The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #5 – Krampus Speciale (Sour Ale)

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The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #5

Krampus Speciale – Birrificio del Ducato, 7.0% ABV – 330ml., (Roncole Verdi di Busseto, Italy)

-Apparently this beer is only available in Canada via the BeerAdvent Calendar, lucky us! Now if only I liked it…

  • Style: Sour Ale/Wild Ale
  • Taste: Extremely sour tart vinegar red wine oak cherry pukey
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: only for sour lovers

Visual: Pours reddish brown with a small dissipating head, ringed retention, scattered steady micro streams.

Nose: HUGE sour cherries, puke. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: extreme tartness, incoming sourness

Mid-palate: extreme puckering sourness! (lvl-3)-sweetness, (MAIN) red wine, vinegar, oak, cherry

Finish: light pukey aftertaste,

Summary: Knee-jerkingly, whiplashin’, scrunched-facingly sour; This one is not for those adverse to sour ales. Flavours aren’t bad, it’s just way too sour for me to enjoy properly.

Central City/Parallel 49 2014 Calendar Day #5 – Old Boy Classic Ale

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Central City/Parallel 49 2014 Calendar Day #5

Old Boy Classic Ale – Parallel 49 Brewing, 5.0% ABV – 341ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

on the front-left label:

“A pint of your finest, kind sir! A refined, balanced ale for the discerning beer drinker. Raise your glass.”

  • Style:
  • Taste: Malt cola chocolate very subtle hops
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours beer bottle brown with a smallish dissipating head, ringed retention, hardly visible sporadic streams in the center.

Nose: sweet caramel malts, light roast (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp, cola

Mid-palate: fizzy-tingly, (lvl-2)-sweetness, (MAIN) roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, light cola

Finish: malty-cola finish, barely detectable hops.

Summary: Mostly cola and chocolate malts, hops are super subtle.

Phillips Snowcase 2014 Calendar Day #5 – Amnesiac Double IPA

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Phillips Snowcase 2014 Calendar Day #5

Amnesiac Double IPA – Phillips Brewing, 8.5% ABV – 341ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Darn, another double (pun pun pun), one that I’ve previously tried and reviewed here. Hopefully Day #6 will be something novel.

Vanilla Whiskey Stout – Storm Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Vanilla Whiskey Stout – Storm Brewing, 9% ABV – 1L., (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

  • Style: (vanilla, whiskey) Flavoured Stout
  • Taste: Vanilla cola caramel malt whiskey star anise light bitter hopped
  • How much: $8 – 1L, bring your own bottle (January, 2015)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: pass

Visual: Pours dark cola brown with a smallish dissipating head, a small layer of micro bubble retention, a few fast bubbles hear and there.

Nose: vanilla, caramel malts, cola, whisky undertones. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, incoming dark malts

Mid-palate: light tingly, (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) cola, caramel malts, light roast bitterness, vanilla, star anise

Finish: whiskey-caramel, residual star anise, malty soft bitter hopped finish.

Summary: 9% Alcohol unbelieveably well-hidden. It drinks quite sweet and flat but delivers the whiskey and vanilla nuances as advertised.

Pomgrenade Pilsener – Storm Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Pomgrenade Pilsner – Storm Brewing, 5% ABV – 1L., (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

  • Style: (Pomegranate) Flavoured Lager
  • Taste: Barley malt pomegranate bitter hopped crisp lager
  • How much: $8 – 1L, bring your own bottle (January, 2015)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: pass

Visual: Pours clear light copper brown with a pinkish hue, quickly dissipating head, thin ringed retention, several slow steady streams.

Nose: pomegranate, minor apple, a touch of yeast, fruity sugars. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, incoming pomegranate fruitiness

Mid-palate: light fizzy, (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) pomegranate, barley malt, bready

Finish: mild tartness, light sour, subtle bitter soft hops w/ bite finish.

Summary: Acceptable and drinkable, but no real pronounced flavours or awesomeness. Everything is mild and tempered.

Imperial Flanders Red Ale – Storm Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Imperial Flanders Red Ale – Storm Brewing, 11% ABV – 1L., (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

I’ve had a couple flanders red ales before (Bruery, Duchesse de Bourgogne), but this is my first IMPERIAL rendition of one. Looking forward to the big flavour.

  • Style: Imperial Flanders Red Ale/Flemish Red Ale
  • Taste: extreme sour/acidic oak red wine vinegar prune
  • How much: $16 – 1L, bring your own bottle (January, 2015)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: only if you like the style

Visual: Pours dark cola brown with ultra fine micro bubbles suspended near the surface, but no head, and virtually no activity.

Nose: Sour-acidic oak, tartness, almost sarsaparilla (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: incoming HUGE tart/sourness

Mid-palate: extreme sourness, very light fizzy, (MAIN) heavy oak, red wine vinegar, prune

Finish: puckery sour, mild throat warmth, woody exhale.

Summary: A very unique style of beer, and done good; ABV is well-hidden and the palate has a lot on its plate. Sour, oaky, tart, wine, acidic, and more sour.

Kiwiberry IPA – Storm Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Kiwiberry IPA – Storm Brewing, 7% ABV – 1L., (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Deja Vu? 2nd post in the same day, this time another flavoured IPA. I actually took the very last fill from the keg, lucky me.

  • Style: (Kiwiberry) Flavoured IPA
  • Taste: Fruity kiwiberry almost sour light malt sharp bitter hopped
  • How much: $8 – 1L, bring your own bottle (January, 2015)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours translucent copper brown with pretty much no head nor activity, lacing, nothing. Growler fill, 3rd day.

Nose: Pressed kiwi juice, superfruity. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming sweet fruity

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-sweetness, subdued sourness, (MAIN) kiwiberry pulpy fruit, malt

Finish: tangy, sharp biting bitter hops, kiwiberry exhale, bitter hopped finish.

Summary: A very fruity profile with a decent hopped bitter bite. The impact is like a cooler in how fruity it is. Easy to drink and well-executed.

Strawberry-Ginger IPA – Storm Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Strawberry-Ginger IPA – Storm Brewing, 7% ABV – 1L., (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

My first visit of 2015 and already so many new brews. This is just one of many of their new offerings.

  • Style: (strawberry, ginger) Flavoured IPA
  • Taste: Fiery ginger root berry-tangerine malt hopped bitter warm throat
  • How much: $8 – 1L, bring your own bottle (January, 2015)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: unique

Visual: Pours cloudy pale orange, no activity, no lacing, nothing. But it could be because this is the 3rd day of opening/closing it.

Nose: strong ginger root, some citrus malt in the background. Delightful. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: incoming fruity malts, impending ginger

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-sweetness, smooth viscosity, (MAIN) subtle strawberry-berry, ginger root, tangerine, malt

Finish: ginger bite/medium burn, bitter hoppy, medium warm-throat bitter finish.

Summary: A unique brew, hardly your typical beer. Ginger flavour is well-integrated with the bitter hopped IPA DNA.

Spiced Rum Round 1 – Captain Morgan Original Spiced VS Sailor Jerry Spiced Navy

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The first bottle-vs-bottle this year, let’s get more in that we did last year! Here’s one that I’ve been curious about, spiced rums. Because every distillery has their own secret blend of spices, I’d like to find out which brand I prefer in addition to evaluating their base product.

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1) Original Spiced Rum – Captain Morgain (Diagio),35% ABV – 750ml, (Global), $29 CAD @ BCLiquor Stores

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  • lower ABV at 35%
  • blend of Caribbean and Canadian rum
  • lighter in colour, aged in oak barrels for up to 1 year. Caribbean spices used (wiki)

2) Spiced Navy Rum – Sailor Jerry Ltd., 46% ABV – 750ml, (Edison, New Jersey, USA), $31 CAD @ BCLiquor Stores

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  • company founded by Ed Hardy and Mike Malone, protégés of tattoo artist Norman Keith Collins, whom is also known as Sailor Jerry
  • Caribbean rum with spice, caramel, and other natural flavours

Criteria

Nose:

  • Captain Morgan (CM) consists primarily of vanilla and augmented by caramel’d cola/root beer notes. Low-med alcohol detection.
  • Sailor Jerry (SJ) has a much meatier molasses-caramel character but much more aggressive nasal burn alcohol detection, no doubt due to its higher ABV.
  • CM = mellow vanilla BM = nasal burn thick caramel. CM for ease of mixing due to less alcohol detection.

Taste & Texture:

  • CM is very thin on the palate, just slightly thicker than water and with a bit of oil. The Captain brings forth a lot of vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and light caramel backbone. Alcoholic heat is on the high end and goes down to the throat, leaving the top and sides of the tongue medium numb.
  • The Sailor is definitely thicker. Almost immediate tongue numbness after the initial few seconds, caramel, nutmeg, sharp alcoholic heat, intense throat numbness, vanilla-caramel exhale.
  • CM = light-bodied vanilla smooth, SJ = alcoholic heat/throat burn, big caramel+vanilla

In a Rum & Coke

  • Captain & Coke is very smooth with mildly enhanced sweetness, cane sugar, lime juice profile.
  • Jerry & Coke is not quite a smooth but with more malty caramel, lime peel bitterness, and light alcohol hit in the finish.

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Final Notes:

  • Captain Morgan for a smoother, sweeter, stealthier cocktail.
  • Sailor Jerry for a richer, caramel, alcoholic beverage.
  • Neither as sippers. CM too light. SJ too rough.

WINNER = Captain Morgan (based on Rum & Coke mixability)

The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #4 – Hop Blanc White IPA

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The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #4

Hop Blanc White IPA – Peak Organic Brewing Co.,6.4% ABV – 12 fl.oz., (Portland, ME, USA)

from their website:

“Hop Blanc is a heavenly White IPA. Local wheat and Belgian yeast give this beer a soft mouthfeel, while Centennial, Simcoe and Citra hops provide a bright rush of tropical and citrus flavors up front. This beer is the cheery, angelic cousin of the more sinister Hop Noir.”

  • Style: (coriander) Spiced White IPA
  • Taste: Smooth fizzy peach-wheat coriander soft-hopped
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes way

Visual: Pours almost clear golden yellow with a smallish head, a thin layer of retention, lots of fast steady streams.

Nose: clean fruity peach with light sourness. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: ultra-crisp, cream-fizzy

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) peach, wheat malts, yeasty

Finish: coriander, soft subtle bitter hops, lingering light hopped bitter

Summary: Really not that hoppy for an IPA. Fabulous fruity peach-wheat profile, easy to enjoy and organic to boot. Simple yet solid.