Central City / Parallel 49 2015 Craft Crossing Calendar Day #18 – Gary’s Gourd Imperial & Barrel Aged Squash Ale

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Central City/Parallel 49 2015 Craft Crossing Calendar Day #18

Gary’s Gourd Imperial & Barrel Aged Squash Ale – Central City Brewing, 9.0% ABV – 330ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada)

on the front-left label:

“We set our brewmaster Gary Lohin loose to create this crazy imperial strength, barrel-aged squash ale. Could it get crazier? Well, when you’re the boss brewer, you get to experiment! Let us know what you think.”

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  • Style: (barrel-aged, imperial) Spice/Herb/Vegetable Ale
  • Taste: Sweet squash cream-fizzy caramel malt root beer oak
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, delicious

Visual: Pours muddy nutty brown with an okay sized head, 1 mm micro layer of fine retention, many clusters of very fast streams.

Nose: caramel malt, molasses, root beer. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: cream-fizzy-full mouthfeel

Mid-palate: immediate squash, micro-fizzy, (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) big caramel malts, root beer, roasted malts, sweet oak

Finish: soft subtle hops, residual cola malt sweetness.

Summary: Definitely my #1 favourite beer in the 2015 Craft Crossing Calendar. For some reason the big caramel flavour reminds me of my early tasting days when I had Japanese Sankt Gallen Stouts back in January of 2012.  Impressive, though a tad sweet by the last sip

La Trappe Quadrupel – Brouwerij de Koningshoeven (Netherlands)

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La Trappe Quadrupel – Brouwerij de Koningshoeven, 10% ABV, 750ml, (Netherlands)

  • Style: Quadruple
  • Taste: Sweet brown sugar cake brandy boozy malt alcoholic
  • Where I got it : 16th Street Liquor Store (W.Van)
  • How much: $10 (after 10% off) – 750ml, September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Reinforced twisty top, synthetic cork, hefty bottle. Pours light blood red with a small dissipating head, ringed retention, suspended large sediment, slow and fast steady streams.

Nose: carrot cake, caramelized brown sugar, sweet dark malts. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: thick-full, incoming dark fruity christmas cake

Mid-palate: (lvl-8)-sweetness, sour-alcohol hit, fizzy-bubbly, (MAIN) carrot cake, brandy, caramelized brown sugar malts

Finish: cola, alcoholic, mild alcoholic heat, sweet brandy finish.

Summary: Lots of caramelized sugar, brown cake flavour mixed with a pretty stealth alcohlic hit.

Black Mammoth Winter Ale – Fernie Brewing (Fernie, Canada)

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  • My Rating: B

Black Mammoth Winter Ale – Fernie Brewing, 8% ABV – 650ml, (Fernie, BC, Canada)

Ingredients: water, malted barley, hops, yeast, cocoa, curacao orange peel.

  • Style: (flavoured) Strong Ale
  • Taste Profile: milky sweetened coffee -> chocolate/citrus/roast -> creamy/light sour/bitter coffee finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $7, February 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yah it’s solid for the price
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours extra dark brown with a nice foamy head, good retention, micro CO2, sticky lacing, non-visible activity. Sweet malts and light roast on the nose.

Attack: 6/10-sweetness, creamy/silky mouthfeel throughout

Mid-palate: sweet malts, light roast coffee, creamy chocolate, citrus overtones

Finish: silky buttery mouthfeel, light sourness, light roast-med bitter coffee long finish

Robust, flavourful, full-bodied, and balanced brew from Fernie. Good value for such a delicious beer.

Brooklyn Local 1 (USA)

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  • My Rating: B

Brooklyn Local 1 – Brooklyn Brewery, 9% ABV – 1 pint 9.4 fl.oz., (Brooklyn, NY, USA)

On the back label:

“In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, we forge barley malt and hops from Germany, aromatic raw sugar from Mauritius and yeast from Belgium into our latest beer, Brooklyn Local 1. Behind the full golden color you’ll find an alluring aroma, a dynamic complex of flavors. Belgian flair, Brooklyn fortitude and a dusting of yeast after 100% bottle re-fermentation. Enjoy it locally or globally, as an aperitif or with your favorite dishes.”

  • Style: (Belgian-style) Strong Ale
  • Taste Profile:  bitter-sour malts -> grapefruit/banana/coriander/bready -> burpy/alcoholic finish. (creeper)
  • Where I got it : W.16th (West Vancouver)
  • How much: $12 (after 10% off), July 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: only shared with friends ’cause of the wow factor of popping the cork
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: I love the label – simple yet eye-catchingly unforgettable. Pours translucent golden orange with a superb large creamed-foamy head, very sticky lacing, good thick layer of retention, lots of active streams hugging the glass. Beautiful inviting orange/tangerine citrus aromas along with mild sour malts on the nose. Drinks with a rounded crispness up front, tingly mouthfeel, bitter-sour malts, 6/10-balanced sweetness, mid-palate consists of grapefruit, banana, coriander, mild bready malts, finishing burpy, off-dry with hints of alcohol and vanilla. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, good carry, good drinkability. Creeper effect of the 9% ABV fo sho.

PranQster Belgian Style Golden Ale – North Coast Brewing (USA)

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PranQster – North Coast Brewing, 7.6% ABV – 12 fl.oz., (Fort Bragg, California, USA)

On bottle neck label:

“Belgian ales represent the height of the brewers’ art, with sophisticated brewing techniques, yeast blends, and unique flavorings. PranQster follows in this tradition using a mixed culture of antique yeast strains that produces a floral nose, full fruity flavor, and clean finish.”

  • Style: (Belgian-style) Strong Ale
  • My Rating: C
  • Taste Profile: Sweet wheaty malts -> fizzy/tangerine/yeast/coriander/SALT -> alcohol/clean finish.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: ~$14/6pack, December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not fully

Tasting notes: pours almost clear light pale orange, very small head, thin ringed retention, lots of active streams. A very citrus-lemon/orange nose with hints of wheat. Drinks with a  6/10-sweet maltiness up front, quite fizzy/light creamy mouthfeel, tastes of light tangerine, wheat-beer like wheatiness, coriander, almost-SALTY (strange) in the mids, yeasty, mild peach, finishing med-alcoholic and clean light-malty. Low-medium complexity, medium depth, okay carry, okay transitions, okay drinkability. Can’t say I like or am impressed by this one.

Jubelale Winter Ale (25th Anniversary) – Deschutes (Oregon, USA)

Jubelale Winter Ale (25th Anniversary) – Deschutes, 6.7% ABV – 12 fl.oz., (Bend, Oregon, USA)

from ratebeer.com:

“Jubelale is classified as a “Strong Ale” or an “English Olde Ale,” and has ties to the traditional Celebration Ales of England. Characterized by a very large malt body and pronounced bitterness, Jubelale contains five different varieties of hops and a healthy amount of caramel. The perfect ale for surviving the long, cold nights of winter. Our tradition is having a different local artist design our Jubelale label & packaging each year. October – December – draft and bottles ”

  • Style: Strong Ale
  • My Rating: C
  • Taste Profile: Creamy malted bittersweet caramel -> hoppy/burnt roast/cola -> long lingering heavy dry bitterness.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $16/6pack, April 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not fully

Tasting notes: pours dark amaretto brown, decent foamy head, ringed retention, sticky lacing, some slow streams. Caramel malts on the nose. Drinks with a thick creaminess up front, quickly turning caramel hoppy bitter balanced by 4/10-sweetness, burnt roast, cocoa, finishing long lingering dry hopped bitter. Medium complexity, med-high depth, good carry, okay transitions, okay drinkability. The heavy bitterness is taxing on the palate.

Amarcord Italian Craft Beer (Apecchio, Italy)

Amarcord Italian Craft Beer (Apecchio, Italy)

Preference: Amarcord Tabachéra

1) Gradisca (Prima Donna), 5.2% ABV – 330ml

from ratebeer.com:

“Prima Donna Special Lager is a classic lager noted for its unique aroma and its unsurpassed hoppy flavour. It is characterized by a brillant golden color, a compact head, and its fresh, thirst-quenching qualities.

An Oscar-winning beer
…we chose to call our beer Gradisca, because we brew it in this corner of Romagna and San Marino, between the sea and the hills, a land rich in history and amazing stories. But above all, as a tribute to an illustrious celebrity who was born here, film director Frederico Fellini, who conquered cinema-goers the whole world over with his rich and poetic vein of inspiration, winning as many as four Oscars for his films, including, of course, Amarcord, where Gradisca is the protagonist. 4.7% Alc. Vol.

Note: Uses the name Gradisca on the local market, and Prima Donna for export. Known for being 4.7% ABV in the past, now at 5.2% ABV.”

  • Style: (blonde) Lager
  • My Rating: C-
  • Taste Profile: Yeasty/tingly -> bread/barley/malt -> off-dry bitter hoppy finish.
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek
  • How much: ~$4 (after 10%), Winter 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours almost clear golden yellow, smallish head, almost no retention, lots of active CO2 streams. Bready barley malts on the nose. Drinks very yeasty and tingly CO2 up front, 5/10-sweetness, transitions to grainy bread, barley, and off-dry med bitter hops in the finish. Light-bodied, somewhat thin/watery, crisp mouthfeel. Low-medium complexity, low-medium depth, okay transitions, below average carry, not that interesting drinkability.

2) Tabachéra, 9.0% ABV – 330ml

  • Style: Strong Ale
  • My Rating: B
  • Taste Profile: Sweet caramel malts -> coke/root beer -> med-bitter malt finish.
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek
  • How much: ~$4 (after 10%), Winter 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours medium dark brown with a smallish head, lots of CO2. Sweet caramel malts on the nose. Drinks with 8/10-sweetness, caramel/toffee up front, transitions into malts, coke, root beer, ending with a med-bitter malty finish. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, good carry, good drinkability.