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.

Vanishing Point 01 – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Vanishing Point 01 / VP01 (Bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout)  – Innis & Gunn, 11.0% ABV, 500 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)

on the back label:

VP01 is the first in our Vanishing Point series; an 11% Imperial Stout, aged for over 200 days in the first fill bourbon barrels. Packed to the brim with big, bold flavours of rich bourbon oak and overflowering with character. VP01 is set to be the perfect winter warmer.”


  • Style: (200+ day bourbon barrel aged) Imperial Stout
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $17.50 CAD (after 10% off) –  500 ml., October 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yep, got 1 more in the cellar
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes!
  • What was most impressionable: cannot taste the 11%, excellent BA influence

Visual: Odd 500 ml size. Pours jet brown-black without much head, thick ringed retention with a large island, a few micro streams along the perimeter.

Nose: caramel, bourbon + vanilla toffee, molasses. No alcohol detection, pristine. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: soft-crisp, thicker-light slick,

Mid-palate: tingly-slight microfizz, (lvl-8-sweetness), stealth alcohol tangy behind cola molasses dark barley malt

Finish: salted caramel-toffee, charred oak, maple syrup exhale,

Summary: I’ll admit the first few sips straight out of the fridge into a chilled glass were underwhelming but it drinks much better at around 15°C. As it warms the caramel malt flavours lengthen and the bourbon barrel aging characteristics become more prominent. Although delicious, supremely sippable without being overly heavy, the roasted malts just don’t hit a deep enough note before the sugars start to take over. The signature I&G toffee sweetness is certainly there, and is counterbalanced nicely with the vanilla bourbon oak aromas. I’m looking forward to their future Vanishing Point lineup.

Saison Houblon 2011 – Brasserie Trois Dames (Saint-Croix, Switzerland)

Saison Houblon 2011 – Brasserie Trois Dames, 6.8% ABV, 75 cl., (Saint-Croix, Switzerland)

  • Style: Saison
  • Taste: short Pukey sour / honey malt / elderflower / lime
  • 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: sure, 1x
  • What was the impression: balanced sour-funk, tastes lime-like

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Pours toffee brown with lots of suspended sediment, barely any head, thin ring with very thin layer of retention, a mix of fast and slow loose scatter streams.

Nose: pukey, soft funk’d malt, lime oil (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: thicker-dull CO2, sour-funk malt impression

Mid-palate: subuded & controlled short pukey-sour, honey barley malt, (lvl-4-sweetness)

Finish: elderflower, lime oil & peel bitter, stealth lingering bitter hops

Summary: Unlike any other saison I’ve had, this one is pukey-sour but is particularly engaging because of it. Also unique about this is the lime flavour as opposed to the usual banana-wheat malt in a saison. Very smooth and palatable, excellent to whet the appetite.

Oyster Stout – Upright Brewing (Portland, OR, USA)

Oyster Stout (a stout brewed with oysters) – Upright Brewing, 6.25% ABV, 1 pt. 9.4 fl.oz. (Portland, Oregon, USA)

info from ratebeer.com:

Collaboration with Jason McAdam. A distinctly full-bodied and creamy stout with a touch of brine on the finish.

The “base” beer is a strong (medium strength by most standards, 16.6 plato) stout. We used chocolate wheat instead of the usual barley version along with a pinch of rolled rye.

In the end we decided to add roughly ten gallons of oyster “liquor” that Jason picked up fresh from the coast off a train. We didn’t want to brew an oyster stout without any oyster meat though so we also picked up eight dozen DeCourcy oysters from B.C. and cooked them during the kettle boil. After eating all the wort-soaked meat we cleaned and saved the shells to add later to the beer, post fermentation, like dryhopping.”

  • Style: (flavoured – oyster) Stout
  • Taste: Rich dark malt sweet molasses dark fruit mocha roast
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $11 (after 10% off) – 1 pt. 9.4 fl.oz., March 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yep
  • What left an impression: rich, lengthy body

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Hefty bottle. Pours jet black-brown with a small 1mm head, a thin layer of bubbly retention, barely visible scattered micro slow streams.

Nose: dark fruity malts (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: creamy-crisp-thicker, sweet dark malt impression

Mid-palate: milky-creamy mocha, (lvl-5-sweetness), sweet roasted dark malt, oyster-fishy sour undertones, molasses-dark fruit, nutty

Finish: roasted coffee exhale, lingering bittersweet malty roast

Summary: A very bold and rich sweet stout with big dark fruit and roasted coffee notes, with the oysters seeming to add creamy depth a touch of salty-sour backdrop to an excellent base.

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.

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.