He Said Baltic-Style Porter – 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco, CA, USA)


TL:DR – “Just ok, the spices+pumpkin give me a gag reflex in the mids. Not my thing.”


He Said (Baltic-Style Porter, lager brewed with pumpkin and spices), 8.2% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (San Francisco, California, USA)


  • Style: (flavoured – pumpkin, spices) Baltic Porter
  • Taste: caramel pumpkin barley malt astringent caraway-gag reflex
  • Where I got it : Trader Joe’s / Seattle
  • How much: $13 USD / $17 CAD – 4 mixed pack x 12 fl.oz., October 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: nah
  • What made an impression: astringently spiced, causes gag reflex

Visual: (cellared for 2.5 years). 4-pack aluminum canned, 2 flavours. Pours dark coffee brown with a dissipating 1cm head, fine ringed retention with a half island, singular micro streams along the perimeter.

Nose: caramel barley malt, caramelized pumpkin nuances. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: sharp crisp bite, caraway (kind of minty)

Mid-palate: caramel barley malt, (lvl-6-sweetness), cinnamon, caramelized pumpkin, brown sugar

Finish: residual malt sweetness, root beer, very subtle bitter

Summary: On its own, drinkable, above average. But with a meal, it brings out this astringent spice gag reflex (probably the caraway&pumpkin combo) that just doesn’t do it for me. I enjoyed the He Said Belgian-style tripel more.

He Said Belgian-Style Tripel – 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco, CA, USA)


TL:DR – “heavily spiced, mostly clean, alcoholic.”


He Said (Belgian-Style Tripel Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices), 8.2% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (San Francisco, California, USA)


  • Style: (flavoured – pumpkin, spices) Belgian Tripel
  • Taste: honey toffee barley malt nutmeg clove alcoholic
  • Where I got it : Trader Joe’s / Seattle
  • How much: $13 USD / $17 CAD – 4 mixed pack x 12 fl.oz., October 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: Yes
  • What made an impression: prominent spices

Visual: (cellared for 2.5 years). 4-pack aluminum canned, 2 flavours. Pours golden orange without much of a head, just a slight ring, suspended sediment, slow micro streams.

Nose: nutmeg/cinnamon, toffee honey malt. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, richly spiced base

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), honey’d barley malt, roasted pumpkin, slight alcoholic heaviness

Finish: nutmeg, mild cinnamon, clove, subtle bitter

Summary: A brick-ton of spices, but also packed with a solid malt base and a stealth alcohol. Very sippable, but perhaps a bit a palate heavy about 2/3rd through a serving. Could be a bit thicker and smoother, cause the finish is a rather dull.

Raspberry Wheat – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)


TL:DR – “basic lightly raspberry flavoured boring wheat ale. Palate is rough after drinking.”


Raspberry Wheat – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“A crisp, dry and refreshing summer beer. Brewed with BC raspberries for a full nose and crisp finish, this beer pairs well with sunglasses and patios.”


  • Style: (raspberry) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: light raspberry light body wheat ale palate rough
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: ~$6 CAD – 650 ml., sometime in 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: no
  • What made an impression: palate roughness at the end

Visual: (cellared for 6 years). Pours blush red with a dissipating 1cm head, fine ringed retention with an island, raspberry sediment, slow and steady micro streams.

Nose: clean fruity raspberry juice, inviting. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp

Mid-palate: thin mouthfeel, off-dry, (lvl-2-sweetness), fruity raspberry jam

Finish: dry wheat malt, raspberry exhale, mild artificial sweetener-like roughness

Summary: A very basic and straightforward lightly flavoured raspberry wheat ale, not much body or depth to speak of. It’s just an easy-drinking brew, barely above average, hardly recommendable nor memorable. The best aspect is the nose.

Darksnout Bacon Oatmeal Stout – R&B Brewing Co. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)


TL:DR – “unexpected but controlled sour-tangy, good balanced compexity. Lots of smoke.”


Darksnout Bacon Oatmeal Stout – R&B Brewing Company, 5.4% ABV, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“A delicious full bodied Oatmeal Stout with bacon. The use of smoked malt and house cured bacon from our friends at Cure gives this unusual beer a smoky, tangy edge.”


  • Style: (flavoured – bacon, bourbon barrel aged) Smoked Oatmeal Stout
  • Taste: hickory smoked sour dark fruit malt light bourbon
  • Where I got it : Firefly / Vancouver
  • How much: $7 CAD (after 10% off) – 650 ml., July 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: not really
  • What made an impression: tangy-sour, but controlled

Visual: (cellared for 6 years). Pours dark cola brown, soda-like dissipating fizzy top, small bubbles hugging the glass, very active soda-like streams. Looks like a I just poured myself a Coke.

Nose: hickory caramel malt, slight bourbon edge (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: prominent sourness, light-crisp, dull CO2

Mid-palate: persistent but controlled tangy-sourness, big smokiness, hint of savoury, mild tart, (lvl-4-sweetness), dark fruit malt

Finish: mild bourbon exhale, residual light smokiness

Summary: Somewhat of an acquired taste at first, the complexity and drinkability makes this rather interesting. It leans a bit too much on the sour side and falls a bit flat in the mouthfeel department. Decent, went down easy.

IPA – pFriem (Hood River, OR, USA)


TL:DR – “some orange citrusy NUMBING toffee barley malt, decent, but I needs me MORE CITRUS in my IPAs.”


India Pale Ale – pFriem, 7.2% ABV, 1 pt 0.9 oz., (Hood River, Oregon, USA)


-First, how the heck to pronounce pFriem?!? Check out this youtube vid:

Also, it’s the last name of the brewmaster and co-owner of the brewery, Josh pFriem. Read his story on their homepage.


on the back label:

“Pale Ales have only gotten better since they arrived in 18th century India. pFriem IPA builds on that legacy with big hops, huge citrus aromas, and a candy-like malt. Drink up, guv’nor.”


  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: citrus numbing toffee barley malt smoothish
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $6.30 CAD (after 20% off) – 1 pt 0.9 oz, October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: sure
  • What made an impression: smooth mouthfeel, easy 7.2%

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Pours light golden orange with a 2cm pillowy head, half sticky lacing, spotty island with ring, lots of steady micros streams.

Nose: toffee barley malt, big orange citrus background (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: thicker-crisp, almost minty

Mid-palate: mild tongue numbing, orange citrus hops, (lvl-4-sweetness), tangy-toffee barley malt,

Finish: cuts to off-dry, mandarin orange-pine exhale, mild resiny hops, lengthy manageable bitterness

Summary: I like the start to finish creamish thick mouthfeel and smooth ABV, as well as the soft citrus and controlled sweetness of the malt base; The piney numbness that occurs from about 1/4 to 3/4 I’m not particularly crazy about, but it’s balanced enough to be enjoyable. Good brew that exudes quality and complexity. (Also shoutout to laurenjlloyd for recommending this beer!)

Pale Ale Américaine – Les Trois Mousquetaires (Brossard, QC, Canada)


TL:DR – “dryish cereal barley malt with some wet cork aftertaste, overall boring.”


Pale Ale Américaine – Les Trois Mousquetaires, 5% ABV, 650 ml., (Brossard, Quebec, Canada)


on the back label:

“Here’s a most surprising and refreshing pale ale. Its hop leaves, grown on American soil, balance out lightly caramelized cereals with powerful citrus notes.”


  • Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
  • Taste: dry light metallic cereal-biscuit barley malt dull soft bitter
  • Where I got it : 16th St. Liquor / W. Vancouver
  • How much: $9 CAD (after 10% off) – 650 ml., August 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: No
  • What made an impression: the dryness of the malt

Visual: (cellared for 6 years). Twisty steel top cap that broke, composite cork, hefty bottle. Pours clear copper orange with a nice 2 cm head,  fine micro retention, very active clustered activity.

Nose: cereal barley malt, biscuity, light toffee. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: dry-crisp,

Mid-palate: dry low metallic, cereal-biscuity barley malt, (lvl-1-sweetness), wet cork

Finish: dull subtle bitter hop

Summary: No power citrus notes detected in the advertised back label, but likely because of cellaring this for 6ish years. Decent mouthfeel, but the overall character of the cereal barley malts are quite boring. A disappointing Trois Mousquetaires brew.

Evergreen Ale – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)


TL:DR – “plain sweet barley malt with a bit of honey spruce. Not terribly exciting.”


Evergreen Ale (ale with spruce tips) – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.5% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“This beer is rooted in Vancouver Island tradition-literally. Just like the first beers brewed in BC by Captain Cook back in 1778, local hand-picked spruce tips give this coniferous ale a crisp pine flavour!”


  • Style: (spruce tips) Herb Ale
  • Taste: sweet grainy barley malt subtle spruce honey
  • Where I got it : 16th St. Liquor / W. Vancouver
  • How much: $5 CAD (after 10% off) – 650 ml., August 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: no
  • What made an impression: clean and drinkable

Visual: (cellared for 6 years). Pours cloudy copper orange with a small dissipating 1mm head, a thin layer of retention, suspended bits of sediment, just a few bubbles here and there – not much.

Nose: honey-toffee malt, green sprucey overtones – very inviting. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, airy-green, spruce bitter undertones

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), bready sweet barley malt, honey, more subtle spruce, subtle tart

Finish: off-dry grainy malt, candy toffee exhale.

Summary: Too bad it doesn’t taste as inviting as it smells. Mostly sweet malt with a bit of spruce nuance, it drinks rather straightforward and basic. A bit above average, but not something I’d keep on my hard drive.