Alcoholic Cloudy Lemonade – Hooper’s (London, Brighton, UK)

image

  • My Rating: [B-]

Alcoholic Cloudy Lemonade – Hooper’s, 4.0% ABV, 500ml., (London, Brighton, UK)

Ingredients: water, alcohol, sugar, lemon juice (5%), natural lemon flavour, citric acid, ascorbic acid, colour (E160A)”

  • Style: (Lemonade) Fruit Cooler
  • Taste: Undetectable alcoholic fizzy lemon squash
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $4 – 500ml., August 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this at drinking parties: yeah pretty good flavour

Visual: Pours cloudy pale white-yellow with lots of bubbles in the glass and lots of soda-like activity.

Nose: clean lemonade soda. Enticing. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: soda fizziness

Mid-palate: medium sour-puckery, (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) lemonade

Finish: burpy, lemon peel + oils, mild alcohol bitterness detection, tart lemon finish.

Summary: Decent medium bodied lemon flavour; it drinks like a Fentiman’s Victorian Lemonade or a San Pellegrino Limonata. You can barely taste any alcohol in this one.

Spiced Rum Round 2 – Captain Morgan (Champ) VS Devil’s Triangle (Challenger)

image

Welcome to Round 2! Tonight we have the previous champ Captain Morgan which I liked because of its mixability, up against Devil’s triangle which brings a whole different set of spices to the Rum arena. This time it’s an equal battle of 35%’ers. Check out Round 1 here.

wpid-img_20150628_002737.jpg


1) Original Spiced Rum – Captain Morgan (Diageo),35% ABV – 750ml, (Global), $29 CAD @ BC Liquor Stores

wpid-img_20150628_002842.jpg

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

wpid-img_20150628_003003.jpg

2) Devil’s Triangle Spiced Rum – Independent Liquor (NZ), 35% ABV – 750ml, (Product of Fiji), ~$23 CAD @ liquor stores in Edmonton, AB

  • …a fiery blend of vanilla, butterscotch, cinnamon and secret spices unlike any other. (on the back label)
  • No product information; A Google search of “Independent Liquor Ltd.” points to their website but the rum is absent from their portfolio

Criteria

Nose:

  • Captain Morgan (CM) has a very clean vanilla extract nosing intermixed with bearable but apparent alcohol detection.
  • Devil’s Triangle (DT) comes out swinging with huge butterscotch but somewhat plasticky, in an off-putting way. Barely any nasal burn in there though, good job.
  • CM = vanilla+caramel, DT = plastic butterscotch. CM because DT’s plastic is giving me a headache.

Taste & Texture:

  • CM starts of watery thin, just like from what I tasted in Round 1. Flavour delivery comes in the midpalate with vanilla, cola caramel, nutmeg. It finishes with a medium top-of-mouth to the back of throat numbness. Too thin-bodied to be a sipper.
  • Devil’s Triangle, BAM! Instant sugar cane (6/10)-sweetness, even thinner mouthfeel, quick transition to the mids with a spicy heat tingliness, butterscotch backbone, caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, tongue numbness, wet woodiness. It ends with a butterscotch exhale, light heat caramel finish.
  • CM = thin-bodied vanilla+cola, BM = bursting sweet spicy butterscotch

In a Rum & Coke

wpid-img_20150628_022231.jpg

  • Captain & Coke, super smooth, lots of caramel, lime peel bitterness, lime oils = clean and light.
  • Devil’s Triangle & Coke is immediate butterscotch, plasticky, caramel cola, cloying = has more flavour, but possibly offensive.

Final Notes:

  • Captain Morgan is smooth as usual, though safe and not groundbreaking.
  • Devil’s Triangle, decent as a sipper, too overpowering as a mixer.

WINNER = Captain Morgan, since I primarily buy inexpensive spiced rums as mixers, not sippers. DT isn’t good enough to be a standalone sipper IMO.

VCBW 2015 Campfire Kolsch – Red Truck Beer Co. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

image

VCBW 2015 Campfire Kolsch – Red Truck Brewing, 5.5% ABV, 650ml, 20 IBU, (Chilliwack, BC, Canada) (*local craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

“In honour of this year’s lumberjack theme and official charity (Vancouver Firefighters’ Charitable Society) we’ve brewed a sessionable Kolsch style ale using an extremely subtle amount of cherry wood smoke malt and hops that give tropical fruit notes. In the end you can expect this beer to be reminiscent of a lightly BBQed pineapple.”

wpid-img_20150625_234202.jpgwpid-img_20150625_234210.jpg


  • Style: (cherry wood smoked) Kölsch
  • Taste: Burnt astringent sweet lager malt
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6 – 650ml., June 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nope

Visual: Pours clear golden yellow with a very small head, thin micro layer of retention, several steady streams.

Nose: sweet liquid malt, hints of apple juice, traces of toasted marshmallow. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: subdued hops, incoming fruit

Mid-palate: burnt astringency, (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) lagered sweet barley malt, red apple

Finish: lingering soft hopped bitterness mixed with burnt bitterness.

Summary: Decent backbone but the burnt smokiness ruined it for me. Lightly BBQed pineapple? not even close.

Sasquatch Stout – Old Yale Brewing (Chilliwack, BC, Canada)

image

Sasquatch Stout – Old Yale Brewing, 5% ABV, 650ml, (Chilliwack, BC, Canada) (

*Voted Canada’s Best Beer at the 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards; stacked up against 916 beers in 38 categories!


on the front-left label:

“Voted ‘Best Beer in Canada’ for 2014, the Sasquatch Stout is smooth with notes of mocha, coffee and roasted barley. Match our Sasquatch with a steak, oysters or even chocolate cake!”

wpid-img_20150625_011731.jpgwpid-img_20150625_011720.jpg


  • Style: Stout
  • Taste: Deep roasted barley chocolate coffee malt thin mouthfeel
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6 – 650ml., January 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: it’s decent, but there are better stouts out there

Visual: Pours jet black with a small superfine head, ringed retention + a thin layer of micro, activity on the surface but non-visible streams.

Nose: roasted coffee malts. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: thin mouthfeel, crisp bite

Mid-palate: light sourness (as it warms), (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) roasted barley, chocolate malt, coffee,

Finish: dry deep roast, malty sweet finish.

Summary: Lots of roast and chocolate malt throughout, quite smooth as advertised. Somewhat thin in the mouthfeel department.

Bruichladdich 1991 Port Cask Finish Aged 16 Years (Islay, Scotland)

image

Bruichladdich 1991 Port Cask Finish Aged 16 Years, 46% ABV -700ml, (Islay, Scotland)

  • My Rating: C+

On the back label:

“Pronounced ‘brook-laddie'(meaning shore bank) this is Islay’s only privately owned distillery (now owned by Rémy Cointreau), and one of only a heroic handful in Scotland, run with passion by genuine whisky artisans with many generations of expertise.”

wpid-img_20150624_001927.jpgwpid-img_20150624_002006.jpg


Some things I learned about the Bruichladdich distillery:

  • established in 1881, now with Jim McEwan as the Master Distiller
  • their lineup includes unpeated, lightly peated, heavily peated = 40 ppm (designated as Port Charlotte), and super-duper heavily peated = 140+ ppm (aka Octomore)
  • known for their innovative and creative release including experimenting with different casks, peat levels, and special event releases.
  • Visit the distillery for exclusive “Valinch” bottlings, where you bottle them yourself straight from the cask!

  • Style: (Lightly Peated) Islay
  • Taste Profile: Dry dark fruit caramel vanilla oak
  • Where I got it: Grapes & Grains Liquor Depot (W.Edmonton)
  • How much: $87 (after 5% off), March 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would non-scotch drinkers like this: doubtful

Tasting notes: Pours untanned leather light brown, clear with very micro sediment in the bottom of the bottle. Quality cork stopper that didn’t disintegrate after the 8 years of initial bottling. The nosing brings forth aromas of nutty caramel, vanilla, and nasal tingling alcohol detection. Some initial alcohol warmth, followed by red wine/cherry, caramel malt sweetness, honey, vanilla, oak, transitioning to the finish which includes tongue and throat numbness, cinnamon, treacle, finish. Overall decent, somewhat dry which didn’t particularly tickle my fancy.

Alcoholic Strawberry & Elderflower – Hooper’s (London, Brighton, UK)

image

  • My Rating: [C-]

Alcoholic Strawberry & Elderflower – Hooper’s, 4.0% ABV, 500ml., (London, Brighton, UK)

on the back label:

“A sparkling alcoholic strawberry & elderflower flavoured juice drink.

Ingredients: water, alcohol, sugar, lime juice (3.3%), strawberry juice (1.7%), natural flavours, citric acid, natural colouring from carrot.”

wpid-img_20150623_010355.jpg

  • Style: (strawberry, elderflower) Fruit Cooler
  • Taste: Candied strawberry artificial sweetener roughness
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $4.30 – 500ml., June 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this at drinking parties: sure if your friends haven’t tried it before

Visual: Pours bright ruby pink with lots of fizz, no head, lots of big bubble activity.

Nose: super candied strawberry, almost perfume/soap-like. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: soda-like fizzy bite, incoming dense sugars

Mid-palate: (lvl-8)-sweetness, light tangy, (MAIN) artificial strawberry candy, artificial sweetener palate roughness, mild elderflower

Finish: mild cloying, lingering candy aroma, burpy finish.

Summary: Mostly strawberry candy with some elderflower but it quickly gets covered up by some palate roughness. Just average overall, taste is not bad, texture is iffy. Beware the heartburn.

Lost Meridian Wit – Base Camp Brewing (Portland, OR, USA)

image

Lost Meridian Wit – Base Camp Brewing, 5.0% ABV, 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., (Portland, OR, USA)

on the back label:

“To triumph over mountain, wave, wind, or boulder, you need a good Base Camp. Your Base Camp helps you rally your adventurous spirit to conquer the next challenge. If that adventure causes you to ‘temporarily mislocated,’ experts agree: stay put! Then kick back with the Lost Meridian Wit. Our twist on a wheaty Belgian witbier, it starts with the traditional wit color and silky mouthfeel, but then boldly turns from convention. Meridian hops deliver bright citrus and refreshing mimosa-like character, creating flavors of orange and dry champagne. Equally good either on a sunny day or as a substitute for one. Go get lost!”

wpid-img_20150621_022807.jpg

  • Style: Witbier
  • Taste: Peach wheat malt yeasty wit
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn (Hastings St.)
  • How much: $7 (after 10% off) – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., February 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not super impressive

Visual: Pours pale amber with a HUGE creamy head, decent layer of 2mm retention, a bit of lacing, clusters upon clusters of fast activity.

Nose: pineapple, yeasty dank wheat malt. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp fizzy bite

Mid-palate: light acidic, light sour, cuts dry, (lvl-3)-sweetness, (MAIN) peach, wheat malt, yeasty,

Finish: light burpy, soft bitter hopped finish.

Summary: Unique for a wit having some peach in the wheat malt + banana/pineapple profile. Very drinkable and enjoyable, went down fast.

Chipotle Ale – Rogue Ales (Newport, OR, USA)

image

Chipotle Ale – Rogue Ales, 5.5% ABV, 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., (Newport, Oregon, USA)

printed on the front-right label:

“Dedicated to Spanish Author Juan de la Cueva, who in 1575, wrote of a Mexican dish that combined seedless chipotles with ale. This ale is deep amber in color with a rich malty aroma and delicately spiced with smoked jalapeño peppers to give it that extra bite!”

wpid-img_20150620_002856.jpg

  • Style: (chipotle) Spiced ale
  • Taste: Simple toffee malt smoky chipotle sweet amber
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn (Hastings St.)
  • How much: $8 (after 10% off) – 1 pt 6 fl.oz., February 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not super impressive

Visual: Pours clear medium brown with barely any head, a thin even layer of retention, no streams just several bubbles here and there.

Nose: dried smoky chipotle pepper mixed with sweet toffee malt (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: sharp dry crispness, bubbly-tingly-creamy mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, light acidity, (MAIN) toffee barley malt, orange citrus

Finish: lasting chipotle smokiness, very subtle spicy kick, soft light bitter hopped finish.

Summary: Not a whole lot of length other than the smoky chipotle, nor much depth. Just okay.

Imperial IPA for Autism – Central City Brewing (Surrey, BC, Canada)

image

Imperial IPA for Autism – Central City Brewing, 9% ABV, 650ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada) (*local craft beer*)

On the back label:

“Autism now affects 1 in 88 children. In BC, rates have increased 78% since 2006 and are growing rapidly. We have teamed up with Simon Fraser University to run groundbreaking Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy trials. $2 from every bottle of this Limited Edition Imperial IPA for Autism goes towards this program.”

  • Style: Imperial IPA
  • Taste: Thick heavy sweet malty caramel orange citrus bitter hopped alcoholic
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $7 – 650ml., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: suitable for those who like it alcoholic

Visual: Pours translucent light copper brown with a small okay-lasting head, half-sticky lacing, a thin layer of micro retention, just a few tiny steady streams.

Nose: super thick malty. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: subdued incoming alcohol bitterness, soft creamy mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (lvl-8)-heavy sweetness, (MAIN) caramel, malts, orange citrus, bitter peel

Finish: stealth resiny hopped bitterness, lingering hops.

Summary: Full-bodied, heavily sweetened, malted and taxing on the palate, this one goes better with some food. Too heavy for me, somewhat out of balance.

Rekorderlig Apple-Blackcurrant Cider (Sweden)

image

  • My Rating: [C+]

Rekorderlig Apple-Blackcurrant flavored Pear Cider – Åbro Bryggeri, 4.5% ABV, 50cl., (Vimmerby, Sweden)

Ingredients: Carbonated water, pear- and apple wines, sugar, flavours, acid: citric, regulators, preservative, etc etc.

  • Style: (apple, blackcurrant) Flavoured Pear Cider
  • Taste Profile: Sweet blackcurrant liquid candy
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $3.20, April 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: for the casual drinker

Visual: apple, blackcurrant, and pear in a can, sounds good right? Pours clear light ruby red with a large dissipating bubbly head, ringed retention, lots of fast spread out streams.

Nose: mostly Ribena blackcurrant juice, some apple juice (5/10)-pungency

Attack: sweet blackcurrant candy

Mid-palate: tangy acidity, alcohol detection, light sour, (lvl-7)-thick sweetness, (MAIN) fruity blackcurrant, blackberry, apple backbone

Finish: blackcurrant exhale, fruity finish.

Summary: Tastes like blackcurrant, the candied version from start to finish. No necessarily bad, but very one note. Zero blackcurrant listed in the ingredients so quite a feat. Check out my reviews of their Elderflower [C+] and Wild Berries Ciders [C]