710 Oaked Stout – Faculty Brewing Co. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

(TL:DR – “Oaked stout?! At first I was like ‘oh yeah!’ but after the first few sips I was like ‘oh, this kinda sucks'”)

710 Oaked Stout – Faculty Brewing Co., 5.0% ABV – 20 IBU, 650ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)

-Faculty Brewing Co.! Located in central Vancouver off of Main st. where all the hip breweries are popping up left, right and center. This is the first brew that I’m trying of theirs and it gives me the impression of them being just and “average” brewery. Let’s hope they can up their brew game in the future releases.

on the front-right label:

“Aromas of vanilla from American Oak complement the roasted character of this dry stout.”


  • Style: (flavoured – American oak chips) Dry Stout
  • Taste: semi-sweet roasted barley malt light coffee chocolate oak exhale sourish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $7.70 – 650ml., January 2018
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: no
  • What made an impression: weak barley malt mids

Visual: Pours thicker viscosity dark coffee brown without much of a head, a very thin ringed retention, mild oil slick on the surface, slow micro stream along the perimeter. Uneventful.

Nose: roasted barley malt, hints of caramel coffee, cocoa notes, oak presence. (lvl-7)-pungency.

Attack: crisp-dull CO2, underwhelming entry

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), background short sourness, low depth roasted barley malt,

Finish: watery mouthfeel, muddled caramel-vanilla, mild oak exhale, lingering roast malt

Summary: The flavours are okay but this tastes rather basic and fails to wow. The stout base doesn’t feel full enough and the sour notes in the mids detracts from the dark notes. Just an average brew with some oak influence, not memorable.

Obsidian Stout – Deschutes Brewery (Bend, OR, USA)

Obsidian Stout – Deschutes Brewery, 6.4% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Bend, Oregon, USA)

  • Style: (dryish) Stout
  • Taste: Dryish bitter roasted coffee fruity barley malt lingering roast bitter
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / Burnaby
  • How much: $3.50 CAD (after 10% off) – 12 fl.oz., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours ultra dark brown without a head but temporary surfacing bubbles, thin ringed retention, barely visible singular micro streams.

Nose: toffee malt, sweet cocoa, chocolate truffle. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: off-dry crisp, roasty malt impression

Mid-palate: background controlled acidity, (lvl-3-sweetness), coffee fruity overtones, medium dry roasted barley malt

Finish: long-lingering medium bitter dry woody roast, roasted exhale

Summary: Lots of lengthy roasted malts with a just enough sweetness and acidity to balance it out. Medium bodied, low creaminess. Smooth drinkability.

Echigo Stout – Echigo Beer Co. (Niigata, Japan)

Echigo Stout – Echigo Beer Company, 7% ABV, 330 ml., (Niigata, Japan)

  • Style: (sweet) Stout
  • Taste: Smooth balanced molasses light roast caramel biscuity barley malt
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $7 CAD (after 10% off) – 330 ml., September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure, but not crazily

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Pours dark cola brown without a significant head, thick ringed retention, lots of clustered very active micro streams.

Nose: caramel liquid barley malt, light roast, hints of nutty. (lvl-8)-pungency, much stronger as it warms

Attack: dull crisp, soft light creamy, sweet caramel malt impression

Mid-palate: flat-tingly, (lvl-5-sweetness), molasses barley malt, light roast caramel malt, nutmeg, biscuity

Finish: hints of chocolate, lingering nutty-woody light bitter, cola

Summary: A very easy-to-drink 7%er stout with a solid balance of sweet and roasted malt. Slightly heavy malty sweet by the end but there’s enough complexity to balance it out. It lacks a bit of creaminess and push at the finish.

Black Sam Licorice Stout – Lighthouse Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Black Sam Licorice Stout – Lighthouse Brewing, 7.2% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC Craft beer*)

on the front-right label:

“With an aroma of roasted malt and nighttime, this pitch black stout has flavours of rich maltiness, molasses sweetness, dark chocolate, and a delicate note of Licorice.”


  • Style: (flavoured – Licorice) Stout
  • Taste: Sweet molasses light roast barley malt mild coffee dark chocolate licorice
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn / N. Bby
  • How much: $8 (after 10% off) – 650ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Pours coffee black with no head, almost no retention, scatter micro bubbles surfacing.

Nose: caramelized barley malt, cocoa, slight roast (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp, sweet dark barley malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), molasses, medium roasted barley, coffee,

Finish: dark chocolate, licorice, sweet roasted barley malt exhale

Summary: Overall clean and well-bodied. It lacks creaminess but makes for up for it with a crisp bite up front. Smooth transitions of flavours from start to finish.

French Oaked Stiff Stout – Dead Frog Brewery (Aldergrove, BC, Canada)

Beermaster Series French Oaked Stiff Stout – Dead Frog Brewery, 6.5% ABV, 650 ml., (Aldergrove, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

on the front-right label:

French Oaked Stiff Stout – A full flavoured, smooth stout combining roasted barley and chocolate malts aged on toasted french oak to create a rich, textured beer with a finish so stiff you’ll never forget it!

  • Style: (French oak aged) Stout
  • Taste: Sweet roasted barley malt cocoa background oak
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $6 CAD (after 10% off) – 650 ml., March 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: worth a go

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Pours a very dark brown with no head, super thin ringed retention, micro bubbles surfacing here and there. Visually not much happening.

Nose: marshmallowy roasted thick barley malt. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: slight thick-light crisp, dense sweet barley malt impression

Mid-palate: oak undertones, (lvl-7-sweetness), molasses, roasted thick barley malt, cocoa-dry chocolate, slight sour boozy

Finish: wet young oak, residual clean sweet barley malt

Summary: It’s slightly too sweet and dull straight out of the fridge but the roasted barley cocoa vanilla flavours emerge as it warms.

Salted Caramel Stout – Breakside Brewery (Portland, OR, USA)

Salted Caramel Stout – Breakside Brewery, 6.7% ABV, 1 pt 6 fl.oz., (Portland, Oregon, USA)

from ratebeer.com:

A dessert stout brewed with lactose caramel and fleur de sel, inspired by our friends Tyler & Kim Malek at Salt & Straw. Tyler has been working on perfecting a lactose caramel syrup that mimics the flavor in his sea salt and caramel ice cream. After a few test blends, we’re worried that this might be the most addictive dessert beer ever made.

  • Style: (flavoured – salt, caramel) Stout
  • Taste: Medium sweet caramel light roasted barley malt subtle salt-caramel
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $9.42 CAD – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., February 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: for sure

Visual: Pours ultra dark brown with a creamy 2cm frothy head, sticky lacing, a thin layer of fine retention, singular fast as well as clustered steady micro streams.

Nose: initially light plasticky; sweet roasted barley malt (lvl-4)-pungency

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

Mid-palate: liquid light roasted barley malt, (lvl-5-sweetness), background balanced stout sour, cascading creaminess, subtle alcohol detection

Finish: slight dark caramel, traces of salt, chocolate, smooth and clean bittersweet light roast

Summary: Extremely drinkable with subtle caramel and even subtler salt and bittersweetness to augment the main stout body. Wished for some vanilla to put it over the top. Still great.

Creekside Coffee Stout – Canuck Empire Brewing (Aldergrove, BC, Canada)

Creekside Coffee Stout – Canuck Empire Brewing, 5.2% ABV, 650ml., (Aldergrove, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft brew*)

printed on the front-right label:

“Creekside Coffee Stout is winter in a bottle. This beer is black as night with a thick head of light brown foam. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, and a touch of smoke ignite your senses. Coffee and chocolate flavours mingle with the silky body and balanced hops to create a seriously drinkable beer. Delicious!”

Ingredients: Water, Malts: (2-Row, Chocolate, Debittered Black, Aromatic, and Flaked Barley), Brown Sugar, Coffee Beans, Lactose Sugar, Hops: (Magnum & Perle), Yeast


  • Style: (flavoured – Coffee) Stout
  • Taste: Toffee malt ginger dry cinnamon/pumpkin spices half-bodied
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn, N. Bby
  • How much: $7 (after 10% off) – 650ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50, better out there

Visual: Pours dark coffee brown without a significant head, very thin ringed retention with a couple of small islands, barely visible slow steady micro streams.

Nose: roasted coffee, roasted barley malt (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: light crisp, tingly-micro fizzy

Mid-palate: sweet roasted barley malt, (lvl-6-sweetness), background caramelized nutty coffee

Finish: lactose milkiness, lingering roasted barley malt, cacao

Summary: A good balance of sweet roast and bitter coffee that isn’t too overbearing. The lactose and brown sugar help round it out, but I find the entry-mid palate feeling thin in the mouth. Sippable but forgettable.

Bourbon Stout – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Bourbon Stout – Innis & Gunn, 7.4% ABV, 330 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)

on the back label:

This Innis & Gunn Red Stout has been brewed using rye crystal malt to give it its deep ruby colour. Whitbread Golding hops complement the sweet biscuity malt with a soft hop bitterness. It was matured slowly over Bourbon-infused oak which gives it its mellow vanilla flavour and a nice warming Bourbon kick.


  • Style: (bourbon barrel aged) Stout
  • Taste: Sweet vanilla toffee root beer barley rye malt light bourbon residual brown sugar
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $16 CAD – 4 mixed pack x 330 ml., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: once is good enough

Visual: (cellared for 2 years). Pours very dark mahogany brown with a smallish head, a thin uneven layer of retention, close steady streams, a half film of paper thin lacing.

Nose: aromatic bourbon vanilla’d malt, toasted bread. Quite nice. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: sharp crisp bite, micro-tingly

Mid-palate: background boozy zinginess, lengthy (lvl-8-sweetness), grape-plum fruitiness, root beer, vanilla, toffee barley malt

Finish: rye malt numbness, oaked bourbon woody boozy, residual brown sugar

Summary: Solid pronounced bourbon barrel nuanced flavour and again, their signature malt sweetness is present, becoming cloying about halfway through the bottle. Decent, but not something I would have again.

Neapolitan Milk Stout – Saugatuck Brewing Co. (Douglas, MI, USA)

Neapolitan Milk Stout – Saugatuck Brewing Company, 6.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Douglas, Michigan, USA)

description from the Saugatuckbrewing website:

“A perfect blend of classic dry stout character with brilliant flavors of Neapolitan Ice Cream. Experience the nostalgic flavors of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry all in one glass – because sometimes ice cream just isn’t enough.”

  • Style: (flavoured – natural and artificial strawberry-vanilla-chocolate) Stout
  • Taste: Distinct yet artificial strawberry-vanilla-cocoa roasted barley malt cloying plasticky
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $9.05 (after 20% off) – 650 ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: gimmicky, at your own peril

Visual: Pours very dark brown with no real head, thin ringed retention, steady streams all around.

Nose: artificial strawberry ice cream, vanilla, subtle malts. Candyesque, but appetizing. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, light slick

Mid-palate: aromatic artificial strawberry, long (lvl-7-sweetness)-slight cloying, roasted barley malt

Finish: dark cocoa notes, vanilla extract, lingering plastic artificiality

Summary: Definitely a unique flavour that grabs your attention with the first sip, much like their blueberry maple stout. It does however become very predictable and cloying halfway through. Not a ton of depth but the transitions are decent. I can confidently say I won’t be having another one of these. Artificiality overload.

Aphrodisiaque – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel (St-Jerome, QC, Canada)

Aphrodisiaque – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, 6.5% ABV, 330 ml., (St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada)

description from ratebeer.com:

Black ale with aromas and flavours of vanilla, dark chocolate, bourbon and roasted malt. The vanilla and cocoa marry nicely, without out-competing each other, to produce a surprisingly well balanced beer. This beer is mildly hoppy, but the cocoa introduces a touch of bitterness. Its colour may be intimidating, but it is a very smooth beer within reach of most beer drinkers. This highly appreciated dessert beer is brewed with organic fair-trade cocoa and first rate vanilla beans.

  • Style: (flavoured – cocoa beans, vanilla beans) Stout
  • Taste: Cocoa nutty toasted barley malt long vanilla bittersweet
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey?
  • How much: $20? – 6 x 330ml., sometime in 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes!

Visual: (6-pack). Pours pitch black/brown without any real head, thin ringed retention with a medium island, barley visible steady nano-clusters along the inside perimeter.

Nose: vanilla’d molasses, caramel sweet rich barley malts. Slight nutty edge. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: light crisp, partially flat CO2

Mid-palate: molasses, (lvl-5)-sweetness, cola & root beer notes, sweet caramel barley malt

Finish: caramel’d toasted brown sugar, cocoa bean nutty, long vanilla charred malt hopped bittersweet hopped finish.

Summary: Fabulous. I probably sipped this one in record time. Delicious and engaging full flavours, rich complexity, clean finish. It could have used a bit more creaminess in the mouthfeel but a must try for stout lovers.