Red Racer Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Ale – Central City Brewers (Surrey, BC, Canada)

Red Racer Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Ale – Central City Brewers & Distillers, 5.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

-2017 pumpkin beers are finally here! Here’s the 1st of 2017.

printed on the front-left label:

Like a delicious Pumpkin Snickerdoodle, this craft beer creation is infused with real pumpkin, fall spice flavour, and has a smooth, creamy centre.

Ingredients: water, malted barley , pumpkin puree, lactose, hops and spices.


and in case you were wondering what’s a snickerdoodle (via wiki):

“A snickerdoodle is a type of cookie made with butter or oil, sugar, and flour, and rolled in cinnamon sugar. Eggs may also sometimes be used as an ingredient, with cream of tartar and baking soda added to leaven the dough.”

  • Style: (flavoured – pumpkin, lactose, spices) Spiced Ale
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.30 CAD – 650 ml., September 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nope, weak body

Visual: Pours clear copper brown with a dissipating 1mm head, ringed retention, scattered loose singular streams.

Nose: nutmeg-cinnamon, brown sugar malt. (lvl-7)-intensity

Attack: crisp-light fizzy, malty sweet impresion

Mid-palate: lengthy cinnamon/nutmeg spices, pumpkin base, brown sugar malt-(thin), (lvl-5)-sweetness,

Finish: mild lactose, residual malt body

Summary: The pumpkin-spices to malt body ratio is off; The barley malt base is too weak and lacks length and carry while the pumpkin and spiced flavours gradually dominate from the start of the mids onward. The lactose adds a bit of thicker mouthfeel at the end but by then the malt body has already stopped short. Drinkable, but below average – not worth your time.

BC Gin Round 4 – Victoria (Champ) VS Queensborough (Challenger)

Welcome welcome welcome, and welcome again to the fourth round of the BC gin battle. Up first we have the newly crowned champ from R3, Victoria Gin up against Queensborough (QB) small batch dry gin. QB is the updated and permanent gin the liquor portfolio of Central City Brewers + Distillers, their older gin being Seraph Gin which lost out in R2 here.

1) Victoria Gin – Victoria Distillers – 45% ABV – 750ml., Sidney, BC, $46 CAD (8/2017) @ 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) Queensborough small batch dry gin – Central City Brewers + Distillers – 43% ABV – 750ml., Surrey, BC, $46 (9/2017) @ BCLiquor

  • juniper sourced from BC interior, spruce tips from Vancouver Island.
  • 2017 Double gold @ San Diego Intl spirits competition
  • 2017 Double gold @ San Fran World spirits competition
  • etc etc a few more accolades


Nose: VG is clean, no doubt about it. There are hints of citrus, and soap, with some juniper in the backend. QB is reminds me of the banana-rose like quality of Wallflower, but only half the intensity and leaning more toward the rose. There’s a sense of the green spruce tips in there as well. VG = star anise, QB = spruce mineral. Both are clean and enticing.

Taste & Texture: VG hits you up front with a soft sweetness, followed by juniper, cinnamon, star anise, big licorice, a bit of citrus, and some medium throat heat – overall, clean flavours and smooth transitions. QB‘s entry is very bright and juicy with juniper berry at the start but there’s immediate alcohol detection and invasive heat from the get go. VG takes a different approach by gradually building up the heat. In any case, QB showcases green spruce, jasmine, mild rose and citrus notes, and slight licorice juniper at the finish. As a sipper, VG by TKO smoothness, hands down.

Final Notes:

  • Victoria Gin, the winner of rounds 3 and 4 is cool and composed which is remarkable considering its 45% ABV. It will make a smooth cocktail.
  • Queensborough Gin displays a superb bright fruity spruce-juniper-jasmine profile that would make any cocktail unique and flavourful, but there is an overall alcoholic harshness.

Title retained = Victoria Gin by Victoria Distillers, but Queensborough is still an excellent and recommended gin


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

Red Racer Habanero Stout – Central City Brewers & Distillers, 8.5% ABV, 650 ml., (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

printed on the front-left label:

“Red Racer habanero stout is a classical Russian imperial stout with subtle addition of habanero chilis to create a warming and spicy mouth feel. Pronounced notes of coffee and chocolate balanced with Northwest hops and a touch of heat produce an exceptional imperial stout.”


  • Style: (flavoured – habanero) Imperial Stout
  • Taste: balanced sweet soft roasted barley malt chocolate light coffee negligible heat
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn / Burnaby
  • How much: $6.50 CAD (after 10% off) – 650 ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah, not memorable

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours clear and a very dark brown without much of a head, a thin ring with a medium island, micro bubbles surfacing here and there.

Nose: chocolatey roasted barley malt, molasses, hints of nutty coffee. No notes of habanero. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: light tingly-soft crisp, sweet roasted malt impression

Mid-palate: slight thicker mouthfeel, 50/50-bitter/milk chocolate, (lvl-6-sweetness), soft roasted barley malt, licorice

Finish: nutty coffee, very  subtle non-invasive heat, light bitter cocoa, residual bittersweet roasted barley malt

Summary: There’s no real standout flavours or textures but the overall tranquil balance of soft roast, sweetness, and alcohol means that this brew still goes down easy after the halfway mark. Good quality craftsmanship permeates the palate from start to finish.

Peared Up Saison – Central City Brewers Collab (Surrey, BC, Canada)

Peared Up Saison – Central City Brewers & Distillers + Great Lakes Brewery (Toronto) Collaboration, 5% ABV, 650 ml., (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

printed on the front-right label:

“The Paired Up Saison is a single hopped Saison brewed with Jarrylo Hops and real pear juice. The Jarrylo hops bring out a natural banana, pear and citrus spice flavour in this light and sessionable ale. The natural hop flavour is augmented with pear juice in the brew for a fruit-infused flavour experience.”


  • Style: (flavoured – pear juice) Saison
  • Taste: Crisp clean light-medium banana wheat malt mild pear roughish dry finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.90 CAD – 650 ml., August 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: nah.

Visual: Pours slightly translucent pale apple juice yellow with a medium-sized lasting head, 2mm retention, close singular fast large bubble streams.

Nose: pear floral-perfumy, yeasty light banana wheat malt. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp-fizzy bite, mouthful of bubbly CO2

Mid-palate: tingly-fizzy, pineapple-banana wheat malt, yeasty-tangy mildly astringent, (lvl-3-sweetness), perfumey pear, hints of apple

Finish: wheat malt exhale, minor dry palate roughness, super subtle hop bitterness

Summary: Some pear flavour in the mids, but not very bright – predominantly banana wheat malt. Not super smooth, lacking in a substantial body; Sessionable but not impressionable.

Hopping Mad Cider Radler – Central City Brewers (Surrey, BC, Canada)


Hopping Mad Cider Radler – Central City Brewers & Distillers., 4.2% ABV, 473ml., (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) (*local BC craft cider*)

printed on the front-right of the can:

“Radler was created with beer & juice for bikers. We’ve now done it with cider!”

Ingredients: apple cider, sugar, grapefruit juice, potassium sorbate.

  • Style: (flavoured – grapefruit juice) Apple cider
  • Taste: Juicy bright sweet (60/40) yellow grapefruit/apple cider
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $3.45 CAD – 473ml., June 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: more like a party drink

Visual: Pours opaque yellow grapefruit juice colour with lots of bubbles cliffhanging onto the glass. Steady streams surfacing.

Nose: filtered apple alcoholic cider, background grapefruit juice – no surprises. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: fizzy-tingly, bright fruity

Mid-palate: sweet apple cider, yellow grapefruit juicy tangy-tart, (lvl-6-sweetness)

Finish: light tart, light residual sugars, fleshy grapefruit exhale

Summary: Decent body and length with distinct yet well-integrated apple cider and grapefruit flavours. Easy-drinking but I wouldn’t want another.

Ace of Hokkaido Single Hop Golden Ale – Central City Brewing (Surrey, BC, Canada)


Ace of Hokkaido Single hop/Sorachi Ace Golden Ale – Central City Brewers + Distillers, 5% ABV, 650ml, (Surrey, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)

on the front-left label:

“Roaming the mountains of Hokkaido’s Sorachi region, the Ace of Hokkaido fearlessly protects those in need. In masked anonymity, a black shitago and sheathed odachi mark the distinctive silhouette that sinks into the darkness of night. The Ace of Hokkaido is the vigilante guardian watching over the villages of Sorachi.”


  • Style: (Single Hop – Sorachi Ace) Golden Ale
  • Taste: Composed sweet citrus liquid barley malt numbing bitter hop subtle dill
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.30 CAD (10% off) – 650ml., May 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: I’ve had more distinct single hopped

Visual: Pours clear golden orange without too much head, thin hazy layer of retention.

Nose: sweet clean liquid barley malt. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: crisp-light fizzy, subdued background incoming bitter hops

Mid-palate: (lvl-4-sweetness), medium bright orange/lemon citrus undertones, liquid barley malt

Finish: somewhat metallic, numbing soft hoppy bitter, almost salty dill exhale.

Summary: Not really “in your face” dill and lemons flavours as advertised, but rather subtle and composed. Okay, but the brew didn’t exactly make a Sorachi Ace statement.

Central City / Parallel 49 2014 Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown Calendar Day #24 – Rum & Raisin Belgian Dubbel


Central City/Parallel 49 2014 Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown Calendar Day #24

  • My Rating: [D]

Dubbel Trubbel / Rum & Raisin Belgian Dubbel – Central City Brewing & Parallel 49 Collaboration, 6.5% ABV – 330ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada)

-Done with 2014 calendar 2 years late, the summary will be posted shortly.

  • Style: (flavoured; Rum, raisin) Abbey Dubbel
  • Taste: Flat basic sour barley candi malt tangy
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: gads no

Visual: Pours mahogany reddish brown with a quickly dissipating low head, suspended micro sediment, ringed retention, a few bubbles here and there.

Nose: hints of dark fruit/fig-date, not much there. (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: almost flat, half-slick

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-sweetness, barely tingly, (MAIN) candi barley malt, sour cherry, light pukey, raisin, sour-tangy

Finish: hints of rum, residual acidic-tangy malt finish.

Summary: The 24th and last beer of the 2014 countdown calendar; what a letdown. Desperately lacking in carbonated mouthfeel and neither rum nor raisin are prominently showcased.