Frambozen – Steamworks Brewing Co. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

image

Frambozen Raspberry Ale – Steamworks Brewing Company, 7% ABV, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


Ingredients: water, malt, raspberry concentrate, hops, yeast

wp-1459494264026.jpg


  • Style: (flavoured – Raspberry) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: Fruity sweet tangy raspberry juice brown sugar malt
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $6 CAD (after 10% off) – 650ml., September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: (Cellared for 4 years). Pours magenta brown without a head, small islands, slow singular micro CO2 streams.

Nose: luscious tangy-sweet raspberry juice. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: micro fizzy-half crisp

Mid-palate: tangy-sweet raspberry juice, brown sugar barley malts, (lvl-7-sweetness)

Finish: bittersweet malty deep exhale, subtly tart

Summary: I particularly like the cleanliness of raspberry flavour as well as the balanced malty backbone. Not too aggressively sour, tart, or funky, just a tad sweet. Good drinkability for a 7%.

Citra Sunshine Slacker – Evil Twin Brewing & 7venth Sun Brewery Collaboration (Stratford, CT, USA)

image

Citra Sunshine Slacker Session IPA – Evil Twin Brewing & 7venth Sun Brewery Collaboration, 4.5% ABV, 1 pint, (brewed by Evil Twin Brewing in Stratford, CT, USA)


printed on the side of the can:

Despite his bitterness, lack of power and insuperable aversion to any kind of extravagant labor – he kind of has a charming charisma, and perhaps he is even loveable. Somehow we find him unbelievable irresistible and stimulating because he is one of the few that masters the ability to effortlessly impress with his sharp intelligence and make it look so damn easy.

wp-1459413257762.jpg


  • Style: India Session Ale / Session IPA
  • Taste: Bright grapefruit green grassy hop oil apricot cream-fizzy soft acidic-tangy
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $4.90 CAD – 1 pint, February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours light pale straw yellow with a nice 1cm bubbly head, 1mm layer of retention, clusters of active streams.

Nose: fragrant apricot-peachy hops (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: cream-fizzy

Mid-palate: grapefruit flesh, bright green hop oils, apricot-peach, (lvl-3-sweetness), crisp bite, lemon

Finish: sour-tangy acidity mixed with soft bitter green grassy hops, soft barley malt backend

Summary: Absolutely delicious showcase of the hop oils – very lively, refreshing and bright, all backed up with a nice micro bubbly-fizzy mouthfeel. Every sip is a delight. This blows the only other ISA I’ve had out of the water, Central City’s Red Racer ISA [C+].

English Dry Cider – Left Field Cider Co. (Logan Lake, BC, Canada)

image

English Dry – Left Field Cider Co., 6.2% ABV, 500ml, (Logan Lake, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft cider*)


  • Style: (English Dry) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Tangy clean fruity apple acidic tart light woody roughish tart finish
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $11.40 CAD (after 10% off) – 500ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: nah

Visual: Pours clear light straw yellow, no head, very thin ringed retention, lots of steady small CO2 streams.

Nose: tangy pressed and filtered apple juice (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp, fruity

Mid-palate: filtered apple juice, (lvl-2-sweetness), tangy, medium acidic tartness, apple cider vinegar

Finish: light woody, thickened saliva, sticky gums, somewhat rough tart finish.

Summary: Like their Big and Little Dry ciders, this one also has a very clean apple taste profile. Although I had the Big Dry last month, from what I can recall this English Dry mirrors the Big Dry almost exactly but with 1% lower ABV. In any case both are only slightly above average and not worth trying again.

Chocolate Milk Stout – Hearthstone Brewing Co. (North Vancouver, BC, Canada)

image

Chocolate Milk Stout – Hearthstone Brewing Company, 5.5% ABV – 19 IBUs, 500 ml., (North Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)

-My 1st tasting from this newish brewery up in North Vancouver.


printed on the back of the can:

“A dark and broody milk stout, full bodied and perfect to cuddle up next to a fire with. We age this stout on cacao nibs from the East Van Roasting Company, a non-profit enterprise supporting women on Vancouver’s downtown east side. Notes of coffee, chocolate and a hint of sweetness from the milk sugar, this stout pairs perfectly with desert [sic], red meat and rich cheeses. Enjoy.”

wp-1459336443096.jpg


  • Style: (flavoured – cacao nibs, milk sugar) Stout
  • Taste: Roasted barley background sour cacao nib nutty coffee roasty exhale
  • Where I got it : High Point / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $4.15 CAD – 500ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not that spectacular

Visual: Pours blackish-brown without a siginificant head, ringed retention with large islands, lots of micro streams.

Nose: deep roasted coffee malt (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: light crisp-half slick, light tingly

Mid-palate: background sour, nutty coffee, (lvl-5-sweetness), roasted barley malt

Finish: chocolate mixed with sweet barley, coffee bitterness, deep roasted barley exhale

Summary: More of a nutty cacao nib flavour than actual chocolate, nevertheless it’s still quite good with decent depth and length. Not quite enough ‘milk’ character and a touch thin in the finish.

Bad Panda Ginger Pale Ale – Northwest Brewing Co. (Pacific, Washington, USA)

image

Bad Panda Ginger Pale Ale – Northwest Brewing Company, 5% ABV, 22 fl.oz., (Pacific, Washington, USA)

“Beer brewed with ginger, galangal and orange peel


on the front-left label:

“This lushly flavored pale ale is brewed with ginger, galangal and orange peel in addition to premium malts, Saaz hops, and our house ale yeast. The aromatic spices combine to create a perfect accompaniment to Asian Pacific cuisine. Close your eyes and let the captivating flavors transport you.”


  • Style: (flavoured – ginger, galangal, orange peel) Flavoured Pale Ale / Ginger Beer
  • Taste: Prominent ginger root peppery orange oil barley malt ginger heat
  • Where I got it : Uwajimaya / Seattle
  • How much: $5.50 USD ($7 CAD) – 22 fl.oz., October 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours copper orange with barley any head, thin ringed retention with small islands, small clusters of fast streams.

Nose: mostly ginger, toasted bread. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp bite, fizzy-tingly

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), orange oils, peppery, ginger root earthy, light toasted barley malts

Finish: off-dry background hops, soft ginger throat heat, barley malty exhale, a touch more orange oil.

Summary: It certainly delivers in the ginger-galangal spicy department, and the orange peel helps round it out. Overall it’s substantially better than the handful of other ginger brews I’ve tried in the past. Decent, but has thin, mildly rough finish.

Cherry Bomb Belgian-Style Farmhouse Ale – Mission Springs Brewing Co. (Mission, BC, Canada)

image

Cherry Bomb Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale – Mission Springs Brewing Company, 5.5% ABV, 650 ml., (Mission, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)

“This unique and delicious ale is brewed as a classic farmhouse ale using imported malts; and is fermented with just the right amount of sour cherries. Exceptionally sessionable. Small batch, Fraser Valley goodness in every bottle.”


  • Style: (flavoured – Cherry) Saison / Farmhouse ale
  • Taste: Creamy mild tart cherry banana wheat malt pukey med acidic dry bitter astringent hops
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $6.30 CAD (after 10% off) – 650ml., October 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours reddish brown with a massive super foamy head with a large 1cm retention and sticky lacing, mixed singular tight streams and clusters hugging the side of the glass.

Nose: berried banana wheaty malts with background acidity (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, cream-lively tingly

Mid-palate: background light tart cherry tangy, dull bitterness, banana wheat malty, pukey, (lvl-3-sweetness)

Finish: medium acidic sour, dry bitter soft astringent hops.

Summary: It looks deceptively good and noses alright, but the flavours just don’t together right. Overall it there’s some astringency from the the cherry or the hops or perhaps both. At least the creamy mouthfeel and acidity are decent, but not a ton of juicy cherry flavour considering the name.

Odyssey Nitro Porter – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

image

Odyssey Nitro Porter – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV, 500 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


printed on the side of the can:

“Welcome aboard the Odyssey, our nitrogen powered porter transport vessel. Known for riding cascading clouds of tiny bubbles through turbulence into a creamy foam landing, it delivers the rich and full flavoured voyage you’ve been waiting for.”

wp-1459143637864.jpgwp-1459143667991.jpg


  • Style: (nitrogenated) Porter
  • Taste: Creamy but immediately flat roasted barley coffee chocolate watery thin
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $3 CAD (after 10% off) – 500ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours dark brown with a lasting 5mm pillowy nitro foam head.

Nose: deep roasted coffee barley malt. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: (initial sips = creamy), afterward = flat-slick-watery

Mid-palate: sustained background acidity, deep roasted barley malt, (lvl-4-sweetness),

Finish: roasted coffee and sweet barley malt exhale, mild chocolate.

Summary: The initial few sips are good but the nitrogen quickly disappears and you’re left with a seemingly flat and watery drink. I enjoy the roasted malt profile but overall it’s just too watery too fully enjoy.

La Vache Folle Aramis Double IPA – Microbrasserie Charlevoix (Quebec, Canada)

image

La Vache Folle Aramis Double IPA – Microbrasserie Charlevoix, 9% ABV, 500 ml., (Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, Canada)


on the back label:

This 9th Vache Folle Double India Pale Ale is intended to introduce a new hop variety. Aramis !!! A floral and spicy hop variety from Alsace. Enjoy!

wp-1459070311516.jpg


  • Style: Double IPA / Imperial IPA
  • Taste: Alcohol zingy-tangy partial dark fruit apricot sweet barley malty tongue numb dry bitter hops.
  • Where I got it : Firefly / Vancouver
  • How much: $8 CAD (after 10% off) – 500ml., May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours translucent orange-brown with a small 1mm lasting creamy head, hazy creamy islands for retention, half-sticky lacing, clusters of steady and fast streams.

Nose: perfumed apricot, fleshy peach (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: thicker-crisp, incoming bitter hops

Mid-palate: alcohol forward bitterness, tangy-zingy acidity, (lvl-7-sweetness), almost dark fruit, apricot, faint lemon, medium heavy sweet barley malt

Finish: tongue numbness, nutmeg, alcoholic heat, dry short bitter hops.

Summary: Very tangy-zingy for a IIPA, also quite alcohol forward. It doesn’t quite have that uplifting counterbalance for the 9% ABV to make it truly exceptional.

Rekorderlig Spiced Apple Hard Cider (Sweden)

image

  • My Rating: [C+]

Rekorderlig Spiced Apple Hard Cider (aka Rekorderlig Winter Cider) – brewed at Åbro Bryggeri, 4.5% ABV, 16.9 fl.oz., (Vimmerby, Sweden)

“Premium hard cider blended with cinnamon & vanilla. Made from pure Swedish spring water. Serve hot or cold.”


Ingredients: Hard Cider (Apple & Pear), Swedish Spring Water, Sugar, Aroma (Apple, Cinnamon, Vanilla), Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Acidity Regulator, Sulfites & Sorbate to protect flavor. Lightly carbonated.


  • Style: (flavoured – cinnamon, vanilla) Apple & Pear Cider
  • Taste: Heavy thick sweet sherry cherry chocolate alcoholic toffee molasses concentrated barley malt
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5.75 CAD – 16.9 fl.oz., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: more for thirst quenching

Visual: Pours pale yellow with no head and lots of fast active streams.

Nose: artificial apple & pear candy, but still enticing. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-quenching

Mid-palate: fruity candyesque apple-pear, sticky (lvl–sweetness), light cinnamon, light vanilla extract

Finish: cloying sugars, candy fruity exhale.

Summary: The taste is very candy-esque but for me that’s not a problem since I love candy. Still very drinkable and thirst quenching despite all the additives and preservatives, although you do taste the artificiality.

He’Brew Jewbelation Fifteen – Shmaltz Brewing Co. (NY, USA)

image

Jewbelation Fifteen – Shmaltz Brewing Company, 15% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Clifton Park, NY, USA)

“15th Anniversary Ale – Brewed with 15 malts & 15 hops


He’Brew 2011 Holiday Gift Pack Summary:

  1. Miraculous Jewbelation 8th Anniversary Ale (American Strong Ale) – [B-]
  2. Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A (IIPA) – [A-]
  3. Hop Manna Test Batch #2 (IPA) – [B]
  4. Genesis Ale (Amber Ale) – [C+]
  5. Messiah Bold (Brown Ale) – [C+]
  6. Origin Pomegranate Ale (Fruit Beer) – [B]
  7. Reunion – A Beer for Hope 2011 (Spiced Ale) – [B+]
  8. Jewbelation Fifteen (American Strong Ale) – [B+]

on the front-left label:

In Jewish tradition, 15 marks major commemorations: Passover (the Exodus), Sukkot (40 years of wandering), and Tu Bishvat (the New Year for Mother Nature) all start on the 15th day of the Hebrew month. 15 suggests a certain wisdom from experience: “Old is always 15 years from now.” – Bill Cosby. “We are always more anxious to be distinguished for one talent we do not possess than 15 we do.” – Mark Twain. After Andy Warhol, does 15 forever sound profound or frivolous? “In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes.” “Fame is the thirst of youth.” – Lord Byron. “The fact that my 15 minutes of fame has been extended is somewhat surprising to me and completely baffling to my wife.” – Barack Obama. For Matt EP: Hall of Famer Bart Starr rocked #15 as MVP in the Packers’ first two Super Bowl victories. “South Park” evolved from “Jesus vs. Santa” and is now entering its 15th season. “We’re rehabbed and ready for our 15 minutes of shame.” – Marilyn Manson. Lyrics from Barry Manilow’s 2011 album, 15 Minutes, released on QVC Network: “Make me a deal, I’ll sell my guts for glory.” “Fame and power are the objects of all men. Even their partial fruition is gained by very few, and that at the expense of social pleasure, health, conscience, life.” – Benjamin Disraeli. After 1,972,350 sets of 15 minutes of Shmaltz Brewing, I’ll hoist my Jewbelation Quinceañera and sing 15 rounds of ¡Viva la Evolución de He’brew! L’Chaim!

Jeremy Cowan, proprietor


  • Style: American Strong Ale
  • Taste: Heavy thick sweet sherry cherry chocolate alcoholic toffee molasses concentrated barley malt
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $39 CAD (after 10% off) – 8 x 12 fl.oz. + glassware, May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, be prepared for some heaviness

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours brownish-black with a super-creamy smallish head, thick ringed retention, half-sticky lacing, varied speed scattered streams.

Nose: heavy sweet caramel barley malts. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: very thick viscosity, half oily-slick

Mid-palate: cherry chocolate cake, creamy CO2, background tangy-zing subdued alcohol, (lvl-8-sweetness), molasses, concentrated barley malt, sherry, woody

Finish: light roasty caramel sweet exhale

Summary: A big bomb of thick heavy flavours with a touch of tangy-zing to keep it all in check. Although at 15% it’s surprisingly sippable. It does become taxing on the palate after 10 oz.