Sur Amarillo (sour imperial pale ale) – To Øl (Denmark)

Sur Amarillo (sour imperial pale ale) – To Øl, 7.5% ABV, 33 cl., (Copenhagen N, Denmark)

my first To Øl beer which I’m pretty amped up about given that they and Mikkeller share the same roots. Here’s more info about their story on their website.


on the back label:

“Please welcome Sur Amarillo – a Sour Pale Ale brewed with wheat and dry-hopped over and over with Amarillo hops to give a flowerful tart Imperial Pale Ale.”

Ingredients: water, barley malt, wheat, oats, Amarillo hops, yeast.

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  • Style: (imperial, pale) Sour Ale
  • Taste: Pink grapefruit citrusy sour light pukey bitter dry hopped
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $6.50 CAD (after 20% off) – 33 cl., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, wicked complexity

Visual: Pours cloudy opaque dirty orange/brown with a small 1cm head, a thick fine layer of lasting retention, fast loose clusters of streams.

Nose: bright fragrant citrus hop oils (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: creamy, sharp crisp bite, incoming sour

Mid-palate: smooth CO2, puckery pukey pink grapefruit sour, (lvl-4-sweetness), background citrusy sweet barley malt

Finish: subtle banana wheat malt, residual light tartness, dry bitter hops

Summary: Wow, such an interesting beer put together with distinct elements that transition perfectly. The barley-oats-wheat combo has transformed into a sour-citrusy grapefruit hop bomb – very cool. After having tasted just over a 1000 beers, I’m delighted that there are still unique styles I have yet to try.

Pearsuasion – Forbidden Fruit Winery (Cawston, BC, Canada)

Pearsuasion Dry Pear Table Wine 2008 – Forbidden Fruit Winery, 11.5% ABV, 750 ml., (Cawston, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


on the back label:

“Pearsuasion, our dry Asian Pear table wine, is hand cr afted from Shinseiki and Kosui Asian Pears, grown in the pristine Similkameen Valley.

The ancient Greek poet Homer, in his legendary mythology tale, The Odyssey, described pears, ‘as the gift of the Gods’ and the Roman Goddess of fruit, Pomona, is said to have originally persuaded the local farmers to grow these delicate fruits. Aged briefly with French oak, this golden wine announces bold aromas of fresh pears and citrus. The delicate flavours in our Pearsuasion speak poetically of melting ripe pears, lemongrass, and oak, with a light, smooth, dry finish. This fresh, crisp wine pairs itself beautifully with fresh salads, creamy pastas, light means and cheeses, and on its own slightly chilled.”

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  • Style: (dry table wine – Shinseiki & Kosui Asian Pears) Fruit Wine
  • Taste: Clean fruity pear apple soft tangy/acidic bright subtle woody
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $18 CAD – 650 ml., sometime in 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados: not too exciting

Visual: (2008 vintage, cellared for 8 years). Cork intact. Pours clear medium yellow no bubbles and no sediment.

Nose: clean 65/35 apple juice/pear hybrid. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: tangy soft acidic bite

Mid-palate: clean fruity fleshy pear and peel, (lvl-2-sweetness), fruity brightness, apple, hints of lemongrass

Finish: light woody apple exhale, soft tart off-dry residual sugars, lingering fruitness.

Summary: This one is all about big bright fruitness – it tastes like an apple-pear mix with just a enough sugars and acidity to balance it out. It drank best for me at 16°C. Clean but too basic after a glass and half.

Vanderghinste Roodbruin – Brouwerij Omer Vanderghinste (Bellegem, Belgium)

Vanderghinste Roodbruin – Brouwerij Omer Vanderghinste, 5.5% ABV, 25 cl., (Bellegem, Belgium)


on the back label:

“Beer of mixed fermentation, matured in oaken barrels for 18 months. Brewed since 1982.”


  • Style: (Flemish) Sour/Wild Ale
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $3.95 (after 12.5% off) – 25 cl., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure, quite balanced

Visual: Pours clear light root beer brown with a bit of a dissipating head, medium ringed retention, mixed fast and steady active streams.

Nose: sour pukey, cherry notes, malty backbone. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp-fizzy, incoming sour

Mid-palate: tingly CO2, med-high puckery sour, light pukey cherry-prune, (lvl-7-sweetness), woody brown sugar barley malt

Finish: lingering dissipating acidity, residual fruity cloying sweetness, palate roughness

Summary: Big sourness right from the get go, balanced well with fruity but cloying sweetness and woody oaked malts. The sugars become heavy about halfway through, but it’s still a quality brew with history. A good flemish, not as good as Duchesse de Bourgogne FWIR [B+].

Neapolitan Milk Stout – Saugatuck Brewing Co. (Douglas, MI, USA)

Neapolitan Milk Stout – Saugatuck Brewing Company, 6.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Douglas, Michigan, USA)


description from the Saugatuckbrewing website:

“A perfect blend of classic dry stout character with brilliant flavors of Neapolitan Ice Cream. Experience the nostalgic flavors of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry all in one glass – because sometimes ice cream just isn’t enough.”


  • Style: (flavoured – natural and artificial strawberry-vanilla-chocolate) Stout
  • Taste: Distinct yet artificial strawberry-vanilla-cocoa roasted barley malt cloying plasticky
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $9.05 (after 20% off) – 650 ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: gimmicky, at your own peril

Visual: Pours very dark brown with no real head, thin ringed retention, steady streams all around.

Nose: artificial strawberry ice cream, vanilla, subtle malts. Candyesque, but appetizing. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, light slick

Mid-palate: aromatic artificial strawberry, long (lvl-7-sweetness)-slight cloying, roasted barley malt

Finish: dark cocoa notes, vanilla extract, lingering plastic artificiality

Summary: Definitely a unique flavour that grabs your attention with the first sip, much like their blueberry maple stout. It does however become very predictable and cloying halfway through. Not a ton of depth but the transitions are decent. I can confidently say I won’t be having another one of these. Artificiality overload.

Sidra Bere – Sidreria Bereziartua (Astigarraga, Spain)

Sidra Bere – Sidreria Bereziartua, 5.5% ABV, 33 cl., (Astigarraga, Spain)


info from ratebeer.com:

ORIGIN
Natural cider from Astigarraga.

VARIETY
Blend of natural wild apples such as Txalaka, Urtebia, Judeline and Judor.

PREPARATION
This cider is produced using advanced methods while maintaining tradition and followed by fermentation in wooden and stainless steel vats for a minimum of 4 months.

TASTING NOTE
Colour: Harvest yellow.
Aroma: Fruity and fresh.
Taste: Very homogeneous bitter-sweetness.

TECHNICAL DATA
Alcohol: 6% (5.5% in this bottle)
Total acidity: 5-6
Volatile acidity: 1.5-2
pH: 3.5-3.8”


  • Style: Apple Cider
  • Taste: Natural BIG tangy pukey/funk yeasty light sweet tart red-green apple sour woody edge
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $6.05 (after 20% off) – 33 cl., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes, quite different from local BC ciders

Visual: Pours opaque golden orange with no head and just a few bubbles, settled yeast in the bottle.

Nose: pukey yeasty-acidic, woody apple cider. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: light crisp, dull-low CO2 entry

Mid-palate: tart, (lvl-3-sweetness), tangy-sour-pukey, dry (40/60)-red/green apple sour

Finish: woody-lactobacillus, tart/off-dry, residual tanginess

Summary: Big tangy sourness in this one; it reminds me of sour/wild ales but with a brighter apple edginess. Quite woody and natural-tasting, a lot of tartness as well. Good complex textures, decent body and flavour, not that sugar aggressive which is a nice changeup, especially for ciders.

Grande Noirceur – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel (St-Jerome, QC, Canada)

Grande Noirceur (Imperial Stout) – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, 9% ABV, 341 ml., (St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada)


info from ratebeer.com:

The Grande Noirceur is an intensely black and dense beer with pronounced roasted flavours. The bitterness is very imposing but is balanced by a malty-caramel taste. The alcohol content is quite high, but its presence remains discrete in this beer.

ABV initially 8.5%, changed in late 2012 to 9%.”


  • Style: Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Sweet alcoholic creamy smooth thick caramel barley malt coffee vanilla bitter roast
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $4.60 (after 20% off) – 341ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, a balanced Imp stout it is

Visual: Pours pitch black with virtually not head, fine ringed retention, a few micro bubbles popping sporadically at the surface.

Nose: marshmallow, vanilla, mocha – all subtle. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: slick-thick, soft crisp, oily

Mid-palate: long (lvl-7)-sweetness, tangy alcohol detection, milky CO2, thick caramel barley malt, vanilla,

Finish: woody bitter roast, lingering bitter hops with roasted coffee

Summary: It goes down very smooth and it’s gone with each sip before you know it. The vanilla-roasted coffee flavours are the ‘like’-factors in this one. Recommended for imp stout lovers. I wished for more spice/vanilla in the mids to push it to an A-rating.

Disco Soleil – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel (St-Jerome, QC, Canada)

Disco Soleil (India Pale Ale brewed with Kumquats) – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, 6.5% ABV, 330 ml., (St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada)


Ingredients: water, malted barley, wheat, kumquats, hops, yeast


  • Style: (flavoured – kumquat) India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Smooth sweet citrusy kumquat low toffee barley malt short body resiny bitter hops
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $3.50 (after 12.5% off) – 330ml., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yep, an IPA with delicious twist

Visual: Pours cloudy marmalade orange with a smallish head, a thin layer of retention, scattered small clusters of micro streams, suspended micro sediment.

Nose: slight orange citrus, sweet malted barley, soapy edge. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: crisp bite, smooth creamy CO2

Mid-palate: sustained bright kumquat citrusy, background soft tangy, (lvl-5-sweetness), sweet toffee barley malt

Finish: hints of banana wheat malt, dry resiny hopped bitter

Summary: The kumquat brings a nice sustained citrus element that is apparent from the mids to the finish. Overall delicious but I wished for more length and depth in the mids – it could use a meatier malt base. Overall well constructed and another quality DDC brew.