Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter – Powell Street Craft Brewery (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter – Powell Street Craft Brewery, 6% ABV – 27 IBUs, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

on the back label:

“We’ve aged a robust porter for six months in American whiskey barrels. Notes of cherry and vanilla enhance the subtle dark fruit and coffee flavours of this limited edition beer.


  • Style: (whiskey barrel aged) Porter
  • Taste: Heavy sweet caramel toffee malt alcoholic vanilla
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Bby
  • How much: $9 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 650 ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah, not enough balance
  • What made an impression: aromatic vanilla from barrel aging

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Pours heart of darkness black with a small 1cm frothy head, 1mm retention, lots of fast tight clustered streams.

Nose: brown sugar molasses malt, vanilla (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp-fizzy-airy, sweet impression

Mid-palate: tingly-bloated, sweet cocoa, cloying heavy (lvl-7-sweetness), light woody, sweet caramel-toffee malt, tangy alcohol

Finish: vanilla, cherry-dark fruit, mild bittersweet

Summary: Decent body, but too much persistent sweetness that becomes cloying and heavy on the palate. The whiskey barrel influence is certainly there, but it’s lacking in creaminess and finesse to balance it out.

La Pitoune (Pils) – Le Trou du Diable (Shawinigan, QC, Canada)

La Pitoune (Pils) – Le Trou du Diable, 5% ABV, 375 ml., (Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada)

on the back label:

“The Pitoune Pils offers and intense aroma of grain and hops, topped with a rich, thick cream. The palate is both fresh and crisp, and the bitterness comes through with each sip for a refreshing experience.”

Ingredients: water, malted barley, hops, yeast.


  • Style: (unfiltered lager) Keller Pils
  • Taste: Tangy bright off-dry citrus grainy barley
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $8.70 (after 10% off) – 375 ml., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure
  • What made an impression: clean grainy barley with depth

Visual: (Cellared for 2 years). Pours cloudy bright yellow-orange with a 1cm head, a thin layer of micro retention, a few microbubbles here and there.

Nose: musky apricot-pineapple malt, honey. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, smooth almost creamy CO2

Mid-palate: bright, light tangy, very grainy barley malt malt, dry (lvl-1-sweetness), hint lemon

Finish: apricot, subtle hop dry bitter, residual grainy

Summary: A fine balance of bright barley grain accented by slight citrus and subtle hops. This goes well with any meal. A fine lager, which I don’t particularly lean toward in preference.

Joy (Sparkling Mead) 2008 – Meadow Vista Honey Wines (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

Joy – Sparkling Honey Wine 2008 – Meadow Vista Honey Wines, 12.2% ABV, 750 ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada) (*local BC mead*)

-Best Winery @ Winefest 2010 Edmonton & Calgary

printed on the back of the bottle:

Crisp bubbles and elegant fruit flavours with just a hint of honey are a joy to savour. It is the beverage environmentally savvy Champagne lovers choose to celebrate their joyous occasions.


  • Style: (sparkling) Mead
  • Taste: Lively CO2 off-dry tart blackberry-apple mild honey
  • Where I got it : Hotel Eldorado / Kelowna
  • How much: $39 CAD – 750 ml., Summer 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to mead aficionados: yes
  • What made an impression: easy sipping, great meal companion

Visual: (cellared for 7 years). Twisty steel top with real cork. Pours light straw yellow with a very, very lively Champagne-like CO2 activity.

Nose: tangy blackberry-apple preserve, rich. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: lively crisp, bright acidity

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), tangy-tart green apple, mild honey

Finish: blackberry, burpy, dry tart

Summary: This has a very generous, fizzy-bright entry that is very welcoming to the palate. The alcohol is stealth-like and compounds like interest with every sip. Moderate berry notes with honey providing a decent backdrop. The body at the finish could be bolder.

Malt Whisky Trail – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Malt Whisky Trail (Scotch ale aged in scotch whisky casks) – Innis & Gunn, 7.4% ABV, 330 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)

-matured for 60 days in scotch whisky barrels

on the back label:

This very special 90 shilling ale has been matured in casks from each of the five whisky-producing regions. After a lengthy maturation, we selected the very best casks from each of the regions and blended them together to achieve a rich yet balacned ale with layers of delicate, complex flavour.”


  • Style: (scotch whisky barrel aged) Scotch Ale
  • Taste: Sweet toffee vanilla malt subtle wood/peat light banana
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5 CAD –  330 ml., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah
  • What was the impression: sweet vanilla toffee, doesn’t deserve the box

Visual: (cellared for 3 years). Comes in a box with “limited edition” printed at least 5 times total on the box and bottle. Pours a Dr. Pepper reddish brown with a small 1cm head, very fine 1mm layer of retention, several scattered singular streams.

Nose: biscuity liquid barley malt. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp, dense sugary malts

Mid-palate: persistent (lvl-7-sweetness), nutmeg, vanilla toffee malt

Finish: hint peat smoke, residual toffee malts, hints banana

Summary: That signature toffee sweetness this time, which is cloying at first, but after a few more sips the flavours start compound and the vanilla notes start to take over. The peat is subtle to the point of being indiscernible. Solid, but not that memorable.

Breeze – West Coast Cider Co. (Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [B+]

Breeze (Cider) – West Coast Cider Company, 5.9% ABV, 650 ml., (Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada) (*local BC cider*)

on the back label:

“At WestCoast Cider we honour the apple. We believe strongly that the beauty of the apple lies in its diversity. Golden, red bitter, sweet, tart, mellow, juicy, and crisp are but a handful of adjectives to describe this jewel. The medley of aromas, tastes, and colours that a cider craftsperson can bring to the world makes each craftsperson different and therefore unique.

We at WestCoast Cider are proud to be a part of this age old tradition and we are delighted to bring to you our interpretations of how best to honour this magical fruit. Peace and Love.

Summer Breeze makes us feel fine.”


  • Style: Apple Cider
  • Taste: bright peach stonefruit slightly cloying sugars pear-apple
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $11.05 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
  • What made an impression: extreme bright peach, Moscato d’Asti-like

Visual: Pours clear pale straw yellow, no head, no activity, just a few bubbles surfacing, very uneventful.

Nose: super bright peach-pineapple-mango, just like a Moscato. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: tingly, light crisp, dense sugars

Mid-palate: medium sticky (lvl-5-sweetness), peach, medium tangy acidity, pear, pineapple-mango, background green apple

Finish: light papaya notes, lingering apple-pear

Summary: Visually it’s not appealing at all but the moment you take a sip you the bright peach flavour takes over. This is the first apple cider that has ever tasted like Moscato; the blend of apples used to make this absolutely brilliant, flavourwise. It could use a more lively CO2 mouthfeel and fluffier texture to play down the sweetness. Definitely worth a try.

Pasionaria Double IPA 2011 – Brasserie Trois Dames (Saint-Croix, Switzerland)

Pasionaria Double IPA 2011 – Brasserie Trois Dames, 9% ABV, 75 cl., (Saint-Croix, Switzerland)

  • Style: Imperial IPA / Double IPA
  • Taste: Heavy sweet apple-date toffee barley malt alcoholic
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $16 CAD (10% off) – 750 ml., September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah
  • What was the impression: too heavy sweet malt

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Pours almost opaque reddish-brown with a large suspended sediment, no head, very thin ringed retention, no activity.

Nose: brown sugar pruney toffee barley malt. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: dull-almost flat CO2, light crisp

Mid-palate: apple toffee malt, (lvl-7-sweetness), tangy heavy alcohol, dates

Finish: residual heavy sugars

Summary: Decent smooth drinkability but flavours are on the heavy and dull side. It needs some brightness to improve the overall balance.

A Blessing & A Curse Double IPA – Left Hand Brewing Co. (Longmont, CO, USA)

A Blessing & A Curse (Double IPA) – Left Hand Brewing Company, 9.5% ABV, 1 pt 6 fl.oz., (Longmont, Colorado, USA)

on the front-left label:

“This double IPA delivers a synthesis of hops from opposite hemispheres with an aggressive disposition of citrus, pine, and tropical fruit characteristics for a delightfully juxtaposed consequence. Count your blessings, accept the curse.”


  • Style: Imperial India Pale Ale (IIPA)
  • Taste: Bright apricot-mango pine medium hop bitter stealth hard alcohol
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $14.85 (after 5% off) – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., October 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes
  • What made an impression: bright apricot fruity, very engaging

Visual: Pours clear golden orange with a 1mm head and retention, half stick lacing, lots of tight clustered streams.

Nose: citrus apricot fruity hops (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp, mild thicker-creamy, subdued fruity bitter

Mid-palate: fruity bright apricot, (lvl-4-sweetness), pine, alcoholic medium heavy, soft tangy, tangerine toffee malt

Finish: medium bitter biting lingering resiny hops

Summary: Very bright and tropical fruity for a double IPA, which translates into being very sippable yet also hard hitting at the same time. Excellent body, depth, and mouthfeel. The alcohol is moderately invasive in the mids to finish, but manageably so. Recommended.


Spontanframboos – Mikkeller (Denmark)

Spontanframboos – brewed at De Proefbrouwerijrewed, 7.7% ABV, 375 ml., (Copenhagen N, Denmark)

on the back label in Danish:

“En Frambic brygget på: vand, malt, hvede, gammel humle, hindbær og gær. Lagret på egetræsfade”

google translate:

A Frambic brewed on: water, malt, wheat, old hops, raspberries and yeast. Stored on oak barrels”

  • Style: (flavoured – raspberry) Fruit Lambic
  • Taste: Authentic fruity sour-tangy-tart woody oaked complex raspberry
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Bby
  • How much: $14 (after 12.5% off) – 375 ml., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure
  • What left an impression: authentic yet evolved raspberry flavour

Visual: (cellared for 3 years). Pours light burgundy with a small 1mm fizzy head, a thick ring with a large island of retention, singular slow sporadic streams.

Nose: medium barnyard funk, cran-raspberry jelly with big wet woody overtones. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: big tart-controlled soft sour, light crisp

Mid-palate: big sour-tangy, light tingly bubbles, (lvl-1-sweetness), white wine vinegar, short pukey funk

Finish: fleshy raspberry, pomegranate, big wet oak exhale, some funk, residual wheat malt palate tart

Summary: A big depth of evolved raspberry flavour complemented by an equally big woodiness. Virtually no alcohol detection. Seamless transitions in and very sippable, lots of positive characteristics in this fruit lambic.

Dubaï Pillée – Le Trou du Diable (Shawinigan, QC, Canada)

Dubaï Pillée (Extra Strong Invasive Beer, IIPA)- Le Trou du Diable, 9% ABV, 600ml., (Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada)

on the back label:

“In 1954, Dubai was invaded and looted of its alcohol by extraterrestrials. Unfortunately, very few realize that the stocks are constantly diminishing… Their return is imminent.

Thus, we present this offering consisting of a beer with a white, lasting head, from which emerge fine exotic bubbles filled with predominant aromas of mango, passion fruit and apricot. Initially fruity, this beer features a well rounded and smooth a palate, punctuated with an alcohol warmth and a pronounced bitterness, which are both engaging in an ultimate conflict, therefore convincing the sceptics [sic] that the Great Invasion is coming.”

Ingredients: water, malted barley, hops, yeast.


  • Style: Imperial India Pale Ale (IIPA)
  • Taste: toffee malt sweet slight apricot heavy alcohol
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $8.90 (after 20% off) – 600ml., October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not in particular
  • What made an impression: overbearing alcohol

Visual: (Their own bottle for their brewery, raised lettering and devil on the bottom, odd size 600ml). (Cellared for 1 year). Pours rich golden orange with a fine 1mm lasting head, sticky lacing, very tight clustered micro active streams.

Nose: honey biscuity toffee barley malt, chamomile. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp-thicker, heavy malt with alcohol impression

Mid-palate: honey toffee malt, (lvl-7-sweetness) with some alcoholic heat, chamomile, tangy apricot

Finish: woody honey exhale, residual malty bittersweet

Summary: Drinks good at 17.5°C. Good body and flavour, but the alcohol detection is on the invasive side, making it too heavy after multiple sips. Not quite as tropical as the description.


Zombie Hopocalypse – Fuggles & Warlock (Richmond, BC, Canada)

Zombie Hopocalypse – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks + Central City Brewers collaboration, 5% ABV, 650 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

on the front-left label:

“A refreshing light bodied session ale with juicy wet hops from BC Hop Co. Featuring wet Centennial & Chinook hops.”


  • Style: (wet hop) Session India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Grapefruit tangerine dry barley malt astringent grassy light tangy-sour
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $9.15 CAD (after 5% off) – 650ml., September 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah
  • What was the impression: dull, underwhelming fresh hop influence

Visual: Pours clear pale straw orange with a large 2cm frothy head, thick lacing, clusters of active streams, suspended micro sediment.

Nose: juicy tangerine-grapefruit (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, dry citrus malt impression

Mid-palate: resiny tart, grainy barley malt, (lvl-3-sweetness), grapefruit pith and flesh, tangy tangerine, soft sour continuous tart

Finish: dry dull hop bitter

Summary: Drinks full flavoured at 14°C. Its got an okay tangerine-grapefruit hop profile but the malt base is rather weak. Also there’s an astringent grassy sourness coming from the hops that aren’t that appealing. Slightly above average, but I wouldn’t say it’s great.