The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #9 – Cucapá Honey (Mexico)


The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #9

Cucapá (Cucapa) Honey – Cervecería Cucapá, 4.5% ABV – 355ml., (Mexicali, Mexico)


“Cucapa Honey is an Ale type beer made with a honey infusion that combines the bitterness of hops with the sweet taste of honey. Throughout its brewing process we use select ingredients and apply international standards that guarantee the highest quality beer production.”

  • Style: (honey) Flavoured Amber Ale
  • Taste: straightforward honey toffee malt amber ale
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nothing special

Visual: Pours frosty clear orange-copper without much head, a thin layer of fine retention, several spread out slow steady streams.

Nose: touches of honey, mostly caramel malt (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: very crisp, tingly mouthfeel,

Mid-palate: immediate honeyed thickness, dry subtle soft-bitter hops throughout, toffee malts

Finish: lingering honey malt finish.

Summary: pretty basic but it is as advertised – Honey + Amber Ale.

Pentâge Icewine – Pentage Winery (Penticton, BC, Canada)


  • My Rating: B+

Pentâge, Blended Icewine 2010 – Pentâge Winery, 8% ABV – 200ml, (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • it takes roughly 3kg of grapes to make one 375ml bottle of icewine, depending on the grape. (google search)

from their website:

“…Bright gold in color, with intense aromas of candied apricot and honey on the nose. The palate delivers a luscious melody of candied fruits with a smidgen of honey and fig. Barrel fermented giving this wine a rich creamy mouth feel.  Perfectly balanced with vibrant acidity, this wine gets better with every sip as it lingers endlessly on your palate.”

  • Style: (Viognier, Semillon, Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay) Icewine
  • Taste: Clean dense-sugared apricot sour green apple
  • Where I got it : Liberty Wines, Granville Island
  • How much: $33 (after $1 off), only $23 online! – 200ml., May 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: what for?

Visual: Thin skinny 200ml bottle, real cork w/ waxed top, simple and classy label. Pours deep striking golden yellow.

Nose: pineapple, passion fruit, hints of lychee. Very fruit forward. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming syrupy dense sugars, (lvl-8)-sweetness

Mid-palate: clean transition from sugars, light alcohol detection, (MAIN) white raisin, apricot, sour green apple

Finish: very light throat warmth, white grape fruity exhale.

Summary: Lots of brightness in this one, very approachable. The sugars become slightly cloying in the midpalate as it warms. A very nice offering and certainly levels above the Isabella icewines I’ve been having.

Pinot Noir Special Reserve Icewine – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)


  • My Rating: D+

Pinot Noir Special Reserve 2004 – Isabella Winery, 12% ABV – 375ml, (Richmond, BC, Canada)

(it’s over 10 years old, but is it any good…?)

on the back label:

“Exceptionally exquisite this red icewine, with amber hues, delivers intense flavours of strawberries, dried apricots and honey. Rich in texture, it is best served chilled, on its own or with vanilla ice cream.”


  • Style: (Pinor Noir) Icewine
  • Taste: unelegant sugary strawberry/grape alcoholic
  • Where I got it : @Winery in Richmond
  • How much: $60 – 375ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: what for?

Visual: Cork broke in half upon opening, solidified sugars at the mouth of the bottle. Pours reddish-orange-purple.

Nose: sweet red grape juice, faint alcohol detection,  (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: very dense sugars, tangy, medium sour-acidity

Mid-palate: (lvl-9)-sweetness, bitter alcohol, lingering acidity, (MAIN) strawberry, concentrated red grape juice

Finish: cloying sugars, mild heat, sickly sweet finish.

Summary: Like the majority of their previous offerings, this one isn’t at all good either. No sensational textures or flavours, just sugary strawberry-grape with a whole lot of roughness throughout. Avoid. If this is their special reserve how bad is their regular batch?

BenRiach Single Malt 20YO (Scotland)


Curiositas 20 Years Old Single Malt – The BenRiach, 43% ABV -70cl, (Morayshire, Scotland)

  • My Rating: B-

On the back label:

“BenRiach, located in the Heartland of Malt Whisky, displays all the traditional charm of a Speyside distillery. Established in 1898 and built by John Duff, it is one of the few distilleries with its own on-site floor maltings.

The distillery draws its water from the Burnside Springs and uses a lightly peated malted barley varietal as the cereal source of this distinctive and intriguing Speyside malt.

This smooth single malt has an elegant full taste and aroma that captures fruity, floral, spicy notes, with fascinating overtones of honey, vanilla, apples, chocolate and nuts.”


This particular whisky has won:

  • Gold Medal 2005 – International Spirits Challenge
  • Silver Medal 2006 – International Wine & Spirit Competition
  • Silver Medal 2007 – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • Gold Medal 2011 – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • Style: Classic Speyside
  • Taste Profile: caramel -> vanilla/honey/chocolate -> oak/llight peat/more caramel
  • Where I got it: somewhere in Edmonton
  • How much: ~$80, sometime in 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would non-scotch drinkers like this: no

Tasting notes: Pours light orange, kind of lacking in colour for a whisky that has been casked for 20 years. Vanilla and caramel, just a touch of peat on the nose. Slighty thicker than water viscosity, a bit salty at the start, lots of apple-caramel sweetness, vanilla, nutmeg, honeycomb, chocolate, finishing with oak and a small amount of peat. Medium-high tongue numbness and roof and back mouth numbness, soft throat burn, good sippability. Agreeable flavours, though I think I prefer the Macallan 18YO over this one.

Elderflower Ale – Storm Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)


Elderflower Ale – Storm Brewing, 5% ABV – 1L., (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

-Another brainstorm. I’m a big fan of elderflower anything; I think what got me hooked was St. Germain Elderflower liqueur. Ever since I had it mixed with sparkling wine I became hooked.

  • Style: (elderflower) Flavoured Ale
  • Taste: Med-sour tangy dried elderflower woody malt
  • How much: $8 – 1L, bring your own bottle (March, 2015)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not mindblowing

Visual: (growler fill) Pours light copper brown with a small dissipating head, a thin layer of micro retention, some lacing, lots of slow steady streams.

Nose: dried elderflower buds, brown sugar malts. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: crisp, fizzy-bite

Mid-palate: light sour, (lvl-3)-sweetness, (MAIN) dry citrusy, woody malt, elderflower -> medium tangy

Finish: dried elderflowers, woody malt exhale, gentle-soft lingering bitter hops, finishes dry.

Summary: It doesn’t really have the freshness of picked elderflowers, but still there is definitely a flower component that works well with the malt character of their base Scottish Ale. Crisp, floral and above all, very drinkable.

Bloody Mary Pilsner – Storm Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)


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

-?!!! Bloody mary in a beer?! Lol what, this sounds very interesting… I’m a fan of Bloody mary’s and Caesar FYI. Brewed with tomato juice, limes and Thai chilies.

  • Style: (tomato, lime, thai chilies) Flavoured Lager
  • Taste: Tomato undertone lime crisp barley malt gentle spicy
  • How much: $8 – 1L, bring your own bottle (March, 2015)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: it’s not bad at all

Visual: (growler fill) Pours translucent orange with a reddish hue, thin ringed micro retention, non-sticky, a few steady streams in the center.

Nose: tomato juice, squeezed lime (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: veggie undertones, incoming lime oil

Mid-palate: very crisp bite, (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) lime juice, sweet barley malt,

Finish: tomato aftertaste, gentle lingering spicy kick, subtle bitter hops.

Summary: Surprisingly done well and very drinkable. A good balance of sweet-spicy-aromatic without any unpleasant flavours. Probably not for all but I love tomato juice so I welcomed this.

Mojito Pilsner – Storm Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)


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

-Another one of their crazy one-off brainstorms! Who doesn’t like mojitos? Add it to beer and you’re sure to get something special. Here goes…

  • Style: (mint, lime) Flavoured Lager
  • Taste: Lime sweet malt cinnamon subtle mint soft bitter hops
  • How much: $8 – 1L, bring your own bottle (March, 2015)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: (growler fill) Pours light hazy pale orange with a small head, thin lacing, very thin ringed micro retention, not that many but steady micro streams.

Nose: fragrant lime oil, smells like fresh squeezed. Mojito indeed. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: a burst of lime oil, very crisp

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) lime, cinnamon, caramel malt, hopped bitterness,

Finish: soft mint, lingering soft bitter hops, gentle sweet malt finish.

Summary: Because of this beer I just had a revelation that lime peel and barley malt together brings out the “cinnamon” flavour to palate; It’s both interesting and intriguing. A very drinkable and easy-going beer, though not particularly full-bodied.