Spiced Apple Ale – Spinnakers Brewpub (Victoria, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [FAIL]

Spiced Apple Ale – Spinnakers Brewpub, 5.5% ABV – 10 IBU, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“SPICED APPLE ALE: A blend of BC grown apple cider and a spiced amber ale, this fall treat is brewed to be enjoyed as the leaves change colour and the bounty of the season is ready to harvest.”

Made with: aquifer water, apple cider, barley, hops, yeast, spices.


  • Style: (flavoured – apple cider, spices) Amber ale
  • Taste: Palate rough tart tangy background acidic pukey weak apple barley unclean
  • Where I got it : Tobys / N. Vancouver
  • How much: $8.50 CAD (after 10% off) – 650ml., January 2018
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: avoid like herpes
  • What made an impression: weak ale base, clashing of flavours

Visual: Pours clear light copper brown with no head, a very hazy light layer of micro retention w/ thin ring, spread out steady micro streams.

Nose: light woody apple cider, nutmeg/cinnamon (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp, rough tangy entry

Mid-palate: tangy pukey apple cider, light tart, (lvl-3-sweetness), rough acidity, light body grainy barley malt

Finish: dry palate rough, unclean muddled spices

Summary: An awful blend of beer and cider – the tangy apple cider notes completely clash with the weak and thin barley beer base. The spices used hardly add any element of depth or interest except to enhance the nose. A complete waste of time, money and calories. In fact, I doubt I’ll ever purchase any bottle of Spinnakers in the future.

Northwest Dark Sour Saison BA – Spinnakers Brewpub (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Northwest Dark Sour Saison / Brewers Reserve Series (single batch 150 cases) – Spinnakers Brewpub, 6.0% ABV – 60 IBU, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-rightt label:

“Dark, hoppy, tropical, sour, funky, spicy, malty – this saison has a lot going on. Brewer with a hefty dose of tropical northwest hops, aged in French and American Oak for 6 months and they dry hopped, this sour is truly complex and has a bit of something for everyone. ”

(right)


  • Style: (French & American oak barrel aged) Sour Ale
  • Taste: Big sour-tart pukey fieldberry barley malt mid-to-finish bitter hops
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $13.45 CAD – 650ml., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Visual: Pours a very dark brown with virtually no head, ringed retention with a small island, a few bubbles here and there.

Nose: dark fruity currant/raspberry, slight sour acidic vinegary. Rich and welcoming. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: light crisp-immediate sour impression

Mid-palate: big sour-tart acidity mixed with fruity pukey funk, (lvl-4-sweetness), light barrel woodiness, sour fieldberry barley malt

Finish: stealth bitter hops, residual pukiness

Summary: Finally, a spinnaker brew that I can give a decent rating. Good complexity that involves an appetizing sourness and completeness in the fruity body. The sourness gets a bit heavy, but I bitter hops that kick in from the late mids to finish help out. I’m glad to see a step up in the quality in this brew.

Mon Cheri – Spinnakers Brewpub (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Mon Cheri (Strong Belgian Style Ale with Cherries) – Spinnakers Brewpub, 8.2% ABV, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

“Brewed with the finest malted barley, imported hops, a traditional Belgian yeast, fresh Saanich Peninsula cherries, and our own deep well pure mineral water.”

(left)wp-1484728544791.jpg


  • Style: Fruit Beer
  • Taste: Barely tingly dull cherry fruity short barley malt
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $9 CAD (after 10% off) – 650ml., March 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours opaque cloudy red currant colour with barely any head, very thin ringed retention, suspended micro sediment, just a few bubbles here and there.

Nose: light red fruity sour barley malt, pie crust. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: slightly thicker viscosity, barely tingly

Mid-palate: soft tart, mellow dull cherry flavour, (lvl-4-sweetness), soft short sour, sustained tangy, brown sugar barley malt, controlled acidity, thinnish body

Finish: almost salty, residual red fruity barley malt

Summary: The cherry fruit flavour is underwhelming and the Belgian ale profile is short and unremarkable – put them together? No surprise, nothing special. It’s drinkable at least for 8.2%.

Peach Paradise Hefeweizen – Spinnakers Brewpub (Victoria, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C]

Peach Paradise Hefeweizen (Brewed with Silk Road tea) – Spinnakers Brewpub, 4.5% ABV – 20 IBUs, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front label:

“PEACH PARADISE HEFE. Our Red Fife Hefeweizen steeped with Silk Road’s Peach Paradise tea, is the perfect summer beer! Notes of citrus and clove from the Hefe yeast compliment the bright peach flavours of this delicious tea.

Peach paradise tea {ceylon black tea, calendula flowers, citrus peel, peach fruit essence}

Ingredients: aquifer water, Canadian pale malt, BC grown red fife wheat, German weizen yeast and hops.

wp-1483512555225.jpg


  • Style: (flavoured – peach tea) Hefeweizen
  • Taste: Dull soft sour pukey subtle peach wheat malt rough tangy subtle bitter black tea
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.20 – 650ml., January 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours cloudy light orange without a head, super thin ringed retention, some scattered singular streams.

Nose: peachy citrus wheat malt, light pukey (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, light pukey acidic

Mid-palate: light peach notes, (lvl-2-sweetness), wheat malt rough tart, tangy-soft sour

Finish: subtle bitter black tea, banana wheat malt exhale

Summary: Overall a pretty dull mouthfeel since you have the combo of wheat malt rough + tannic black tea. I was hoping for more fruity brightness instead of sour pukey. Meh, just another average Spinnaker, sounds better than it actually is.

Lion’s Head Cascadia Dark Ale – Spinnakers Brewpub (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Lion’s Head Cascadia Dark Ale – Spinnakers Brewpub, 6.5% ABV, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front label:

Lion’s Head Cascadia Dark Ale, first brewed for the re-opening of Robson’s Lion’s Head Smoke & Brew Pub, as the first craft beer centered pub in the Kootenays and first served June 21, 2009. This CDA is brewed with English pale and roasted malts, hoped with cascades and northern brewer’s with a touch of guarrana to help get you throuh the night.


  • Style: Black IPA / CDA
  • Taste: Sour roasted brown sugar barley malt guarana berry coffee light chocolate
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $5.50 CAD (after 10% off) – 650ml., March 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours dark cola brown without much of a head, almost no retention, barely visible spread out micro streams.

Nose: whiskey, brown sugar barley malt (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: immediate big sour acidity

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-sweetness, light coffee, sour caramel roasted barley, burnt brown sugar, guarana berriness

Finish: chocolate, roasty burnt soft bitter hopped finish.

Summary: I’ve never had a sour CDA before and I suspect I might never come across another one, but once you do get past the sourness this is actually decently drinkable. It has a nice likeable balance of sour-barley guarana sweet-burnt coffee elements in it – Not what you’d imagine from CDA. Surprisingly agreeable despite my negative bias toward Spinnakers.

Queen Bee Honey Kolsch – Spinnakers Brewpub (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Queen Bee Honey Kolsch – Spinnakers Brewpub, 4.5% ABV – 20 IBU, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“Honey Kolsch is a happy result of an abundance of honey foam, collected as honey is processed to separate the nectar from the cones. Rich in enzymes and minerals the foam is added to the boil providing a rich mouth feel and fermentables that produce a dry finish that enhances this take on the style.”

Ingredients: aquifer water, malted barley, local honey, hops, yeast.

wp-1475385437794.jpg


  • Style: (flavoured – Honey) Kolsch
  • Taste: Sweet grainy barley malt bloated plain
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5.40 CAD – 650ml., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nope

Visual: Pours clear golden light orange with a thick massive slowly dissipating head, tight clusters of fast active streams, sticky lacing.

Nose: yeasty, banana wheat malt (even though there is none), hints of apple (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: super crisp, fizzy-creamy

Mid-palate: honey pollen, short (lvl-5-sweetness), light sour-tangy, grainy-metallic barley malt, bitter hops, apple

Finish: dry generic bitter hops

Summary: Okay flavour but the big CO2 makes you feel bloated. It gets boring a glass in. Light-med complexity and light-med body; another average brew from Spinnakers, and priced accordingly. I liked Rogue Farms Honey Kolsch [C+] and Fernie Kickstand Honey Kolsch [C+] slightly better.

Imperial Coffee Stout – Spinnakers Brewpub (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Imperial Coffee Stout – Spinnakers Brewpub, 8.6% ABV -22 IBU, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

-yep, another Spinnakers brew. Really, I’m just saving all my best bottles that I know can age for later date.


on the front-right label:

In collaboration with the good folks at Fernwood Coffee, we present this big ol’ coffee stout! Heaps of dark malts and roasted barley combine with locally roasted, Fernwood cold brewed coffee to create a rich, full bodied experience that is sure to delight beer and coffee aficionados alike.

Ingredients: aquifer water, malted barley, Fernwood cold brew coffee, oats, hops, yeast.

(right)wp-1474091727613.jpg


  • Style: (flavoured – Fernwood cold brew coffee) Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Sweet thick heavy molasses barley malt mocha roasted coffee woody bittersweet
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $7.35 CAD – 650ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: my favourite brew of (11) theirs to date

Visual: Pours super dark brown with a lasting 70% foamy head, not much lacing, clusters of steady micro streams visible near the surface.

Nose: dark chocolate, roasted barley, deep roasted coffee (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: crisp, fizzy-airy

Mid-palate: (lvl-8-sweetness), alcoholic heavy thick barley malt, molasses, mocha, root beer/anise notes

Finish: roasted coffee/woody exhale, bittersweet roasted barley

Summary: Not the most elegant of imperial stouts but this one does have a pretty good flavour profile, good depth and complexity. Being that this incorporates cold brew coffee, there should be cleaner, fruitier coffee notes but nonetheless this is my favourite Spinnakers brew of the 11 that I’ve tried.

West Song Wit – Spinnakers Brewpub (Victoria, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C+]

West Song Wit – Spinnakers Brewpub, 4.5% ABV -15 IBU, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

-Ok I got suckered into buying another Spinnakers beer; honestly though this should be the last, or perhaps second last.


on the front-right label:

Light, sessionable, and perfect for a summer day, this classic witbier was brewed with coriander, fresh orange zest and Vancouver Island grown red fife wheat. Stroll the Westsong Walkway along the ocean for a pint at the pub!


  • Style: Witbier
  • Taste: Fruity off-dry pear banana wheat malt apple light roughish finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.65 CAD – 650ml., August 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: still can’t say it’s great

Visual: Pours opaque cloudy marmalade orange with a smallish head, a 1mm layer of retention, surfacing bubbles.

Nose: pressed woody apple juice, strong notes of pear juice – quite nice. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: light crisp, orchard fruity-juicy

Mid-palate: pear, banana wheat malt, (lvl-2-sweetness), red apple juice

Finish: yeastiness, mild coriander, subtle hopped bitter, wheat malt dry

Summary: Finally a decent/more decent/decenter Spinnakers beer that has some amount of depth and complexity to it. The finish is a bit rough but the mid is quite delicious especially straight into a chilled glass accompanied by a hot meal.

Honey Mussel Saison – Spinnakers Brewpub (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Honey Mussel Saison – Spinnakers Brewpub, 6.2% ABV – 20 IBU, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

Brewed with Canadian Pilsen malt and BC grown hops, this is a warm fermented, Belgian style saison made truly unique by the addition of local honey mussels grown and harvested by BC Mussel Company, in the boil. The soft, sweet flavour of these delicate bivalve mollusks compliments the slightly fruity esters of our French Saison yeast and makes for a totally one of a kind offering.

(right)wp-1473161503757.jpg


  • Style: (barrel aged – French Oak) Sour Saison
  • Taste: Sour pukey barnyard grapefruit subtle bitter dry grainy oaked barley
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $7.35 CAD – 650ml., March 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: Pours slightly hazy pale orange with a massive loose foamy head, sticky half lacing, clusters of speedy gonzales streams. No sunken bits of mussels, fortunately.

Nose: yeasty-airy, light funk wheat malt, citrus-floral overtones. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: fizzy-crisp-light creamy lively mouthfeel

Mid-palate: sweet barley malt, apricot, light tangy-zingy, (lvl-5-sweetness), light saltiness

Finish: banana wheat malt exhale, residual saltiness, dirty palate/non-smooth finish.

Summary: (Mussel saison, is that going to be a thing? Like oyster stouts…). There is a general clammy saltiness from the early mids to the finish and I must say it doesn’t make this beer good. There’s some fruity apricot-banana wheat malt flavour but the finish is just a mess – it makes you want to eat something or drink something else to clean your mouth. This is the 8th Spinnakers brew that I’ve reviewed and I can definitively say that I don’t like their beers. Rating range: C+ to Fail.

Dry Hopped Sour Saison – Spinnakers Brewpub (Victoria, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C+]

Dry Hopped Brewers Reserve Series Sour Saison (French Oak BA) – Spinnakers Brewpub, 5.6% ABV – 35 IBU, 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


on the front-right label:

A dry saison fermented with a French yeast strain, aged for 9 months in French Oak barrels and then dry hopped with Topaz hops. Tart, funky, and fruity, this sour ale has characteristics of citrus, passionfruit, pineapple, with added complexity from it’s [sic] maturation in oak.


  • Style: (barrel aged – French Oak) Sour Saison
  • Taste: Sour pukey barnyard grapefruit subtle bitter dry grainy oaked barley
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $12.90 CAD – 650ml., August 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: didn’t love it

Visual: Pours cloudy pale peachy orange with a very small dissipating head, ringed retention with a big island, a few fast bubbles here and there.

Nose: peach, pineapple, sour acidic funk. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: big sour pukey, incoming fruity

Mid-palate: tart crisp bite, bitter pink grapefruit, sour pukey barnyard, (lvl-3-sweetness)

Finish: passionfruit exhale, lingering tartness, very subtle hopped bitterness, dry woody oak, grainy barley malt

Summary: Of the 7 Spinnaker brews I’ve had to date so far, this is one with the most depth and complexity. I find this one a bit too sour and pukey but at least citrus and passionfruit flavours are on point.