Tranchero Casot Moscato d’Asti (Piedmont, Italy)

  • My Rating: [B]

Tranchero Casot Moscato d’Asti 2010, DOCG, 5.5% ABV, 750 ml., (Piedmont, Italy)


on the back label:

“A refreshing one syllable wine with a light spritz… from Sperling Vineyards. Made from a heritage ‘Moscato’ planting, these grapes are gently vinified to produce naturally lower alcohol, elegance and finesse.”


  • Style: (frizzante, aperitif/digestif) Moscato d’Asti
  • Taste: Controlled sweet tropical guava-pineapple fruity
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $23 CAD (after 10% off) – 750 ml., May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: sure

Visual: (cellared for 7 years, 2010 vintage). DOCG sticker, numbered bottle, foil top with authentic stamped cork. Pours clear light apple juice yellow with suspended large bubbles, nano-bits of sediment.

Nose: light green apple, guava, a touch of lime. (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: bright fruity entry, mildly tingly

Mid-palate: elevated bright fruitiness, background acidity, slight cloying (lvl-6-sweetness), GUAVA, pineapple

Finish: residual tangy apple, mostly clean

Summary: Tropical fruit city! Big exotic fruitiness with solid depth and body. It’s becomes cloying as it warms, would go nicely with a charcuterie, or with a warm cinnamon dusted apple pie to finish. Solid for its ABV.

Enigma Kettle Sour – R&B Brewing Co. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Enigma Kettle Sour – R&B Brewing Co., 6.5% ABV – 18 IBUs, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front label:

“A pleasantly tart kettle soured ale, dry hopped with enigma and galaxy hops and fermented with our favourite Belgian yeast strain. Dominant flavours are tropical fruits, pinot gris and citrus combined with subtle spicy yeast character.”


  • Style: Sour/Wild Ale
  • Taste: Tart tangy peachy-mango sour off-dry light malt balanced
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.30 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

Visual: Pours clear light copper orange with a a large dissipating foamy head, a touch of lacing, clusters of steady streams.

Nose: fruity peachy-mango, slight hop grassy (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: tart-crisp, med-high sour, tingly CO2, tart fruity malt impression

Mid-palate: soft creamy CO2, persistent tart-sour, (lvl-2-sweetness), tangy peach-apricot, light barley malt

Finish: short subtle prickly spice, peachy hop exhale, puckery gums

Summary: Big tropical fruity tart sourness as advertised, balanced nicely and never too aggressive or cloying. Decent body and all around pleasant.

Chardonnay Icewine 2010 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: D+ (bad P:E, price:enjoyability)

Chardonnay Icewine 2010 – Isabella Winery, 13% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC icewine*)


on the back label:

“This fresh Icewine Chardonnay is buttery and smooth nectar of richness demonstrates good balance, and exhibits flavors of ripe apple, apricot, melon and lemon zest. A hint of oak vanilla, toasted marshmallow aromas round out the robust yet gentle mouthfeel.”


  • Style: (Chardonnay) Icewine
  • Taste: Tangy red apple apricot soft sour crisp short length basic flavour
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $71 (after 15% off) – 375 ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: never

Visual: (cellared for at least 7 years), real cork partially disintegrated upon uncorking. Pours apple juice yellow with a slight orange shade, crystal clear.

Nose: apple juice, Welch’s white grape, light sweet acidity. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming sweet juicy tangy

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), red apple, almost salty, tangy alcohol, very mild heat, apricot, watery viscosity

Finish: soft sour, residual medium tangy apricot-grape

Summary: Lol this is what you call impulse spending on liquor – buy the whole 20+ bottle lineup, review them all for blog, and check the bill later. In any case, another DNB, waste of money dessert wine from Isabella. Way too thin and basic apple flavour straight out of the fridge; Luckily the acidity kicks in as it warms and you get more tangy apricot in the backend. Still, a turd is a turd even if you cellar for 7 years it. Drinkable, but after feeling swindled.

StarGazer Chamomile Wheat – Canuck Empire Brewing (Aldergrove, BC, Canada)

StarGazer Chamomile Wheat – Canuck Empire Brewing (brewed at Deadfrog Brewery), 6.0% ABV, 650ml., (Aldergrove, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft brew*)


printed on the front-right label:

“Chamomile Wheat is summer in a bottle. The beer pours a hazy golden straw colour. Aromas of wheat and chamomile intertwine with a touch of honey. Light wheat flavours blend with raspberry and chamomile on the palate to create a refreshing summer beer. Delicious.”

Ingredients: Water, Malts: (Wheat, 2-Row, Munich 30), Organic Dried Chamomile Floweres, Raspberry Blossom Honey
, Hops: (Saaz), Yeast

(right)


  • Style: (flavoured – Chamomile) Wheat Ale
  • Taste: crisp slightly dry grainy barley malt soft tangy chamomile slight honey
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn, N. Bby
  • How much: $6.30 (after 10% off) – 650ml., October 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nope

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Pours clear pale golden orange without much of a head, ringed retention with a large island, very clustered active streams.

Nose: big chamomile, slight liquid barley malt (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: dry crisp, grainy barley malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), grainy light toffee barley malt, soft prickly tangy sour

Finish: mild sweet wheat malt w/ palate roughness, dry chamomile exhale, honey, residual metallic barley malt

Summary: Surprisingly not a whole lot of wheat, I mostly get barley and chamomile. A decent drinkable brew but the chamomile is rather dull. Not bright nor quenching enough for wheat ale.

London Dry Gin Round 8 – Fords (Champ) VS Bloom (Challenger)

Here’s another 2017 round of the gin battles, making this Round 8 to date. We have the previous, newly crowned champ Fords versus the beautifully bottled Bloom.


[CHAMPION from Round 7, winning out over Pink 47]

1) Ford’s Gin London Dry – 45% ABV – 750ml., The 86 Co. (England), $43.70 CAD,  Jan 2017 – BC Liquor Stores

  • distilled by 8th gen Master distiller Charles Maxwell and Simon Ford of The 86 Co.
  • 9 botanicals: Italian juniper, Romanian coriander seed, Spanish lemon peel, Haitian/Moroccan bitter orange peel, Turkish grapefruit peel, Chinese jasmine, Italian/Moroccan orris powder, Polish angelica, Indonesian cassia
  • botanicals steeped for 15 hours, cooked for 5 hours

(right)wp-1484984451298.jpg(left)wp-1484984459747.jpg

<VS> Challenger:

2) Bloom Premium London Dry Gin – 40% ABV – 750ml., G&J Greenall (England), $53 CAD,  sometime in 2015-16 – BC Liquor Stores

  • 29 international awards since 2008 (bloomgin.com)
  • created by one of world’s few female master gin distiller, Joanne Moore
  • includes juniper berries from Tuscany, chamomile from France, honeysuckle and pomelo from China
  • affinity for strawberry, rose, lemon, and pear when creating cocktails
  • quality wood top-authentic cork stopper (as opposed to being a cheap aluminum screw top cap)

(right)(cork stopper)

<Criteria>

Nose: Ford exhibits a mostly clean grassy-mineral juniper body with hints of its unique ingredient jasmine, with a bit of alcohol detection at the deep backend. Bloom… what?? had to do a double take; Extremely different with a chamomile-honeysuckle-soft pomelo identity, whilst being very clean from start to finish. It’s a close one but I prefer the brightness of Bloom. Bloom takes it.

Taste & Texture: Ford comes out swinging with an aggressive tangy alcoholic medium harshness, thicker oily viscosity, cinnamon-juniper-jasmine, prickly numbing tongue, menthol throat warmth finish. Blooms is less thick than its competitor, floral-honeysuckle and chamomile up front, light-medium alcohol burn mixed with pomelo citrus while juniper kicks in at the late mids until the finish. Very mild throat burn and a rather clean but unfortunately short finish. There’s about a medium level of depth of flavour for Bloom but the duration of flavour seems too short. I definitely enjoy the flavour, but Ford is simply a more robust gin. Ford gots it.

Final Notes:

  • Ford has a +body, +length, +depth, but unfortunately -smoothness and +burn = will work better in a cocktail with many ingredients
  • Bloom has a unique floral-citrus flavour profile but a weaker body = suitable in a cocktail with few ingredients
  • I would stock both, as both are delicious

but if I had to pick a winner to go to the next round, WINNER = Fords Gin

Elijah Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout – Longwood Brewery (Nanaimo, BC, Canada)

Elijah Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout (Imperial Stout) – Longwood Brewery, 8.2% ABV – 650ml., (Nanaimo, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“Small Batch Series #3. Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout Aging for 6 months in ‘Ex’ Heaven Hills Bourbon barrels has transformed this Imperial Stout into an Ode to Elijah Craig; the founder of charred oak barrel aging.”

(right)


  • Style: (Heaven Hills bourbon barrel aged) Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Big dark winey pukey sour light wet woody barley malt roasted exhale
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $8.60 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 650ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah, not the BBA imp stout you want

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours jet black with a lasting medium 2cm thick frothy head, tight clusters of micro streams, no lacing.

Nose: mild funk’d light tangy roast barley malt. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: creaminess, immediate acidity, soft crisp, sour malt impression

Mid-palate: big tangy sourness (!?), (lvl-4-sweetness), light wet woody barley malt, sour dark winey prune

Finish: cacao, sour pukey, lingering sweet barley malt, roasted exhale, subtle stealth bitter hops

Summary: Totally NOT what I was expecting – Big acidic dark fruity sourness complimented by roasted malt in BA imp stout?? Nonetheless it is decently balanced and still interestingly drinkable. The sourness is a bit harsh for a stout, I would rather more dark caramel roast instead. The more I drink it, the more apparent the sourness becomes offensive – rogue yeast for sure.

La Divine Comédie Wit Pils du Purgatoire – Le Trou du Diable (Shawinigan, QC, Canada)

La Divine Comédie Wit Pils du Purgatoire – Le Trou du Diable & Dieu du Ciel! collaboration, 5.4% ABV, 600ml., (Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada)


on the back label:

“Cette Wit-pis <nouveau mondes> est la seconde collaboration de la série Purgatoire entre les brasseries Le trou du diable et Dieu du Ciel! Il s’agit du’une bière voilée qui offre un nez malté aux accents de fruits de la passion et de mangues. La bouche offre une belle fraîcheur de blé suivi d’une finale exotique et mordante.”

(google translate):

This Wit-pis <new worlds> is the second collaboration of the series Purgatory between breweries Le trou du diable and Dieu du Ciel! It is a veiled beer that offers a malty nose with accents of passion fruit and mango. The mouth offers a nice freshness of wheat followed by an exotic and biting finale.

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

(back)


  • Style: (wheat malt, rye malt) Pilsener
  • Taste: Biting bitter hopped slight tropical fruity rye-wheat-barley malt lingering dry hops
  • 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: 50/50

Visual: (Their own bottle for their brewery, raised lettering and devil on the bottom, odd size 600ml). (Cellared for 2 years). Pours cloudy orange-yellow with a smallish dissipating 1cm head, thin ringed retention with a spotty island, sporadic singular streams.

Nose: peachy wheat malt, hints of banana (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, dry hoppy fruity malt impression

Mid-palate: biting bitter hops, (lvl-2-sweetness), peach-mango notes, fruity barley-wheat malt blend

Finish: prickly rye malt, lingering prominent dry hopped bitterness

Summary: Overall quite quenching straight out of the bottle, but the hopped bitterness becomes a bit harsh as it warms. All around good quality texture, flavour, and composition.