Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 5 (Central City) – Red Racer Idiot Strings Cranberry Chili Session Ale with Orange Liqueur


TL:DR – “Interesting, it has the cranberry, chili heat, and orange liqueur flavours, but weak beer malt base. I liked it, though you’ll likely find it weird.”


Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 5 (Central City) – Red Racer Idiot Strings Cranberry Chili Session Ale with Orange Liqueur, 4.5% ABV, 355 ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada) (*local BC Craft beer*)


on the label:

“Made with one part nostalgia, one part creativity and one part secret family recipe, the idiot Strings is a holiday dinner inspired brew that goes best alongside classic family movies from the HI-8.”

Ingredients: Water, malted barley, cranberry juice, hops, orange liqueur, chili pepper, yeast.


  • Style: Spiced Ale (cranberry juice, orange liqueur, chili)
  • Taste: sour tart cranberry fruity light malt creeper heat fake orange exhale
  • 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: if you like it weird
  • What made an impression: it’s got all the advertised flavours – it’s complex

Visual: Pours clear cranberry light brownish with a quickly dissipating small head, fine ringed retention, spread out micro streams.

Nose: faint musky cranberry juice, a bit of chili vegginess. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: incoming tart-sour

Mid-palate: slightly thin mouthfeel, light fizzy, tangy, (lvl-4-sweetness), light cranberry fruity

Finish: creeper heat, jalapeno greenness, thin barley malt sweet, tart finish, cheap orange liqueur exhale

Summary: Kind of a sour beer, a bit thin in terms of depth and body, but it does have complexity. Definitely anything but your typical beer, you may like this one if you are into strange brews like I am.

Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 3 – Red Racer Fireside Warmth

  • My Rating: [C]

TL:DR – “Messy flavours, a bit of a gag reflex. Just average.”


Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 3 – Red Racer Fireside Warmth (Spiced Apple Honey Saison), 6% ABV, 355 ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada) (*local BC Craft beer*)


on the back of the can:

“Inspired by a fireside spiced apple cider, warming winter spice with apple juice and a touch of heny make this a smooth and spicy take on a classic winter bevvy.”

Ingredients: Water, malted barley , oats, apple juice, honey, hops, spices, vanilla, yeast.


  • Style: (spices, apple juice, honey, vanilla) Flavoured Saison
  • Taste: messy spiced rough palate slightly sour barley malt
  • 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: no
  • What made an impression: prominent spices

Visual: Pours clear light copper orange with no head, slow steady micro streams.

Nose: mulled spices, honey malt (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: dull tingly crisp

Mid-palate: clove/cinnamon, honey, background mild sour, rough spiced barley malt, (lvl-4-sweetness)

Finish: rough palate, browned apple

Summary: Spices are definitely there but there is no cohesion among all the ingredients. Quite messy, experimental for sure. No way does this taste like a classic spiced apple cider. At least the nose is good.

Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 1 – Red Racer No Friends (on a powder day) Vanilla Stout

  • My Rating: [B]

TL:DR – “tastes delicious but flat mouthfeel. Good.”


Central City / Parallel 49 – 2018 Calendar Alpine Adventure Pack Day 1 – Red Racer No Friends (on a powder day) Vanilla Stout, 5% ABV, 355 ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada) (*local BC Craft beer*)


on the back of the can:

“When fresh powder lines the slopes, no friend is worth waiting for. Same goes with this smooth, vanilla infused stout. Get rolling on this year’s 24 beers in style with the No Friends on a Powder Day.”

Ingredients: Water, malted barley, oats, hops, lactosevanilla, yeast.

also here’s a look at the 24-pack. Love the box.


  • Style: (vanilla, lactose) Flavoured Stout
  • Taste: sweet roast chocolate nutty vanilla roasted barley
  • 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: enticing nose, easy drinking

Visual: plastic wrapped label on a can. Pours dark brown with a smallish dissipating head, no retention, a few micro bubbles on the surface, no activity. Uneventful.

Nose: caramel, vanilla, nutty roast barley. Very inviting. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: sweet roast

Mid-palate: chocolate malt, light milky, (lvl-5-sweetness), soft vanilla

Finish: roasted caramelized barley malt, nutty, subtle lingering roast bitterness.

Summary: Super easy vanilla roasty barley malt stout with some chocolaty notes. All that’s missing is a thick velvety creamy mouthfeel. This one is rather flat but at least it drinks good. A good start and hopefully the rest of the 23 days of brews will only get better.

Red Racer Lucky Dog – Central City Brewers (Surrey, BC, Canada)


TL:DR – “discernible kumquat flavour, but overall falls flat”


Red Racer Lucky Dog (wheat ale brewed with kumquats) – Central City Brewers + Redpoint Brewing Company collaboration, 5.6% ABV, 650 ml., (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the back label:

“To celebrate the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dog, Red Racer teamed up with Taiwan’s Redpoint Brewery. Made using kumquats, this is an easy drinking fruit forward beer that is both complex and very refreshing. Bring in the new year with a bit of luck and a delicious craft beer.”


  • Style: (flavoured – Kumquat) Wheat Ale
  • Taste: kumquat peel vegginess off-dry low depth pithy soft bitter seed
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: ~$6 CAD – 650 ml., March 2018
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: no
  • What made an impression: discernible kumquat flavour

Visual: Pours translucent golden orange without a head, large bubbles clinging to the side of the glass with a ring not that much activity.

Nose: very faint citrus peel oils. Not much there. (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: light crisp, soft tingly

Mid-palate: kumquat juiciness and peel, persistent almost saltiness pith & seed, tip of tongue numbness, (lvl-2-sweetness), mild citrus tang

Finish: grassy-grainy, soft wheat malt tart, mild palate dry wheat malt, bitter seeds

Summary: Decent complexity all things considered, but the final result of the kumquat and wheat malt isn’t particularly noteworthy here. At least I can distinctly taste the flavour of the fruit, though I can easily forget I had this one. Lacking depth.

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.

Zombie Hopocalypse – Fuggles & Warlock (Richmond, BC, Canada)

Zombie Hopocalypse – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks + Central City Brewers collaboration, 5% ABV, 650 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

“A refreshing light bodied session ale with juicy wet hops from BC Hop Co. Featuring wet Centennial & Chinook hops.”

(left)


  • Style: (wet hop) Session India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Grapefruit tangerine dry barley malt astringent grassy light tangy-sour
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $9.15 CAD (after 5% off) – 650ml., September 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah
  • What was the impression: dull, underwhelming fresh hop influence

Visual: Pours clear pale straw orange with a large 2cm frothy head, thick lacing, clusters of active streams, suspended micro sediment.

Nose: juicy tangerine-grapefruit (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, dry citrus malt impression

Mid-palate: resiny tart, grainy barley malt, (lvl-3-sweetness), grapefruit pith and flesh, tangy tangerine, soft sour continuous tart

Finish: dry dull hop bitter

Summary: Drinks full flavoured at 14°C. Its got an okay tangerine-grapefruit hop profile but the malt base is rather weak. Also there’s an astringent grassy sourness coming from the hops that aren’t that appealing. Slightly above average, but I wouldn’t say it’s great.

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.

(left)

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, , 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) 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

Criteria:

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.”

(left)


  • 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.”

(right)wp-1478256476206.jpg(left)wp-1478256482778.jpg


  • 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.