Agent Orange IPA – Giggles & Warlock Craftworks (Richmond, BC, Canada)

Agent Orange IPA – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, 5.8% ABV, 650 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


on the front-left label:

“Agent Orange IPA: What happens when you combine a crisp refreshing IPA with mandarin oranges? Magic! Introducing Agent Orange IPA with fresh mandarin oranges featuring Galaxy, Citra, and Cascade hops!

(left)


  • Style: (flavoured – mandarin orange) India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Sour tart tangy funk dull mandarin orange lingering bitter pith
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.55 CAD – 650ml., September 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours cloudy orange, not much head, ringed retention with a spotty thin islands, several spread out singular micro streams.

Nose: mandarin orange with some tart funk. Has a floral edge. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-dull, citrus sour tart impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), tart medium sour funk, persistent tanginess, dull mandarin orange, background malt

Finish: linger citrus peel bitter, mild orange exhale

Summary: Totally not what I was expecting, and not in a good way. The sour tart funk comes across as abrasive and unpleasant when combined with the bitter profile which has major orange pith nuances – the rough kind you get when you leave a slice of lime in water for a prolonged period of time. Drinkable, but not very enjoyable. Dull, disjointed, and not much of an IPA while taking the worst parts of a mandarin orange. 4 Mile Brewing’s Mandarin IPA [B+] is much better.

Blueberry Dessert Wine 2007 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: C+

Blueberry Dessert Wine 2007 – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


on the back label:

“Overlooking the historic Fraser River in the heart of blueberry country, Isabella Winery balances blueberry characteristics in this off-dry dessert wine. Delicious drizzled over vanilla ice cream”


  • Style: (Blueberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Dense sweet juicy rich blueberry-blackberry tangy firm acidic mild alcohol
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $17 (after 15% off) – 375 ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: decent if untainted

Visual: (cellared for 10 years), a bit of mold on top of the cork. Pours deep purple, a bit of sediment.

Nose: light acidic alcoholic blueberry juice (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: slightly syrupy, dense sweet blueberry impression

Mid-palate: tangy firm acidity, (lvl-8-sweetness), rich blueberry-mild blackberry juiciness

Finish: residual sugars, berry exhale, trace amounts of mold in the aftertaste (from the cork I suspect)

Summary: Isabella Winery sure is hit and miss. While the majority of their products are mediocre at best, this one is actually above average. It’s a shame that there was just a touch of mold in the aftertaste. Can’t say I would but this again, but I’m certainly glad I didn’t feel ripped off. The sugars make my sensitive teeth tingle.

Chardonnay Icewine 2010 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: D+ (bad P:E, price:enjoyability)

Chardonnay Icewine 2010 – Isabella Winery, 13% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC icewine*)


on the back label:

“This fresh Icewine Chardonnay is buttery and smooth nectar of richness demonstrates good balance, and exhibits flavors of ripe apple, apricot, melon and lemon zest. A hint of oak vanilla, toasted marshmallow aromas round out the robust yet gentle mouthfeel.”


  • Style: (Chardonnay) Icewine
  • Taste: Tangy red apple apricot soft sour crisp short length basic flavour
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $71 (after 15% off) – 375 ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: never

Visual: (cellared for at least 7 years), real cork partially disintegrated upon uncorking. Pours apple juice yellow with a slight orange shade, crystal clear.

Nose: apple juice, Welch’s white grape, light sweet acidity. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming sweet juicy tangy

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), red apple, almost salty, tangy alcohol, very mild heat, apricot, watery viscosity

Finish: soft sour, residual medium tangy apricot-grape

Summary: Lol this is what you call impulse spending on liquor – buy the whole 20+ bottle lineup, review them all for blog, and check the bill later. In any case, another DNB, waste of money dessert wine from Isabella. Way too thin and basic apple flavour straight out of the fridge; Luckily the acidity kicks in as it warms and you get more tangy apricot in the backend. Still, a turd is a turd even if you cellar for 7 years it. Drinkable, but after feeling swindled.

Ancient Lore Mead – Golden Age Meadery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

Ancient Lore Mead (flavoured mead), 18.0% ABV, 200ml, (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC mead*)


on the back label:

“Golden Age Meadery strives to recreate the forgotten ancient recipes and revive the time – honored traditions of good cheer.

Mead made from local 100% natural local products:

Wildflower honey from Fraser Valley. Herbs from Lower Mainland. Fruits from Okanagan. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, no sulfites”

wp-1485662945056.jpg


  • Style: (flavoured – Balsam tree needles/NA fir, Tarragon, Nutmeg, Propolis, Coffee, Juniper berry, Yarrow, Grape leaf, Vanilla bean) Mead
  • Taste: Complex cacao sweet tangy honey coffee vanilla hints of floral fir
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $11 CAD (after 5% off) – 200ml., January 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to mead aficionados: worth a go

Visual: Plastic cork. Pours slightly hazy apple juice yellow-orange.

Nose: cacao, coffee, vanilla, with some light-bodied mead in the background. Bright and inviting. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: incoming (lvl-6-sweetness)

Mid-palate: cacao, tangy-prickly honey wine, manageable alcohol heat

Finish: slight fir, mild alcohol throat warmth, coffee bean and vanilla exhale

Summary: A unique and delectable bouquet of florals, spices, berries and beans. Quite approachable and  what I appreciate about this mead is at least some of the infused ingredients are discernible in the final product. Good complexity, but lacking depth/richness in the mids and finish, making it feel thin; Conversely however, this makes it easy to sip without taxing the palate.

Strawberry Dessert Wine – Sanduz Estate Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [B]

Strawberry Dessert Wine (NV)- Sanduz Estate Winery (now named Canada Berries), 16% ABV, 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


  • Style: (strawberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Eau-de-vie alcoholic soft prickly strawberry throat heat
  • Where I got it : @Winery / Richmond
  • How much: $26 – 375 ml., October 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: worth a try if they still sell it

Visual: (cellared for 2 years). Real cork. Pours dark ruby red with a hint of purple, clear and thicker viscosity.

Nose: fragrant luscious tangy strawberry juice – Immaculate. (lvl-10)-pungency

Attack: background off-dry alcohol

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), mild strawberry jam, eau-de-vie alcohol, prickly tangy acidity

Finish: throat heat alcohol attack, strawberry exhale

Summary: An incredibly inviting real strawberry nose starts it off nicely. Its sweetness is rather tame of a dessert wine; I suspect this has been fortified because I detect a prominent eau-de-vie presence in the mids that carries through to the finish. About 60/40-alcohol/fruitiness ratio. Not your typical syrupy sweet dessert fruit wine, quite sippable.

Sikera (Apple-Icewine) – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC , Canada)

  • My Rating: FAIL

Sikera (apple wine & Icewine blend) – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 200 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


on the back label:

“A truly unique wine. This tantalizing blend of apples and Icewine is full of flavours that are reminiscent of apple pie. Exquisite with cheese or delightful on its own.”

wp-1475127920249.jpg


  • Style: (Apple wine + Icewine blend) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Moldy cloying sweet apple syrup generic icewine
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $10 (after 15% off) – 200 ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: never

Visual: (cellared for at least 3 years), real cork intact. Pours deep brandy orange, clear as water.

Nose: syrupy apple juice, icewine grapey density. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: thick incoming sugars

Mid-palate: background rotten fruit/mold (I suspect from the cork), (lvl-10-sweetness), dense apple juice, generic sweet grapey icewine

Finish: very cloying sugars, apple juice exhale, residual light tangy

Summary: Very basic apple sweetness with some icewine notes, but there’s no structure or complexity to it, just cloying. To top it off it had a moldy flavour to it which got somewhat covered up by the sugars. The last 50mls were a drain pour. Absolutely awful.

Cranberry Dessert Wine 2009 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: C-

Cranberry Dessert Wine 2009 – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


on the back label:

“This delicious ruby red berry packs the powerful punch of its natural flavours into the sweetness of a dessert wine. Enjoy it chilled or shake it up with your favourite martini.”

wp-1469180753082.jpg


  • Style: (Fruit – Cranberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Cloying liqueur sweet from concentrate tangy cranberry
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $15 (after 15% off) – 375ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: don’t sip it, mix it

Visual: (cellared for 7 years), real cork split in half while uncorking. Pours deep ruby red with lots of suspended sediment.

Nose: juicy jammy tangy cranberry. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming dense alcoholic sugars

Mid-palate: syrupy (lvl-10-sweetness), tangy alcohol, light tart, cranberry jam

Finish: alcohol detection, residual cloying sugars, red berry exhale

Summary: Very, very sweet, and normally cranberries aren’t that sweet, so what gives? It seems like they added sugar to this but I can’t be certain since the ingredients aren’t listed. The cranberry flavour itself is nicely rich but has a “from concentrate (FC)” quality to it, like an Ocean Spray cranberry juice. It’s way too sweet as a sipper, instead I’d say this is better as a substitute for a cranberry liqueur in a cocktail; Although it doesn’t quite have the weighty viscosity that a typical liqueur has.