The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #12 – Biere De Noel

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The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #12

Biere de Noël – Big Sky Brewing, 10.1% ABV – 355ml., (Missoula, Montana, USA)

  • Style: Quadruple
  • Taste: Alcoholic start-to-finish brown sugar toasted malt light grape/red wine
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: worth 1x try

Visual: Pours translucent brownish red with a small lasting foamy head, micro 1mm retention, lots of fast singular streams.

Nose: heavy Belgian candi malts. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: sweet, thick malts

Mid-palate: fizzy-tingly, (lvl-9)-sweetness, (MAIN) brown sugar malt, toast

Finish: boozy hit, grape-barley malts, mild alcoholic heat, lingering malt sweetness

Summary: Although quite sweet it’s nicely sippable; good mouthfeel, engaging complexity and incognito ABV. Alcohol detection throughout.

Central City/Parallel 49 2014 Calendar Day #12 – Copper Ale

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Central City/Parallel 49 2014 Calendar Day #11

Copper Ale (can) – Central City Brewing, 5% ABV – 500ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada)

Why did I wait half a year to resume the 2014 Christmas beer calendars??? Long story short, the day #12 beers went missing and I had to seek out and replace them. Let’s finish up 2014 and blast on ahead to 2015!”

printed on the can:

“A light bodied, easy drinking ale with a pleasantly dry finish. Toasted Munich malt gives this beer both it’s colour and malty flavour that is balanced with subtle hop aromatics.”

  • Style: Amber Ale
  • Taste: boring basic sweet liquid barley malt no body
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: don’t bother

Visual: Pours copper brown (no surprise) with barley any head, very thin hazy retention, several singular fast streams.

Nose: sweet toasted caramel malt, liquid barley. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp-flat-malty, thin body and taste

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) grainy barley malt, caramel, honey

Finish: off-dry malty short finish.

Summary: Basic malty flavour, nothing exciting but drinkable. Waste of time for me.

Sun Kissed Tea Saison – Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers (North Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Sun Kissed Tea Saison – Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers, 5% ABV – 650ml., (North Vancouver, BC, Canada)

on the front-right side label:

“Think fruit orchards and sunlit patios. This playful beer will surprise you with a combination of fruity tones, peppery spice and a refreshingly dry tartness. Made with apple, mango and papaya Rooibos tea, Sun Kissed Tea Saison is the perfect summer sipper. – Sante.”

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  • Style: (apple-mango-papaya rooibos tea) Flavoured Saison
  • Taste: Fruity sour pukey apple banana wheat malt rooibos dry
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey, N. Bby.
  • How much: $6.30 (after 7.5% off) – 650ml., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: definitely drinkable

Visual: Pours clear orange copper with a smallish dissipating head, half lacing, several slow steady spread out streams.

Nose: super fruity mango-papaya-apple juiciness. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: crisp-fizzy, incoming sour acidity

Mid-palate: , medium sour-tangy, (MAIN) apple, light-med pukey-sour, banana wheat ->

Finish: barley malt, rooibos tea palate roughness, touch of peppery spicy with subtle bitterness, dry malt finish.

Summary: Pretty good combo: rooibos and wheat malt; lots of fruitiness, good complexity and nicely drinkable. Slightly rough around the edges but still very enjoyable.

Choqlette Porter – Bomber Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Choqlette Porter – Bomber Brewing, 5.5% ABV, 650ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft brew*)

Another local brewery in the Strathcona/Commercial Drive area; it’s great to see the craft brew scene grow as time goes by. This is my first tasting of their brews.

printed on the front-right label:

“Great taste is more than the beer in this bottle. It’s classy and quirky and vibrant and subtle. It’s chaos and balance, innately in sync. It’s not something you learn, it’s a second instinct. It’s old worldly charm with a modern day spin. Rich roasted malts with chocolate a l’ancienne. London and Paris at home in one drink. It’s just a few of our favourite things.”

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  • Style: (chocolate) Flavoured Porter
  • Taste: Crisp tingly smooth sweet roasted barley malt soft chocolate backend
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey, N. Bby
  • How much: $6.25 (after 7.5% off) – 650ml., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: Pours dark cola brown with a smallish head, 1mm layer of foamy retention, lots of singular micro streams.

Nose: roasted dark malts, chocolate, coffee. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: light slick-oily-biting crisp-tingly, micro CO2

Mid-palate: soft mouthfeel, (lvl-5)-sweetness, mild sourness, (MAIN) sweet roasted barley malt, hints of cinnamon

Finish: chocolate depth, soft roasted bittersweet malty finish.

Summary: I like the smooth drinkability and overall balance of crisp, sweet, roasty and malty. I wish for more complexity and creaminess/milky as the finish is a tad cloying sweet.

London Dry Gin Round 4 – Bulldog (Champ) VS Tanqueray No. 10 (Challenger)

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Welcome to another round of the Gin VS battle, today, Round 4. Tanqueray 10 is known for have a more robust presence in cocktails due to its higher than usual ABV. Let’s duel!

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1) Bulldog London Dry Gin – 40% ABV – 750ml, (Lawrenceburg, IN, USA), ~$43 CAD @ Newport Village

  • Came into the market in 2007. (homepage)
  • 12 botanicals from 8 countries: Italian Juniper, German angelica, coriander seeds, Chinese licorice, Spanish almonds, Italian orris root, Seville lemons, CHINESE DRAGON EYE (longan), TURKISH WHITE POPPY SEEDS, ASIAN LOTUS LEAVES, ASIAN CASSIA, FRENCH LAVENDER. (differing ingredients in bold)
  • 90-95 points rated by Paul Pacult, Wine Enthusiast Magazine; Restaurant Magazine’s 2008 Spirit of the Year.

[VS]

2) Tanqueray No. 10 London Dry Gin – 47.3% ABV – 750ml, Diageo (London, but distilled in Scotland), $46 CAD @ BC Liquor Stores

  • the name No.10 comes from their “Still No.10”, aka known as “Tiny Ten”
  • recipe contains at least: Tuscan juniper, angelica root, coriander, and licorice.
  • recipe also includes use of fresh citrus fruits, including: white grapefruit, lime, orange, as well as chamomile flowers.

Criteria:

Nose: This time, Bulldog’s nosing includes a mix of juniper and citrus. The burn isn’t so bad, it comes after the initial bright flavours that come forward. In comparison, No.10 is much more juicy in its citrus profile, exhibiting lots of lime and grapefruit, as well as juniper. Nasal burn jumps out much sharper and right off the bat. Aromawise, No.10 wins hands down; it’s bolder and brighter.

Taste & Texture: Bulldog starts of thick and sweet, juniper creeping up in the mids, finishing fruity yet spicy showcasing the longan. No.10 feels much thinner in comparison, but bursting with immediate assault of grapefruit peel oil mixed with milder orange and then lime oils in the exhale. Alcoholic heat and burn are apparent from the start but offset by the juicy citrus. Alcohol burn is much more apparent than the Bulldog as expected. No.10 has my vote, it grabs you attention from start to finish.

Final Notes:

  • Bulldog’s flavour is a lot more subdued and light in comparison
  • No.10 has the biggest grapefruit citrus taste I’ve ever had in a gin, great for cocktails
  • Although Bulldog is smoother as a sipper (but who sips gin?), No.10 has that robust citrus flavour you just can’t ignore, albeit with a harsher alcohol burn.

Extra: Tanqueray VS Tanqueray No.10: Normal Tanqueray is mellow in comparision. Juniper and pine flavours particularly stick out. No.10 is a lot more aggressive in flavour and heat, but the finish and flavour last much longer. No.10 all the way. Also because No.10, Beefeater and Bulldog exist I’d stock them instead.

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WINNER = Tanqueray N.10 (new Round 4 winner!)

Uganda Sipi Coffee Brown Ale – Bridge Brewing (North Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Uganda Sipi Coffee Brown Ale – Bridge Brewing, 6.1% ABV – 28 IBUs, 650ml., (North Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft brew*, seasonal)

printed on the front-right label:

“This is a smooth, rich, and malty brown ale brewed with the addition of Organic Uganda Sipi Falls Coffee roasted by our good friends at Moja Coffee. Coffee beans were added after fermentation, leading to soft and fruity coffee aromas. The roasty character of this beer and the dark berry and spice notes of the hops used play well together, making this a great beer as the weather slowly turns.”

Ingredients: North Shore Water, Bramling Cross Hops, Galena Hops, Brewer’s Gold Hops, Nugget Hops, Canadian Pale Malt, Oat Malt, Crystal Malt, Chocolate Malt, Victory Malt, Yeast, Organic Uganda Sipi Falls Coffee.

  • Style: (Coffee) Flavoured Brown Ale
  • Taste: Malty deep roasted coffee acidic brown sugar cola
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey, N. Bby
  • How much: $6.25 (after 7.5% off) – 650ml., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not search-worthy

Visual: Pours dark chestnut brown with a small head, 1mm layer of fine retention, clusters upon clusters of fast streams.

Nose: aromatic roasted coffee malts (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp-fizzy, airy, incoming roast

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) big roast coffee bittersweet, cola, brown sugar malts -> coffee acidic sourness

Finish: chocolate exhale, lingering roast malt finish.

Summary: Lots of roast, burnt almost, but a partially thin body with only fizziness for mouthfeel. Decent flavours, quite drinkable.

Hop Attack! Fresh Hop IPA – Steamworks Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Hop Attack! Fresh Hop IPA – Steamworks Brewing Co. & Sartori Hop Farm Collaboration, 6% ABV, 650ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local beer*)

Ingredients: water, Gambrinus Pale Malt & Honey Malt, Sartori Nugget & Centennial Hops, yeast.

  • Style: Wet Hop IPA
  • Taste: Cream fizzy barley malt mild orange/grapefruit
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey, N. Bby
  • How much: $7 (after 7.5% off) – 650ml., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: drinkable and forgettable

Visual: Generic collab bottle wrapped in paper label. Pours pale marmalade orange without much head, barely any retention, sporadic fast bubbles.

Nose: orange citrus, barley malt, trace funk (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: slick oily-light tingly CO2

Mid-palate: half-cream-fizzy, (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) soft orange-grapefruit citrus, liquid barley malt

Finish: gentle bitter hops, bittersweet malt, short finish.

Summary: Pretty smooth, all around decent flavour, albeit somewhat basic. Wished for a bit more in the backend.