Vidal Icewine 2007 – Peller Estates (Ontario, Canada)

  • My Rating: [B+]

TL:DR – “Intense grape-raisin with some pineapple-mango nuances. Great stuff.”


Vidal Icewine Private Reserve 2007 – Peller Estates, 11.5% ABV – 200 ml., (Niagaro-on-the-lake, Ontario, Canada)


on the back label:

“This rare wine is made from frozen Vidal grapes hand picked at night below -10C in the middle of Canada’s cold winter. One drop of nectar is pressed from each grape to produce this luscious highly aromatic wine. Intense flavours of tropical fruit, peaches and honey are followed by a refreshing lingering finish…”


  • Style: (Vidal) Icewine
  • Taste: Fruit grape-raisin soft tropical liquid sweet
  • Where I got it : Superstore / Edmonton
  • How much: $18.29 – 200 ml., sometime in 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: Yes
  • Recommended: Yes
  • What made an impression: clean complex enjoyable flavour

Visual: (cellared for 11 years). Pours copper brownish orange, clear as water.

Nose: raisin, honey, fig/date (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: thicker viscosity

Mid-palate: sugar and alcohol bite, jammy raisin, dissipating (lvl-8-sweetness), mango

Finish: concord grape, sticky raisin, pineapple

Summary: Absolutely delightful. Complex grape flavour accompanied by a the advertised tropical backend. The sugars are intense but scatter quickly enough for the fruitiness to kick in.

Detour Session IPA – Muskoka Brewery (Bracebridge, ON, Canada)

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Detour India Session Ale – Muskoka Brewery, 4.3% ABV, 473 ml., (Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada)


printed on the back of the can:

“A refreshingly adventurous for those who want to stray from the everyday. Dry-hop brewed as a sessionable IPA, it delivers a rewarding aroma and a taste less travelled. And in case you see a little haze and sediment, that’s a good thing, and totally natural-a result of our pure, unfiltered brewing process.”

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  • Style: India Session Ale
  • Taste: Crisp light drinkable apricot citrusy pine dry lagerish barley malt thin
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $3 CAD (after 7.5% off) – 473ml., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: Pours clear golden orange with a smallish dissipating head, thin large island retention, just a few slow micro streams.

Nose: apricot tangerine citrusy. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-citrusy malty

Mid-palate: fizzy-almost creamy, (lvl-2-sweetness), apricot-grapefruity-piney

Finish: dry lager grainy barley malt, soft bitter hops, thinnish body.

Summary: Approachable malty citrusy flavour, but a tad thin – can’t expect too much for 4.3%er.

Mad Tom IPA – Muskoka Brewery (Bracebridge, ON, Canada)

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Mad Tom IPA – Muskoka Brewery, 6.4% ABV, 473 ml., (Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada)


printed on the back of the can:

“Inspired by late night stories around the fire, this IPA is dry-hopped with Chinook and Centennial hops for a vibrant aroma, depth of flavour and crisp, citrusy undertow like no other. And in case you see a little haze and sediment, that’s a good thing, and totally natural – a result of our pure, unfiltered brewing process.”

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  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Smooth balanced toasted caramel barley malt pine orange chewy hopped dry
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $3 CAD (after 7.5% off) – 473ml., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yup

Visual: Unfiltered. Pours clear copper brown with a foamy 1cm head, sticky lacing, thin layer of hazy retention, lots of steady big bubble streams.

Nose: toffee barley malt (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: thicker-crisp-silky

Mid-palate: toasted caramel, micro-CO2 creamy, soft pine, orange, (lvl-5-sweetness), chewy toffee barley malt, tangy-zingy

Finish: hoppy controlled bitterness dryness, residual caramel malts. 

Summary: Lovely cream-silky mouthfeel with an excellent balance of flavours without being overly bitter hopped. Smooth throughout, a winner.

Tankhouse Ale – Mill St. Brewery (Toronto, ON, Canada)

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Tankhouse Ale – Mill St. Brewery, 5.2% ABV, 341ml., (Toronto, ON, Canada)

-Mill St. Seasonal Sampler 6-pack recap:

-Apparently Mill Street Brewery was bought out by Anheuser-Busch InBev back in late 2015. Perhaps that’s why their beers taste kind of “watered down”. In any case, I’m glad I rated these beers before I acquired this fact.


on the back of the bottle:

“Mill Street Tankhouse Ale is a deliciously complex and spicy ale. We use a staggering amount of hops and five different malts to produce a rich, fiery pale ale, copper-red in colour, and truly satisfying in flavour.”

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  • Style: APA / American Pale Ale
  • Taste: Toasted toffee malt thin body dry grassy hop prickly vanilla hints
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $15 CAD (after 10% off) – 6 x 355ml-ish, September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: please father no

Visual: (seasonal sampler 6-pack). Pours reddish brown with no significant head, super thin hazy retention, singular micro streams all over.

Nose: brown sugar booze-laced toffee malts. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, thin entry

Mid-palate: toasted malt backbone, (lvl-4-sweetness), half-creamy, dry grassy hops, tongue prickly

Finish: hints of vanilla, thin body residual barley malt finish.

Summary: Decent drinkability with okay complexity of malt, hops, and a touch of spice. It’s a bit thin in mouthfeel though.

Original Organic Lager – Mill St. Brewery (Toronto, ON, Canada)

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Original Organic Lager – Mill St. Brewery, 4.2% ABV, 341ml., (Toronto, ON, Canada)


on the back of the bottle:

“Mill Street Original Organic Lager is a pure, refreshing European style beer. Batch-crafted from the finest organic ingredients, it takes 2 to 3 times longer to brew than ordinary beer. Light and crisp, it is cold-aged for 5 smooth weeks, creating a creamy, soft palate with a distinctively clean finish.”

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  • Style: Pale Lager
  • Taste: Basic liquid barley malt background CO2 hints of grainy corn
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $15 CAD (after 10% off) – 6 x 355ml-ish, September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: please father no

Visual: (seasonal sampler 6-pack). Pours orange-yellow with a quickly dissipating soda bubble head, several steady active streams, micro dark sediment remaining in the bottle.

Nose: very very faint barley, some plastic. (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: crisp, watery body

Mid-palate: (lvl-4-sweetness), liquid barley malt, a touch of grainy corn, background CO2

Finish: subtle burpy,

Summary: Another ‘too basic’ lager from Mill St. Just chug it and forget it. FWIW organic or not it doesn’t make a difference in this case.

Stock Ale – Mill St. Brewery (Toronto, ON, Canada)

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Stock Ale (golden ale) – Mill St. Brewery, 5% ABV, 341ml., (Toronto, ON, Canada)


on the back of the bottle:

“Mill Street Stock Ale is a golden export-style ale made from only malt and hops, no fillers or adjuncts. The malt’s natural sweetness is perfectly balanced by the bitterness derived from the hops.”

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  • Style: (golden ale) Blond Ale
  • Taste: Boring one note sweet liquid barley malt
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $15 CAD (after 10% off) – 6 x 355ml-ish, September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: don’t waste your time

Visual: (seasonal sampler 6-pack). Pours clear golden without much head, half ringed retention, slow steady singular streams.

Nose: liquid sweet barley malt. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp, subtle CO2 fizzy

Mid-palate: barley grain (lvl-4-sweetness), corn, liquid barley malt

Finish: trace tanginess, basic flat barley malt sweet finish.

Summary: Is there a slight citrusy component or am I imagining things? Likely the latter, this one is extremely BORING. Barely any body and very one note. DWYT = Don’t Waste Your Time, use it for cooking.

Lemon Tea Beer – Mill St. Brewery (Toronto, ON, Canada)

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Lemon Tea Beer – Mill St. Brewery, 5% ABV, 473ml., (Toronto, ON, Canada)


on the back of the can:

A remarkable wheat beer infused with a blend of orange pekoe and earl grey teas. It pours a light amber colour and will charm you with its sublime tea flavour and subtle lemon twist. A truly Canadian take on one of Europe’s newest beer styles.

Ingredients: Water, malted wheat, malted barley, lemon puree, organic cane sugar, orange pekoe tea, earl grey tea, hops.

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  • Style: (flavoured – orange pekoe, earl grey, lemon) Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Sweet lemon black tea earl grey mild wheat roughness
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $15 CAD (after 10% off) – 6 x 355ml-ish, September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: a good first tea beer to try

Visual: (seasonal sampler 6-pack). Pours cloudy marmalade orange with a small 1mm head, fast and slow bubbles here and there.

Nose: faint earl grey, barley malt (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: crisp, background subdued sourness

Mid-palate: (lvl-4-sweetness), black tea, bergamot oil, lemonwheat malt, tangy

Finish: soft wheat malt roughness, partially thin, cane sugar barley malt sweetness.

Summary: Tea and beer, a perfect match for me! This is my first tea infused beer and I’m quite liking the style. Although this particular tea beer doesn’t have extraordinary depth or length, the transitions are smooth and it has decent complexity.

Ambre de la Chaudière – Mill St. Brewery (Toronto, ON, Canada)

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Ambre de la Chaudière (Bière de Garde) – Mill St. Brewery, 7% ABV, 355ml., (Toronto, ON, Canada)


on the back label:

“This is a northern French style of farmhouse ale traditionally made in the winter months and then laid-down in the cellar (thus the ‘Bière de Garde’ appellation) for drinking throughout the year. Ours is a traditional amber beauty presented unfiltered with the yeast still in it to add to the slightly fruity/spicy aroma and creaminess of palate. Named after the famous falls beside our Ottawa brewery, this beer pays homage to a time gone by when honest craftsmanship and simplicity were truly valued.”

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  • Style: Bière de Garde
  • Taste: Clean smooth honey toffee barley malt hints of oaked chamomile
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $15 CAD (after 10% off) – 6 x 355ml-ish, September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: decent, not particularly memorable

Visual: (seasonal sampler 6-pack). Pours clear copper brown with no significant head, super thin ringed retention, some steady singular streams.

Nose: softly sweet malted barley, light oak (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: crisp-malty, smooth soft CO2 entry

Mid-palate: honeyed (lvl-5-)-sweetness, medium thick toffee barley malt, brown sugar, woody, chamomile floralness

Finish: clean toasted sweet barley malt.

Summary: Good transitions and all around clean flavours, although somewhat too straightforward. It could use a bit more complexity and palate textures. Alcohol is well-hidden.

Walker’s Blueberry Wheat – Mill St. Brewery (Toronto, ON, Canada)

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Walker’s Blueberry Wheat – Mill St. Brewery, 5% ABV, 355ml., (Toronto, ON, Canada)


on the back label:

“Walker’s Blueberry Wheat is made with a blend of wheat and barley malts with an infusion of pureed blueberries added during secondary fermentation. The result is a fresh, bright berry-coloured beer with a nice balance of malt sweetness and fruit acidity. Some of the blueberries come to us direct from a Mill St. family member’s farm.”

Ingredients: Water, malted barley, malted wheat, blueberry puree, hops.

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  • Style: (flavoured – blueberry) Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Weak thin crisp light sweet plain wheat/barley malt faint blueberry
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $15 CAD (after 10% off) – 6 x 355ml-ish., September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: NO

Visual: (seasonal sampler 6-pack). Pours translucent reddish-purple with suspended sediment, almost barely any head, thin ringed retention, a few small bubbles of activity.

Nose: faint sour, grainy wheat malt, mild fruitiness. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: crisp-thin body entry

Mid-palate: tangy, faint sour, hints of puke, wheat malt, (lvl-3-sweetness), faint blueberry

Finish: weak body, a touch of palate roughness.

Summary: Barely any blueberry flavour nor prominent barley/wheat malt character. A mindless summer thirst quencher or meal beer, no depth at all.

Vodka-Cranberry Elderflower – Sage Mixology (Ontario, Canada)

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  • My Rating: [C+]

Vodka-Cranberry Elderflower – Sage Mixology, 15% ABV, 345ml. Vodka + 405ml Juice, (Ontario, Canada)

Ingredients: filtered water, Vodka, sugar, cranberry concentrate, pressed blackcurrant juice, blueberry concentrate, elderflower juice (from concentrate), citric acid, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate. Contains sulphites. Gluten free (non-grain based vodka?)

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  • Style: Ready-to-drink Cocktail
  • Taste: Fruity berry alcohol bitter sweet drinkable smooth
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $16 – 345ml. + 405ml, July 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this at drinking parties: not bad as a party starter

Visual: Attractive and unique 2-in-1 bottle-in-a-bottle; Vodka in the outer, cran-elderflower in the center. Pours pale ruby pink, clear as water.

Nose: fruity perfume-like scent, sugary elderflower syrup. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: fruity sweet, incoming syrupy-sweetened alcohol

Mid-palate: alcohol bitterness, (lvl-6)-concentrated sugar sweetness, (MAIN) plastic, cranberry tartness, blackcurrant-berry

Finish: tart-light cloying, fruity sweet finish.

Summary: Goes down okay and you know that there’s real fruit juice in there even though it’s from concentrate. Punchy bold fruit flavours but still only a sub-par substitute to mixing cranberry-blueberry juice and vodka yourself; this seems overly diluted. Convenience factor for sure.