizzy/fake strawberry/yeast/pear -> crisp/light cloying/tangy fake strawberry finish.
  • Where I got it : W.16th
  • How much: ~$12 for a 4pack, Sometime in 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no

Visual: had this laying around, finished 3 of the 4pack without reviewing, might as well since I’ve had this can for awhile. Pours pale red/orange with no head, very thin ringed retention, some activity.

Nose: half-candy/half decent strawberry aroma (but we know it’s artificial because of the ingredients list), pleasant and inviting.

Attack: 8/10-gentle fading sweetness

Mid-palate: fizzy, candy strawberry, yeast, fleeting pear flavour,

Finish: crisp, mild residual cloying sugars (chilled glass), light tangy fake strawberry finish.

Summary: It’s half-decent and okay. Nothing to rave about but decent compared to say Growers (BC cider) ciders.

Hainle Vineyards Riesling 2003 (BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C (average)

Hainle Vineyards (Organic) Riesling 2003, 12.5% ABV – 750ml, (Peachland, BC, Canada)

(Note: Hainle is North America’s first ever ice wine producer)

on the back of the bottle:

Gold medal Grand Cru-Long Beach, CA, Gold medal, Grand Rapids International Wine Competition, MI,

Our Riesling was made with grapes grown in some of the best -suited vineyard sites, in Lakeview Heights, Penticton, and our own, organically managed Peachland location. Citrus, apricot and mineral aromas are followed by crisp, spicy flavours. This wine is a versatile match with all kinds of seafood, chicken, Midterranean, and Asian cuisine.”

  • Style: (white wine) Riesling
  • Taste Profile:
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot Hastings
  • How much: $36 (after 5% off), January 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: can’t say; I don’t like it but you might

Visual: Wow this wine is over a decade old and it is STILL available for sale via their website. If wines are good, don’t they sell out…? Anyhow, cracking open a bottle of anything over a decade old is quite exciting. Pours clear light lemon yellow as you might expect.

Nose: Red apple juice on the nose, not much else

Attack: incoming acidity, 8/10-sourness

Mid-palate: predominantly sour/tangy green apple, hints of stone fruit

Finish: sour/mild-tart, off-dry puckery acidic finish.

Summary:  Big bold fruity green apple up front but I don’t appreciate the sour/puckeriness of the mid to finish. Just average for me, not something I would drink again, recommend, or give a gold medal to.