Cosmic Wave Double IPA – Tofino Brewing Co. (Tofino, BC, Canada)


TL:DR – “smoothing drinkable 9%’er, big toffee-caramel malt with a bit of citrus. Guaranteed buzz.”


Cosmic Wave Double IPA – Tofino Brewing Co., 9% ABV, 650 ml., (Tofino, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

“Join us on a transcendental journey free from the shackles of physical existence and beyond the known realms of consciousness. Let your mind’s eye guide you to the astral planes of extrasensory non-being where we will collectively ride the cosmic waves of unity deep inside the endless barrel of the infinite void. Also, this is a strong hoppy beer.”

(cool story, bra)


  • Style: Double IPA / Imperial IPA
  • Taste: Cloying authentic basic raspberry-apple light sour acidic
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.10 (after 20% off) – 650 ml., October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: 50/50
  • What made an impression: solid toffee-caramel malt

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Pours translucent copper brown-orange without much of a lasting head, half sticky lacking, ringed retention with a large island, lots of loose clustered active streams.

Nose: toffee malt, caramel, slight citrus undertones. (lvl-6)-pungency.

Attack: crisp, thicker mouthfeel

Mid-palate: light tingly, (lvl-7-sweetness), alcohol hit mixed with BOLD toffee-caramel malt, mild orange citrusy tang

Finish: orange peel exhale, resiny light bitter hop, subdued alcohol detection, slight grassy hop note

Summary: Big toffee-caramel malt flavour accompanied by a high but well-hidden ABV content. Smooth and very drinkable, goes nice with a meal. The alcohol hit comes later. This is still sippable and interesting after one glass down and as it decreases in temp. More resiny as it warms. Solid brew.

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.”

(right)


  • 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.

Spiced Apple Ale – Spinnakers Brewpub (Victoria, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [FAIL]

Spiced Apple Ale – Spinnakers Brewpub, 5.5% ABV – 10 IBU, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“SPICED APPLE ALE: A blend of BC grown apple cider and a spiced amber ale, this fall treat is brewed to be enjoyed as the leaves change colour and the bounty of the season is ready to harvest.”

Made with: aquifer water, apple cider, barley, hops, yeast, spices.


  • Style: (flavoured – apple cider, spices) Amber ale
  • Taste: Palate rough tart tangy background acidic pukey weak apple barley unclean
  • Where I got it : Tobys / N. Vancouver
  • How much: $8.50 CAD (after 10% off) – 650ml., January 2018
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: avoid like herpes
  • What made an impression: weak ale base, clashing of flavours

Visual: Pours clear light copper brown with no head, a very hazy light layer of micro retention w/ thin ring, spread out steady micro streams.

Nose: light woody apple cider, nutmeg/cinnamon (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp, rough tangy entry

Mid-palate: tangy pukey apple cider, light tart, (lvl-3-sweetness), rough acidity, light body grainy barley malt

Finish: dry palate rough, unclean muddled spices

Summary: An awful blend of beer and cider – the tangy apple cider notes completely clash with the weak and thin barley beer base. The spices used hardly add any element of depth or interest except to enhance the nose. A complete waste of time, money and calories. In fact, I doubt I’ll ever purchase any bottle of Spinnakers in the future.

Mocha Porter – Granville Island Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada) 

Mocha Porter – Granville Island Brewing, 6.0% ABV – 25 IBU, 650ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


on the front-right label:

“JJ Bean coffee meets rich cocoa nibs in our tasty Mocha Porter. Accompanied by subtle caramel notes, this cozy fireside brew serves up a slightly roasted, bitter finish.”


  • Style: (flavoured – decaffeinated coffee, cocoa nibs) Porter
  • Taste: Sweet basic chocolate malt subtle roast lingering chocolate malt
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.90 – 650ml., December 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: nope
  • What made an impression: firm chocolate base

Visual: Pours jet black with a quickly dissipating fizzy head, no retention, clustered fast streams surfacing.

Nose: sweet nutty roast coffee malt, vanilla overtones (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: fizzy-crisp. light slick

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), chocolate malt

Finish: semi-dry chocolate, cookie, light burpy, mild coffee exhale, lingering subtle sour caramel malt

Summary: The mids don’t have a lot of depth a feel very one-noted with the chocolate malt being dominant and persistent until the finish. The nose is better than the taste.

Candy Bar Milk Stout – 4 Mile Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada) 

  • My Rating: [B]

Candy Bar Milk Stout – 4 Mile Brewing Company, 6.5% ABV, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft brew*)


Brewed with cacao nibs, peanut butter, vanilla beans and sea salt.


  • Style: (flavoured – cacao nibs, peanut butter, vanilla beans, lactose) Sweet stout
  • Taste: Soft sweet light bitter roast chocolate peanut butter light vanilla clean
  • Where I got it : BC iquor Stores
  • How much: $8.26 CAD – 650ml., December 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: identifiable ingredients

Visual: Pours jet black-brown without much of a head, soda-like activity

Nose: farty nuttiness, dark chocolate. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, light tingly

Mid-palate: thicker mouthfeel, lactose milky, (lvl-5-sweetness), chocolate barley malt, bittersweet roast

Finish: peanut butter exhale, mild vanilla, lingering roasted malt

Summary: A delicious balance of flavours and textures with all the listed ingredients identifiable on the palate.

 

Red Racer Smore Stout – Central City Brewers (Surrey, BC, Canada) 

Red Racer Smore Stout – Central City Brewers & Distillers, 6.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


printed on the front-left label:

Like a delicious smore, this craft beer creation is infused with marshmallow flavour, chocolate, fall spice flavour and has a smooth, creamy centre.

Ingredients: water, malted barley, chocolate, vanilla, lactose, hops, spices, natural flavours.

(left)


  • Style: (flavoured – chocolate, vanilla, lactose) Sweet Stout
  • Taste: Sweet nutmeg chocolate barley malt vanilla extract bittersweet dull profile
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.30 CAD – 650 ml., December 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: nope
  • What made an impression: big spices, dull flavour

Visual: Pours dark brown without much of a head, thin ringed retention w/ half island, several slow micro streams.

Nose: chocolate, vanilla sweet malt (lvl-8)-intensity

Attack: crisp-tingly, nutmeg

Mid-palate: toasted liquid barley malt, (lvl-5-sweetness), mild milky, chocolate malt

Finish: soft roasted bitter, vanilla extract, lingering bittersweet malt

Summary: A prominent but dull spice presence; The vanilla flavour is rather basic and tastes of the inexpensive extract variety. The malt backbone lacks length and carry but the overall spice + malt combo is at least drinkable, although not the least bit memorable. It has a bit of lingering and compounding astringency – this beer doesn’t taste at all like a s’more.

Full Patch Pumpkin Ale – Longwood Brewery (Nanaimo, BC, Canada)

Full Patch Pumpkin Ale – Longwood Brewery, 9% ABV – 650ml., (Nanaimo, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

“This seasonal Belgian style saison is not for the faint of heart. Born in a pumpkin patch and rasied in the brewery, this 9% bad boy is not your grandma’s pumpkin pie. Eight slaughtered pumpkins and a whole lotta spice were boiled in a cauldron of barley, hops, and anything else we could find lying around. Fly orange with full patch.”

(left)


  • Style: (pumpkin, spices) Spiced Ale
  • Taste: Sweet pumpkiny brown sugar barley malt mild ginger light clove
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.30 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 650ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: nah
  • What made a impression: big brown sugar sweetness

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours dark brown with a smallish 1mm lasting creamy head, lots and lots of singular steady micro streams.

Nose: brown sugar, ginger, clove, biscuity barley malt (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, thicker tingly

Mid-palate: pumpkiny (lvl-7-sweetness), ginger, brown sugar barley malt,

Finish: residual brown sugar sweetness, clove exhale

Summary: Not terribly complex but at least the 9% ABV is well hidden. The sugars become heavy on the palate after half a glass – there’s not enough depth to round it out.