Bourbon Dark Ale – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Bourbon (cask) Dark Ale – Innis & Gunn, 7.4% ABV, 330 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)

-matured for 30 days in bourbon barrels

on the back label:

This very special dark ale has been brewed in small batches and then matured over oak infused American Bourbon to give it its rich, rounded character and a satisfying smooth finish. Notes of coconut, orange oil and dark coffee beans are complemented by an earthy freshness from the hops.”


  • Style: (bourbon barrel aged) Scotch Ale
  • Taste: Super sweet malty orange oil cola barley malt
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $18.40 CAD –  in a 4pack x 330 ml., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nope
  • What was most impressionable: sickly sweet

Visual: (cellared for 2 years). Pours dark cola brown with a small 1cm head, thick micro ringed retention with a large island, spread out slow steady micro streams along the perimeter.

Nose: caramel-mild bourbon barley malt, slight booze (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: slight crisp, huge malty sweet impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-8-sweetness), sweet heavy barley malt, muddled coconut-ish/orangish cola notes, woody vanilla malt

Finish: sickly malt sweetness, residula cola malt

Summary: I used to enjoy I&G beers, up until they all become the too similarly sickly sweet, with this brew being no exception. Too sweet right from the get go, while lacking a creamy mouthfeel texture or fullness to round it out. Below average, especially for a BA beer.

Red Salmonberry Wine – Kermode Wild Berry Wines (Dewdney, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [A-]

Red Salmonberry Wine – Kermode Wild Berry Wines, 12% ABV, 375 ml., (Dewdney, BC, Canada) (*local BC Wine*)

on the back label:

“Red Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis). Sweet Flavour, exceptional color and a truly lovely bouquet, are the signatures of this delicate wine. Salmonberries are harvested from the south coast of BC to as far North as the mystic Queen Charlottle Islands. These berries turn from a fun childhood treat found on walks in the woods into a very grown-up dessert wine perfect for sharing with that special someone.”


  • Style: (fruit – Red Salmonberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Cherry-cranberry-pomegranate red fruity controlled sugars short tangy clean sippable
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot @Cambie / Vancouver
  • How much: $25 CAD – 375 ml., sometime in ’11-’12
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados: yes!
  • What was most impressionable: big depth of berry flavour

Visual: (cellared for at least 5 years). Pours clear dark plum, a few bubbles in the glass.

Nose: fruity tart grape-raspberry, alcoholic backdrop. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: fruity sweet impression

Mid-palate: controlled (lvl-6-sweetness), cherry-cranberry-pomegranate blend, light tart, tangy short acidity

Finish: residual fruity sugars, mild alcohol warmth

Summary: Super red fruity while having a solid depth, controlled sugars and acidity, and a pleasant and clean finish. Supremely sippable. This would do wonders in a cocktail. I would buy another bottle if I ever see it again.

Lusty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout – Moody Ales (Port Moody, BC, Canada)

Lusty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout – Moody Ales, 5.8% ABV – 38 IBU, 650ml., (Port Moody, BC, Canada) (*local craft beer*)

on the front-left label:

“Some say the only ingredients in beer should be barley, hops, yeast, and water. We say, the more the merrier. The Lusty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is brewed with chocolate malt and cocoa, then conditioned on cocoa nibs for an intense chocolate flavour. Toasted oats contribute a baked oatmeal cookie aroma. A perfect treat right before bed.”

Grains: Maris Otter, Chocolate, Crystal 60, Flaked Oats, Carafa Special II

Hops: East Kent goldings, Fuggles


  • Style: (flavoured – cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, lactose)
    Oatmeal Stout
  • Taste: Sharp crisp metallic chocolate malt dry cocoa roasted bitter malt disjointed transitions
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.45 (after 10% off) – 650ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no, not refined

Visual: (cellared for 2 years). Pours jet black with a sizeable frothy 2cm slowly dissipating head, 2mm creamy retention, a bit of lacing, very active scattered micro streams.

Nose: cocoa powder malt, cocoa nib nutty, toasted-slight burnt toffee biscuit (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: sharp crisp, full-tingly, subdued sour background

Mid-palate: metallic oaty chocolate malt, mild milkiness, (lvl-4-sweetness), dry cocoa base, soft toasted bitter barley malt

Finish: residual dark cocoa, lingering roasted dark malt

Summary: Decent dark roast chocolaty flavour but somewhat marred by a metallic sharpness. The oats and lactose don’t seem to create enough of a creamy silkiness to complement the cocoa, which itself isn’t too spectacular. Drinkable, but the transitions lack finesse and are chaotic to the palate.

Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale – New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO, USA)

Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale – New Belgium Brewing, 6.25% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)

on the front-right label:

When two B Corps come together, delicious ideas are created. Our mutual dedication to using business as a force for good means you get to enjoy this brown ale laden with chcolaty, salted-caramel, vanilla goodness while helping Protect Our Winters combate climate chagne. Dig in!”


  • Style: (flavoured – salted caramel brownie) Brown Ale
  • Taste: Artificial sweet nutmeg toffee barley malt
  • Where I got it: Bottle Jockey / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $3.50 (after 10% off) – 12 fl.oz., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no way

Visual: Pours dark brown without much of a head, ringed retention with an island, a few slow singular streams.

Nose: sweet caramel barley malt (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: crisp, tingly, overly sweet malt impression

Mid-palate: artificial biscuity, plain barley malt, cloying (lvl-9-sweetness),

Finish: nutmeg, residual excess sweetness

Summary: Way too cloying sweet with a non-appealing artificial brownie flavour that ruins the overall experience. Not in the least like salted caramel and certainly nothing like a brownie. Not recommended. The worst I’ve had from New Belgium to date.

Victory at Sea – Ballast Point Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA, USA)

Victory at Sea (Porter with coffee & vanilla, Imperial Porter) – Ballast Point Brewing Company, 10.0% ABV, 22 fl.oz., (San Diego, California, USA)

on the front-right label:

“Our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with vanilla and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and the minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee balanced perfectly with sweet caramel undertones of the malt, a winning combination for your palate.”


  • Style: (flavoured – vanilla, coffee bean) Imperial Porter
  • Taste: Smooth roasted coffee malt subdued alcohol-acidity integrated vanilla
  • Where I got it : Sherbrooke / Edmonton
  • How much: $13 CAD (after 10% off) – 22 fl.oz., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes!

Visual: (cellared for 0.5 years). Pours beer bottle brown without much of a head, half layer of lasting retention, micro streams surfacing,

Nose: sweet roasted barley malt, vanilla, roasted coffee bean, caramel brown sugar malt. Can’t get much better than this. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: mild slick/thicker-soft crisp, roast malt impression

Mid-palate: subdued zingy alcohol, soft background sourness, (lvl-7-sweetness), roasted coffee, caramel roast barley malt

Finish: vanilla, residual sweet malt, roasted coffee malt exhale, alcohol hit, roasted bitter hops

Summary: What on earth?! Impossibly smooth and very drinkable for a 10%. It does get somewhat heavy 2/3 through, but I appreciate the robust roasted coffee malt profile and integrated vanilla that makes each sip a delight. Excellent quality, wishing for more creamy milkiness to make it truly phenomenal.

Cherysh Cherry Rosé 2008 – Forbidden Fruit Winery (Cawston, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C]

Cherysh Cherry Rosé 2008 (fruit wine) – Forbidden Fruit Winery, 11.5% ABV, 750 ml., (Cawston, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)

on the back label:

“Our CHERYSH ROSÉ is lovingly hand crafted from tree ripened Stella cherries grown and harvested in the pristine Similkameen Valley. With their superb flavours and sweetness, Stella cherries are a perfect choice for this exceptional wine.

Known throughout the ages as the fruit of love, flushed red with pleasure or with shame, Cherysh is a delicate Rosé colour with rich cherry aromas. With a hint of sweetness in its soft clean finish and a creamy cherry flavour on the palate, this Rosé pairs with seafood and spicy dishes or served as an aperitif.”


  • Style: (table wine – Cherry) Fruit Wine
  • Taste: Tangy controlled acidic fruity light-med body cherry short length
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $20 CAD – 650 ml., sometime in 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados:

Visual: (2008 vintage, cellared for 9 years). Cork intact & good condition. Pours clear light scarlet red, a few bubbles along the perimeter.

Nose: bright fruity juicy cherry, tangy tart depth (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: acidic-tart, fruity impression

Mid-palate: light-medium cherry body, short length, medium tangy-light tart, fruity crisp acidity, (lvl-2-sweetness)

Finish: residual tanginess, flat flavour finish, mild woody cherry stem exhale

Summary: Overall it is skewed toward the tangy acidic side, with the cherry body falling short during the mids until the finish. It has decent authentic cherry flavour but overall it’s just an average drinking experience.

Red Racer Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Ale – Central City Brewers (Surrey, BC, Canada)

Red Racer Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Ale – Central City Brewers & Distillers, 5.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

-2017 pumpkin beers are finally here! Here’s the 1st of 2017.

printed on the front-left label:

Like a delicious Pumpkin Snickerdoodle, this craft beer creation is infused with real pumpkin, fall spice flavour, and has a smooth, creamy centre.

Ingredients: water, malted barley , pumpkin puree, lactose, hops and spices.


and in case you were wondering what’s a snickerdoodle (via wiki):

“A snickerdoodle is a type of cookie made with butter or oil, sugar, and flour, and rolled in cinnamon sugar. Eggs may also sometimes be used as an ingredient, with cream of tartar and baking soda added to leaven the dough.”

  • Style: (flavoured – pumpkin, lactose, spices) Spiced Ale
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.30 CAD – 650 ml., September 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nope, weak body

Visual: Pours clear copper brown with a dissipating 1mm head, ringed retention, scattered loose singular streams.

Nose: nutmeg-cinnamon, brown sugar malt. (lvl-7)-intensity

Attack: crisp-light fizzy, malty sweet impresion

Mid-palate: lengthy cinnamon/nutmeg spices, pumpkin base, brown sugar malt-(thin), (lvl-5)-sweetness,

Finish: mild lactose, residual malt body

Summary: The pumpkin-spices to malt body ratio is off; The barley malt base is too weak and lacks length and carry while the pumpkin and spiced flavours gradually dominate from the start of the mids onward. The lactose adds a bit of thicker mouthfeel at the end but by then the malt body has already stopped short. Drinkable, but below average – not worth your time.