NightTime Ale – Lagunitas Brewing (Petaluma, CA, USA)

wpid-20140816_025941.jpg

  • My Rating: B+,  I gave it a (3.9 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

NightTime Ale – Lagunitas Brewing Co., 8.2% ABV, 65 IBU – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., (Petaluma, California, USA)

on the front right-side label:

“There are two kinds. There is the DayTime kind, which is bright and welcoming and then there is the NightTime kind, which should never be confused with the DayTime. NightTime is dark and deep and may take you to unexpected places, places that the DayTime cannot. But then, the NightTime is not suited for ordinary life and ordinary tasks. In fact, NightTime may be the answer for that sort of thing, meaning that those sorts of things may never get done. Things take time in the NightTime, things slow down and you can puase (you have to, actually) and investigate carefully to find that level of objective detachment that is only possible under the spell of the NightTime. Seek the Day, but fear not the Night.”

  • Style: Black IPA
  • Taste: Pineapple bitter hopped caramel malt, medium sweet
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.40 – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: ok for one shot

Visual: Pours dark cola brown with a smallish but super long lasting top-foamy/bottom bubbly head, a wall of super sticky lacing, a meteor shower of CO2 activity.

Nose: lively grapefruit citrus hops despite its stout-like appearance (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: incoming hops

Mid-palate: immediate pineapple, ultra bright (lvl-6)-sweetness, fizzy, (MAIN) soft caramel malts, resin, *hint* chocolate

Finish: sweet malts + sharp pine/grapefruit hopped bitterness, a touch of roast.

Summary: A heroic balance of bitter hopped character, bright fruitiness, dark malts and gentle sweetness. Full-bodied and very drinkable, all for a great price.

White Rabbit Hoppy Hefeweizen – Russell Brewing (Surrey, BC, Canada)

wpid-20140815_024927.jpg

  • My Rating: B, 3.6 of 5 on Ratebeer.com

White Rabbit Hoppy Hefeweizen – Russell Brewing, 6% ABV – 650ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada)

printed on the back of the bottle:

“Brighten up your summer season with a White Rabbit! Brewed with Citra hops taht display stone fruit and grape flavours which combine with banana and clove character of the hefe yeast. The result is a big tropical taste with a spicy clove finish. Let our White Rabbit lead you to golden wheat fields where the hops burst with flavour.”

wpid-20140815_024939.jpg

  • Style: Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Peach apricot banana wheat malt clove dry soft hopped
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6 – 650ml, July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: ok for one shot

Visual: Pours cloudy pale orange with a smallish head, a thin layer of retention, some sticky lacing, many clusters of fast micro bubbly activity.

Nose: bursting with huge peach-apricot, white grape (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: micro-bubbly creamy crisp

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-sweetness, light sourness, (MAIN) yeasty, banana, peach, dry wheat malts,

Finish: cloves, fruity exhale, soft compounding bitter hops, airy-bloated finish.

Summary: A fabulous inviting fruity nose, decent body and flavours on its own. With a meal however the body fails to hold up.

Wards Picker’s Hut Premium Cider – The View Winery (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

wpid-20140813_001657.jpg

 Wards Picker’s Hut Premium Cider – The View Winery, 6.0% ABV – 650ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

printed on the back of the bottle:

“Robust and full of Character! Words to  describe this cider and the people who harvest the apples too. Wards’ Picker’s Hut is handcrafted on our historic site in honour of the hardworking men and women who handpick every apple in our premium apple cider. For five generations our family has grown apples in the Okanagan Valley. Nestled in our age old orchard is Picker’s Hut Lane which comes alive during harvest.”

wpid-20140813_001711.jpg

  • Style: (Apple) Cider
  • Taste Profile: Aromatic dense red/green apple asian pear tart sour puckery
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5.25 – 650ml, July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: 50/50

Visual: Pours very light white wine yellow, no head with dissipating big bubbles, lots of active streams, big bubbles hug the side of the glass.

Nose: very aromatic, almost perfume-like red/green candyesque apple, asian pear, hints of lime (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: dense fruitiness, fizzy

Mid-palate: (lvl-3)-sweetness, med tangy, (MAIN) asian pear, most green apple, minor red apple, lime

Finish:medium tart, off-dry, sour green apple acidity, crisp clean fruity apple finish.

Summary: The asian pear element in the taste profile is very unique. Good body, inviting nose, crisp texture make this one worth trying once. On the dry side.

Blueberry Dessert Wine – Silver Sage Winery (Oliver, BC, Canada)

wpid-20140808_000810.jpg

  • My Rating: C-

Blueberry Dessert Wine 2009 – Silver Sage Winery, 20% ABV – 375ml, (Oliver, BC, Canada)

On the back label:

“Intensely rich and fresh with a deep purplish red colour and the unique natural blueberry flavour. This outstanding wine has a distinct perfume, very fine depth and length. A great wine, even majestic-good on its own or is an excellent cheese cake companion.”

wpid-20140808_000821.jpg

  • Style: (Blueberry) Fruit Dessert Wine
  • Taste Profile: Mellow fruity/off-dry alcoholic blueberry-black currant eau-de-vie
  • Where I got it : Port Moody Liquor Store
  • How much: $32 ($25 online) – 375ml, August 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: no, it doesn’t scream ‘blueberry’

Visual: Pours deep maroon, with thicker than water viscosity.

Nose: mellow blueberry aroma, vodka-like alcohol detection (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: incoming berry fruits, light oily viscosity

Mid-palate: (lvl-2)-super mellow sweetness, eau-de-vie alcohol detection, (MAIN) true blueberry flavour but without the tangy+sweetness, black currant

Finish: residual fruitiness, off-dry fruit brandy alcohol sweetness.

Summary: I wouldn’t say this is much of a dessert wine due to the fact it lacks the robust sweetness most dessert wines have. This drinks more like a less-alcoholic yet fruitier Eau-de-vie/fruit brandy, in that it lacks any tangy/tart/acidity that fruit wines almost always contain but retains the essence of the natural fruit in the spirit.

 

La Bretteuse (Syrah barrel-aged) – Le Trou Du Diable (Quebec, Canada)

wpid-20140807_003356.jpg

  • My Rating: A-, 3.9 of 5 on Ratebeer.com

La Bretteuse (Syrah barrel-aged) – Le Trou Du Diable, 7.3% ABV – 750ml., (Quebec, Canada)

part of the back label in French:

“Le Bretteuse est une IPA vieillie 18 mois en barriques de Syrah californien envahies de brettanomyces. Il en résulte une bière trouble aux accents orangés dont le nez évoque l’eau de rose, le pamplemousse, la vanille et le cuir. En bouche, l’acidité et l’amertume s’engagent dans une longue valse nuptiale, véritable mariage des saveurs qui ne demande qu’à être consommé.”

wpid-20140807_003411.jpg

(google translate, being West coast Canadian, my French isn’t up to scratch..)

The IPA is Bretteuse aged 18 months in barrels of Syrah California overrun with Brettanomyces. The result is a cloudy beer with orange accents whose nose evokes rose water, grapefruit, vanilla and leather. On the palate, acidity and bitterness engage in a long bridal waltz, true marriage of flavors just waiting to be consumed.

  • Style: (Syrah) Barrel Aged Sour/Wild Ale
  • Taste: Woody med sour apple sour barnyard grapefruit hopped caramel malts
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $26 (after 5% off) – 750ml, March 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: doubtful
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours deep copper brown with a magnificent ultra-creamy lasting head, superb sticky lacing, a thick layer of retention plus lots and lots of clustered streams. Awesome.

Nose: light barnyard with very woody pressed apple cider. Very clean nose. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp, tingly fizzy

Mid-palate: full-bodied, (lvl-5)-sweetness, light-sour + med tangy, (MAIN) super woody, orange peel, caramel malts, pressed apple juice, vanilla, mild alcohol detection

Finish: yeasty, grapefruit bitter hops and pulp, lingering woody malt hopped finish.

Summary: Excellent complexity, moderately palate-heavy. Great flavours going on; good with a meal. One-and-done solo beer. Le Trou Du Diable is a solid brewery.

Rhubie Rhubarb Wheat Ale – Lighthouse Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

wpid-20140805_021053.jpg

  • My Rating: C+

Rhubie Rhubarb Wheat Ale – Lighthouse Brewing Co., 6.2% ABV – 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada)

on the front left-side label:

“Rhubie Rhubarb Wheat Ale was brewed with Pilsener malt, flaked wheat, hops, Belgian wheat ale yeast and organic Fraser Valley rhubarb.

  • Style: (Rhubarb) Flavoured Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Lemon sweet fizzy wheat malt
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6 (5% off) – 650ml, July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: I dig the basic label, like a Rubix cube or Chiclets gum… Whatever happened to Chiclets? Pours clear light almost-neon yellow, not much head, barely any lacing, thin ringed retention, many many active streams.

Nose: very fruity sweet lemony citrus malts, (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: ultra crisp, light fizzy, incoming sweet malts

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) fruity rhubarb*, lemon citrus, wheat malt, yeasty

Finish: lingering barley sweetness, thinnish body, pleasant sweet malt finish.

Summary: *Truthfully I haven’t rhubarb by itself so I cannot pinpoint it’s flavour. Either way, this beer is a bit above average but nothing to write home about. Decent textures and crisp ability, but not that deep nor memorable.

Obsidian Imperial Porter Rum Barrel – Cameron’s Brewing Co. (Oakville, Ontario, Canada)

wpid-20140803_040809.jpg

  • My Rating: B+

Obsidian Imperial Porter Rum Barrel – Cameron’s Brewing Co, 9.2% ABV – 650ml., (Oakville, Ontario, Canada)

on the front left-side label:

“Dark & intriguing as the midnight sky. Cameron’s Obsidian Imperial Porter is loaded with magnificent and robust flavour. Aged for seven months in Caribbean rum barrels, roasted malt and chocolate character abound in this velvety nectarous ale.”

wpid-20140803_040819.jpg

-Question: “What’s the difference between a stout and a porter?

Here’s a good article: http://www.beerconnoisseur.com/porter-versus-stout

TLDR: “The answer to the question: “What’s the difference between a stout and a porter” is that originally a stout was simply a strong version of porter: today the difference is whatever you want it to be.”

  • Style: (Rum) Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Sweet dark chocolate deep roast malt rum woody bitter hops
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $17 (5% off) – 650ml, March 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours jet black with just a shade of brown at the base of the glass, a good-sized very foamy lasting head, very sticky clumps of lacing, a good layer of retention, lots of fast and slow streams all the way from the base of the glass. Beautiful visually.

Nose: chocolate, thick sweet malts, molasses/brown sugar, a hint of woody roast. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: immediate thick malts, creamy-fizzy, oily-medium thick-silky mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (MAIN) rum caramel sweetness (lvl-7) + alcohol detection, deep dark chocolate, roasted coffee, burnt wood, licorice, molasses

Finish: biting bitter hops mixed with lingering burnt malt exhale

Summary: Superb depth, body, mouthfeel, and balance. A bit heavy on the palate but expected from the 9.2%. One of the better Imp stout/porters I’ve had recently.