Victory at Sea – Ballast Point Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA, USA)

Victory at Sea (Porter with coffee & vanilla, Imperial Porter) – Ballast Point Brewing Company, 10.0% ABV, 22 fl.oz., (San Diego, California, USA)


on the front-right label:

“Our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with vanilla and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and the minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee balanced perfectly with sweet caramel undertones of the malt, a winning combination for your palate.”

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  • Style: (flavoured – vanilla, coffee bean) Imperial Porter
  • Taste: Smooth roasted coffee malt subdued alcohol-acidity integrated vanilla
  • Where I got it : Sherbrooke / Edmonton
  • How much: $13 CAD (after 10% off) – 22 fl.oz., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes!

Visual: (cellared for 0.5 years). Pours beer bottle brown without much of a head, half layer of lasting retention, micro streams surfacing,

Nose: sweet roasted barley malt, vanilla, roasted coffee bean, caramel brown sugar malt. Can’t get much better than this. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: mild slick/thicker-soft crisp, roast malt impression

Mid-palate: subdued zingy alcohol, soft background sourness, (lvl-7-sweetness), roasted coffee, caramel roast barley malt

Finish: vanilla, residual sweet malt, roasted coffee malt exhale, alcohol hit, roasted bitter hops

Summary: What on earth?! Impossibly smooth and very drinkable for a 10%. It does get somewhat heavy 2/3 through, but I appreciate the robust roasted coffee malt profile and integrated vanilla that makes each sip a delight. Excellent quality, wishing for more creamy milkiness to make it truly phenomenal.

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.

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  • 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.

Aftermath Pale Ale – Black Market Brewing Co. (Temecula, CA, USA)

Aftermath Pale Ale – Black Market Brewing Company, 5.8% ABV, 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., (Temecula, California, USA)


on the front-right label:

We created ‘Aftermath’ as an extremely drinkable Pale Ale that wasn’t just a reproduction of everyone else’s Pale Ale. Our unique blend of multiple hop varieties adds HUGE hop aroma and flavor, with none of the overwhelming bitterness of an IPA

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  • Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
  • Taste: Smooth balanced bitter hop-metallic barley malt
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $9.10 CAD (after 20% off) – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not memorable

Visual: Pours clear dark mahogany brown without a significant head, ringed retention with a large island, very steady micro streams

Nose: fragrant 50/50 citrus hops-sweet barley malt (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, soft-creamy, bitter hopped malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), citrusy stealth sharp bitter hops, metallic barley malt,

Finish: dry grass hoppy bitter

Summary: A very smooth sippable brew of sharp bitter hops that linger until the finish that is accompanied by a healthy dose of barley malt forming a robust body of drinkable pleasure. Can’t say I’ll remember this, but it was a good go.

Poterie – The Bruery (Placentia, CA, USA)

Poterie – The Bruery, 16.8% ABV – 1 pt 9.4 fl.oz., (Placentia, CA, USA)


info from ratebeer.com:

Poterie is French for “pottery”, the traditional eight-year anniversary gift. Our eighth anniversary ale, Poterie, follows in the footsteps of our anniversary releases before it, which are loosely based on an English-style old ale, fermented with our house yeast strain and then blended using the solera method. This means that a portion of each anniversary ale is saved in oak barrels and blended in with the next year’s production, providing more complexity and depth of character as the years go by. The result is layered in robust and complex flavors of toffee, caramel, dark fruit, vanilla and oak. Poterie will age gracefully for decades when cellared properly.


  • Style: (solera method, bourbon barrel aged) Old Ale
  • Taste: Intense sippable vanilla butterscotch liquid barley oaked bourbon
  • Where I got it : Sherbrooke / Edmonton
  • How much: $50.25 CAD (after 10% off) – 1 pt. 9.4 fl.oz., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: YES
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: YES

(from memory, drank on March 2, 2017)

Visual: Hefty bottle. Pours root beer brown with a smallish head, mild activity.

Nose: Intense chocolate, butterscotch-toffee, wickedly aromatic (lvl-10)-pungency

Attack: slightly fizzy, thicker viscosity, rich intense impression

Mid-palate: butterscotch, (lvl-8-sweetness), vanilla, toffee, liquid barley malt, bourbon, root beer

Finish: licorice, chocolate, background woodiness, controlled alcoholic heat

Summary: Super body, balanced, sippable, and should be shared among friends and family. This drinks unlike any of the 1100 beers I’ve tried – a wrecking ball of intensity yet still balanced enough not to be harsh. I probably say this only once it a year but this is something I would like to try again.

Crispin Artisanal Reserve The Saint – Crispin Cider Co. (Colfax, CA, USA)

Crispin Artisanal Reserve The Saint – Crispin Cider Company, 6.9% ABV, 22 fl.oz., (Colfax, California, USA)


on the front-left:

“Naturally fermented with Belgian Trappist beer yeast using a premium blend of unpasteurized fresh-pressed apple juice, not from concentrate, with no added malt, spirit or grape alcohols.

Experience a sweetly floral to herbal aromatic bouquet and an elegant yeasty flavor with a sustained mouth-feel that develops a subtle spicy complexity.

The Saint’s Artisanal Reserve, Unfiltered Hard Cider uses racked apple-wine smoothed with pure organic maple syrup, a kiss of apple juice, with no added sugar, colorants, sorbate or benzoate preservatives. Best served cool in a tulip glass for bold, crisp refreshment. ”

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  • Style: (flavoured – maple syrup, Belgian yeast) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Fruity bright tangy light sour apple juicy yeasty hints of maple syrup
  • Where I got it : Uwajimaya / Seattle
  • How much: $7.11 USD = $9.18 CAD, October 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: a good balance

Visual: Pours slightly hazy yellow with large bubbles clinging to the side of the glass, no head, the same bubbles sporadically surfacing.

Nose: tangy apple juice. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-dense juicy, slightly tart

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), sour-tangy acidity, bright apple juice, rounded body, yeasty mild palate rough, subtle non-descript spices

Finish: maple syrup undertones, apple juice exhale

Summary: An inviting big fruity apple flavour with a good amount of tangy-sour acidity and a hint of spice and maple syrup to round it out. Not exceptionally complex but enjoyable nonetheless. Solid.

Tangerine Soul Style IPA – Green Flash Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA, USA)

Tangerine Soul Style IPA – Green Flash Brewing Company, 6.5% ABV – 75 IBU, 12 fl. oz., (San Diego, California, USA)


on the front-right label:

Enoy a SoCal summer year round with Tangerine Soul Style IPA. This delectable brew is a one-way ticket to taste bud paradise. Relax and take in the brilliant golden orange color and fresh aroma of effervescent tangerine and orange. Tangerine zest carries throughout, accented by bright, flowery tropical flavors and a sweet finish. Brewed with American caramel malts and a blend of Simcoe, Citra and Cascade hops, this is a beautiful brew to behold. ” Best by 04 NOV 16

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  • Style: (flavoured – tangerine zest) India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Bright aromatic tangerine zest citrusy barley malt soft bitter hops
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Bby
  • How much: $2.50 (after 20% off) – 12 fl.oz., October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: YES
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: awesome

Visual: Pours a deep tangerine orange with suspended sediment, a lasting super creamy 1mm head, half sticky lacing, lots of activity.

Nose:  faint citrus hops, tangerine juice. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp bite, smooth entry

Mid-palate: fine CO2, (lvl-4-sweetness), bright tangerine zest, clean citrusy barley malt

Finish: tangerine peel oil exhale, soft bitter hops

Summary: Wow, such a balanced and fragrant IPA. The tangerine zest adds a very clean and flavourful boost to the existing citrus notes from the hops. A grade higher than the original Soul Style and something I would definitely drink again.

Soul Style IPA – Green Flash Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA, USA)

Soul Style IPA – Green Flash Brewing Company, 6.5% ABV – 75 IBU, 12 fl. oz., (San Diego, California, USA)


on the front-right label:

Our brewers rip-creating huge and complex double and triple IPAs at the pinnacle of craft beer enlightenment. Soul Style IPA is their effortless and pure manifestation of the single IPA. Simcoe, Citra and Cascade hops are layered, allowing bright tropical waves of flavorful citrus and floral notes to break gently on the palate. Get stoked on a laid back single and ride the wave to soothe your soul.” Best by 23 APR 16

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  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Even balanced sweet malt/citrus hop/light grassy oil medium sharp bitter hops
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Bby
  • How much: $3.50 (after 12.5% off) – 12 fl.oz., March 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not in my top 5

Visual: Pours clear light copper orange with a medium lasting head, 1mm retention, lots of singular steady micro streams.

Nose: tangerine-mild peach hop oils, background malts.(lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, smooth fine CO2, immediate soft bitter

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), sweet barley malt, bright tangerine citrus hops

Finish: resiny-grassy, medium sharp long lingering bitter grapefruit hopped finish.

Summary: (mine had Best by 23 APR 16). A good even balance of malt and hops while showcasing a decent amount of tangerine brightness from the hops. The length and depth of the citrus aren’t particularly noteworthy however.