Ghost of the Bogs White Cranberry Wine – Fort Wine Co. (Fort Langley, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [D+]

TL:DR – “too much tart-sourness, weak cranberry. Not recommended.”


Ghost of the Bogs White Cranberry Wine 2007, 11.0% ABV, 750 ml., (Fort Langley, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


on the back label:

“Our Estate Cranberry Farm produces some of the finest white cranberries in North America. From this harvest, our winery produces this remarkably crisp and refreshing cranberry wine. Bound to surprise, and even astonish. The Ghost of the Bogs label celebrates the colourful and creative artwork that adorned wooden fruit crates in the early 1900’s era.”


  • Style: (Cranberry) Fruit Wine
  • Taste: tart tangy sour dull cranberry watery finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $14 CAD – 750 ml., sometime in 2009
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: nope
  • What made an impression: thin cranberry flavour

Visual: Pours dull mahogany with a bit of haze, a few bubbles along the perimeter.

Nose: fruity cranberry juice with tangy brightness. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: sour, medium tart

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), diluted cranberry, continued tart-tangy-sour

Finish: light cranberry exhale, wine acidity, thin flavour

Summary: Lots of tangy tart sourness in this, overpowering the thin and basic cranberry flavor found in the mids and finish. Drinkable, but not recommended. It becomes less palatable as the tartness compounds with each sip.

Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 4 – P49 Frosted Tips IPA


TL:DR – “bright citrus hop oils, decent body, not too bitter. Very drinkable = Good”


Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 4 – P49 Frosted Tips IPA, 6.4% ABV, 341 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC Craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

“RRRRRRRRRAAAWWR! Coming at you like a lynx this winter IPA is the pick of the litter. Its unique combination of herbal, spicy and fruity hops is even better than catnip. You won’t get scratche by this fierce kitty… as long as you enjoy one right meow!”

 


  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: orange citrus hop oil light toffee barley malt subtle bitter hops
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $75 CAD – 24×341~355 ml., November 2018
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: bright citrus hop oils, bitterness not harsh

Visual: Pours cloudy pale orange without a head, a spotty half layer with a ring, several slow steady spread out micro streams.

Nose: orange citrus, tangerine (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp bite, tingly

Mid-palate: tangy bright orange citrus, (lvl-4-sweetness), slight bittersweet toffee barley malt

Finish: subtle soft bitter hops, mild resiny hops, a touch of prickly spice

Summary: Plenty of drinkability and sippability in this IPA. The orange citrus keeps you in after the initial crisp bite, leaving behind a satisfying barley malt bittersweetness accented at the end by subtle not-too-bitter hops. Good stuff.

Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 2 – P49 Pils (Dryhopped Pilsner)

  • My Rating: [C+]

TL:DR – “subtle bitter easy drinking pils. Grainy, lightly sweet, but a bit metallic. Meal beer.”


Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 2 – P49 Pils (Dryhopped Pilsner), 5.0% ABV, 341 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC Craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

“A beer worthy of defending the realm over! We’ve taken our pilsner to new heights by dry hopping it to bring out even more spicy and herbal noble hop aromas. Grab your squire and trusty steed to protect this fine brew from any who would seek to deny you from enjoying it.”


  • Style: Pilsner
  • Taste: soft grainy straw malt light sweet subtle hop bitter metallic
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $75 CAD – 24×341~355 ml., November 2018
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: not really
  • What made an impression: balanced easy drinking

Visual: Cool art, smooth sticker label. Pours mildly hazy light golden orange with minimal head, a thin layer of micro retention, some lacing, lots of active singular micro bubble streams.

Nose: bright tangerine citrusy sweet malt, slight farty (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp bite, soft creamy

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), grainy-hay/straw malt

Finish: bright citrusy hop-slightly green, subtle bitter, slight metallic grain

Summary: A balanced and easy-drinking malty-light citrus-subtle bitter hopped pils. A good meal beer, decent as a sipper but light-medium depth = refreshing but doesn’t satisfy a curious palate.

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.

BC Gin Round 6 – Victoria (Champ) VS Yaletown

Victoria Gin is back at it again entering round 6 against the local downtown Vancouver distillery’s Yaletown Gin. Wax-topped, corked, hand-label, and fancy flat bottled, is Yaletown gin is as good as it looks? Let’s find out how it does against the R3-R5 champ, Victoria Gin.


1) Victoria Gin – Victoria Distillers – 45% ABV – 750ml., Sidney, BC, $47 CAD (4/2018) @ BCLiquor

  • new label and bottle since spring 2016, , victoriadistillers.com
  • 10 botanicals including: juniper berries, coriander, angelica, orris root, star anise, orange & lemon peel, cinnamon, and rose petals. (…and the 10th one?)
  • 2016 Winner, Vancouver International Spirits Competition
  • 2016 Gold, Beverage Testing Institute Awards

[VS]

2) Yaletown Small Batch BC Gin – Yaletown Distilling Company, 42.0% ABV – 375 ml., Vancouver, BC, $27 (11/2015) @ BCLiquor

  • 8 botanicals, including Italian juniper, West African grains of paradise, liquorice root, and bitter almonds.
  • hand numbered bottle and barrel as well as the the distiller’s name


Criteria:

Nose: VG this time around is lemon balm minty, slight alcohol detection, and mostly clean. There’s a subtle but evident rose petal presence. YT is very juniper-forward, nasal-tingly manageable alcohol detection. Pretty typical. When compared side-by-side, VG definitely comes across as more elegant and refined. VG it is.

Taste & Texture: VG is quite minty, with an alcoholic rose petal edge, background juniper and coriander, citrus oils, slow alcoholic heat, and a very aromatic star anise exhale. YT has significantly more heat from start to finish, big berry juniper base accompanied by initial soapiness, woody licorice, spicy grains of paradise, and cinnamon. Sipping one after another, it’s clear that VG is smoother even at a higher ABV, but YT has a tad bit more depth. Still, if I had to choose one to sip, it would be VG.


Final Notes:

  • Victoria Gin has a very pleasant lemon balm minty, rose petal with a star anise exhale profile. Very clean and smooth to sip, also dynamic in a cocktail
  • Yaletown Gin is an enjoyable juniper-forward gin with a mostly clean spicy grains of paradise and cinnamon character. This definitely hold up in a cocktail.
  • Victoria Gin is $7 cheaper ($47 vs $54 (2x$27)@ BCL)

Verdict: Victoria Gin, mainly because of it’s unique (and delicious) floral taste profile. Pair that with being clean and smooth and you have a potential long-time reigning champ, as evidenced by winning rounds 3-6. Yaletown Gin is by no means bad as everybody has their own flavour preferences.

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.