Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 3 – Red Racer Fireside Warmth

  • My Rating: [C]

TL:DR – “Messy flavours, a bit of a gag reflex. Just average.”


Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 3 – Red Racer Fireside Warmth (Spiced Apple Honey Saison), 6% ABV, 355 ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada) (*local BC Craft beer*)


on the back of the can:

“Inspired by a fireside spiced apple cider, warming winter spice with apple juice and a touch of heny make this a smooth and spicy take on a classic winter bevvy.”

Ingredients: Water, malted barley , oats, apple juice, honey, hops, spices, vanilla, yeast.


  • Style: (spices, apple juice, honey, vanilla) Flavoured Saison
  • Taste: messy spiced rough palate slightly sour barley malt
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $75 CAD – 24×341~355 ml., November 2018
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: no
  • What made an impression: prominent spices

Visual: Pours clear light copper orange with no head, slow steady micro streams.

Nose: mulled spices, honey malt (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: dull tingly crisp

Mid-palate: clove/cinnamon, honey, background mild sour, rough spiced barley malt, (lvl-4-sweetness)

Finish: rough palate, browned apple

Summary: Spices are definitely there but there is no cohesion among all the ingredients. Quite messy, experimental for sure. No way does this taste like a classic spiced apple cider. At least the nose is good.

Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 2 – P49 Pils (Dryhopped Pilsner)

  • My Rating: [C+]

TL:DR – “subtle bitter easy drinking pils. Grainy, lightly sweet, but a bit metallic. Meal beer.”


Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 2 – P49 Pils (Dryhopped Pilsner), 5.0% ABV, 341 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC Craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

“A beer worthy of defending the realm over! We’ve taken our pilsner to new heights by dry hopping it to bring out even more spicy and herbal noble hop aromas. Grab your squire and trusty steed to protect this fine brew from any who would seek to deny you from enjoying it.”


  • Style: Pilsner
  • Taste: soft grainy straw malt light sweet subtle hop bitter metallic
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $75 CAD – 24×341~355 ml., November 2018
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: not really
  • What made an impression: balanced easy drinking

Visual: Cool art, smooth sticker label. Pours mildly hazy light golden orange with minimal head, a thin layer of micro retention, some lacing, lots of active singular micro bubble streams.

Nose: bright tangerine citrusy sweet malt, slight farty (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp bite, soft creamy

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), grainy-hay/straw malt

Finish: bright citrusy hop-slightly green, subtle bitter, slight metallic grain

Summary: A balanced and easy-drinking malty-light citrus-subtle bitter hopped pils. A good meal beer, decent as a sipper but light-medium depth = refreshing but doesn’t satisfy a curious palate.

Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 1 – Red Racer No Friends (on a powder day) Vanilla Stout

  • My Rating: [B]

TL:DR – “tastes delicious but flat mouthfeel. Good.”


Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 1 – Red Racer No Friends (on a powder day) Vanilla Stout, 5% ABV, 355 ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada) (*local BC Craft beer*)


on the back of the can:

“When fresh powder lines the slopes, no friend is worth waiting for. Same goes with this smooth, vanilla infused stout. Get rolling on this year’s 24 beers in style with the No Friends on a Powder Day.”

Ingredients: Water, malted barley, oats, hops, lactosevanilla, yeast.

also here’s a look at the 24-pack. Love the box.


  • Style: (vanilla, lactose) Flavoured Stout
  • Taste: sweet roast chocolate nutty vanilla roasted barley
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $75 CAD – 24×341~355 ml., November 2018
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: enticing nose, easy drinking

Visual: plastic wrapped label on a can. Pours dark brown with a smallish dissipating head, no retention, a few micro bubbles on the surface, no activity. Uneventful.

Nose: caramel, vanilla, nutty roast barley. Very inviting. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: sweet roast

Mid-palate: chocolate malt, light milky, (lvl-5-sweetness), soft vanilla

Finish: roasted caramelized barley malt, nutty, subtle lingering roast bitterness.

Summary: Super easy vanilla roasty barley malt stout with some chocolaty notes. All that’s missing is a thick velvety creamy mouthfeel. This one is rather flat but at least it drinks good. A good start and hopefully the rest of the 23 days of brews will only get better.

Hardcore IPA – Brewdog (Scotland)

 


TL:DR – “cellared mine for 3 years, too flat and too alcoholic to love”


Hardcore IPA – Brewdog, 9.2% ABV, 330 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)


  • Style: Imperial IPA / Double IPA
  • Taste: heavy alcoholic brandy toffee barleywine
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / Burnaby
  • How much: $4 CAD (after 10% off) – 330 ml., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: maybe if fresh
  • What made an impression: heavy alcohol

Visual: (cellared for 3 years). Textured label on the bottle. Pours almost clear copper brown with suspended micro sediment, micro ring, a few micro bubbles here and there not much.

Nose: caramelized barley toffee malt, slight alcohol, heavy sweetness. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: boozy heaviness

Mid-palate: (lvl-8-sweetness), alcohol hit heavy, brandy, toffee-barleywine

Finish: orange citrus hoppy medium bitter, zingy alcohol

Summary: Lots of alcoholic heaviness in this one, I’m not that convinced that it’s all for the better. Perhaps I’ve cellared this one for too long (3 years), the mouthfeel is rather flat and I’m not getting a balanced sippability characteristic of Brewdog brews. Just a bit above average.

Vidal Icewine 2007 – Peller Estates (Ontario, Canada)

  • My Rating: [B+]

TL:DR – “Intense grape-raisin with some pineapple-mango nuances. Great stuff.”


Vidal Icewine Private Reserve 2007 – Peller Estates, 11.5% ABV – 200 ml., (Niagaro-on-the-lake, Ontario, Canada)


on the back label:

“This rare wine is made from frozen Vidal grapes hand picked at night below -10C in the middle of Canada’s cold winter. One drop of nectar is pressed from each grape to produce this luscious highly aromatic wine. Intense flavours of tropical fruit, peaches and honey are followed by a refreshing lingering finish…”


  • Style: (Vidal) Icewine
  • Taste: Fruit grape-raisin soft tropical liquid sweet
  • Where I got it : Superstore / Edmonton
  • How much: $18.29 – 200 ml., sometime in 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: Yes
  • Recommended: Yes
  • What made an impression: clean complex enjoyable flavour

Visual: (cellared for 11 years). Pours copper brownish orange, clear as water.

Nose: raisin, honey, fig/date (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: thicker viscosity

Mid-palate: sugar and alcohol bite, jammy raisin, dissipating (lvl-8-sweetness), mango

Finish: concord grape, sticky raisin, pineapple

Summary: Absolutely delightful. Complex grape flavour accompanied by a the advertised tropical backend. The sugars are intense but scatter quickly enough for the fruitiness to kick in.

The Other Red Raspberry Wine – Barr Estate Winery (Sherwood Park, AB, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C+]

TL:DR – “dull raspberry flavour but has composed tangy-sour-acidic qualities. I’ve had better”


The Other Red Raspberry Wine 201012% ABV – 750 ml., (Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada)


printed on the back:

“Tasting notes: Immerse yourself in the complex aromas and full-bodied flavours of ripe summer fruits and berries. Enjoy The Other Red by itself, with duck breast, or roast pork. Serve cool. Made with loving care from 100% Strathcona County raspberries


  • Style: (Raspberry) Fruit Wine
  • Taste: Dull raspberry soft tangy soft sour firm acidic
  • Where I got it : Sherbrooke (?) / Edmonton
  • How much: ~$30 CAD (?) – 750 ml., sometime in 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: not fully
  • What made an impression: decent body, sippable

Visual: (cellared for 8 years). Pours clear dark maroon with a few tiny bubbles along the perimeter. Low legs.

Nose: juicy pressed raspberries with tang and fruity acidity. Smells great. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: controlled tart, tangy bite, mild prickly 

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), fruity but tangy dry acidity, medium-body dull raspberry, soft sour

Finish: cuts off-dry, hint blackberry woody

Summary: A decent tangy light-medium bodied fruit wine, goes well with a meal. Don’t expect robust or dazzling raspberry flavours in this one, it’s 2-note at with good composure. I’ve definitely had better raspberry wine, check the raspberry wine tag.

Grape Vodka Round 1.5 – Three-O VS Van Gogh VS Skyy

TL:DR (Three Olives = medium harsh, Van Gogh = Sweet, smoother, Skyy = harshest)


So I’m bringing back the Grape Vodka tastings from way back then, but this time around there’s a new contender in the mix. We have the previously reviewed Sky and Three-O now joined by Van Gogh. Let’s find out the characteristics of each one.


1) Three Olives – 35% ABV – 750ml, (Lawrenceburg, IN, USA), ~$26 CAD

  • Made with imported Vodka from England but bottled and produced in USA.
  • 3-O also has a product called “Purple” which is supposed to taste like frozen crushed grapes. I’ll put it head-to-head with the winner in the future.
  • The bottle in the photo is an older bottling and the updated label is much cooler imo.

2) Van Gogh – 35% ABV – 750ml, (Schiedam, Holland), ~$35 CAD

  • no longer listed on the vangoghvodka.com website (checked 10/2018)

3) Skyy Infusions Grape – 35% ABV – 750ml, (San Fran, CA, USA) ~$24 CAD

  • 4x column distilled, 3x filtered, American grain
  • no longer listed on the Skyy.com website (checked 10/2018)

Criteria:

Nose: 3O is mostly clean and gentle with a mostly candy-like artificial but welcoming grape nose, with some mild alcohol detection creeping in late the finish. VG, eww, mostly tingly alcohol detection with just a hint of grape – not very enticing. SKYY has the same candy-like qualities of 3O but has 2x the pungency and is overall much cleaner. SKYY wins for the nose.

Taste & Texture: 3O is thicker in the mouth, exhibiting gentle fruity grape sweetness, some alcohol tongue numbing action from the mids until finish, softly warming the throat. 3O leaves a impression of composure and cleanliness. VG is slightly thinner than 3O, sweeter up front, making it brighter and more palatable as a sipper. Subtle darker and somewhat authentic grape notes show themselves in mainly late mids and exhale. There’s also a touch of tanginess, a bit of tongue minty-like numbness, and touch of throat burn. VG leaves an impression of subtle complexity. SKYY, yikes, the alcohol burns aggressive right from the start, accompanied by the huge candyesque artificial tasting grape flavor. The only redeeming quality is that it displays grape from start to finish, it is flavoured as advertised whereas 3O and VG are more subtle with their grape flavouring. Skyy leaves and impression of a cheap vodka base with artificial flavouring – not good. I choose VG as the winner because of its low alcohol detection and sweet yet subtle grape flavour.


Final Notes:

  • Both Van Gogh and Skyy no longer list their grape vodkas on their respective websites. Thus, Three olives will do
  • Three Olives = harsher alcohol
  • Van Gogh = sweet, subtle grape, discontinued
  • Skyy = harsh alcohol, big candy grape flavour might work well in a cocktail or shots, discontinued

WINNER = Van Gogh Grape, (but it is likely discontinued so go get a bottle of Three Olives Grape)