Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout 2016 – Steamworks Brewing Co. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

2016 Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout – Steamworks Brewing Company, 9.5% ABV – 60 IBU, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


on the front-left label:

“Aged in Tennessee Bourbon Barrels, this powerful Imperial Stout pours near black with a thick tan head at 60 IBU’s. Perfect for immediate enjoyment or further maturing.”

(left)


  • Style: (Tennessee bourbon barrel aged) Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Harsh alcoholic heavy vanilla bourbon roasted barley malt chocolate
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $16 CAD – 650ml., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not worth $ for a local brew

Visual: Pours jet black with a super-INFINITY-lasting 2cm frothy head, great micro foamy retention, thick sticky lacing, superfine micro clusters of activity. Visually, a masterpiece.

Nose: deep thick and sweet caramelized barley malt, vanilla overtones. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: thick-creamy crisp bite, heavy alcoholic malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-8-sweetness), bittersweet roasted barley malt, alcoholic numbing heavy, woody caramel, vanilla, chocolate

Finish: bourbon exhaled alcoholic heat, residual light roasted sweet caramel malt

Summary: Drinks full flavoured at 13°C and warmer. A pretty harsh heavy alcoholic sweet front but the vanilla-oak flavours from the bourbon barrel aging are actually quite nice. Not quite balanced/elegantly round enough to be great, too jagged at the entry. Also not worth the $16 CAD (for a local beer) as other people have noted.

Gettin It Farmhouse of the North – Parallel 49 & 49th State Collaboration (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Gettin It Farmhouse of the North – Parallel 49 Brewing & 49th State Brewing Collaboration (Brews Brothers 2017), 7.0% ABV, 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


-Finally done with this “slightly above average” P49 bomber pack. Lesson learned – collabs with big name breweries don’t always equal big tasting beers. Check ratings first at Ratebeer/BeerAdvocate. Damn you impulse buying.


on the 4-pack bomber box:

“Get it going like a 49er with this Farmhouse of the North. This ale has a light earthy spiciness and a hint of tartness. Unique aromas of orange peel and juniper are complimented by a balanced amount of Northwest hops.”

(on the box)


  • Style: Saison
  • Taste: Light toasty farty tangy grainy-yeasty barley malt soft lengthy bitter hops
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $28.75 CAD / 4-pack of 650ml., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not worth buying the 4-pack

Visual: In a mixed 2017 4-pack of bombers. Pours clear bright orange with very small dissipating head, a 1mm layer of retention, tight clusters of active streams.

Nose: medium-lvl funk, slight citrus, mainly tangy barley malt. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: thicker-fine crisp mouthfeel, farty funk sweet malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), light toasted grainy-yeasty barley malt, background tangy dull citrus, fizzy-full mouthfeel

Finish: slight orange peel exhale, lengthy soft bitter hops

Summary: There’s a bit of orange peel notes but claiming juniper is a bit of stretch. The overall drinking experience is rather dull for a saison, but at least the fullness of CO2 and burpiness are there. I’m not particularly liking the heavy sweet malt-farty combo.

La Blanche de SHAWI – Le Trou du Diable (Shawinigan, QC, Canada)

La Blanche de SHAWI – Le Trou du Diable, 5% ABV, 600ml., (Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada)


on the back label:

“With its wehat-coloured opal hue, this beer draws a fine veil of foam lace with each sip. Its scent recalls citrus delicately spiced with coriander and lemon. The pallet [sic] is first touched by the fine sweet taste of wheat, which then alternates between sweet and sour and which concludes with a sweet and very refreshing tart.”

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

(back)


  • Style: Witbier
  • Taste: plain banana wheat malt palate rough dryish
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $8.70 (after 10% off) – 600ml., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: (Their own bottle for their brewery, raised lettering and devil on the bottom, odd size 600ml). Pours cloudy light unfiltered apple juice yellow with a smallish dissipating head, thin ringed retention, a mix of fast large CO2 sporadic streams as well as micro steady clusters. Large bubbles clinging to the side of the glass.

Nose: 70/30-banana/pineapple wheat malt, very slight pukey, a bit of peach. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, banana wheat malt rough palate impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), mild sour lemony funk, banana wheat malt

Finish: residual tart fruity wheat malt

Summary: Pretty standard, none of the flavours nor textures really grabbed my attention. Just average, and a bit disappointing coming from Le Trou.

Blazing Arrow Tawny IPA – Parallel 49 & Gigantic Collaboration (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Blazing Arrow Tawny IPA – Parallel 49 Brewing & Scuttlebutt Brewing Collaboration, 6.0% ABV, 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the 4-pack bomber box:

“Blaze one down as you sip on this tawny IPA that has enough malt character to balance out the massive amount of hops in this beer. You down with H.O.P? Ya, you know me.”

(on the box)


  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: 60/40-malt-citrusy bready barley malt soft bitter hopped finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $28.75 CAD / 4-pack of 650ml., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not worth buying the 4-pack

Visual: In a mixed 2017 4-pack of bombers. Pours clear copper orange without much of a lasting head, ringed retention, countable clustered fast streams.

Nose: tangerine peel, sweet citrusy bready malt. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, sweet malt/soft hop impression

Mid-palate: slight creamier/thick, (lvl-4-sweetness), big orange-citrusy-malt presence, mild dry grassed out hop

Finish: soft tart, soft bitter citrus hop

Summary: A good 60/40-malt-citrus hop balance with a decently smooth and fullish mouthfeel.

Baby Got Back Hoppy Hefe – Parallel 49 / Scuttlebutt Collaboration (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Baby Got Back Hoppy Hefe – Parallel 49 Brewing & Scuttlebutt Brewing Collaboration, 6.5% ABV, 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the 4-pack bomber box:

“This Bavarian style hip hop n’weizen boasts traditional flavours of clove and banana. This Hef is backed by badonkadonk aromas of melon imparted by the hops.”

(on the box)


  • Style: German Hefeweizen
  • Taste: Big banana wheat malt mild wheat malt roughness
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $28.75 CAD / 4-pack of 650ml., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not worth buying the 4-pack

Visual: In a mixed 2017 4-pack of bombers. Pours clear pale orange with a very small head, a thin half-layer of micro retention, a good spread of clustered steady streams.

Nose: banana wheat malt, a bit of bubblegum. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, slightly thicker mouthfeel, fruity banana malt impression

Mid-palate: banana wheat malt, (lvl-3-sweetness), tangy-very mild bitterness

Finish: major clove/mild melon exhale, slight wheat malt palate rough, subtle stealth

Summary: Easy drinkability, mostly banana wheat malt with some minor clove and melon nuances. Fairly clean but some noticeable wheat malt roughness at the finish. Decent, but not noteworthy.

What’s Golden East Meets West IPA – Parallel 49 / Green Flash Collaboration (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

What’s Golden East Meets West IPA – Parallel 49 Brewing & Green Flash Brewing Collaboration, 6.5% ABV, 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the 4-pack bomber box:

“We’ve matched a West Coast style IPA with techniques common to the newly popular New England IPA. Hop aromas of citrusy tropical fruit combine with a smooth and creamy mouth feel for a winning East-meets-West collab.”

(on the box)


-Incidentally, what is a New England IPA (sometimes known as Vermont IPA)?

here’s a short read, but compared to West Coast IPAs:

  • smooth, creamy, fluffy mouthfeel (possible addition of flaked oats)
  • tropical (mango/pineapple/passionfruit)
  • NON-bitter hopped finish (not lingering at least)

  • Style: (New England style) IPA
  • Taste: Creamy mango soft bitter medium citrus barley malt hops dry non-bitter finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $28.75 CAD / 4-pack of 650ml., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not worth buying the 4-pack

Visual: In a mixed 4-pack of bombers. Pours clear pale golden orange with a smallish head, a micro layer of retention, steady loose streams.

Nose: fragrant mango-pineapple hop oils, musky dank hops. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: fluffy creamy mouthfeel, soft crisp, dryish 50/50-fruity/malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), mango, peach, slight tangy soft bitter hops, medium body citrusy barley malt, soft metallic

Finish: cuts dry, short and dull non-lingering tangerine bitter hops,

Summary: This being my first try of a New England IPA, I must say I really dig the CREAMY mouthfeel. There’s a good burst of tropical citrus malt flavour up front, but I find the late-mids to finish cutting short rather abruptly, leaving the palate wanting more length. Nose and impression are there, but the body isn’t.

Northwest Dark Sour Saison BA – Spinnakers Brewpub (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Northwest Dark Sour Saison / Brewers Reserve Series (single batch 150 cases) – Spinnakers Brewpub, 6.0% ABV – 60 IBU, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-rightt label:

“Dark, hoppy, tropical, sour, funky, spicy, malty – this saison has a lot going on. Brewer with a hefty dose of tropical northwest hops, aged in French and American Oak for 6 months and they dry hopped, this sour is truly complex and has a bit of something for everyone. ”

(right)


  • Style: (French & American oak barrel aged) Sour Ale
  • Taste: Big sour-tart pukey fieldberry barley malt mid-to-finish bitter hops
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $13.45 CAD – 650ml., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Visual: Pours a very dark brown with virtually no head, ringed retention with a small island, a few bubbles here and there.

Nose: dark fruity currant/raspberry, slight sour acidic vinegary. Rich and welcoming. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: light crisp-immediate sour impression

Mid-palate: big sour-tart acidity mixed with fruity pukey funk, (lvl-4-sweetness), light barrel woodiness, sour fieldberry barley malt

Finish: stealth bitter hops, residual pukiness

Summary: Finally, a spinnaker brew that I can give a decent rating. Good complexity that involves an appetizing sourness and completeness in the fruity body. The sourness gets a bit heavy, but I bitter hops that kick in from the late mids to finish help out. I’m glad to see a step up in the quality in this brew.

Double Devil Bourbon BA Imperial Pale Ale – R&B Brewing Co. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Double Devil 2012 Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Pale Ale – R&B Brewing Co., 8.5% ABV, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

-retired, no longer available


on the front-right label:

This brew is an extra strong take on our Red Devil Pale, conditioned for three months in bourbon barrels. Full flavoured and fruity, with a subtle touch of whiskey, it is a hearty and warming seasonal ale.”

(left)


  • Style: (Bourbon barrel aged) American Strong Ale
  • Taste: Boozy tangy bourbon toffee barley malt
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $8 CAD (after 10% off) – 650 ml., March 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: n/a, no longer available

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). 2012 vintage. Pours light root beer brown with just a small head, ringed micro retention, loose clusters of steady streams.

Nose: bourbon-laced toffee barley malt, slight booziness. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: light slick-crisp, heavy sweet toffee malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-7-sweetness), boozy-tangy, bourbonized toffee barley malt, light background oak notes

Finish: cinnamon, cola, trace alcoholic heat, prominent residual heavy sweet malt

Summary: Quite boozy and heavy with some thinness/shortness of the malt body in the mids. Decent complexity.

India Pale Ale – Nogne Ø (Grimstad, Norway)

India Pale Ale – Nøgne Ø, 7.5% ABV, 0.50 L, (Grimstad, Norway)


on the front-side label:

“India Pale Ale is a full-flavored ale, as is traditional for this historic ale type. We have used hops from the American Pacific Coast because they add such a beautiful aroma. we recommend Nøgne Ø IPA be served at 10°C and paired with foods with strong or spicy flavors. Nøgne Ø ales are unfiltered and unpasteurized.”

(side)


  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Woody funk fruity tangy plum barley malt dry bitter
  • Where I got it : 16th St. Liquor / W.Vancouver
  • How much: $7 CAD (after 10% off) – 0.50 L., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: a truly different IPA

Visual: (cellared for 3 years). Huge gusher! Unfiltered yeast working OT. Pours 80/20-head/beer ratio, super thick foam, thick sticky lacing, opaque pale orange-brown, super clustered micro activity.

Nose: slight woody-sourish funk, unfiltered apple juice’d malts – very interesting for an IPA. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp-very creamy, fruity malt impression

Mid-palate: full bloated mouthfeel, background tangy, (lvl-5-sweetness), plummy caramel barley malt

Finish: trace airy wheat malt, light woody-funk exhale, sourish dry bitter hops, residual caramel barley malt

Summary: Definitely not your standard IPA. The woody funk goes pretty well with the alcoholic sweet fruity barley malt body. The quality is a cut above the local brews here.

La Maison Wild Saison – Four Winds Brewing Co. (Delta, BC, Canada)

La Maison Wild Saison – Four Winds Brewing Co., 4.5% ABV – 30 IBU, 650 ml, (Delta, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the back label:

“A delicately light body with a pale golden hue, this dry table saison is brewed with spelt and rye and then fermented with wild yeasts for notes of pepper and tropical fruits. This beer is the part of Notus Series. The Notus series, named after the Greek God of the South Winds, is a series of low-ABV brews that are as flavoured as they are approachable.”

(back)


  • Style: (Wild, table) Saison
  • Taste: Full crisp peach-pineapple wheat malt subtle pepper subtle bitter
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $5.50 CAD (after 20% off) – 650 ml., October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, full for a 4.5%

Visual: Pours with a massive 50/50 head/beer ratio, ultra foamy and lasting, heaps of clustered fast active streams, sticky lacing. Gorgeous.

Nose: light chamomile, a bit of peachy-pineapple. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: full airy CO2-crisp, off-dry tropical wheat malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), pineapple-peach wheat malt, subdued lemon sour-tanginess, controlled wheat malt palate roughness

Finish: yeasty very subtle bitter, trace rye prickly pepper

Summary: Surprisingly sufficiently full-flavoured for a 4.5%, with a very welcoming crisp mouthfeel. Slightly thinnish in the mids after a glass or two but nice with a meal.