Hopopotamus Oak Aged IPA – Big Rock Brewery (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Hopopotamus Oak Aged IPA (Limited edition), 6.8% ABV, 650ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


on the back label:

“Surprisingly smooth with a booming bite, this IPA is big on flavour. Hopopotamus packs a punch of citrus and pine, and finishes with the vanilla and caramel sweetness of oak.”

(back)


  • Style: (oak aged) India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Tangy citrus piney sweet toffee vanilla malt soft bitter
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.70 CAD – 650ml., September 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yep

Visual: Pours opaque orange-brown with a very small 1mm lasting head, ultra fine layer of retention, scattered steady micro streams.

Nose: orange-piney citrus floral bright hop oils (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp thicker, heavy sweet malt impression, creamy tingly mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), tangy mandarin orange overtones, smooth toffee malt, light oak vanilla, green piney notes

Finish: lingering pine hops, a burst of hop bitter

Summary: Excellent complexity and balance in this one, with the oak playing a prominent yet balanced role in adding warmth and slight woodiness to the citrus piney base IPA. The transition from citrus to oak character is very pleasant and unique. Recommended.

Punk IPA (5.6%) – Brewdog (Ellon, Scotland)

Punk IPA (5.6%) – Brewdog, 5.6% ABV, 330ml., (Ellon, Scotland)


description from ratebeer.com:

Ingredients: Extra Pale Malt; Chinook, Ahtanum, Amarillo, Cascade, Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin hops. IBUs 45
This fresh, full flavour natural beer is our tribute to the classic IPAs of yester-year. The post modern twist is the addition of amazing fruity hops giving an explosion of tropical fruit flavours and a sharp bitter finish.


  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Medium crisp dull CO2 biscuity barley malt stealth orange stealth bitter
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $4.25 CAD (after 5% off) – 330ml., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no, not enough body

Visual: (cellared for 2 years). Pours almost clear marmalade orange, not much head, a half layer of micro retention, scattered loose streams.

Nose: toffee biscuity barley malt, hints of hops. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: medium crisp, dull CO2,

Mid-palate: (lvl-4-sweetness), sligtht tingly, light grainy-light biscuity barley malt, gentle stealth orange citrus notes

Finish: super stealth soft hop bitter, grainy barley exhale

Summary: Very smooth without much lingering hop bitterness unlike North American IPAs. It seems to lack punch and depth characteristic of the other Brewdog brews I’ve had. Perhaps its due to the 2 year cellaring.

Mandarin IPA – 4 Mile Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [B+]

Mandarin IPA – 4 Mile Brewing Company, 6.5% ABV, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft brew*)


  • Style: (flavoured – mandarin orange) Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Bursting mandarin orange toffee malt grapefruit bitter hops
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.50 CAD – 650ml., August 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yep

Visual: Pours translucent brown-orange with a low head, ringed retention

Nose: bright clean mandarin orange (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: crisp, malty sweet impression

Mid-palate: bursting mandarin juicy, (lvl-4-sweetness), toffee malt

Finish: soft tangy prickly bitter hops, orange oil exhale, red grapefruit

Summary: A very bright and orange citrus fruity IPA that displays a super clean flavour profile and carries with it an extremely likable drinkibility. One the most surprising flavoured IPAs I’ve had this year.

Pipewrench Gin Barrel Aged IPA – Gigantic Brewing Co. (Portland, OR, USA)

Pipewrench Gin Barrel Aged IPA – Gigantic Brewing Company, 8% ABV – 85 IBU, 22 oz., (Portland, Oregon, USA)


on the front-right label:

“Our Gigantic IPA aged in Ransom Old Tom Gin barrels for 3 months. Botanicals from the gin meld perfectly with the citrusy hops and subtle wood in an incredibly complex beer.”

(right)


  • Style: (Ransom Old Tom Gin barrel aged) IPA
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Burnaby
  • How much: $9 (after 10% off) – 22 oz., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: doubt it
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: YES

Visual: Pours opaque deep coral pink with a large supremely foamy long-lasting head, thick sticky lacing, clusters of active micro streams – Flawless appearance.

Nose: floral orange citrusy sweet malt with some tangy curd (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: silky-fine creamy-crisp, airy alcoholic, sweet malt impression

Mid-palate: fruity juniper/crème de violet, (lvl-4-sweetness), soft tangy citrus curd, toffee malt

Finish: soft dry woody oak, dry gin edginess, stealth low bitter hops

Summary: A deeply interesting IPA that absorbs compound flavours from both the gin and wine that were aged in that same barrel (Wine -> Ransom Old Tom Gin -> Gigantic IPA). An IPA at heart with a prominent floral gin component as well as a woody nuance. The finish is slightly alcoholic aggressive. I’d love to try more gin BA beers.

The Four Surfers of the Apocalypso – Le Trou du Diable (Shawinigan, QC, Canada)

The Four Surfers f the Apocalypso (aka Apocalypso) – Le Trou du Diable, 6.5% ABV, 600ml., (Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada)


on the back label:

“Apocalypso is a veiled beer that perfectly combines the elegance of Belgian whites with the complex, hoppy character of American IPAs. Topped with a generous head, it features aromas of resin, candy, litchi, and pear. Its smooth palate is like a long lasting wave of piny bitterness just asking to be ridden.

Ingredients: water, malted wheat, malted barley, hops, yeast.

(back)


  • Style: (wheat) White IPA
  • Taste: Litchi fruity grainy smooth balanced subtle lengthy bitter
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $8.70 (after 10% off) – 600ml., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Visual: (Their own bottle for their brewery, raised lettering and devil on the bottom, odd size 600ml). (Cellared for 2 years). Pours mildly hazy pale orange with lots of suspended sediment, a small 1cm slowly dissipating head, a thin layer of frothy retention, tight dense clusters of steady streams.

Nose: bright litchi, slight resiny wheat malt (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: thicker-creamy crisp, bright grainy impression

Mid-palate: stealth soft bitter hops, (lvl-3-sweetness), grainy-prickly palate, litchi wheat malt, mild pear, bittersweet barley malt

Finish: lingering soft lengthy bitter hopped

Summary: Quite an interesting litchi-pear wheat malt IPA – Big engaging brightness mixed with a persistent yet nuanced hopped bitterness. My kind of an extremely drinkable IPA

Blazing Arrow Tawny IPA – Parallel 49 & Gigantic Collaboration (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Blazing Arrow Tawny IPA – Parallel 49 Brewing & Scuttlebutt Brewing Collaboration, 6.0% ABV, 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the 4-pack bomber box:

“Blaze one down as you sip on this tawny IPA that has enough malt character to balance out the massive amount of hops in this beer. You down with H.O.P? Ya, you know me.”

(on the box)


  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: 60/40-malt-citrusy bready barley malt soft bitter hopped finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $28.75 CAD / 4-pack of 650ml., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not worth buying the 4-pack

Visual: In a mixed 2017 4-pack of bombers. Pours clear copper orange without much of a lasting head, ringed retention, countable clustered fast streams.

Nose: tangerine peel, sweet citrusy bready malt. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, sweet malt/soft hop impression

Mid-palate: slight creamier/thick, (lvl-4-sweetness), big orange-citrusy-malt presence, mild dry grassed out hop

Finish: soft tart, soft bitter citrus hop

Summary: A good 60/40-malt-citrus hop balance with a decently smooth and fullish mouthfeel.

What’s Golden East Meets West IPA – Parallel 49 / Green Flash Collaboration (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

What’s Golden East Meets West IPA – Parallel 49 Brewing & Green Flash Brewing Collaboration, 6.5% ABV, 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the 4-pack bomber box:

“We’ve matched a West Coast style IPA with techniques common to the newly popular New England IPA. Hop aromas of citrusy tropical fruit combine with a smooth and creamy mouth feel for a winning East-meets-West collab.”

(on the box)


-Incidentally, what is a New England IPA (sometimes known as Vermont IPA)?

here’s a short read, but compared to West Coast IPAs:

  • smooth, creamy, fluffy mouthfeel (possible addition of flaked oats)
  • tropical (mango/pineapple/passionfruit)
  • NON-bitter hopped finish (not lingering at least)

  • Style: (New England style) IPA
  • Taste: Creamy mango soft bitter medium citrus barley malt hops dry non-bitter finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $28.75 CAD / 4-pack of 650ml., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not worth buying the 4-pack

Visual: In a mixed 4-pack of bombers. Pours clear pale golden orange with a smallish head, a micro layer of retention, steady loose streams.

Nose: fragrant mango-pineapple hop oils, musky dank hops. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: fluffy creamy mouthfeel, soft crisp, dryish 50/50-fruity/malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), mango, peach, slight tangy soft bitter hops, medium body citrusy barley malt, soft metallic

Finish: cuts dry, short and dull non-lingering tangerine bitter hops,

Summary: This being my first try of a New England IPA, I must say I really dig the CREAMY mouthfeel. There’s a good burst of tropical citrus malt flavour up front, but I find the late-mids to finish cutting short rather abruptly, leaving the palate wanting more length. Nose and impression are there, but the body isn’t.