Full Patch Pumpkin Ale – Longwood Brewery (Nanaimo, BC, Canada)

Full Patch Pumpkin Ale – Longwood Brewery, 9% ABV – 650ml., (Nanaimo, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

“This seasonal Belgian style saison is not for the faint of heart. Born in a pumpkin patch and rasied in the brewery, this 9% bad boy is not your grandma’s pumpkin pie. Eight slaughtered pumpkins and a whole lotta spice were boiled in a cauldron of barley, hops, and anything else we could find lying around. Fly orange with full patch.”

(left)


  • Style: (pumpkin, spices) Spiced Ale
  • Taste: Sweet pumpkiny brown sugar barley malt mild ginger light clove
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.30 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 650ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: nah
  • What made a impression: big brown sugar sweetness

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours dark brown with a smallish 1mm lasting creamy head, lots and lots of singular steady micro streams.

Nose: brown sugar, ginger, clove, biscuity barley malt (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, thicker tingly

Mid-palate: pumpkiny (lvl-7-sweetness), ginger, brown sugar barley malt,

Finish: residual brown sugar sweetness, clove exhale

Summary: Not terribly complex but at least the 9% ABV is well hidden. The sugars become heavy on the palate after half a glass – there’s not enough depth to round it out.

Winter White Stout – Steamworks Brewing Co. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Winter White Stout – Steamworks Brewing Company, 5.1% ABV – 33 IBU, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


Malts: Maris Otter, Flaked Barley, Flaked & Golden Naked Oats

Hops: Fuggles, Golding, WGB

Unique: Cacao & Coffee Beans

Colour: Caramel

IBU’s: 33

(left)


  • Style: (cacao bean, coffee bean, oats) Spiced Ale
  • Taste: Astringent sour roast coffee thin barley malt dry cacao subtle bitter hops
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.15 CAD (after 10% off) – 650ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: (cellared for 1 year) Pours clear golden orange with no head, just a very small spotty island and few uneventful bubbles here and there, large bits of sediment in the 2nd pour. Uninspiring.

Nose: roasted coffee, mild cacao notes, (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: thicker mouthfeel, crisp, off-dry coffee malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), background sour coffee bean, resiny metallic hopped, grainy barley malt

Finish: dry cacao-chocolate, residual light tangy sour barley malt, subtle lingering bitter hops

Summary: Not quite the stout I was expecting. I find the sourish roast coffee notes not meshing smoothly with the t00 light of a barley malt base, making it taste like a harsh cold brew coffee. Just a bit above average, better coffee ales out there.

Old Sarsaparilla – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Old Sarsaparilla Root Beer Style Ale – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“The stranger: Say friend, d;ya have a good sarsaparilla?

Bartender: We’ve got Phillips old sarsaparilla.

The stranger: That’s a good one.”

Ingredients: water, malted barley, hops, sarsaparilla, wintergreen, anise seed, spearmint, licorice, ginger, nutmeg and yeast

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  • Style: (root beer spices) Spice/Herb Beer
  • Taste: Mainly toffee barley malt off-dry wintergreen-sarsaparilla-nutmeg exhale no thin carry
  • Where I got it : Legacy liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $5 (after 10% off) – 650 ml., November 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Pours translucent medium dark copper brown with a dissipating 2mm head, ring and island retention, singular fast loose streams.

Nose: sarsaparilla/wintergreen, hints of nutmeg, caramel malt – quite inviting. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: off-dry thin body impression, light crisp

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), grainy toffee metallic barley malt dominant

Finish: wintergreen-sarsaparilla exhale, nutmeg, anise seed-licorice, subtle hops, flat no carry residual thin barley malt.

Summary: The initial sips are somewhat disappointing in that you get mainly a toffee barley malt bomb without the accompanied sugar rush you usually get in a beverage label “sarsaparilla/root beer”. Most of the spices are discernible at the finish, quite nice; I’m not liking the thin watery mouthfeel and lack of carry of the barley malt though.

Stillwater Sensory Series v.1 – Lower Dens – Stillwater Artisanal (Baltimore, MD, USA)

Stillwater Sensory Series v.1 – Lower Dens – Stillwater Artisanal (contract brewer; brewed & bottled by Twelve Percent Westminster, MD), 6% ABV, 12 oz., (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)


on the front-right label:

The Stillwater Sensory Series is a collaboration between Stillwater Artisanal and singular musical artists. In this first collaboration, Stillwater works with Lower Dens to make an ale based on an interpretation of their song, “In the End is the Beginning.” On the bottle itself, a QR code will link to an exclusive Lower Dens performance of the song. Ultimately, this is a true artistic collaboration that aims to create a full sensory experience – sound, sight, smell, touch, and taste. http://www.stillwatersensory.com”


  • Style: (flavoured – Hibiscus) Spice/Herb/Vegetable Ale
  • Taste: Tangy-fruity chamomile honey toasty barley malt subtle hibiscus
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $11.25 CAD (after 5% off) – 12 oz., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure do

Visual: Pours pale golden orange with a smallish lasting 2mm head, decent fine micro retention, clusters of very fast active streams.

Nose: yeasty wheat malt sour funk, cotton candy/hibiscus, red field berries. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp-creamy-thicker

Mid-palate: brightness, hints of chamomile, (lvl-5-sweetness), toffee-toasty barley malt, dissipating short sour-tangy
hibiscus berry-like

Finish: bready honey, gentle wheat malt roughness, very subtle bitter hops

Summary: Wow this is a fantastic spice/herb beer. Super sippable, seamless transitions, good complexity and depth along with a smooth mouthfeel. Every sip offers a different texture/taste depending on what you focus on. Although it was a bit $$$, I’m glad I tried it.

Pumpkin Ale – Laurelwood Brewing Co. (Portland, OR, USA)

Pumpkin Ale (aka Stingy Jack Pumpkin Ale) – Laurelwood Brewing Company, 7.5% ABV – 25 IBU, 22 oz., (Portland, Oregon, USA)


on the front-right label:

Laurelwood Pumpkin Ale is brewed using pumpkin puree and a blend of seasonal spices creating a smooth and robust amber ale.”

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  • Style: (flavoured – pumpkin, spices) Spiced Ale
  • Taste: Heavily clove-cinnamon-nutmeg spiced pumpkin sweet toffee malt gaggy finish
  • Where I got it : Bainbridge Liquor / Burnaby
  • How much: $8.75 CAD (after 10% off) – 22 oz., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah, didn’t love it

Visual: Pours clear copper brown with a very small dissipating head, just a touch of lacing, thick ring of retention, steady spread out clusters of activity.

Nose: cinnamon-nutmeg-clove trifecta mixed with toffee malts and baked pie crust (lvl-6)-intensity

Attack: crisp numbing bite, incoming sticky sweetness

Mid-palate: cascading creamy-tingly mouthfeel, (lvl-7-sweetness), toffee barley malt, pumpkin

Finish: residual cloying sweetness, soft hopped pie spiced bitterness mixed with toffee’d barley malt.

Summary: A ton of pumpkin pie spices but an overly sweet drinking experience halfway through the bottle. The lingering spices at the finish leaves a somewhat unpleasant gag reflex, for me at least anyway.

Waes Hael Spiced Seasonal Ale – Bad Tattoo Brewing (Penticton, BC, Canada)

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Waes Hael Spiced Seasonal Ale – Bad Tattoo Brewing Company, 6% AB, 650ml, (Penticton, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

“Based on a traditional seasonal beer, Waes Hael is a strong beer, brewed with a hint of apples and spice…”

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  • Style: (flavoured – roasted apples, spices) Spiced Ale
  • Taste: Clove cinnamon brown sugar toasted nutty malt light woody
  • Where I got it : Bainbridge Liquor / Burnaby
  • How much: $7.25 CAD (10% off) – 650ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: a bit cloying

Visual: Pours dark coffee brown with a thick foamy 5mm head, half-sticky lacing, 2mm retention, clusters of active streams

Nose: clove, toasty nutty malt. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp bite, full-airy, almost creamy-fizzy

Mid-palate: clove-cinnamon, cola brown sugar, background apple brightness, (lvl-7-sweetness), sweet nutty roast malty

Finish: short tangy-zing, nutmeg, roasty toasty toffee malt, light woody burnt bitter

Summary: Much like a spiced pumpkin ale but brighter in mids. A tad cloying in the finish, good body and depth. Big spices.

Bad Panda Ginger Pale Ale – Northwest Brewing Co. (Pacific, Washington, USA)

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Bad Panda Ginger Pale Ale – Northwest Brewing Company, 5% ABV, 22 fl.oz., (Pacific, Washington, USA)

“Beer brewed with ginger, galangal and orange peel


on the front-left label:

“This lushly flavored pale ale is brewed with ginger, galangal and orange peel in addition to premium malts, Saaz hops, and our house ale yeast. The aromatic spices combine to create a perfect accompaniment to Asian Pacific cuisine. Close your eyes and let the captivating flavors transport you.”


  • Style: (flavoured – ginger, galangal, orange peel) Flavoured Pale Ale / Ginger Beer
  • Taste: Prominent ginger root peppery orange oil barley malt ginger heat
  • Where I got it : Uwajimaya / Seattle
  • How much: $5.50 USD ($7 CAD) – 22 fl.oz., October 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours copper orange with barley any head, thin ringed retention with small islands, small clusters of fast streams.

Nose: mostly ginger, toasted bread. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp bite, fizzy-tingly

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), orange oils, peppery, ginger root earthy, light toasted barley malts

Finish: off-dry background hops, soft ginger throat heat, barley malty exhale, a touch more orange oil.

Summary: It certainly delivers in the ginger-galangal spicy department, and the orange peel helps round it out. Overall it’s substantially better than the handful of other ginger brews I’ve tried in the past. Decent, but has thin, mildly rough finish.