Isastegi Sagardo Naturala – Sidreria Isastegi Sagardotegia (Tolosa, Spain)

Isastegi Sagardo Naturala – Sidreria Isastegi Sagardotegia, 6% ABV, 750 ml., (Tolosa, Spain)

  • Style: (barrel aged) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Puckery sour soft tart pukey woody apple cider vinegar
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $12.45 (after 20% off) – 750 ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Plastic wrapped top, real cork. Pours clear pale yellow with no head, large bubbles along the glass wall, bubbles sporadically surfacing. Large sediment settled in the bottle.

Nose: tangy woody apple cider vinegar (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: virtually flat CO2, very subtle tingly, sour-acidic impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), huge wet woodiness, apple cider vinegar, big puckery sour pukey funk, subtle green apple

Finish: tart dryish, lingering woody apple juice exhale

Summary: Another traditional cider from Spain, the first Sidra Bere which I reviewed here [B]. This one is too aggressive pukey sour and is lacking in firm crispness in the entry. Too much vinegar and not enough apple coming through.


Sidra Bere – Sidreria Bereziartua (Astigarraga, Spain)

Sidra Bere – Sidreria Bereziartua, 5.5% ABV, 33 cl., (Astigarraga, Spain)

info from

Natural cider from Astigarraga.

Blend of natural wild apples such as Txalaka, Urtebia, Judeline and Judor.

This cider is produced using advanced methods while maintaining tradition and followed by fermentation in wooden and stainless steel vats for a minimum of 4 months.

Colour: Harvest yellow.
Aroma: Fruity and fresh.
Taste: Very homogeneous bitter-sweetness.

Alcohol: 6% (5.5% in this bottle)
Total acidity: 5-6
Volatile acidity: 1.5-2
pH: 3.5-3.8”

  • Style: Apple Cider
  • Taste: Natural BIG tangy pukey/funk yeasty light sweet tart red-green apple sour woody edge
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $6.05 (after 20% off) – 33 cl., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes, quite different from local BC ciders

Visual: Pours opaque golden orange with no head and just a few bubbles, settled yeast in the bottle.

Nose: pukey yeasty-acidic, woody apple cider. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: light crisp, dull-low CO2 entry

Mid-palate: tart, (lvl-3-sweetness), tangy-sour-pukey, dry (40/60)-red/green apple sour

Finish: woody-lactobacillus, tart/off-dry, residual tanginess

Summary: Big tangy sourness in this one; it reminds me of sour/wild ales but with a brighter apple edginess. Quite woody and natural-tasting, a lot of tartness as well. Good complex textures, decent body and flavour, not that sugar aggressive which is a nice changeup, especially for ciders.

Rosita (Original) – Cerveses La Gardènia (Spain)


Rosita (Original) – Cerveses La Gardènia, 5.5% ABV, 500ml., (Tarragona, Spain)

Ingredients: water, malt of barley, sugar, honey, hops and yeasts.

  • Style: (honey, flavoured) Blond Ale
  • Taste: Sharp crisp toasted honey sweet barley malt
  • Where I got it : 16th St. Liquor / W. Vancouver
  • How much: $5 (after 10% off) CAD – 500ml., December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: (Cellared for 3 years). Pours cloudy amber brown with a large bubbly dissipating head, 2mm layer of retention, light lacing, very fast singular streams.

Nose: canned mandarin oranges (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: sharp crisp bite, fizzy-lively mouthfeel

Mid-palate: toasted honey, (lvl-5-sweetness), sweet barley malt

Finish: lingering honey, subtle short bitter hops, liquid barley malt exhale.

Summary: Plain barley malt flavour with a touch of honey, not much character other than the very lively crisp fizzy mouthfeel. Just an average blond.

Valencia Moscato – The Tapas Wine Collection (Spain)


  • My Rating: [C+]

Valencia Moscato 2013 – The Tapas Wine Collection, 5% ABV, 650ml, (Cheste, Spain)


  • Taste: Medium cloying fruity apple-pear-muscat
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $14 – 750ml., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: more for casual drinkers

Visual: Pours very light beige with tight clusters in the center, small bubbles.

Nose: sweet apple pear peach muscat grape. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: medium acidic, dense sugars, light fizzy

Mid-palate: medium cloying stickiness, (lvl-6)-sweetness, (MAIN) red apple, pear, muscat grape

Finish: light-bodied, sour-tangy, residual sweet finish.

Summary: Inviting and playful flavours accompanied by a bubbly crisp mouthfeel, decent. Somewhat cloying and repetitive by itself, best with some appies. Beware of the heartburn on an empty stomach.

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava (Torrelavit, Spain)


  • My Rating: C-

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava (NV), 12% ABV – 750ml, (Torrelavit, Spain)

on the back label:

“Segura Viudas Brut Reserva is the reflection of our passion for the vineyard and its land. Like all Segura Viudas cavas, it has been harvested by hand only with the best grapes. A period of 15 months of aging allows us to enjoy its fruitiness and personality.”

  • Style: (Brut Reserva) Cava
  • Taste: Sour-acidic tangy-tart red/green apple with bitter/salty alcohol
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $17 – 750ml., sometime in 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: no

Visual: High quality foil sealed with real cork and serial number. Heavy duty thick bottle and detailed intricate labels. Pours clear light golden yellow with several very active clusters of small bubbles.

Nose: Sweet-tart-tangy acidic red + green apple, (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming fruity alcohol, tingly-fizzy mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (lvl-2)-fruity sweetness, bitter alcohol detection, medium tart-crispness, med-high sourness + acidity, (MAIN) sour red/green apple, citrus acidity

Finish: continued dense bitter/salty alcohol, thickened saliva, off-dry finish.

Summary: This being my first review of a Cava, I’m not quite sure what to compare it to. By itself as a sipper, it drinks very sour-acidic, with only a fraction of the experience being the apple flavour. I’ve tried this mixed with St-Germain elderflower liqueur + club soda and it’s wonderful. Alone, it’s just average. It’s definitely not in the same class as Champagne, flavourwise (no surprise).

Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro (Spain)


  • My Rating: C-

Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro, 15% ABV – 500ml, (Spain)

On the back label:

“Since 1946, the Torres family have been making Floralis – Moscatel Oro, one of the most expressive dessert wines of the Mediterranean. It has an unmistakeably floral perfume, and is sensual and voluptuous in the mouth.”

  • Style: (Muscat of Alexandria) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: sugar/alcohol -> alcohol bitter/raisin/plum -> alcohol warmth/tangy/cloying finish.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores (no longer available – 11/2013)
  • How much: $23 – 500ml., sometime in 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine drinkers: no

Visual: Classy label with gold coloured foil on the label and a resealable push cork (real cork). Pours auburn brown that is identical in colour to my bottle of Tariquet VSOP Armagnac. Very slow legs.

Nose: Orange blossom, Vin Santo, plum, and minor alcohol. (7)-aromatic strength.

Attack: incoming sugars and alcohol

Mid-palate: syrupy (9)-sweetness, alcoholic bitterness/detection, (MAIN) raisins, plum

Finish: alcoholic throat (4)-warmth, light-med zingy-tanginess, mild cloying toffee sweet finish.

Summary:  Flavours are decent but nothing wow’d me here. Alcohol and sweetness are a bit too aggressive without the depth and aromatics to balance it out. (Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

Estrella Damm Inedit (Spain


Estrella Damm Inedit, 4.8% ABV – 750ml, (Barcelona, Spain)

Attached mini paper pamphlet:

“Aromatized with coriander, orange peel and licorice.

Inedit means “Never been done before”. In cooperation witht the brewmasterd of Estrella Damm, Inedit was crafted by the globally acclaimed chef Ferran Andria, Juli Soler and sommeliers Ferran Centelles and David Seijas from ElBulli Restaurant.

A skillfully brewed blend of lager and wheat beer styles, Inedit uses a combination of barley malt, wheat, hops, coriander, orange peel, yeast and water. Uniquely brewed to create a complex aroma and opaque appearance, a floral nose leaves a sensation of fresh yeast and sweet spices. Lightly carbonated with a creamy texture, the soft full body leaves a long and lasting finish.”

  • Style: Witbier
  • My Rating: B-
  • Taste Profile: orange citrus -> coriander/dryness/wheat -> fizzy/dry/malty finish
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $7,  December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours cloudy yellow-orange with a smallish head, not much activity. Tangerine citrus nose. Drinks with a bold orange citrus up front, coriander, dryness, wheat, 6/10 sweetness, fizzy finishing dry and light malty. Medium complexity, low-med depth, good transitions, good drinkability.

Alhambra Reserva 1925


Alhambra Reserva 1925, 6.4% ABV – 330ml, (Spain)

  • Style: Strong Pale Lager/Imperial Pilsener
  • My Rating: C-
  • Taste Profile: creamy/fizzy -> alcohol/malts -> dry rough/med bitter finish
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $13/6pack,  December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours light copper orange, almost no head, a few slow streams. Muted nose. Drinks creamy fizzy up front, alcohol detection, malts, dry roughish med bitter finish. Low-med complexity, low-med depth, not much carry, okay drinkability.