Winter White Stout – Steamworks Brewing Co. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Winter White Stout – Steamworks Brewing Company, 5.1% ABV – 33 IBU, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


Malts: Maris Otter, Flaked Barley, Flaked & Golden Naked Oats

Hops: Fuggles, Golding, WGB

Unique: Cacao & Coffee Beans

Colour: Caramel

IBU’s: 33

(left)


  • Style: (cacao bean, coffee bean, oats) Spiced Ale
  • Taste: Astringent sour roast coffee thin barley malt dry cacao subtle bitter hops
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.15 CAD (after 10% off) – 650ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: (cellared for 1 year) Pours clear golden orange with no head, just a very small spotty island and few uneventful bubbles here and there, large bits of sediment in the 2nd pour. Uninspiring.

Nose: roasted coffee, mild cacao notes, (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: thicker mouthfeel, crisp, off-dry coffee malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), background sour coffee bean, resiny metallic hopped, grainy barley malt

Finish: dry cacao-chocolate, residual light tangy sour barley malt, subtle lingering bitter hops

Summary: Not quite the stout I was expecting. I find the sourish roast coffee notes not meshing smoothly with the t00 light of a barley malt base, making it taste like a harsh cold brew coffee. Just a bit above average, better coffee ales out there.

Scarfface Cranberry Orange Wit – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Scarfface Cranberry Orange Wit – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“Say hello to our little friend! Scarfface is a welcome break from the heavy winter ales, this seasonal offering is snow-packed with enough cranberry and citrus to make a bad guy feel good. The world is yours…and so is this.”

Ingredients: water, barley, wheat, hops, yeast, cranberry juice, coriander, pure orange oil, acacia gum

(right)(left)


  • Style: (cranberry juice, coriander, orange oil) Flavoured Wheat ale
  • Taste: Light pukey palate rough tart tangy unappealing orangish/cranberryish wheat malt
  • Where I got it : Legacy liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $6.90 (after 10% off) – 650 ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no way in frozen hell

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours almost clear pale candy orange without much of a head, ringed retention, scattered small clustered steady streams, minor lacing.

Nose: unappealing orange oil, hints of berries. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: crisp-huge tart, light funk’d tart fruity wheat malt impression

Mid-palate: persistent tartness, (lvl-2-sweetness), tangy-tart acidity, background thin orange oil, palate rough soft banana wheat malt

Finish: slight coriander dry, more palate rough tart slight cranberry finish

Summary: Unfortunately none of the particularly advertised flavours shine; the whole experience lacks refinement. There’s also a major palate roughness in here that makes it quite unpleasant to drink by itself. Not recommended, though I can’t remember that last time I had a Phillips brew that wow’d me.

Pêche Mode 2014 – Double Mountain Brewery (Hood River, OR, USA)

Pêche Mode 2014 Belgian Style Sour Ale brewed with peaches – Double Mountain Brewery, 8.6% ABV – 7 BU, 12.7 fl.oz., (Hood River, Oregon, USA)


on the front-left label:

“This Belgian Style Ale is aged for nine months on local Hood River peaches, our special house yeast, and Brettanomyces. Peach aromas shine through a farmhouse of funk and finishes tart and dry. Bottle conditioned.”

(left)


  • Style: (peach) Sour Ale / Fruit beer
  • Taste: Big sour controlled pukey funk dull peach malt tangy tart acidity
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $18.70 CAD (after 10% off) – 12.7 fl.oz., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: good, but not worth the imported price

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Hefty quality bottle. Pours translucent marmalade orange with a smallish long-lasting 2mm head, tight steady-fast clustered streams.

Nose: high acidic sour pukey, fruity alcoholic peach-apricot at the backend (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: huge sour-medium tart impression, soft crisp

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), light vinegar, manageable big sour, medium pukey funk, dull peach notes mixed with tangy fruity malt

Finish: medium tart, lingering tangy soft fruity pukey acidity

Summary: Despite its big sourness and pukey nature, this is surprisingly sippable and the ABV is very well hidden. The peach fruitiness is on the dull side but the engaging acidity keeps this one interesting.

Smouldering Smoked Porter – Moody Ales (Port Moody, BC, Canada)


Smoulder Smoked Porter – Moody Ales, 6.9% ABV – 19 IBU, 650ml., (Port Moody, BC, Canada) (*local craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

“Ever wanted to drink the char marks on a steak? Now you can! Our Smouldering Smoked Porter contains copious amounts of beechwood smoked malts and is fermented with a clean yeast to showcase the smoky aromas of barbecued meats and wood fire. It is equally well suited to the summer, where it pairs well with charred red meat, and the winter, where it pairs well with the fireplace.”

Grains: pale malt, crystal 40, crystal 80, chocolate, black patent, beechwood smoked malt

Hops: willamette, East Kent goldings

(left)


  • Style: (beechwood) Smoked Porter
  • Taste: Straightforward sweet smoked soft roast bittersweet barley malt
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.60 (after 10% off) – 650ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: decent but not exciting

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours a very dark brown with a massive super creamy thick head, ultra tight clusters of active small streams. Awesome.

Nose: sweet, clean beechwood smoked malts (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: crisp, thinner body, medium sweet light smoked malt entry

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), stealth background light sour, light bittersweet woody roast barley malt,

Finish: medium-heavy smoked malt exhale, light char

Summary: The smokiness is certainly there, and it’s nice that it is controlled and sippable. There isn’t much complexity or depth to the thinnish body though; each sip is pretty much the same and there’s not a whole lot to explore. ABV well-hidden, solid, but predictable.

Red Racer Habanero Stout – Central City Brewers (Surrey, BC, Canada)

Red Racer Habanero Stout – Central City Brewers & Distillers, 8.5% ABV, 650 ml., (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


printed on the front-left label:

“Red Racer habanero stout is a classical Russian imperial stout with subtle addition of habanero chilis to create a warming and spicy mouth feel. Pronounced notes of coffee and chocolate balanced with Northwest hops and a touch of heat produce an exceptional imperial stout.”

(left)


  • Style: (flavoured – habanero) Imperial Stout
  • Taste: balanced sweet soft roasted barley malt chocolate light coffee negligible heat
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn / Burnaby
  • How much: $6.50 CAD (after 10% off) – 650 ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah, not memorable

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours clear and a very dark brown without much of a head, a thin ring with a medium island, micro bubbles surfacing here and there.

Nose: chocolatey roasted barley malt, molasses, hints of nutty coffee. No notes of habanero. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: light tingly-soft crisp, sweet roasted malt impression

Mid-palate: slight thicker mouthfeel, 50/50-bitter/milk chocolate, (lvl-6-sweetness), soft roasted barley malt, licorice

Finish: nutty coffee, very  subtle non-invasive heat, light bitter cocoa, residual bittersweet roasted barley malt

Summary: There’s no real standout flavours or textures but the overall tranquil balance of soft roast, sweetness, and alcohol means that this brew still goes down easy after the halfway mark. Good quality craftsmanship permeates the palate from start to finish.