Lion’s Head Cascadia Dark Ale – Spinnakers Brewpub (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Lion’s Head Cascadia Dark Ale – Spinnakers Brewpub, 6.5% ABV, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front label:

Lion’s Head Cascadia Dark Ale, first brewed for the re-opening of Robson’s Lion’s Head Smoke & Brew Pub, as the first craft beer centered pub in the Kootenays and first served June 21, 2009. This CDA is brewed with English pale and roasted malts, hoped with cascades and northern brewer’s with a touch of guarrana to help get you throuh the night.


  • Style: Black IPA / CDA
  • Taste: Sour roasted brown sugar barley malt guarana berry coffee light chocolate
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $5.50 CAD (after 10% off) – 650ml., March 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours dark cola brown without much of a head, almost no retention, barely visible spread out micro streams.

Nose: whiskey, brown sugar barley malt (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: immediate big sour acidity

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-sweetness, light coffee, sour caramel roasted barley, burnt brown sugar, guarana berriness

Finish: chocolate, roasty burnt soft bitter hopped finish.

Summary: I’ve never had a sour CDA before and I suspect I might never come across another one, but once you do get past the sourness this is actually decently drinkable. It has a nice likeable balance of sour-barley guarana sweet-burnt coffee elements in it – Not what you’d imagine from CDA. Surprisingly agreeable despite my negative bias toward Spinnakers.

Men’s Room Original Red – Elysian Brewing (Seattle, WA, USA)

Men’s Room Original Red – Elysian Brewing (AB-InBev), 5.6% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Seattle, Washington, USA)


on the front-right label:

“Brewed for The Mens Room radio show on 99.9 KISW The Rock of Seattle, Mens Room Red is amber in color with a light hop aroma and toasty finish.”

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  • Style: American Pale Ale
  • Taste: Crisp resiny hopped bitter metallic toasted barley malt
  • Where I got it : Traded with my brother
  • How much: priceless, sometime in 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nope

Visual: Pours clear brown-amber without much of a head, a thin layer of retention, clusters of steady streams.

Nose: sweet light toasted barley malt (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: quenching crisp bite

Mid-palate: immediate resiny bitter hops, smooth tingly CO2, (lvl-3-sweetness), bittersweet metallic toasted barley malt

Finish: hints of grassiness, residual grainy dry malt

Summary: Rather simple, short length and quenching mouthfeel – not terribly interesting. A bit above average but not worth seeking out.

 

Strawberry Dessert Wine – Sanduz Estate Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [B]

Strawberry Dessert Wine (NV)- Sanduz Estate Winery (now named Canada Berries), 16% ABV, 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


  • Style: (strawberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Eau-de-vie alcoholic soft prickly strawberry throat heat
  • Where I got it : @Winery / Richmond
  • How much: $26 – 375 ml., October 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: worth a try if they still sell it

Visual: (cellared for 2 years). Real cork. Pours dark ruby red with a hint of purple, clear and thicker viscosity.

Nose: fragrant luscious tangy strawberry juice – Immaculate. (lvl-10)-pungency

Attack: background off-dry alcohol

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), mild strawberry jam, eau-de-vie alcohol, prickly tangy acidity

Finish: throat heat alcohol attack, strawberry exhale

Summary: An incredibly inviting real strawberry nose starts it off nicely. Its sweetness is rather tame of a dessert wine; I suspect this has been fortified because I detect a prominent eau-de-vie presence in the mids that carries through to the finish. About 60/40-alcohol/fruitiness ratio. Not your typical syrupy sweet dessert fruit wine, quite sippable.

Creekside Coffee Stout – Canuck Empire Brewing (Aldergrove, BC, Canada)

Creekside Coffee Stout – Canuck Empire Brewing, 5.2% ABV, 650ml., (Aldergrove, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft brew*)


printed on the front-right label:

“Creekside Coffee Stout is winter in a bottle. This beer is black as night with a thick head of light brown foam. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, and a touch of smoke ignite your senses. Coffee and chocolate flavours mingle with the silky body and balanced hops to create a seriously drinkable beer. Delicious!”

Ingredients: Water, Malts: (2-Row, Chocolate, Debittered Black, Aromatic, and Flaked Barley), Brown Sugar, Coffee Beans, Lactose Sugar, Hops: (Magnum & Perle), Yeast

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  • Style: (flavoured – Coffee) Stout
  • Taste: Toffee malt ginger dry cinnamon/pumpkin spices half-bodied
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn, N. Bby
  • How much: $7 (after 10% off) – 650ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50, better out there

Visual: Pours dark coffee brown without a significant head, very thin ringed retention with a couple of small islands, barely visible slow steady micro streams.

Nose: roasted coffee, roasted barley malt (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: light crisp, tingly-micro fizzy

Mid-palate: sweet roasted barley malt, (lvl-6-sweetness), background caramelized nutty coffee

Finish: lactose milkiness, lingering roasted barley malt, cacao

Summary: A good balance of sweet roast and bitter coffee that isn’t too overbearing. The lactose and brown sugar help round it out, but I find the entry-mid palate feeling thin in the mouth. Sippable but forgettable.

Euphora Belgian-Style Tripel – Ruckus Brewing Co. (New York, NY, USA)

Euphora Belgian-Style Tripel – Ruckus Brewing Co., 9.0% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (formerly in Harrisburg, PA. Now New York, NY, USA)


  • Style: (Belgian-style) Tripel (9%)
  • Taste: Sweet heavy alcohol prune-candi barley malt subtle citrus woody spices
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $16 CAD / 4-pack (after 10% off), October 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes definitely

Visual: (cellared for 4 years) Pours pale medium brown without a significant head, fine ringed retention, clusters of steady micro streams.

Nose: prune, candi sugared barley malt. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: incoming heavy, soft crisp

Mid-palate: thicker viscosity, alcohol heaviness, prune, orange citrus, slight sour woody malted barley

Finish: residual sugars, nutmeg/other spice

Summary: Mildly interesting because of the spices in the mids and finish, but otherwise too heavy and coarse for my liking.

Crispin Artisanal Reserve The Saint – Crispin Cider Co. (Colfax, CA, USA)

Crispin Artisanal Reserve The Saint – Crispin Cider Company, 6.9% ABV, 22 fl.oz., (Colfax, California, USA)


on the front-left:

“Naturally fermented with Belgian Trappist beer yeast using a premium blend of unpasteurized fresh-pressed apple juice, not from concentrate, with no added malt, spirit or grape alcohols.

Experience a sweetly floral to herbal aromatic bouquet and an elegant yeasty flavor with a sustained mouth-feel that develops a subtle spicy complexity.

The Saint’s Artisanal Reserve, Unfiltered Hard Cider uses racked apple-wine smoothed with pure organic maple syrup, a kiss of apple juice, with no added sugar, colorants, sorbate or benzoate preservatives. Best served cool in a tulip glass for bold, crisp refreshment. ”

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  • Style: (flavoured – maple syrup, Belgian yeast) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Fruity bright tangy light sour apple juicy yeasty hints of maple syrup
  • Where I got it : Uwajimaya / Seattle
  • How much: $7.11 USD = $9.18 CAD, October 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: a good balance

Visual: Pours slightly hazy yellow with large bubbles clinging to the side of the glass, no head, the same bubbles sporadically surfacing.

Nose: tangy apple juice. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-dense juicy, slightly tart

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), sour-tangy acidity, bright apple juice, rounded body, yeasty mild palate rough, subtle non-descript spices

Finish: maple syrup undertones, apple juice exhale

Summary: An inviting big fruity apple flavour with a good amount of tangy-sour acidity and a hint of spice and maple syrup to round it out. Not exceptionally complex but enjoyable nonetheless. Solid.

13 Moons Oraniensteiner Icewine 2006 – Sonoran Estate Winery (Summerland, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C+]

13 Moons Oraniensteiner Icewine 2006 – Sonoran Estate Winery, 11.5% ABV, 200 ml., (Summerland, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


on the back label:

“Named after a castle in Germany, the Oraniensteiner varietal is the little-known love-child of Riesling and Sylvaner: parents of more familiar breeds such as Ehrenfelser and Kerner. Developed during the 1960’s at the famous Geisenheim Grapebreeding Institute in Germany, Oraniensteiner is celebrated by wine lovers for its vivid citrus flavours and bracing acidity: a perfect profile to balance the inherent sweetness of dessert wines. Extremely rare in Canada, the most significant plantings are at the meticulous 20+ year old Naramata vineyards belonging to Dan and Wolfgang Zellers, without whom Oraniensteiner may have become an obscure footnote in viticulture history.

Enjoy this delicious & long-lived icewine with cheeses, dark chocolate, or as a mouth-watering aperitif.”

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  • Style: (Oranienstiener) Icewine
  • Taste: Rounded rich tangy red grape juice-plum wine crisp warmth
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $35, sometime in 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: good but not great

Visual: (cellared for 10 years). Composite cork, still intact. Pours deep dark amber, crystal clear, thicker viscosity.

Nose: tangy syrupy grape-plum, hints of toffee. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: thicker, juicy sweet

Mid-palate: controlled (lvl-8-sweetness), rich tangy red grape juice, plum wine, crisp acidity, rounded flavour

Finish: gentle throat warmth, residual tangy fruity sugars

Summary: I visited the winery back in 2009 and was impressed by the ‘honey-like’ and drinkable their Icewines were. Fast forward 7 years and 1000+ tastings experience, I’d say this Icewine is still decent but not terribly complex as a dessert wine.