La Trappe Quadrupel – Brouwerij de Koningshoeven (Netherlands)

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La Trappe Quadrupel – Brouwerij de Koningshoeven, 10% ABV, 750ml, (Netherlands)

  • Style: Quadruple
  • Taste: Sweet brown sugar cake brandy boozy malt alcoholic
  • Where I got it : 16th Street Liquor Store (W.Van)
  • How much: $10 (after 10% off) – 750ml, September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Reinforced twisty top, synthetic cork, hefty bottle. Pours light blood red with a small dissipating head, ringed retention, suspended large sediment, slow and fast steady streams.

Nose: carrot cake, caramelized brown sugar, sweet dark malts. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: thick-full, incoming dark fruity christmas cake

Mid-palate: (lvl-8)-sweetness, sour-alcohol hit, fizzy-bubbly, (MAIN) carrot cake, brandy, caramelized brown sugar malts

Finish: cola, alcoholic, mild alcoholic heat, sweet brandy finish.

Summary: Lots of caramelized sugar, brown cake flavour mixed with a pretty stealth alcohlic hit.

Grapefruit Radler – Tree Brewing (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

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Grapefruit Radler – Tree Brewing, 2.5% ABV, 500ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

printed on the side:

“Radler (German for cyclist) is popular in Europe as a thirst quenching mixed beverage. Our radler is a refreshing blend of beer and fruit juice. At 2.5% alcohol, you’re likely not to fall off your bike anytime soon…Enjoy!”

Ingredients: 50% beer; malted barley, hops, water and 50% grapefruit juice, Sulphites.

  • Style: (grapefruit juice + beer) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: Tangy-juicy yellow grapefruit citrus mild malt lemon squash bitter peel
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $12 – 4x500ml., Summer 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not crazy

Visual: 4pk cans. Pours translucent light yellow without any head, very thin ringed retention, slow steady streams.

Nose: pressed yellow grapefruit juice, tangy citrus, very bright and fruity. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: citrus-fruity sweet, fizzy-crisp-tingly, (lvl-5)-sweetness

Mid-palate: tangy bite, medium-sour, peel bitterness,  (MAIN) yellow grapefruit, sweet barley malt;

Finish: bittersweet grapefruit oils & peel, long “lemon squash” off-dry exhale.

Summary: Much more tangy than Stiegl which I had side-by-side; I prefer this. A good juice-beer blend. Refreshing, don’t dilute with ice otherwise you’ll lose the subtle bitter peel flavour. Drink in a chilled glass.

Savant IPA – Elysian Brewing (Seattle, WA, USA)

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Savant IPA – Elysian Brewing, 6.3% ABV, 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., (Seattle, Washington, USA)

on the front-right label:

“The star of the show in this beer is the citrus and passion fruit aroma and flavor of New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops.”

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  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Caramel malt red apple fruity dry stealth bitter hop
  • Where I got it: Bottle Jockey, N. Bby
  • How much: $7.25 – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., March 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: worth a try

Visual: Pours almost clear toffee brown with a smallish head, a thin murky layer of retention, lots of fast steady streams.

Nose: brown sugar toffee malt, lightly toasted, traces of woody apple juice. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp-slick-tingly

Mid-palate: bright, (lvl-4)-sweetnesss, (MAIN) red apple, caramel maltd

Finish: alcohol detection, dry stealth mild bitter lingering hopped finish.

Summary: A rather fruity IPA as opposed to herbacious or piney; didn’t have a whole lot of passion fruit as advertised, but some citrus. Drinkable, but the finish is a bit flat.

Lips of Faith Gruit – New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO, USA)

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Lips of Faith Gruit – New Belgium Brewing, 6.6% ABV, 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., (Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)

printed on the front-right:

“Experimentation doesn’t mean new. With our Gruit, it’s all about revisiting the ancient craft of bittering with herb mixtures. In here horehound, bog myrtle, yarrow, wormwood and elderflowers get together with rich malts to create a bitter, dry, velvet-like sweetness worth revering.”

  • Style: (spiced ale) Traditional Ale
  • Taste: Fruity banana wheat malt off-dry red apple dry mild bitter.
  • Where I got it: Bottle Jockey, N. Bby
  • How much: $14 (after 5% off) – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: worth a try

Visual: Pours clear golden yellow with a med-large super foamy lasting head, very stick lacing, clusters of steady streams.

Nose: peach-apricot-apple fruity. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-fruity, foamy feel

Mid-palate: off-dry (lvl-2)-sweetness, light tangy, (MAIN) red apple, banana wheat malt, subtle bitterness

Finish: light spicy, mild lemony dry finish.

Summary: Very fruity, low bitterness, easy-drinking. Can’t really distinguish advertised bittering agents, mostly wheat malt comes through.

Rampant Imperial IPA – New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO, USA)

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Rampant Imperial IPA – New Belgium Brewing, 8.5% ABV, 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., (Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)

on the front-right label:

“That craving for hops starts to take over in this RAMPANT Imperial IPA proliferating with heavy peach tones, herbal sweetness and aromatic complexity.”

  • Style: Imperial India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Grassy tangy fruity peach toffee malt hopped bitter alcoholic
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.50 – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., July 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: still better out there

Visual: Pours clear golden orange with a decent foamy head, thin hazy-murky layer of retention, lots of active streams.

Nose: vibrant green hop cones. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: thick-slick, micro-fizzy, grassy subdued hop entry

Mid-palate: tangy, (MAIN) zingy herbacious hops, peach tones, toffee barley malt, -> sustained (lvl-5)-sweetness, alcohol bitterness

Finish: soft lingering-compounding bitter hops, fruity malt exhale.

Summary: ABV is rather stealth in this one, clean entry and exit for an IIPA. Very grassy-floral forward, dissipating peachy malt mids. Decent but could use more fullness/roundness, especially at the finish.

2015 Beer Camp Hoppy Lager – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Chico, CA, USA)

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2015 Beer Camp Hoppy Lager – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. , 7.0% ABV, 55 IBU, 12 fl.oz., (Chico, CA, USA)

printed on front label on the neck:

“This hop-heavy beer combines intense citrus and floral hop flavors with the clean, classic malt body of a hearty blonde lager for a crisp but aggressive take on the India Style Pale Lager.”

on the back label:

“Last summer we teamed up with San Diego’s Ballast Point for a hop-head twist on a crisp lager. We remixed this encore which is loaded with whole cone hops in the brew kettle and in our Hop Torpedo to deliver a bold aroma backed by smooth malt flavor.”

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  • Style: India Style Pale Lager
  • Taste: Toasted toffee-caramel malt citrus hoppy sweet
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $15.50 – 6×12 fl.oz., April 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: absolutely delicious

Visual: Pours translucent golden orange with a slight red hue, smallish head, a thin fine layer of hazy micro retention, fine sticky lacing, loose slow streams here and there.

Nose: honey-toffee-caramel malts, citrus hops. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: slick-fine fizzy,

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) medium thick toffee barley malts, orange citrus,

Finish: citrus, resiny hopped soft bitter hopped, light toasted malt sweet finish.

Summary: Pretty good barley malty body with controlled yet bold citrus hop flair. I still prefer the super citrus Hop Hunter IPA I had yesterday.

Hop Hunter IPA – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Chico, CA, USA)

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Hop Hunter IPA – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. , 6.2% ABV, 60 IBU, 12 fl.oz., (Chico, CA, USA)

printed on front label on the neck:

“Steam distilled hop oil, gathered right in the hop fields, gives a mighty boost to the floral and citrus notes of traditional whole-cone hops for intense, unmatched hop aromatics.”

on the back label:

“Hop Hunter IPA is the first beer to feature oil from wet hops steam distilled directly in the field, minutes after harvest. We use this pure, powerful hop essence in concert with whole-cone hops in our brew kettle and in our Hop Torpedo to create the ultimate IPA experience.”

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  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Fruity tangerine oil citrus fruity malt gentle bitter hopped clean
  • Where I got it: Bottle Jockey, N. Bby
  • How much: $16 (after 10% off) – 6×12 fl.oz., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: absolutely delicious

Visual: Pours clear golden orange without much head, thin ringed retention, suspended micro sediment, a few slow singular streams here and there.

Nose: bursting tangerine, passion fruit. Unbelievably fragrant. (lvl-10)-pungency

Attack: crisp-fizzy, incoming bright bitterness

Mid-palate: bright (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) huge tangerine, toffee malts

Finish: gentle hoppy bitterness, citrus hop oil exhale.

Summary: Extremely tangerine citrusy but well-balanced in sweet maltiness and bitterness. Supremely drinkable and much more engageable than most other IPAs.