Cuvée de Noël – St Feuillien (La Roeulx, Belgium)

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  • My Rating: C-

Cuvée de Noël 2012 – St Feuillien, 9% ABV – 75cl., (La Roeulx, Belgium)

  • Style: (Christmas) Belgian Strong Ale
  • Taste: Alcoholic metallic fizzy bloated brown sugar malt
  • Where I got it : W.16th Liquor Store
  • How much: $10 (after 10% off) – 75cl., June 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Yes I know it’s the middle of the summer, but does it really matter? A good beer is a good beer for all seasons. Pours pale copper brown with a large lasting creamy head, sticky lacing, a good layer of retention, and surprisingly almost no activity.

Nose: Brown sugar malts with a hint of spices. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: bubbly-tingly/fizzy crisp mouthfeel, incoming malts + alcohol

Mid-palate: (metallic copper taste-bottle contamination?), continued fizzy, (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) toffee malts, brown sugar, alcohol, molasses, cola, dark fruit

Finish: bloated, alcohol, metallic malty bitter finish.

Summary: Perhaps I got a bad bottle but this had an off-putting metallic taste to it. Coupled with it’s over booziness and excessive fizzy texture, I can’t recommend it.

The Little Beaver Zweigelt Icewine 2008 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Zweigelt Icewine 2008 – The Little Beaver (Isabella Winery), 13% ABV – 375ml, (Richmond, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“An exceptional Icewine with elegant plum aromatics and cinnamon notes. The flavours of dried fruits and the acidity of strawberry create a perfect balance and long, finish. Try it with brie or dark chocolate.”

  • Style: (Zweigelt) Icewine
  • Taste: Grape-berry fruity alcoholic dense sweet cloying
  • Where I got it : @Winery in Richmond
  • How much: $82 (WAY overpriced) – 375ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: not worth the price

Visual: It has the dated label of ‘The Little Beaver’ winery, now known as Isabella Winery. Cork half disintegrated upon opening. Pours golden peach-orange with micro sediment, likely from the cork.

Nose: sweet red grape, green muscat, raspberry-apple, mild alcohol nasal tingly. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: thinnish viscosity, incoming tangy

Mid-palate: dense (lvl-8)-sweetness mixed with alcohol, (MAIN) red grape, alcohol bitterness.

Finish: sour cherry-raspberry fruity, raisin, residual cloying sugars, alcohol hit

Summary: For the price, my palate was expecting something more extravagant and exclusive. A decent and very drinkable icewine but way overpriced considering Volcanic Hills has one out there for half the price.

Black Swan Imperial Stout – Buckerfield’s Brewery (Victoria, BC, Canada)

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My Rating: C-

Black Swan (Oak Aged) Imperial Stout – Buckerfield’s Brewery, 8.5% ABV – 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada)

  • Style: (Oak) Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Sweet caramel malt plastic licorice
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • 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: no

Visual: Pours ultra dark brown with almost no head and many streams near the surface.

Nose: thick sweet caramel malts, roasted, molasses, brown sugar, soy sauce (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: thick viscosity, very tingly, half-crisp

Mid-palate: (lvl-6) sweetness, (MAIN) thick caramel malts, molasses, licorice, strange plastic/rubber, mild oak, soy sauce

Finish: malty sweet, soft hopped, light bitter malty finish.

Summary: An okay imp stout with decent body but rather disappointing considering it is barrel-aged. It has distasteful persistent rubber/plastic in there that ruins the experience.

Saison Cazeau – Brasserie de Cazeau (Templeuve, Belgium)

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  • My Rating: B

Saison Cazeau – Brasserie de Cazeau, 5% ABV – 75cl., (Templeuve, Belgium)

from ratebeer.com:

“Saison Cazeau is a light white beer, refermented in the bottle, with 5% alcohol content. As well as the Pilsen malt and two hops which give it a really nice bitter flavour, Saison is laced with elderflowers (Sambucus Nigra L.) which make it really refreshing. The elderflower only blooms for three weeks between mid-May and mid-June, which means that production of our Saison is very time-limited.”

  • Style: (Elderflower) Flavoured Saison
  • Taste: Crisp wheat malty citrus elderflower hopped bitter lager-like
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $12 (after 10% off) – 75cl., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours a lovely clear bright golden yellow with a largish super foamy lasting head, thick sticky lacing, a nice thick layer of retention, abundant clusters of fast activity. A beautiful sight.

Nose: Sour citrus wheat malts, barnyard. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp malty, almost salty

Mid-palate: creamy smooth, some fizziness, (lvl-4)-sweetness, light-medium sourness, (MAIN) wheat malts, elderflower, lemon citrus, lager sweetness

Finish: excellent bitter hopped transition, grainy sweet wheat finish.

Summary: Drinks like a very nice creamy textured sweet lager with a bit more hop character. Not at all the like your typical sour saison. Very drinkable.

Lil’ Red Sour Cherry Berlinerweisse – Parallel 49 Brewery (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: Fail

Lil’ Red Sour Cherry Berlinerweisse – Parallel 49 Brewery, 4.4% ABV – 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

On the front-side label:

“A favourite drink of Berliners in the summer, with our own addition of Okanagan sour cherries, this unique ale is bubbly like champagne (minus the sweet aftertaste) and best served in a chilled chalice. Prost to that.”

  • Style: Berliner Weisse
  • Taste: Plastic wheat malt strange “cherry” sour/tart
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 650ml., August 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not even to my enemies

Visual: Pours a beautiful orange-ruby red, barely any head, just a few tight streams.

Nose: Almost plasticky, kind of like persimmon but not, quite odd and non-typical. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: incoming sour/tartness

Mid-palate: very sour, medium tart, (lvl-3)-fruity sweetness, (MAIN) wheat malts, off-putting plastic (which are the cherries)

Finish: mild palate roughness, light fizzy tart fruity finish.

Summary: Almost undrinkable, with an okay attack but awful strange plastic flavour in the mid to finish. Actually halfway through it’s a waste of calories to burn later.

Shamrocker Potato Stout – Granville Island Brewery (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Shamrocker Potato Stout – Granville Island Brewery, 4.8% ABV – 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

On the front-side label:

“Get ready to rock out to this dry Irish stout. With amped up tones of roasted coffee, it’s a medley of Celtic proportions.”

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  • Style: Dry Stout
  • Taste: Roasted malt burnt coffee cocoa
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $7 (after 10% off) – 650ml., March 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Part of the ‘Black Notebook Series‘. Pours ultra dark brown/black with a smallish quickly dissipating head, barely any lacing, lots of micro streams.

Nose: roasted burnt malts (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, incoming roasted malts

Mid-palate: airy, fizzy, (lvl-3)-sweetness, (MAIN) roasted caramel malts, burnt coffee, cocoa

Finish: tingly-fizzy mouthfeel, potato, roasted malted light bitter hopped finish.

Summary: Decent flavours, a little thin bodied in the mid to finish. Just a little too tingly-fizzy for me.

Methode Pilsener – Moa Brewing (Marlborough, New Zealand)

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  • My Rating: B

Methode Pilsener – Moa Brewing, 5% ABV – 750ml, (Marlborough, New Zealand)

On the front-side label:

“Moa Methode is bottle fermented and conditioned to give a natural, more consistent carbonation and flavour. Due to the natural brewing process of Methode Moa, a light, beneficial sediment will remain. This sediment protects the beer from premature aging and leaves full, slightly spicy characters on the palate.”

  • Style: Pilsener
  • Taste: Barley malt fizzy yeasty bread
  • Where I got it : Legacy
  • How much: $10 (after 10% off) – 750ml., August 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Elegantly foil wrapped and corked, very classy. Pours clear golden pale yellow with a nice-sized foamy head, a good layer of retention, sticky lacing, a plethora of activity.

Nose: some sweet barley malt, but otherwise not much (lvl-1)-pungency

Attack: super crisp, incoming barley + bitter hops

Mid-palate: fizzy-airy mouthfeel, (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) barley malts, yeasty, bready, grassy

Finish: subtle soft bitter hops, gentle pronounced bitter hopped finish.

Summary: Good body for a pilsener, nice mouthfeel and balanced flavours.