Outta Wack Mango Wheat – Old Yale Brewing (Chilliwack, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: B-

Outta Wack Mango Wheat – Old Yale Brewing, 5.0% ABV – 650ml., (Chilliwack, BC, Canada)

on the front left-side of the label:

“We began with a refreshing wheat ale then infuse pure nectar from the Mango, just enough to create the perfect balance to excite the senses. Our Mango Wheat is medium bodied, slightly hazy with hints of fruitiness. Enjoy this unique blend while taking in the summer sunset during those hot summer nights… the intense connection will be one to remember!”

  • Style: (Mango) Fruit Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Fruity sour-tangy mango-pineapple wheaty ale
  • Where I got it : Port Moody Liquor Store (formerly St. Johns)
  • How much: $6 – 650ml., August 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours cloudy golden marmalade orange with minimal bubbly head, thin layer of retention, lots of extremely fast activity.

Nose: mango nectar, straighter and clearer as it warms (lvl-3-5)-pungency

Attack: fizzy-tingly, incoming sourness

Mid-palate: medium sour + light tart, continued fizzy mouthfeel, (MAIN) mango juice, pineapple, wheat malts

Finish: residual tang, subtle dry hops, clean fruity dry finish.

Summary: Although it’s not particularly complex in flavour nor full in body, this beer is very drinkable and the mango is blended magnificently with the wheat malts and hops. A great summer beer with a meal.

Barbãr Bok – Brasserie Lefebvre (Belgium)

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  • My Rating: B+

Barbãr Bok – Brasserie Lefebvre, 8.5% ABV – 330ml., (Belgium)

Ingredients: water, barley malt, wheat, honey, hops ,sugar, bitter oranges, coriander, yeast.

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  • Style: (honey, spices) Flavoured Belgian Strong Ale
  • Taste: Stealthly alcoholic malty caramel cola
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $4 (after 10% off) – 330ml., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: possibly, it’s just so drinkable
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours malty dark brown with minimal quickly dissipating head, a thin layer of retention, lots of steady streams, no lacing.

Nose: caramel malts all day long (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: soda-fizzy, light creamy mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-sweetness, (MAIN) malts, cola, honey, molasses, subtle orange oils

Finish: coriander, stealth hops mixed with malty sweet crisp finish.

Summary: Incredibly smooth. It has just the right balance of heaviness, complexity, and crispness which makes it so drinkable. It drinks like a less-sweet/more malty Cola with a creeper buzz.

Vidal Late Harvest – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: D

Vidal Late Harvest 2006 – Isabella Winery, 12% ABV – 375ml, (Richmond, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“Deep straw in colour , this light, racy late harvest offers delicate aromas og gingered honey and fresh cut pears. A seamless integration of tropical fruit, pears and fresh hones is nicely balanced with good supporting acidity. Gentle on the palate, this wine can be sipped on its own or may be a delicious finale to a special meal.”

  • Style: (Vidal) Late Harvest
  • Taste: Sour watery apple cider vinegar
  • Where I got it : @Winery in Richmond
  • How much: $15 – 375ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: no

Visual: When I bought this in 2013 it had already been sitting at their store for 7 years, so how good could it be? At $15 I wasn’t expecting much… Alas, it pours light golden yellow with oddly enough, static micro bubbles clinging to the side and bottom of the glass.

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Nose: apple cider vinegar with a bit of sticky champagne. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: incoming sour-sweet

Mid-palate: watery mouthfeel, (lvl-6)-sweetness that dissipates, salty alcohol detection, (MAIN) apple cider vinegar, pear

Finish: highly sour vinegar acidity, sour white grape unclean finish.

Summary: As a dessert wine, this is pretty abysmal. It doesn’t clean the palate as it should but rather leaves you wondering what you just drank. Unbalanced, thin mouthfeel, non-delicious flavours. Not recommended. Arrowleaf’s Late Harvest Vidal is much better.

Sandhill Viognier (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Viognier Small lots program 2008 – Sandhill Winery, 14.5% ABV – 750ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“Every year, when we make our wines at Sandhill, we discover unique and distinctive barrels that deserve very special attention. The result is our ever-evolving Small Lots Porgram. From Robert Goltz’s Osprey Ridge Vineyard comes one of the newest and most exciting varieties to be grown in the Okanagan Valley. Originally from the Rhone Valley, Viognier requires ample heat to ripen well, making Osprey Ridge’s Southern Okanagan location ideal for this grape. Brilliant straw in colour, our Viognier offers peaches and floral notes on the nose with luscious fruit on the palate.”

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More info about their wine on their website.

  • Style: (white wine) Viognier
  • Taste:p Salty sour acidic apple-peach and more salty
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $25 – 750ml., summer of 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: no

Visual: Bottled in a heavy duty bottle, simple yet elegant, quality screen print. Pours clear medium deep golden yellow.

Nose: fruity apple-peach-nectarine, with some acidic sourness. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: fruity sugars

Mid-palate: immediate persistent salty, med-high acidity, (lvl-1) off-dry sweetness,(MAIN) apple, peach

Finish: tanginess, salty acidic finish.

Summary: This one is okay, probably best suited with a meal because of it’s salty-fruity profile. I prefer my whites fruity throughout with some minerality, and this isn’t it.

India Saison – Nøgne Ø & Bridge Road Collaboration (Grimstad, Norway)

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  • My Rating: A-

India Saison – Nøgne Ø & Bridge Road Collaboration (Nogne O), 7.5% ABV – 0.5L., (Grimstad, Norway)

on the front side label:

“India Saison is the hoppy, crisp and refreshing result of a north south collaboration. Classic Belgian malts and yeast, pungent Australian new hop varieties and clean Norwegian water. Served chilled and enjoy with cheeses and charcuterie. This product is bottle conditioned and has a slight sediment at the bottom of the bottle.”

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  • Style: (India) Saison
  • Taste: Sweet malty bready ultra-creamy grapefruit hopped light sour fizzy
  • Where I got it : W.16th Liquor Store
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 0.5L., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: I just love collab beers, it means twice the amount of brains and love went into making it, am I right? Pours light cloudy apple juice golden yellow with a HUMUNGOUS lasting creamy head, a scandalous amount of CO2 activity, sticky lacing.

Nose: orange blossom, lemon citrus malts, quite fruity (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: ultra creamy-fizzy

Mid-palate: crisp (lvl-6) malty sweetness, (MAIN) yeast, malts, lemon, grapefruit peel, straw, bready

Finish: burpy-bloated, smooth ultra-soft grapefruit bitter hops, sour-bitter hopped finish.

Summary: Very drinkable, especially with a meal. I pretty much finished the whole bottle just trying to review it. Recommended, quite a trip.

The Hammer Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout – Phillips Brewing (Victoria, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: B (downgraded from B+, 6/10/2016 re-tasting)

The Hammer Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout – Phillips Brewing, 8.3% ABV – 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada)

on the front side label:

“Take some original Hammer Imperial Stout and delicately roshambo it into bourbon soaked American oak barrels. Drop the hammer and smash your way into rich, roasted caramel warmth. Break down that wall! … or conform & be dull.”

  • Style: (bourbon) Barrel-aged Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Syrupy spicy bittersweet roasted mocha licorice malts
  • Where I got it : Firefly Liquor Store
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 650ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: The barrel-aged version of their Hammer Imperial Stout; I still have a bottle of it in my cellar but I expect this one to be better. Pours inkjet black with a smallish, very long lasting creamy head, a good layer of retention, lots of micro bubbly streams near the base of the glass.

Nose: mocha caramel malts with a good hint of bourbon, very aromatic (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: creamy silky texture

Mid-palate: (lvl-7)-dense malty sweetness, (MAIN) bitter roasted coffee malts, chocolate, licorice, soy sauce, bourbon booziness

Finish: quick black pepper spiciness, syrupy texture, sweet roasted malt finish.

Summary: An interesting complexity with a good body and balance. It has just a touch of watery mouthfeel near the finish but overall very nice for the price.


June 10, 2016 re-tasting: Downgraded to B. Decent body and flavour, a bit lacking in body and carry in the mids to finish. It could also use more creaminess. A bit underwhelming the second time around, 2 years later.

Floreffe Triple – Brasserie Lefebvre (Rebecq-Quenast, Belgium)

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  • My Rating: C

Floreffe Triple – Brasserie Lefebvre, 8% ABV – 330ml., (Rebecq-Quenast, Belgium)

Ingredients: water, barley malt, hop, canesugar, yeast.

  • Style: Abbey Tripel
  • Taste: Creamy-fizzy salty chamomile honeyed malts
  • Where I got it : W. 16th Liquor Store
  • How much: $4 (after 10% off) – 330ml., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours golden honey brown with a large cream-foamy head, long retention, lots of sticky lacing, lots of steady streams.

Nose: typical tripel honeyed malts with chamomile (lvl 5)-pungency

Attack: super crisp fizzy

Mid-palate: creamy mouthfeel, (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) weird saltiness, chamomile, honey malts, 

Finish: salty off-dry hopped finish.

Summary: The strange saltiness in the mid-to-finish is hard for me to thoroughly enjoy. Although the body and depth are there, I can think of several other Belgian tripel I’d much rather enjoy.