Saison Framboise – Brasserie Dunham (Dunham, QC, Canada)

Saison Framboise – Brasserie Dunham, 6.5% ABV – 18 IBU – 750 ml., (Dunham, Quebec, Canada)

“Bottle fermented ale with real raspberries”


  • Style: (flavoured – Raspberry) Saison / Fruit Beer
  • Taste: controlled light tart-sour-tangy sweet wheat clean raspberry soft funk
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $14.70 CAD (after 20% off) – 750 ml., October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: good quality beer

Visual: (Cellared for 1 year). Pours cloudy hibiscus pink with super creamy 2cm lasting head, a plethora of very active micro streams. Gorgeous.

Nose: sour funk pukey, red berry fruity notes. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-smooth, lively mouthfeel

Mid-palate: tingly, tart-short sour, (lvl-3)-sweetness, mild woody funk, wheat malt sweet, fruity raspberry

Finish: airy, slight wheat malt palate rough, residual tangy woody malt

Summary: Super clean and balanced straight out of the fridge and into a chilled glass. Surprisingly low funk and sourness for the first glass; As it warms, a bit more funk, sourness, and palate roughness emerge, but still very high quality. I would have liked more body at the finish.

Orange Avenue Wit – Coronado Brewing Co. (Coronado, CA, USA)

Orange Avenue Wit – Coronado Brewing Company, 5.2% ABV, 1 pint 6 fl.oz., (Coronado, California, USA)


printed on the back of the bottle:

This So-Cal take on a traditional witbier honors Coronado’s main street, which is home to our brewpub and was once lined with orange trees. Bolstered by orange zest, coriander and orange blossom honey, it’s Belgium by way of Coronado. Expect a refreshing, light-bodied brew rife with citrus zing and a hint of earthy spice.

(back)


  • Style: (flavoured – orange zest, coriander, blossom honey) Witbier
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $8.22 CAD (after 5% off) – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados:

Visual: (cellared for 2 years). Pours opaque orange with a massive slowly dissipating bubbly head, 1mm layer of retention, clusters of micro streams.

Nose: honeyed lager malt with orange overtones, semi-bright (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp, full-CO2

Mid-palate: (lvl-4-sweetness), orange zest undertones, sweet wheat malt

Finish: subtle off-dry coriander, big honey exhale

Conclusion: A good integration of the 3 listed aromatics in balanced harmony. It is very drinkable but doesn’t leave much of a lingering impact as it is only light-medium in depth. Decent.

Peach Apricot Wine – Wellbrook Winery (Delta, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: D-

Peach Apricot Table Wine (Non-vintage) – Wellbrook Winery, 11% ABV – 750 ml., (Delta, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


  • Style: (Fruit – Peach-Apricot) Fruit Wine
  • Taste: dull acidic tangy sour muddly apricot weak peach apple juice exhale.
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $14 (after 5% off) – 750 ml., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: no way

Visual: Synthetic cork. Pours pale apple juice yellow with barely visible micro suspended sediment, large bubbles hugging the glass, no activity.

Nose: apricot-peachy, semi-bright and clean. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: barely tingly, fruity off-dry impression

Mid-palate: big acidic, soft sour-tangy, (lvl-2-sweetness), dull muddly apricot, mild peach

Finish: stone fruit exhale, rough dry palate, apple juice exhale

Summary: This is the first table fruit wine I’m trying and it’s definitely not up to par with their fortified fruit wines that I’ve previously reviewed. While their fortified fruit wines have depth and structure, this one tastes dull, thin, and leaves the palate dry and rough. Peach should be bright and engaging whist apricot should have a stone fruit luscious body – neither of which are present in here. Barely drinkable and not recommended.

Agent Orange IPA – Giggles & Warlock Craftworks (Richmond, BC, Canada)

Agent Orange IPA – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, 5.8% ABV, 650 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


on the front-left label:

“Agent Orange IPA: What happens when you combine a crisp refreshing IPA with mandarin oranges? Magic! Introducing Agent Orange IPA with fresh mandarin oranges featuring Galaxy, Citra, and Cascade hops!

(left)


  • Style: (flavoured – mandarin orange) India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Sour tart tangy funk dull mandarin orange lingering bitter pith
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.55 CAD – 650ml., September 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours cloudy orange, not much head, ringed retention with a spotty thin islands, several spread out singular micro streams.

Nose: mandarin orange with some tart funk. Has a floral edge. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-dull, citrus sour tart impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), tart medium sour funk, persistent tanginess, dull mandarin orange, background malt

Finish: linger citrus peel bitter, mild orange exhale

Summary: Totally not what I was expecting, and not in a good way. The sour tart funk comes across as abrasive and unpleasant when combined with the bitter profile which has major orange pith nuances – the rough kind you get when you leave a slice of lime in water for a prolonged period of time. Drinkable, but not very enjoyable. Dull, disjointed, and not much of an IPA while taking the worst parts of a mandarin orange. 4 Mile Brewing’s Mandarin IPA [B+] is much better.

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.

Phillips Union Cherry Flavoured Whiskey (Princeton, MN, USA)

  • My Rating: [D+], not recommended.

Cherry Flavoured Whiskey – Phillips Union (Phillips Distilling Company), 35% ABV, 750ml., (Princeton, Minnesota, USA)


My thoughts:

-When I drink whiskey I like it both neat or in a classic cocktail, especially a Manhattan. Here we have a flavoured whiskey that could potentially be decent as a sipper, or perhaps enhance the Manhattan experience. In my experience, ‘flavoured’ spirits can vary from intolerable to pedestal worthy. Let’s jump into it shall we?


from the Phillips website:

“Phillips Union Whiskey is the first-ever blend of Kentucky Bourbon and Canadian Whisky. It’s a smooth, flavorful spirit, without burn or bitterness, that comes in cherry and vanilla flavor, as well as the easy-sipping original.”


  • Style: (flavoured – cherry) Whiskey
  • Taste: Liquor Depot / Edmonton
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $31.10 CAD – 750ml., October 2009
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this whiskey aficionados: no
  • Would I recommend this in a cocktail: no

Visual: (cellared for 8 years). Pours a very light honey brown, noticeably lighter in colour than other whiskeys.

Nose: medicinal sweet cough syrup cherry, background medium nasal tingly, grain alcohol notes. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming sweetness, fruity impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), cough syrup cherry,

Finish: dull caramel whiskey, medium alcohol heat, light throat warmth, residual ‘cherry’ exhale

Overall smoothness: not good, too sweet and rough in the mids.

Summary: I don’t know where they got this “natural cherry flavour” from but it surely doesn’t taste like any naturally grown cherry that I’ve ever had. The whiskey base is too weak and one-note to hold up to the overbearing cherry. You get a 70% fake cherry and 30% whiskey experience. Thus, as a sipper – No good; Ok, so how about in one of my favs, a Manhattan?

(2:1, 3 dashes Angostura, cocktail cherry garnish)

Notes: In this cocktail I used dry vermouth instead, accounting for the inherent sweetness of Phillips Union Cherry. The result? Still too much of the medicinal cherry sweetness up front, weak whiskey mids and the vermouth kicking in at the finish. The transitions between the layers are too rough, making the experience unelegant, but at least drinkable. I would rather have a higher quality bourbon/whiskey in PU Cherry’s place in order to pump up the caramel and woody notes. Thus, in a cocktail, No good. Bottom line: not recommended.

Kaffee Coffee Blonde – Steel & Oak Brewing Co. (New Westminster, BC, Canada)

Kaffee Coffee Blonde – Steel & Oak Brewing Company, 5.1% ABV – 17 IBU, 650ml., (New Westminster, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


on the front-right label:

“Locally roasted coffee, sourced from small holder farmers in Ethiopia’s Guji Sidama region, provides a rich yet delicate floral aroma with notes of brown sugar, grapefruit and caramel. A German malt base provides a crisp finish and a subtle biscuit flavour which plays with the wondrous coca and roasted flavours that the coffee provides.”

(right)


  • Style: (flavoured – Coffee) Blonde Ale
  • Taste: Grainy biscuity nutty coffee dull basic barley malt
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $7.50 CAD – 650ml., August 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: (Guji Sidama region coffee bean edition) Pours clear golden yellow with a 3cm dissipating head, ringed retention, loose mix of slow and  and fast streams.

Nose: cacao-y nutty light roast coffee beans, background farty barley malt (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp bite, light frothy CO2, light coffee malty impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), cocoa caramel nutty coffee, basic-thin liquid barley malt

Finish: hints of brown sugar, lingering biscuity grainy barley malt

Summary: The coffee flavour provides a good burst of flavour from the start to the mids but after that the barley malt base is just too basic and dull to carry it. The result is a beer that is decent at the start but falls flat by the end. A bit above average, but I’d still have a Rogue Cold Brew IPA [B+] if I wanted a non-stout coffee beer.