Lil’ Redemption Cherry Sour – Parallel 49 Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Lil’ Redemption Cherry Sour – Parallel 49 Brewing, 6.7% ABV, 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local craft beer*)

printed on front-left:

“Lil’ Red wandered off the paths she should have taken resulting in her being eaten by a wolf. This sour red ale was finished with tart cherries after being aged in cab-sav French oak barrels for the better part of 2 years. A much more solid step in the right direction.”

Ingredients: pale munich, crystal, and roasted wheat malts, oats, hersbrucker hops, saccharomyces, pediococcus, brettanomyces, sour cherries, and water.

  • Style: (Cherry) Sour/Wild Ale
  • Taste: Sour tart acidic red wine vinegar big oakiness.
  • How much: $12 – 650ml., June 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, good depth of flavour

Visual: Pours murky brown with a fine foamy head, a thin 1mm layer of retention, super-fast micro streams all around.

Nose: wine-stained wet oak, light funk, sour undertones. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: incoming heavy sour-tangy tart, crisp-sour

Mid-palate: continuous sour acidity, (lvl-7)-sweetness, heavy body, (MAIN) cherry syrup, red wine vinegar, pukey sour, red wine alcohol,

Finish: cherry pie filling, cinnamon, fruity-oaked exhale.

Summary: Great depth accompanied by good drinkability. Certainly better than their previous sour cherry iterations. (Lil’ Red Sour Cherry Berlinerweisse, my review: Fail)

Entangled Hopfenweisse – Driftwood Brewery (Victoria, BC, Canada)

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Entangled Hopfenweisse – Driftwood Brewery, 7% ABV, 650ml, (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*BC craft beer*)

printed on front-left:

“When the fateful interplay of hefeweizen yeast and North American hops bear fruit, this is their love child. Banana, guava, passion fruit and citrus; where do the esters stop and the hops start? Impossible to say, cheers!”

  • Style: Hopfenweisse
  • Taste: Hoppy bitter toffee malty citrus banana tropical
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn @Hastings/Burnaby
  • How much: $8 (after 10% off) – 650ml., January 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, worth a try

Visual: Stunningly colourful artwork on the label. Pours pale orange-brown with a smallish ultra foamy head, a thin 1mm layer of retention, sticky lacing, lots of scattered streams.

Nose: bright hoppy citrus, toffee malts. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp-bubbly foamy

Mid-palate: herbacious hops, (lvl-6)-sweetness, (MAIN) toffee malts, orange citrus, banana

Finish: guava, light sour, dry-bitter hops, lingering malt, burpy.

Summary: Drinks more like an IIPA – heavy and hop forward. The initial 50% of the bottle goes down crisp and smooth, whilst the remainder ends up being hop-heavy on the palate. Still, overall pretty good.

Apricotopus Apricot Sour Saison – Parallel 49 Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Apricotopus Apricot Sour Saison – Parallel 49 Brewing, 6.3% ABV, 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local craft beer*)

printed on front-left:

“A little known fact about the octopus is that they love apricots and beer. This sour saison made with apricots and blended with lactobacillus to finish. It’s going to make you wish you had more arms.”

Ingredients: pilsner and wheat malts, willamette hops, apricot, lactobacillus, saccharomyces and water.

  • Style: (apricot) Flavoured Saison
  • Taste: 60/40-acidic sour/fruity apricot banana wheat malt
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5.30 – 650ml., June 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: doesn’t scream apricot

Visual: Pours incandescent orange with barely any head, micro hazy retention, lots of steady streams all around.

Nose: big sour funk, citrus pressed stonefruit juice, banana wheat. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp-juicy, light fizzy, medium sour bite

Mid-palate: acidic, light-med tart, fruity tones, (lvl-5)-sweetness, high tangy, (MAIN) pukey, apricot, sustained acidic sour tangy

Finish: banana wheat malty finish.

Summary: The apricot is there but you mostly get a generic stonefruit taste accompanied by the wheat malt. Nicely drinkable and balanced but a one-timer.

Red Racer Gingerhead Gingerbread Stout – Central City Brewing (Surrey, BC, Canada)

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Red Racer Gingerhead Gingerbread Stout – Central City Brewing, 6% ABV, 650ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada) (*local craft beer*)

-$1 from each bottle goes to the BC Food Banks (up to $20k), I love tasting beer for a cause!

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  • Style: (gingerbread) Flavoured Stout
  • Taste: Thick heavy sweet malty caramel orange citrus bitter hopped alcoholic
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6 – 650ml., December 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: good for a try

Visual: Pours turned off TV screen black, small 2mm dissipating head, a super thin layer of of hazy retention, a some tiny bubbles surfacing the perimeter of the glass.

Nose: sweet cola malts, vanilla, light roast. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming sweet dark malts, malty fullness, light CO2

Mid-palate: (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) ginger, gingerbread spices (cinnamon, clove), roasted malt, big vanilla,

Finish: mild alcohol detection, ginger dryness, nutmeg, malty-chocolate sweet finish.

Summary: Lots of clean spices come through on this one but is lacking a bit on the texture – it feels kind of flat going down, needs more bite.

Capel Mango – Piscol Capel (Chile)

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  • My Rating: [C]

Capel Mango – Pisco Capel, 15% ABV – 700ml., (Chile)

from their site http://www.piscocapel.cl:

“This cocktail combines a delicate mango aroma with a tropical mango flavor. Its color is opaque yellow and orange with medium turbidity. The nose is intensely tropical with a clear mango character. On the palate, it has a pleasant balance of sweet tropical fruit and the citric acid taste of lemons, plus the elegance and softness of Pisco alcohol.”

  • Style: Ready-to-drink Cocktail
  • Taste: Fruity berry alcohol bitter sweet drinkable smooth
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores (?), no longer sold 8/2015
  • How much: ~$13 – 700ml, sometime in 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this at drinking parties: mostly artificial tasting, can’t love it.

Visual: Lasting whipped creamy foamy head when shaken with ice, pours opaque light orange.

Nose: sugary mango juice, light tang. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: dense cloying sugars, mint herbacious

Mid-palate: sugar-forward, (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) mango juice-syrup, alcohol bitterness

Finish: subtle spearmint extract exhale, light lime tartness, sweet fruity candy mango finish.

Summary: Nice head when shaken, simple straightforward mango taste with a minty backdrop and a mild tangy skeleton. Overall partially artificial-tasting, but drinkable. Wouldn’t want seconds.

Vodka-Cranberry Elderflower – Sage Mixology (Ontario, Canada)

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  • My Rating: [C+]

Vodka-Cranberry Elderflower – Sage Mixology, 15% ABV, 345ml. Vodka + 405ml Juice, (Ontario, Canada)

Ingredients: filtered water, Vodka, sugar, cranberry concentrate, pressed blackcurrant juice, blueberry concentrate, elderflower juice (from concentrate), citric acid, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate. Contains sulphites. Gluten free (non-grain based vodka?)

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  • Style: Ready-to-drink Cocktail
  • Taste: Fruity berry alcohol bitter sweet drinkable smooth
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $16 – 345ml. + 405ml, July 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this at drinking parties: not bad as a party starter

Visual: Attractive and unique 2-in-1 bottle-in-a-bottle; Vodka in the outer, cran-elderflower in the center. Pours pale ruby pink, clear as water.

Nose: fruity perfume-like scent, sugary elderflower syrup. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: fruity sweet, incoming syrupy-sweetened alcohol

Mid-palate: alcohol bitterness, (lvl-6)-concentrated sugar sweetness, (MAIN) plastic, cranberry tartness, blackcurrant-berry

Finish: tart-light cloying, fruity sweet finish.

Summary: Goes down okay and you know that there’s real fruit juice in there even though it’s from concentrate. Punchy bold fruit flavours but still only a sub-par substitute to mixing cranberry-blueberry juice and vodka yourself; this seems overly diluted. Convenience factor for sure.

Koshihikari Echigo Beer – Echigo Beer Co. (Niigata, Japan)

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Koshihikari Echigo Beer – Echigo Beer Company, 5% ABV, 500ml, (Niigata, Japan)

from ratebeer.com:

“(Translated from the Japanese on the can) We’ve used the delicious water and Koshihikari rice that Niigata’s nature has provided and made this in a German-style decoction mash. This is a dry beer with a crisp palate and finish. ”

  • Style: (rice) Flavoured Lager
  • Taste: Crisp bite barley malt liquor sweet but smooth
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5.50 – 500ml., May 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not for flavour

Visual: Pours golden orange with a sizeable foamy head, a 1mm layer of ultra fine retention, lots of spread out steady streams.

Nose: bright and sweet barley malts, trace  (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: super crisp bite

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-gentle sweetness, (MAIN) cereal grain, faint barley malt

Finish: liquid malt adjunct sweet finish.

Summary: I’m guessing the sweetness comes from the rice. 100% a meal beer; not a whole lot of flavour but does a good job of cleansing the palate.