Grapefruit Sculpin – Ballast Point Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA, USA)

Grapefruit Sculpin – Ballast Point Brewing Company, 7.0% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (San Diego, California, USA)


printed on the side of the can:

“Our Grapefruit Sculpin is the latest take on our signature IPA. Some may say there are few ways to improve Sculpin’s unique flavor, but the tart freshness of grapefruit perfectly complements our IPA’s citrusy hop character. Grapefruit’s a winter fruit, but this easy-drinking ale tastes like summer.”


  • Style: (flavoured – grapefruit) IPA
  • Taste: Supremely smooth bitter grapefruit toffee biscuit malt lengthy bitter hops
  • Where I got it : Trader Joe’s / Seattle
  • How much: $14.79 USD / $19.10 CAD – 6×12 fl.oz., October 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). 12 oz. can. Pours translucent bright orange with a slowly dissipating foamy head, sticky lacing, 5mm fine foamy retention, very tight clustered micro streams.

Nose: sweet toffee’d biscuity malts, citrus undertones (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: creamy-smooth, sharp crisp bite, tangy bitter malt impression

Mid-palate: background tangy, very smooth transition, (lvl-3-sweetness), grapefruity toasted biscuity malt

Finish: grainy bitter grapefruit hops, lingering long soft bitterness

Summary: Incredible smoothness from start to finish. Lots of flavour, body, balance, and drinkability for a 7% bitter bomb.

Moscato IGT Veneto – Sacchetto (Trebaseleghe, Italy)

  • My Rating: [C+]

Moscato IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) Veneto – Sacchetto, 7% ABV, 750 ml., (Trebaseleghe, Italy)


more information about this moscato on their Italian website: www.sacchettovini.it


  • Style: (frizzante, aperitif) Moscato IGT
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : 16th St Liquor / West Vancouver
  • How much: $16 CAD (after 10% off) – 750 ml., August 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: nah

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Non-vintage. Resealable bailer-top bottle. Pours clear light sunshine yellow with tight large bubbles hugging the side of the glass, sporadic surfacing bubbles, a few singular slow steady small bubble streams. Frizzante.

Nose: lemon curd, apple-pineapple, partial wine acidity (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: dense sugars, sweet & fruity impression

Mid-palate: tingly mouthfeel, (lvl-8-sweetness), med-high sour/slight tangy, apple juice, lemony, white table grape, green apple

Finish: residual fruitness-sour

Summary: Very fruity forward with a big sweetness to back it up. The good thing is that there’s a density of flavour that accompanies the sugars. Slightly cloying and predicable in flavour, not quite a tropical and bright as I had hoped.

Freigeist Geisterzug Spruced Traditional Gose – Freigeist Bierkultur (Stolberg, Germany)

Freigeist Geisterzug Spruced Traditional Gose – Freigeist Bierkultur, 5% ABV, 1 pint .9 fl.oz., (Stolberg, Germany)


on the back label:

“Freigeist is an experimental offshoot of Cologne’s revolutionary small brewery, Braustelle. Here we strive to break the chains of industrial brewing by reviving, and updating, Germany’s unique, historical beer styles.

A quirky version of the nearly-extinct traditional sour beer of Leipzig, Geisterzug (‘Ghost Train’) spruced gose is unusually complex, funky, and full-bodied”

(back)


  • Style: (flavoured – spruce tips) Gose
  • Taste: crisp bite subtle sour-tangy bready barley malt grainy sweet wheat
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.30 CAD (5% off) – 1 pint 0.9 fl.oz., May 2016
  • Do I love this enoughto drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours clear light copper orange with a smallish 1cm head, 1mm fine retention, loose clusters of singular active streams.

Nose: sweet-farty medium-heavy barley malt,  (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: sharp crisp bite, malty impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-4-sweetness), very short trace spruce, subtle background short tangy-sour, bready barley malt

Finish: slight grainy wheat malt, stealth lingering soft bitter hops

Summary: I’m not getting a whole lot of spruce, just a trace amount in the at the start of the mids. A good crisp mouthfeel and with a decent body, just not enough overall depth.

Hopped Apricot – Salt Spring Wild Cider House (Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada)

Hopped Apricot – Salt Spring Wild Cider House, 6.8% ABV, 750 ml., (Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada) (*local BC cider*)


-The 2nd Salt Spring Wild bottled tasting, 1st being their Plum Cider [C].


on the front-left label and a pic of an Italian prune plum:

“We’ve blended cascade hops, apricots, and organic apples together to create an aromatic cider that challenges conceptions of what cider can be. Both cider lovers and beer lovers will find a perfect union in this flavourful hefeweizen-esque all season cider.”

(left)


  • Style: (flavoured – apricot, cascade hops) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Crisp tangy tart dry apple grapefruit hopped subtle apricot
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $16.15 CAD (after 10% off) – 750ml., March 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes

Visual: Bailer-top resealable cap. Pours clear apple juice yellow, no head, very slow and steady countable spread out micro streams.

Nose: muscat, filtered apple juice, slight perfumey apricot. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: firm crisp, bright fruity impression

Mid-palate: micro-tingly, (lvl-2-sweetness), background tangy-soft tart, dry apple juice, juicy grapefruit hopped exhale

Finish: lingering apricot, residual fruity dry apple

Summary: I really appreciate that you can ACTUALLY taste hops and apricots. Good integration and balance of flavours, very nice transitions. Solid stuff, and better than their plum cider.

Isastegi Sagardo Naturala – Sidreria Isastegi Sagardotegia (Tolosa, Spain)


Isastegi Sagardo Naturala – Sidreria Isastegi Sagardotegia, 6% ABV, 750 ml., (Tolosa, Spain)


  • Style: (barrel aged) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Puckery sour soft tart pukey woody apple cider vinegar
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $12.45 (after 20% off) – 750 ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Plastic wrapped top, real cork. Pours clear pale yellow with no head, large bubbles along the glass wall, bubbles sporadically surfacing. Large sediment settled in the bottle.

Nose: tangy woody apple cider vinegar (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: virtually flat CO2, very subtle tingly, sour-acidic impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), huge wet woodiness, apple cider vinegar, big puckery sour pukey funk, subtle green apple

Finish: tart dryish, lingering woody apple juice exhale

Summary: Another traditional cider from Spain, the first Sidra Bere which I reviewed here [B]. This one is too aggressive pukey sour and is lacking in firm crispness in the entry. Too much vinegar and not enough apple coming through.

 

Black Sam Licorice Stout – Lighthouse Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Black Sam Licorice Stout – Lighthouse Brewing, 7.2% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC Craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“With an aroma of roasted malt and nighttime, this pitch black stout has flavours of rich maltiness, molasses sweetness, dark chocolate, and a delicate note of Licorice.”

(right)


  • Style: (flavoured – Licorice) Stout
  • Taste: Sweet molasses light roast barley malt mild coffee dark chocolate licorice
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn / N. Bby
  • How much: $8 (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

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Pours coffee black with no head, almost no retention, scatter micro bubbles surfacing.

Nose: caramelized barley malt, cocoa, slight roast (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp, sweet dark barley malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), molasses, medium roasted barley, coffee,

Finish: dark chocolate, licorice, sweet roasted barley malt exhale

Summary: Overall clean and well-bodied. It lacks creaminess but makes for up for it with a crisp bite up front. Smooth transitions of flavours from start to finish.

Melville’s Strawberry Craft Lager – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Melville’s Strawberry Craft Lager – Innis & Gunn, 4.1% ABV, 275 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)


on the back label:

We have captured the mouth-watering flavours of Scottish Jubilee Strawberries by blending real fruit juice with our craft-brew lager. The resulting beer is full flavoured and deliciously refreshing. Purity of flavour is so important to us we never use juice from concentrate.”


  • Style: (strawberry) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: Strawberry puree mixed with a simple lager
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $11 CAD (after 10% off) – 275 ml. x 4, September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nope

Visual: (cellared for 3.5 years). Pours reddish-brown with a micro bits of suspended strawberry sediment, no head, a half ring retention, scattered mix of spread out slow and steady loose streams.

Nose: strawberry puree, jam-like (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: tingly-soft crisp bite, strawberry fruity sweet impression

Mid-palate: bright (lvl-5-sweetness), slightly jammy-mostly authentic strawberry, conflicting subtle hop bitterness, barley malt background

Finish: artificial sweetener-like palate roughness

Summary: Decent bright fruity flavour but its severely lacking in any strawberry tanginess. It’s okay as a casual sipper to go along with a meal or a chill beer at the beach, but it lacks any real depth beyond mixing strawberry puree into a glass of lager.