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.

Razz Cider – Scenic Road Cider Co. (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

TL:DR – “just sweet, not complex enough flavour”

Razz Cider (apple cider with raspberries) – Scenic Road Cider Co., 6.9% ABV, 500 ml., (Kelowna, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft cider*)

on the front-right label:

“This cider is made exclusively with local dessert apples and raspberries including apples grown by us. Our craft ciders are hand blended in small batches. Authentic, artisanal, always. From our backyards to your bottle.”

  • Style: (flavoured – raspberry) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Cloying authentic basic raspberry-apple light sour acidic
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $9.40 (after 20% off) – 500 ml., October 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: no
  • What made an impression: hidden ABV, but basic boring flavour

Visual: Pours rosé pinkish-orange, clear as water, no head or retention, several steady slow micro streams, micro bubbles along the perimeter.

Nose: very clean raspberry, red apple backdrop, bright fruity acidity. (lvl-7)-pungency.

Attack: crisp-tart, light CO2

Mid-palate: sustained tartness, (lvl-6-sweetness), tangy medium-sour raspberry, background basic apple juice

Finish: residual apple acidity, compounding cloying sugars, red apple exhale

Summary: Its sweetness and one-note, low-depth raspberry-apple flavour profile make this one drink more like a cooler than hardcore craft cider. It comes across as basic yet drinkable, hence forgettable. Too bad since the nose was rather appealing. Well-hidden ABV at least.

BC Gin Round 5 – Victoria (Champ) VS Long Table

All right 2018, let’s do this! In round 5 of the gin battle we have the 2017 winner Victoria up against the local Long Table located in downtown Vancouver. Both weighing in at 45% ABV and Victoria made with 2 more botanicals than Long Table, which one will dominate the taste buds? Let’s do this, guy.

1) Victoria Gin – Victoria Distillers – 45% ABV – 750ml., Sidney, BC, $46 CAD (1/2018) @ BCLiquor

  • new label and bottle since spring 2016, ,
  • 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


2) London dry gin – Long Table Distillery – 45% ABV – 750ml., Vancouver, BC, $53 (1/2018) @ BCLiquor


Nose: VG has a medium cleanliness with flavours of juniper and bright citrus emerging from the detectable alcohol. LT is duller with rounded edges, slightly creamy with grassier notes. The LT alcohol detection is much more apparent with just a bit of harshness on the nose. Although VG comes across as slightly soapyVG is the winner.

Taste & Texture: VG, upon the first sip, the beautifully aromatic star anise jumps out, fruity juniper in the mids with strong citrus overtones backing it up until the finish. LT despite being a London Dry style, surprisingly comes across as sweeter up front, thicker viscosity, muddly grassy juniper, licorice-coriander alcohol numbing mids, mild cinnamon, citrus undertones, slight nutty – almost salty finish. LT displays a pleasant balanced roundness. In terms of explicit and distinguishable flavour, Victoria takes the cake. VG wins.

Final Notes:

  • Victoria Gin is much brighter, thinner in mouthfeel, soapier, has a bit more roughness, but is overall has and displays strong notes of star anise and orange citrus.
  • Long Table London Dry Gin is creamier, showcases balanced ingredients of grassy juniper and mild citrus
  • Victoria Gin is $7 cheaper ($46 vs $53 @ BCL)

Verdict: Victoria Gin is my preference and winner. Nevertheless Long Table London Dry Gin is quality gin but it doesn’t have any standout flavours despite being balanced.


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.

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.

Double Cyclope – Brasserie Dunham (Dunham, QC, Canada) 

Double Cyclope – Brasserie Dunham, 8.6% ABV – 341 ml., (Dunham, Quebec, Canada)

3x dry-hopped. Hops: citra, ekuanot, el dorado, mosaic, amarillo

  • Style: Double IPA / Imperial IPA
  • Taste: big bright orange citrus bitter resiny hop sweet toffee malt
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $4.90 CAD (after 20% off) – 341 ml., October 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: big bright orange citrus hops

Visual: Pours clear honey orange without much of a head, a hazy spotty micro layer with ring, lots of singular fast and slow steady streams.

Nose: bright tangerine-mandarin orange hop oils, hints of pomelo. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: thicker crisp, fruity citrus impression

Mid-palate: mild alcoholic heaviness, (lvl-4-sweetness), fruity tangerine toffee malt, metallic-resiny bitter

Finish: grapefruit-tangerine exhale, lingering soft bitter orange citrus hops

Summary: Big all around fruity orange citrus notes with soft bitter resiny hops and a solid malt backbone. Very sippable and went down with ease. Quite boozy by the last sip. Recommended.

Sticke Alt – Les Trois Mousquetaires (Brossard, QC, Canada) 

Série Signature Sticke Ale (Red Lager) – Les Trois Mousquetaires, 6% ABV, 750ml, (Brossard, Quebec, Canada)

on the back label:

“Stronger, rarer and hoppier version of an Altbier typically found in Dusseldorf, Germany ”

Malts: pilsner, pale, cara 60/160

Hops: Magnum, Northern Brewer, Hallertau

  • Style: Altbier
  • Taste: Sweet crisp toffee biscuity toasted barley malt red fruity lengthy bitter hops
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Burnaby
  • How much: $10 CAD (12.5% off) – 750 ml., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: Yes
  • What made an impression: seamless transitions, great balance

Visual: (cellared for 2 years). Twisty steel top, corked. Pours translucent copper red (SRM=19), barely any head, a thin hazy layer of micro retention, lots of slow steady micro streams. Unfiltered.

Nose: strawberry, fruity malt (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: sharp crisp bite, sweet malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-4-sweetness), biscuity caramel, strawberry, toffee barley malt, micro CO2 mouthfeel, smooth bitter hop transition

Finish: lingering bitter hops, toasted malt exhale

Summary: Extreme balance of pleasant sweet caramel malts and an underlying red fruitiness, accompanied by a prominent hop presence.