Pipewrench Gin Barrel Aged IPA – Gigantic Brewing Co. (Portland, OR, USA)

Pipewrench Gin Barrel Aged IPA – Gigantic Brewing Company, 8% ABV – 85 IBU, 22 oz., (Portland, Oregon, USA)

on the front-right label:

“Our Gigantic IPA aged in Ransom Old Tom Gin barrels for 3 months. Botanicals from the gin meld perfectly with the citrusy hops and subtle wood in an incredibly complex beer.”


  • Style: (Ransom Old Tom Gin barrel aged) IPA
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Burnaby
  • How much: $9 (after 10% off) – 22 oz., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: doubt it
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: YES

Visual: Pours opaque deep coral pink with a large supremely foamy long-lasting head, thick sticky lacing, clusters of active micro streams – Flawless appearance.

Nose: floral orange citrusy sweet malt with some tangy curd (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: silky-fine creamy-crisp, airy alcoholic, sweet malt impression

Mid-palate: fruity juniper/crème de violet, (lvl-4-sweetness), soft tangy citrus curd, toffee malt

Finish: soft dry woody oak, dry gin edginess, stealth low bitter hops

Summary: A deeply interesting IPA that absorbs compound flavours from both the gin and wine that were aged in that same barrel (Wine -> Ransom Old Tom Gin -> Gigantic IPA). An IPA at heart with a prominent floral gin component as well as a woody nuance. The finish is slightly alcoholic aggressive. I’d love to try more gin BA beers.

Blazing Arrow Tawny IPA – Parallel 49 & Gigantic Collaboration (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Blazing Arrow Tawny IPA – Parallel 49 Brewing & Scuttlebutt Brewing Collaboration, 6.0% ABV, 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

on the 4-pack bomber box:

“Blaze one down as you sip on this tawny IPA that has enough malt character to balance out the massive amount of hops in this beer. You down with H.O.P? Ya, you know me.”

(on the box)

  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: 60/40-malt-citrusy bready barley malt soft bitter hopped finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $28.75 CAD / 4-pack of 650ml., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not worth buying the 4-pack

Visual: In a mixed 2017 4-pack of bombers. Pours clear copper orange without much of a lasting head, ringed retention, countable clustered fast streams.

Nose: tangerine peel, sweet citrusy bready malt. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, sweet malt/soft hop impression

Mid-palate: slight creamier/thick, (lvl-4-sweetness), big orange-citrusy-malt presence, mild dry grassed out hop

Finish: soft tart, soft bitter citrus hop

Summary: A good 60/40-malt-citrus hop balance with a decently smooth and fullish mouthfeel.

Ume Umai – Gigantic Brewing Co. (Portland, OR, USA)

Ume Umai – Beer with plum and black rice – Gigantic Brewing Company, 7.5% ABV, 22 oz., (Portland, Oregon, USA)

on the front-right label:

“Inspired by the Japanese flavor palette, we combined plums, black rice and pilsner malt to make a unique beer experience. Brewed ‘dry’ in the Asian manner, ume umai is fruity, yet earthy and above all refreshing and delicious.”



  • Style: (flavoured – plum, black rice) Specialty Grain
  • Taste: Fruity tangy plum earthy rice barley malt dry roughish
  • Where I got it : Bainbridge Liquor / Burnaby
  • How much: $11.55 (after 10% off) – 22 oz., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Visual: Pours opaque cloudy marmalade orange with a smallish but ultra-long lasting “it’s alive”/nano foamy retention, all-encompassing clusters of active streams.

Nose: light plummy toasted barley malt with tang, farty barley malt (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: slick-almost NO2 creamy, crisp

Mid-palate: tingly-tangy, (lvl-4-sweetness), light sour plum, background sweet barley malt, grainy earthy rice

Finish: plum tanginess, light pukey, a touch of saltiness, slight dry barley malt roughness, very subtle bitterness.

Summary: Lots of crispness in this one, balanced well with a tanginess that lays just beneath the fruity flavour, holding its hand along the way. Slight dry roughness at the finish but otherwise very drinkable, 7.5% ABV undetectable.

Firebird Smoked Hefeweizen – Gigantic Brewing (Portland, OR, USA)


  • My Rating: [B],  I gave it a (3.2 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Firebird Smoked Hefeweizen – Gigantic Brewing, 6.1% ABV – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., (Portland, Oregon, USA)

on the right-side front label:

“A refreshingly complex wheat beer. Aromas of clove and banana intermingle with light smoke imparted from German malt kilned over beechwood fires.”


  • Style: (Beechwood) Smoked Hefeweizen
  • Taste: Light smoky banana-lemon wheat malt soft-hopped bitter
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey
  • How much: $8 (after 5% off) – 1 pt 6 fl.oz., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure, my first smoked heff

Visual: “Beer #18 in the endless series of limited edition artist and artisan beers”. Pours very cloudy pale orange with a smallish head, a nice layer of creamy retention, some lacing, quite a few spread out steady streams, the last drops contains sediment.

Nose: Somewhat muted. Light sourness, trace funk, lemon-orange curd. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: immediate smoke, background acidity

Mid-palate: crisp-tingly, (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) banana, lemon, airy wheat malts, light yeast

Finish: light burpy, light-medium sourness, soft prominent bitter hops, clove exhale, citrusy-sweet crisp bitter hopped finish.

Summary: A solid-bodied heffy with a compatible initially smoky twist. The smoke isn’t overpowering but adds and extra dimension to an already decent body.

From East Van With Love – Parallel 49-Gigantic Collaboration (CAN/USA)


  • My Rating: B+

From East Van With Love – Parallel 49-Gigantic Collaboration, 11.5% ABV – 650ml, (Brewed in Vancouver, BC, Canada)

On the side label:

“From East Van With Love is a collaboration between Portland’s Gigantic Brewing & Vancouver’s Parallel 49 Brewing Company. The result: a rich and dark Bourbon Aged Imperial Maple Stout, best enjoyed after foiling villains and henchmen. Best served after Jan 31st 2015. Ingredients: Black, Pale, Chocolate, Cara-Munich & Cara-Aroma Malts, Roasted Barley, Columbus & Fuggles hops, Canadian Maple Syrup, Yeast.”

  • Style: (barrel-aged flavoured) Imperial Stout
  • Taste Profile: bourbon alcoholic malts -> sweet caramel malts/cola/maple -> oaked coffee bitter finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $12 (after 10% off), April 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes, maybe a bottle or two to store away
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Wax-sealed beer bottle, quite fancy for a very affordable beer. Also a bit more of a hassle to open and pour without getting crud in your glass but an added level of security if do you decide to stash a bottle away for later (who are you kidding of course it’ll be drunk by 2015). Pours jet black thicker viscosity with almost no head, micro-cream CO2, looking like a usual imperial stout.

Nose: light bourbon, maple-caramel malts, vanilla (8/10-strength aromatics)

Attack: incoming bourbon alcoholic thick malts, syrupy viscosity

Mid-palate: subdued alcohol, (MAIN) bright 7/10-sweet caramel malts, cola, maple, light-med sourness, prune/date (HINTS) vanilla, saltiness

Finish: oaked malty phlegm, light-med coffee bitter clean finish.

Summary: I certainly like label, wax-seal and attractive naming of the contents. Finely balanced and flavourful, but lacks the creamy texture and more complexity to make it legendary.

Dark Meddle – Gigantic Brewing Co (Portland, OR, USA)


  • My Rating: C+

Dark Meddle – Gigantic Brewing Co, 5.9% ABV – 1 pt 6 fl.oz., (Portland, OR, USA)

On the front side label:

“Our crafty homage to the Vienna-style lager brewed by our favorite Mexican Grupo. A malty, full-flavored, dark brew, made extra-smooth with piloncillo cane sugar. Unleash your next luchador!”

  • Style: Vienna Lager
  • Taste Profile: sugar cane sweetness -> creamy/malts/cane sugar/caramel -> hoppy bitterness/bittersweet malty finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $7 (after 10% off), July 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50 – solid but not outstanding

Visual: cartoonish artwork for a wth is this moment; a quick look a the label includes piloncillo cane sugar, basically whole unrefined cane sugar (below-via wiki). Pours medium dark translucent brown with a smallish head, layer of micro CO2 retention, lots and lots of active streams.


Nose: pretty muted nose, only malts

Attack: 7/10-cane sugar sweetness, crispness, underlying bitter hops

Mid-palate: creamy-fizzy mouthfeel, light toastiness, MALTS, CANE SUGAR, brown sugar, caramel

Finish: mild hoppy bitterness kicks in, bittersweet malty-caramel finish.

Summary: Pretty straightforward flavour profile with no twists or surprises. Well-crafted and solid. I look forward to reviewing other beers from Gigantic in the future.