Moa Noir Dark Lager – Moa Brewing (Marlborough, New Zealand) 

Moa Noir Dark Lager (no longer in production) – Moa Brewing Company, 5% ABV – 750 ml., (Marlborough, New Zealand)


on the front-left label:

“Moa Noir is a traditionally brewed European style dark lager with an abundance of distinct aromas and flavours. Chocolate and richly roasted coffee beans dominate the senses with a full flavoured palate, giving Moa Noir a long smooth finish. A perfect beer for the changing of seasons.”



Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Hefty quality bottle, aluminum foil wrapped, twisty steel cap, real cork. Pours dark cola brown with a smallish 1mm dissipating head, a thin micro layer of retention, scattered sporadic streams.

Nose: cocoa light roast grainy barley malt, toffee undertones. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp, slight tanginess

Mid-palate: wet cork, background mild sour, (lvl-2-sweetness), grainy dry roasted barley malt,
raisin

Finish: mild coffee bean exhale, dry cocoa

Summary: There’s a bit of cork flavour as well a background sourish note that distracts from the roasted malt experience. Overall the body and dark notes are good, but it seems acidic notes aren’t quite in harmony. Decent, but not great.

Double Cyclope – Brasserie Dunham (Dunham, QC, Canada) 

Double Cyclope – Brasserie Dunham, 8.6% ABV – 341 ml., (Dunham, Quebec, Canada)


3x dry-hopped. Hops: citra, ekuanot, el dorado, mosaic, amarillo


  • Style: Double IPA / Imperial IPA
  • Taste: big bright orange citrus bitter resiny hop sweet toffee malt
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $4.90 CAD (after 20% off) – 341 ml., October 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: big bright orange citrus hops

Visual: Pours clear honey orange without much of a head, a hazy spotty micro layer with ring, lots of singular fast and slow steady streams.

Nose: bright tangerine-mandarin orange hop oils, hints of pomelo. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: thicker crisp, fruity citrus impression

Mid-palate: mild alcoholic heaviness, (lvl-4-sweetness), fruity tangerine toffee malt, metallic-resiny bitter

Finish: grapefruit-tangerine exhale, lingering soft bitter orange citrus hops

Summary: Big all around fruity orange citrus notes with soft bitter resiny hops and a solid malt backbone. Very sippable and went down with ease. Quite boozy by the last sip. Recommended.

Apricot Provincial – Funkwerks Inc (Fort Collins, CO, USA) 

Apricot Provincial (Belian-style sour ale brewed with apricots) – Funkwerks, Inc., 4.2% ABV, 11.2 fl.oz., (Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)


on the front-right label:

“Pairs well with pretending to go to the gym.”

“Provincial is our sessionable Belgian-style sour ale brewed utilizing a unique 24-hour warm souring technique using lactobacillus in the wort. We fermented with a Belgian wheat yeast strain famous for a flavors and a dry finish, making it the perfect complement to fruit. This delightfully tart fruit beer is refreshing, with a citrusy apricot aroma that transitions into a subtly sweet and tart finish.”


  • ]
  • Style: (flavoured – Apricot) Sour/Wild Ale
  • Taste: Sour crisp puckery bright apricot lemon roughish wheat malt dry grainy
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $5.60 CAD (after 20% off) – 11.2 fl.oz., October 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: bright complexity for below 5% ABV

Visual: Bottled on 2017.05.02. Pours cloudy pale straw yellow with a massive dissipating head, bubbly retention, super-fast soda-like streams.

Nose: sour acidic pukey funk, strong apricot and lemony wheat malt overtones. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: big crisp tart bite, puckery-sour-tangy

Mid-palate: fizzy, (lvl-2-sweetness), lemony wheat malt,

Finish: dry grainy wheat, mild palate rough, apricot exhale

Summary: Good flavour and complexity for a sub 5% beer. The body peters out in the late mids.

 

Sticke Alt – Les Trois Mousquetaires (Brossard, QC, Canada) 

Série Signature Sticke Ale (Red Lager) – Les Trois Mousquetaires, 6% ABV, 750ml, (Brossard, Quebec, Canada)


on the back label:

“Stronger, rarer and hoppier version of an Altbier typically found in Dusseldorf, Germany ”

Malts: pilsner, pale, cara 60/160

Hops: Magnum, Northern Brewer, Hallertau


  • Style: Altbier
  • Taste: Sweet crisp toffee biscuity toasted barley malt red fruity lengthy bitter hops
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Burnaby
  • How much: $10 CAD (12.5% off) – 750 ml., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: Yes
  • What made an impression: seamless transitions, great balance

Visual: (cellared for 2 years). Twisty steel top, corked. Pours translucent copper red (SRM=19), barely any head, a thin hazy layer of micro retention, lots of slow steady micro streams. Unfiltered.

Nose: strawberry, fruity malt (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: sharp crisp bite, sweet malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-4-sweetness), biscuity caramel, strawberry, toffee barley malt, micro CO2 mouthfeel, smooth bitter hop transition

Finish: lingering bitter hops, toasted malt exhale

Summary: Extreme balance of pleasant sweet caramel malts and an underlying red fruitiness, accompanied by a prominent hop presence.

 

Mocha Porter – Granville Island Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada) 

Mocha Porter – Granville Island Brewing, 6.0% ABV – 25 IBU, 650ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


on the front-right label:

“JJ Bean coffee meets rich cocoa nibs in our tasty Mocha Porter. Accompanied by subtle caramel notes, this cozy fireside brew serves up a slightly roasted, bitter finish.”


  • Style: (flavoured – decaffeinated coffee, cocoa nibs) Porter
  • Taste: Sweet basic chocolate malt subtle roast lingering chocolate malt
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.90 – 650ml., December 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: nope
  • What made an impression: firm chocolate base

Visual: Pours jet black with a quickly dissipating fizzy head, no retention, clustered fast streams surfacing.

Nose: sweet nutty roast coffee malt, vanilla overtones (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: fizzy-crisp. light slick

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), chocolate malt

Finish: semi-dry chocolate, cookie, light burpy, mild coffee exhale, lingering subtle sour caramel malt

Summary: The mids don’t have a lot of depth a feel very one-noted with the chocolate malt being dominant and persistent until the finish. The nose is better than the taste.

Moet & Chandon White Star (France) 

  • My Rating: [D], old wine gone bad

Moet & Chandon White Star (discontinued since 2009), 12.5% ABV, 750 ml., (Épernay, France)

Happy 2018 everyone! 7 years of liquor bloggin’ and still going strong. Today managed to dig up a very old, discontinued bottle of M&C White Star (now replaced by the drier Brut Imperial). Is it still good? Let’s find out.



Visual: (cellared for 12+ years). Pours pale honey orange with large bubbles hugging the glass, steady loose big bubbles along with a few clustered streams. Certainly much less activity than a fresh bottle of Imperial.

Nose: musky apple juice, pear, hints of stonefruit. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: light crisp, major loss of CO2 – dull/flat

Mid-palate: red apple juice, (lvl-1-sweetness), big tangy-medium sour

Finish: off-dry stale white wine exhale

Summary: Drink your champagne! This bottle was stored both upright and horizontally in cellar temperatures, resulting in at least a 60% loss in carbonation as well as an over-concentration of acidity. There’s also a noticeable staleness that kicks in the from the late mids to the finish. Although still drinkable, if you still have a bottle of this lying around, best drink it asap. I still dig the Imperial [A-] though.