Melville’s Strawberry Craft Lager – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Melville’s Strawberry Craft Lager – Innis & Gunn, 4.1% ABV, 275 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)


on the back label:

We have captured the mouth-watering flavours of Scottish Jubilee Strawberries by blending real fruit juice with our craft-brew lager. The resulting beer is full flavoured and deliciously refreshing. Purity of flavour is so important to us we never use juice from concentrate.”


  • Style: (strawberry) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: Strawberry puree mixed with a simple lager
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $11 CAD (after 10% off) – 275 ml. x 4, September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nope

Visual: (cellared for 3.5 years). Pours reddish-brown with a micro bits of suspended strawberry sediment, no head, a half ring retention, scattered mix of spread out slow and steady loose streams.

Nose: strawberry puree, jam-like (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: tingly-soft crisp bite, strawberry fruity sweet impression

Mid-palate: bright (lvl-5-sweetness), slightly jammy-mostly authentic strawberry, conflicting subtle hop bitterness, barley malt background

Finish: artificial sweetener-like palate roughness

Summary: Decent bright fruity flavour but its severely lacking in any strawberry tanginess. It’s okay as a casual sipper to go along with a meal or a chill beer at the beach, but it lacks any real depth beyond mixing strawberry puree into a glass of lager.

Espresso Barleywine – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Espresso Barleywine – Innis & Gunn, 8.4% ABV, 330 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)


on the back label:

This robust, oak-aged barleywine has been infused with coffee beans that have been roasted and ground to our own specifications. We’ve finished the brew with an infusion of cardamom, mace and cloves, to create a very full-bodied, warming brew, perfect for enjoying by a fire as the colder nights draw in.

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  • Style: (flavoured – coffee bean, cardamom, mace, clove) Barley Wine
  • Taste: Sickly sweet syrupy liquid barley malt mace-clove coffee syrup gag reflex
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $4.15 CAD (after 20% off) – 330 ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: what?? no way

Visual: Pours very dark brown with barely any head, a centered island and ringed retention, sporadic fast and slow bubbles surfacing.

Nose: aromatic mace-clove-cardamom, soft roasted coffee beans, alcohol nasal tingliness. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, incoming heavy sugars, thicker viscosity

Mid-palate: syrupy (lvl-9-sweetness), alcoholic heavy, liquid barley malt, mace-clove-light cardamom

Finish: lingering gagging sickly sweetness, coffee syrup

Summary: All the spices are there as well as the coffee, but I find the thing to be just too darn sweet and heavy. I can handle sweet things but this particular brew causes a mildly offensive gag reflex near the finish. Not smooth and one of their worst that I’ve ever had – good aroma but ultimately disappointing.

Five AM Red Ale – Brewdog (Ellen, Scotland)

Five AM Red Ale (aka 5 A.M. Saint) – Brewdog, 5% ABV, 330ml., (Ellon, Scotland)


description from ratebeer.com:

“5am Saint is The Holy Grail of red ales. We live in a world of disposable deities. Someone, somehow has managed to press that big, flashing moronic override button and we’re hard wired straight into the pockets of false idols trying to make a quick buck. Sadly, for a lot of people the same mentality applies to beer. But who’s to know what’s worth worshiping when monolithic advertising budgets have you sucked down the rabbit hole in the blink of an eye? At BrewDog we are on a mission to open as many people’s eyes as possible. Cast away any aspersions and let the crook of BrewDog be your guide in a whirlwind of conformity and mediocrity. Once this ruby liquid forms a foamy halo around your glass, you’ll never want to look back. Malts: Maris Otter, Caramalt, Munich Malt, Crystal and Dark Crystal Malts Hops:Cascade, Amarillo, Nelson Sauvin, Simcoe, Ahtanum, Centennial Twist: Loads of late hops and bucket-loads of dry hops


  • Style: Amber Ale
  • Taste: Toasty brown sugar barley malt berry/red grape subtle hops
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $4.25 CAD (after 5% off) – 330ml., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: good, but not memorable

Visual: Pours opaque reddish brown without much of a head, thin ringed retention with a hazy island, clusters of steady streams.

Nose: brown sugar, date, sweet toasted barley malt. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, half-flat CO2

Mid-palate: background stealth grassiness, (lvl-4-sweetness), red berries/red grape, brown sugar toasted barley malt

Finish: residual barley malt sweetness, subtle bitterness

Summary: This has a dull, medium deepness which I find isn’t too impressive compared to their other fab brews. Good drinkability and flavour, but not quite rounded and bold enough to be great.

Innis & Gunn Rum Finish – 6.8% ABV (Scotland)

Innis & Gunn Rum Finish – matured for 57 days, 6.8% ABV, 33 cl., (Edinburgh, Scotland)


on the back label:

“This ruby red beer is matured over the finest rum-infused American Oak heartwood resulting in a beer with delicious warming character that is bursting with fruit and lively spiciness. These vibrant flavours perfectly balance the beer’s toffee-malt backbone making it an ideal accompaniment to game meats like venison or duck. It is sublime with mature cheeses served with good chutneys and relishes.”

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  • Style: (barrel-aged – American Oak Rum cask) English Strong Ale
  • Taste: Dense overly sweet toffee’d barley malt brown sugar-molasses
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $16 CAD – 4 x 330 ml., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: fabulous

Visual: Pours clear mahogany brown without a significant lasting head, ringed retention with a small island, countable singular sporadic streams.

Nose: sugary thick toffee’d liquid barley malt (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, incoming densely sweet malts

Mid-palate: heavy (lvl-7-sweetness), brown sugar-molasses, toffee’d liquid malted barley

Finish: residual malted sugars

Summary: I usually enjoy I&G brews but this one tasted awfully plain, short, and uninspiring. The toffee profile just becomes overly heavy with the addition of the rum barrel.

Jack Hammer Ruthless IPA – Brewdog (Scotland)

Jack Hammer Ruthless India Pale Ale, 7.2% ABV, 330ml., (Ellon, Scotland)


description from ratebeer.com:

Ruthless India Pale Ale

Start with a colossal grapefruit aroma. Pile on bitterness after thumping bitterness, and ride the anarchy wherever it takes you. The caramel razor is sharp, but the resinous bite drills straight through your taste buds.

For blitzing the mediocre, raising hell and revelling in the aftermath, Jack Hammer is the end of the line. The hopped-up, pucker-mouthed terminal extreme of craft brewing. This beer is bitter. Very bitter. If you push that button, don’t say we didn’t warn you…

OG: 1069
IBU’s: Hopped to 200+ theoretical IBUs
Malts: Extra Pale
Hops: Centennial & Columbus, dry hopped with Citra, Amarillo and Simcoe


  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Fantastic smooth crisp yellow grapefruit toasty toffee barley malt soft grassy hop long bitter
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $4.75 CAD (after 5% off) – 330ml., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, Brewdog never fails

Visual: Pours marmalade orange with large suspended bits, a very small dissipating head, thin ringed retention with spotty islands, slow sporadic streams.

Nose: super bright orange-grapefruit hop oils (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: thicker-crisp bite

Mid-palate: orange-mango hop oils, controlled zingy alcohol detection, (lvl-6-sweetness), yellow grapefruit, grassy-green hop cones

Finish: tongue numbness, toasty toffee barley malt aftertaste, long bitter hopped finish

Summary: A really, really nice showcase of a quality IPA. Balanced sweet grapefruity malts with a superb smooth-thick mouthfeel, and the hops are bold yet never overbearing. I particularly like the re-emergence of the barley malt at the finish. Very round and profound. Recommended.

White Oak Wheat Beer – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

White Oak Wheat Beer – Innis & Gunn, 6.4% ABV, 330 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)


on the back label:

Inspired by the aroma and flavours more typically found in a cup of Earl Grey tea, the German-style Kristallweizen beer has been brewed at a warmer temperature to encourage sweeter, spicier flavours to develop. The brew has been aged over oak and then infused with dried bergamot and blood orange to create a fragrant and refreshing finish.

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  • Style: (flavoured – bergamot oil, blood orange, white oak aged) Kristallweizen
  • Taste: Malty compounding honey barley malt sweet tea bergamot oil orange citrus rough finish
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $3.50 CAD (7.5% off) – 12 oz.,  September 2015
  • Do I love this enoughto drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sessionable and forgettable

Visual: Pours golden orange with a smallish dissipating head, ringed fine retention, barely clustered active streams.

Nose: bergamot oil, sweet honeyed malts. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-slick-thicker

Mid-palate: light tingly, (lvl-5-sweetness), orange pekoe tea, light liquid honey barley malt,

Finish: bergamot oil, orange citrus exhale, mild palate cloying roughness

Summary: Quite a bergamot oil presence, causing just a bit of a gag reflex, even though I’m a huge fan of Earl Grey tea. Flavours are unique and as advertised, although I’m sure this beer isn’t for everyone. As with all Innis & Gunn beers, the sweetness of the malts compound with each sip and this one is no exception.

Dana IPA is Dead – Brewdog (Scotland)

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Dana IPA is Dead (single hop IPA), 6.7% ABV – 75 IBU, 330ml. (part of a 4-pack), (Ellon, Scotland)

-Summary of the four hop varieties:

  • Dana (Slovenia) = grassy, mango, light spicy
  • East Kent Goldings (UK/USA) = blackberry
  • El Dorado (Yakima) = peach, watermelon, pear
  • Waimea (NZ) = tangelo, grassy

 

on the front-right label and from ratebeer.com:

“…Each  IPA contains the same malt backbone and is brewed to be 75 IBU and is enthusiastically kettle hopped and dry hopped with Waimea, El Dorado, Dana & East Kent Goldings…”

A pseudo noble hop. Noble like a mother fucking king. But not a boring king. Noble like a chain smoking, pimp of a pinball wizard king. Apparently, they are the best kind.
Hailing from Slovenia, Dana was originally cross bred from the German Hallertau Magnum and native Slovenian varieties. Like any good faux noble hop should it infuses a rustic, musty spiciness into a classic beast of a malt base, just like your grandfather’s old school aftershave.
This hop of Eastern European origin is best enjoyed whilst dreaming up a song about a lovely donkey that fell in love with a princess that is destined to take the Eurovision song contest by storm.


  • Style: (single hop, Dana) India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Grassy mango toffee malt light spicy medium bitter hops
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $17 (after 10% off) CAD – 4pack of 330ml., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: (Cellared for 2 years). Pours orangish brown with suspended sediment, thin hazy layer of micro retention, just a few micro bubbles of activity.

Nose: brown sugar toffee malts. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: half-slick, low CO2

Mid-palate: grassy hop oil, bright (lvl-5-sweetness), mango toffee malt

Finish: background light sourness-tangy, light spicy pine exhale, lingering medium bitter hops.

Summary: Smooth drinkability just like the rest of their single hops. Half grassy, half mango toffee malt character. Pretty good.