Organic Apricot Ale – Samuel Smith’s (Tadcaster, England)

Organic Apricot Fruit Ale – Samuel Smith, 5.1% ABV, 550 ml., (Tadcaster, England)


on the back label:

“Handcrafted at Melbourn Bros’ tiny brewery set in a time warp in Stamford using the old manually operated brewing equipment. finest organically grown barley and wheat are used to create a complex ale which having undergone primary and secondary fermentation with different yeasts and extended maturation, is taken to Samuel Smith’s small, independent British brewery at Tadcaster. There it is blended with pure organic apricot fruit juice and a previously cellared organic brew – creating an unparalleled fruit ale. The smooth distinctive character of the matured ale serves as the perfect counterpoint to the pure organic fruit juice.”

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  • Style: (Apricot) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: Super apricot fruit forward wheat malt tangy slight sour
  • Where I got it : Firefly / Vancouver
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 550 ml., May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours cloudy pale apricot orange with a smallish dissipating head, thick ringed retention, half lacing, clusters and of very active streams.

Nose: fragrant unfiltered tangy apricot puree, slight alcoholic edge. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: crisp, thicker, mild fizzy-tingly, bright-fruity tangy

Mid-palate: background subdued barley malt, sweet wheat malt, (lvl-4-sweetness), soft unintrusive sour, very fruity apricot puree

Finish: subtle bitterness, a bit of wheat malt palate dry

Summary: Super fruity and a whole lot of authentic apricot flavour with enough grain malts to balance it out. Very easy drinking, but I find the finish somewhat short.

Peaches & Cream Ale – Fearless Brewing Co. (Estacada, OR, USA)

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Peaches & Cream Ale – Fearless Brewing Company, 4.6% ABV, 1 pint, (Estacada, Oregon, USA)


  • Style: (flavoured – artificial peach) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: Artificial peach perfume thin body grainy barley malt lasting soft hop bitter
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / Burnaby
  • How much: $3.55 (after 7.5% off) – 1 pint, February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours translucent pale light orange with a small dissipating head, a very thin hazy layer of retention, several singular micro streams scattered about.

Nose: fruity fuzzy peach candy, somewhat perfume-like (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, subdued hops

Mid-palate: background artificial peach perfume, (lvl-4-sweetness), grainy barley malt, half-creamy/tingly mouthfeel,

Finish: lasting soft bitter hops, barley malt exhale, thin body finish.

Summary: Once I saw “ale with ARTIFICIAL flavor” on the side of the can, I immediately became skeptical. It is drinkable with a decent mouthfeel and hop profile, but is lacking in depth and genuine complexity – aka simple bodied. Average.

Granny Smith Apple Pie Ale – Storm Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Granny Smith Apple Pie Ale – Storm Brewing, 5% ABV – 1L., (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

My second visit, one week later and this is one of their new beers that they didn’t have last week. Sadly I forgot to take a picture of their beer offerings.

  • Style: (apple, cinnamon) Spiced Fruit Beer
  • Taste: Malty pressed apple soft hopped cinnamon
  • How much: $11 – 1L, bring your own bottle (December 20, 2014)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: it’s pretty cool

Visual: Pours cloudy pale orange-brown without much head (growler fill), thin ringed retention, barely any activity.

Nose: very faint pressed apple juice. (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: pressed apple juice viscosity

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-sweetness, restrained sour-tanginess, (MAIN): pressed apple juice, cinnamon, malts

Finish: very subtle bitter hops, tangy fruity apple sweet malt finish.

Summary: Very easy to drink, good sweet-crisp-cinnamon-malt balanced flavour. Not too gimmicky in that it still has beer characteristics.

The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #1 – Tindved – Nøgne Ø

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The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #1

Tindved (Sea buckthorn Sour Wheat Ale) – Nøgne Ø (Nogne O), 7% ABV – 0.25L., (Grimstad, Norway)

on the front-right label:

“Tindved er et syrlig norsk øl brygget på norsk byggmalt og norsk hvete. Det er tilsatt saft fra pressede tindvedfrukter for å gi den gode friskheten. Dette er et ufiltrert og upasteurisert øl. Skjenk derfor forsiktig i glasset slik at sedimentene i bunnen flasken kan ligge uforstyrret.

Tindved is a sour Norwegian ale brewed with Norwegian malted barley and raw wheat. We added juice from pressed sea buckthorn to obtain the brash sourness. Nøgne Ø ales are unfiltered and unpasteurized so pour carefully if you want to leave the natural yeast in the bottom of the bottle.”

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  • Style: (sea buckthorn) Sour Fruit Ale/Wild Ale
  • Taste: Barnyard woody sour dry fruity apricot wheat malt
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: only if you like sours, but not too exciting

Visual: Pours golden marmalade orange with a beautiful ultra-creamy lasting head, super sticky lacing, lots of tiny bubbled active streams.

Nose: huge barnyard fruity apricot sourness. (lvl-10)-pungency

Attack: creamy mouthfeel, immediate sourness

Mid-palate: (lvl-1)-sweetness, huge sourness-tangy, tart, (MAIN) wheat malt, apricot, barnyard, woody

Finish: more funk, very dry, soft-bitter hopped finish.

Summary: Intense barnyard with bold dry sourness and a fruity apricot-wheat malt profile. It’s a decent combo but not something that I particularly loved or found to be awesome. Still it’s a quality brew that I’m sure fans of sours would appreciate.

Cuvée Bru Druivenbier – Big Rock Brewery (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Cuvée Bru Druivenbier 2013 – Big Rock Brewery, 6% ABV – 750ml., (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

from the Big Rock Brewery website:

Magic Resides Where Grape and Grain Collide

Balanced like a luminous bubble upon the delicate wire betwixt the grape and grain, Big Rock’s effervescent new experiment will book your taste buds on a glamorous cruise into exciting new waters. Legend tells of a Belgian brewer who, in one of those magical moments when luck fuses gleefully with genius, blended the gentle sweet snap of grape with the robust sensuousness of a young ale. Big Rock has captured that golden moment of eureka with its exciting new Druivenbier – Flemish for ‘grape beer’. Glistening Pinot Gris grapes have been plucked from the warm bosom of Therapy Vineyards on the Naramata Bench near Penticton, BC. These grapes were then introduced to a sophisticated blend of three of Big Rock’s finest malts. This is a true Druivenbier – rarely seen in North America, and uncompromisingly elegant to the last puckish bubble”

on the back label:

“One day, some of Therapy Vineyard’s finest Pinot Gris grapes from Naramata, British Columbia fell in love with a mild and refreshing Big Rock ale. Cuvee Bru is the sparkling gem that came from their union: delightful, intriguing, and just scandalous enough to make society pages. This is one sophisticated libation you’ll want to know.”

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  • Style: (Pinot Gris – Fruit Beer) Druivenbier
  • Taste: Sweet Malt liquor with grape juice & sourness
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $13 (5% off) – 750ml, March 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Visual: Pours copper pale orange (Welch’s white grape juice) with minimal head, a very thin layer of retention, a bit of lacing, lots of steady evenly spaced streams.

Nose: musky liquid barley malt (aka Malt liquor), medium bright grape juice, apple juice. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: juice-like sugars, sweet-crisp

Mid-palate: thickish viscosity, (lvl-7)-long sweetness, (MAIN) malt liquor, barley, fruity white grape, liquid malt sweetener.

Finish: tamed acidity, light sour/tangy, more barley malt, a touch of bitterness, malty sweet finish.

Summary: Drinks like a white grapey Colt 45, but with sweetened almost artificially. Can’t say I loved this one bit it is decent when properly chilled and straight out of the bottle.

Lil’ Red Sour Cherry Berlinerweisse – Parallel 49 Brewery (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: Fail

Lil’ Red Sour Cherry Berlinerweisse – Parallel 49 Brewery, 4.4% ABV – 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

On the front-side label:

“A favourite drink of Berliners in the summer, with our own addition of Okanagan sour cherries, this unique ale is bubbly like champagne (minus the sweet aftertaste) and best served in a chilled chalice. Prost to that.”

  • Style: Berliner Weisse
  • Taste: Plastic wheat malt strange “cherry” sour/tart
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 650ml., August 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not even to my enemies

Visual: Pours a beautiful orange-ruby red, barely any head, just a few tight streams.

Nose: Almost plasticky, kind of like persimmon but not, quite odd and non-typical. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: incoming sour/tartness

Mid-palate: very sour, medium tart, (lvl-3)-fruity sweetness, (MAIN) wheat malts, off-putting plastic (which are the cherries)

Finish: mild palate roughness, light fizzy tart fruity finish.

Summary: Almost undrinkable, with an okay attack but awful strange plastic flavour in the mid to finish. Actually halfway through it’s a waste of calories to burn later.

Four way Fruit Ale – Howe Sound Brewing (Squamish, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C

Four way Fruit Ale (aka 4way Fruit Ale) – Howe Sound Brewing, 4.4% ABV – 1L., (Squamish, BC, Canada)

on the front left-side label:

“A delicious, aromatic ale with a dry fruit finish. Brewed with barley, wheat, hops, water, yeast and natural purees of passionfruit, mango, raspberry, and pomegranate. These refreshing flavours make for an excellent summer offering.”

  • Style: (mango, raspberry, passion fruit, pomegranate) Fruit Ale
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $8.75 – 1L., sometime in 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Bottled in their recappable 1L bailer-top bottle. Pours hazy pale orange with a smallish okay-lasting head, a thin layer of retention, lots and lots of activity.

Nose: light barnyard, sour+tartness, passion fruit (lvl-4)-pungency.

Attack: incoming sourness+tartness

Mid-palate: (lvl-3)-sweetness, (MAIN) wheat malts, raspberry, mango, passion-fruit, hints of pomegranate

Finish: light tartness, crisp airy off-dry wheat malt finish.

Summary: All fruits are basically there, but none are very pronounced or distinct. Mainly wheaty with a generic tropical fruity backdrop. Not a whole lot of depth or carry, but drinkable. Nice touch with the 4.4% ABV.