Black Sam Licorice Stout – Lighthouse Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Black Sam Licorice Stout – Lighthouse Brewing, 7.2% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC Craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“With an aroma of roasted malt and nighttime, this pitch black stout has flavours of rich maltiness, molasses sweetness, dark chocolate, and a delicate note of Licorice.”

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  • Style: (flavoured – Licorice) Stout
  • Taste: Sweet molasses light roast barley malt mild coffee dark chocolate licorice
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn / N. Bby
  • How much: $8 (after 10% off) – 650ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Pours coffee black with no head, almost no retention, scatter micro bubbles surfacing.

Nose: caramelized barley malt, cocoa, slight roast (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp, sweet dark barley malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), molasses, medium roasted barley, coffee,

Finish: dark chocolate, licorice, sweet roasted barley malt exhale

Summary: Overall clean and well-bodied. It lacks creaminess but makes for up for it with a crisp bite up front. Smooth transitions of flavours from start to finish.

Salted Caramel Stout – Breakside Brewery (Portland, OR, USA)

Salted Caramel Stout – Breakside Brewery, 6.7% ABV, 1 pt 6 fl.oz., (Portland, Oregon, USA)


from ratebeer.com:

A dessert stout brewed with lactose caramel and fleur de sel, inspired by our friends Tyler & Kim Malek at Salt & Straw. Tyler has been working on perfecting a lactose caramel syrup that mimics the flavor in his sea salt and caramel ice cream. After a few test blends, we’re worried that this might be the most addictive dessert beer ever made.


  • Style: (flavoured – salt, caramel) Stout
  • Taste: Medium sweet caramel light roasted barley malt subtle salt-caramel
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $9.42 CAD – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., February 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: for sure

Visual: Pours ultra dark brown with a creamy 2cm frothy head, sticky lacing, a thin layer of fine retention, singular fast as well as clustered steady micro streams.

Nose: initially light plasticky; sweet roasted barley malt (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp-creamy-thicker, sweet roasted malt impression

Mid-palate: liquid light roasted barley malt, (lvl-5-sweetness), background balanced stout sour, cascading creaminess, subtle alcohol detection

Finish: slight dark caramel, traces of salt, chocolate, smooth and clean bittersweet light roast

Summary: Extremely drinkable with subtle caramel and even subtler salt and bittersweetness to augment the main stout body. Wished for some vanilla to put it over the top. Still great.

Creekside Coffee Stout – Canuck Empire Brewing (Aldergrove, BC, Canada)

Creekside Coffee Stout – Canuck Empire Brewing, 5.2% ABV, 650ml., (Aldergrove, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft brew*)


printed on the front-right label:

“Creekside Coffee Stout is winter in a bottle. This beer is black as night with a thick head of light brown foam. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, and a touch of smoke ignite your senses. Coffee and chocolate flavours mingle with the silky body and balanced hops to create a seriously drinkable beer. Delicious!”

Ingredients: Water, Malts: (2-Row, Chocolate, Debittered Black, Aromatic, and Flaked Barley), Brown Sugar, Coffee Beans, Lactose Sugar, Hops: (Magnum & Perle), Yeast

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  • Style: (flavoured – Coffee) Stout
  • Taste: Toffee malt ginger dry cinnamon/pumpkin spices half-bodied
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn, N. Bby
  • How much: $7 (after 10% off) – 650ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50, better out there

Visual: Pours dark coffee brown without a significant head, very thin ringed retention with a couple of small islands, barely visible slow steady micro streams.

Nose: roasted coffee, roasted barley malt (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: light crisp, tingly-micro fizzy

Mid-palate: sweet roasted barley malt, (lvl-6-sweetness), background caramelized nutty coffee

Finish: lactose milkiness, lingering roasted barley malt, cacao

Summary: A good balance of sweet roast and bitter coffee that isn’t too overbearing. The lactose and brown sugar help round it out, but I find the entry-mid palate feeling thin in the mouth. Sippable but forgettable.

Neapolitan Milk Stout – Saugatuck Brewing Co. (Douglas, MI, USA)

Neapolitan Milk Stout – Saugatuck Brewing Company, 6.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Douglas, Michigan, USA)


description from the Saugatuckbrewing website:

“A perfect blend of classic dry stout character with brilliant flavors of Neapolitan Ice Cream. Experience the nostalgic flavors of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry all in one glass – because sometimes ice cream just isn’t enough.”


  • Style: (flavoured – natural and artificial strawberry-vanilla-chocolate) Stout
  • Taste: Distinct yet artificial strawberry-vanilla-cocoa roasted barley malt cloying plasticky
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $9.05 (after 20% off) – 650 ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: gimmicky, at your own peril

Visual: Pours very dark brown with no real head, thin ringed retention, steady streams all around.

Nose: artificial strawberry ice cream, vanilla, subtle malts. Candyesque, but appetizing. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, light slick

Mid-palate: aromatic artificial strawberry, long (lvl-7-sweetness)-slight cloying, roasted barley malt

Finish: dark cocoa notes, vanilla extract, lingering plastic artificiality

Summary: Definitely a unique flavour that grabs your attention with the first sip, much like their blueberry maple stout. It does however become very predictable and cloying halfway through. Not a ton of depth but the transitions are decent. I can confidently say I won’t be having another one of these. Artificiality overload.

Aphrodisiaque – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel (St-Jerome, QC, Canada)

Aphrodisiaque – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, 6.5% ABV, 330 ml., (St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada)


description from ratebeer.com:

Black ale with aromas and flavours of vanilla, dark chocolate, bourbon and roasted malt. The vanilla and cocoa marry nicely, without out-competing each other, to produce a surprisingly well balanced beer. This beer is mildly hoppy, but the cocoa introduces a touch of bitterness. Its colour may be intimidating, but it is a very smooth beer within reach of most beer drinkers. This highly appreciated dessert beer is brewed with organic fair-trade cocoa and first rate vanilla beans.


  • Style: (flavoured – cocoa beans, vanilla beans) Stout
  • Taste: Cocoa nutty toasted barley malt long vanilla bittersweet
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey?
  • How much: $20? – 6 x 330ml., sometime in 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes!

Visual: (6-pack). Pours pitch black/brown without any real head, thin ringed retention with a medium island, barley visible steady nano-clusters along the inside perimeter.

Nose: vanilla’d molasses, caramel sweet rich barley malts. Slight nutty edge. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: light crisp, partially flat CO2

Mid-palate: molasses, (lvl-5)-sweetness, cola & root beer notes, sweet caramel barley malt

Finish: caramel’d toasted brown sugar, cocoa bean nutty, long vanilla charred malt hopped bittersweet hopped finish.

Summary: Fabulous. I probably sipped this one in record time. Delicious and engaging full flavours, rich complexity, clean finish. It could have used a bit more creaminess in the mouthfeel but a must try for stout lovers.

Espresso Stout – Brasserie Trois Dames (Saint-Croix, Switzerland)

Espresso Stout (aka La Semeuse espresso stout) – Brasserie Trois Dames, 7.2% ABV, 33 cl., (Saint-Croix, Switzerland)


  • Style: (flavoured – espresso) Stout
  • Taste: Bright coffee fruity low roast sweet barley malt coffee exhale
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $6 CAD (10% off) – 375ml., April 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: definitely a unique espresso stout

Visual: (cellared for 3 years). Pours ultra dark brown with a superfine micro layer of head, cascading waves of micro streams all around.

Nose: sweet medium roast nutty coffee, chocolate barley malt. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: NO2-like flatish, immediate coffee light sour

Mid-palate: cold brew-like coffee fruity, (lvl-5-sweetness), light roasted barley malt

Finish: root beer/cola malty, dark chocolate, coffee exhale, residual roasty bittersweet

Summary: This is a cool espresso stout – not at all what you might expect. Predominately bright with fruity coffee acidity, the roasted dark notes take a back seat in this surprisingly easy 7.2%. Great stuff.

Vanilla Oatis – Ninkasi Brewing Co. (Eugene, OR, USA)

Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout – Ninkasi Brewing Company, 7.2% ABV – 50 IBU– 22 fl.oz., (Eugene, Oregon, USA)


on the front-right label:

A delicious Oatmeal Stout with just enough hops to balance the copious quantities of dark roasted malts, oatmeal for a creamy smooth drinkability, and whole vanilla beans for a rich complexity. To achieve this higher level of decadence, we added in whole vanilla beans to the final stage of fermentation – the same process we use to dry hop a beer.

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  • Style: (flavoured – Oatmeal, vanilla beans) Sweet Stout
  • Taste: Slick creamy sweet dark roasted barley chocolate vanilla burnt bitter exhaled bitter hops
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5 CAD ($20 for 4-pack) – 22 fl.oz., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: definitely

Visual: Part of a 4-pack, mixed bombers. Pours jet black with a quickly dissipating small head, a thin layer of retention, a few bubbles here and there.

Nose: sweet medium roasted caramel barley malt, prominent vanilla (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: slick-oily-thick, crisp bite

Mid-palate: thick liquid deep roast barley malt, (lvl-6-sweetness), background dissipating tangy sour, milk sugars

Finish: chocolate, vanilla, lingering roasted bitter intermixed with bitter hops

Summary: A deliciously decadent mix of dark roasty chocolate vanilla – great balance, drinkability, and complexity. Lots of flavours you can focus individually on.