Echigo Stout – Echigo Beer Co. (Niigata, Japan)

Echigo Stout – Echigo Beer Company, 7% ABV, 330 ml., (Niigata, Japan)


  • Style: (sweet) Stout
  • Taste: Smooth balanced molasses light roast caramel biscuity barley malt
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $7 CAD (after 10% off) – 330 ml., September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure, but not crazily

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Pours dark cola brown without a significant head, thick ringed retention, lots of clustered very active micro streams.

Nose: caramel liquid barley malt, light roast, hints of nutty. (lvl-8)-pungency, much stronger as it warms

Attack: dull crisp, soft light creamy, sweet caramel malt impression

Mid-palate: flat-tingly, (lvl-5-sweetness), molasses barley malt, light roast caramel malt, nutmeg, biscuity

Finish: hints of chocolate, lingering nutty-woody light bitter, cola

Summary: A very easy-to-drink 7%er stout with a solid balance of sweet and roasted malt. Slightly heavy malty sweet by the end but there’s enough complexity to balance it out. It lacks a bit of creaminess and push at the finish.

Oatmeal Stout – Samuel Smith’s – (Tadcaster, England)

Oatmeal Stout – Samuel Smith, 5% ABV, 550ml., (Tadcaster, England)


on the back label:

“An opaque, wonderfully silky and smooth textured ale with a complex, medium dry palate and bittersweet finish. Brewed with well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), malted barley, roasted barley, oatmeal, yeast and hops, Fermented in open-topped ‘stone Yorkshire squares’. Celebrated Oatmeal Stout is a style benchmark revived by Samuel Smith’s and the inspiration for hundreds of commercial oatmeal stouts.”
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  • Style: (Oatmeal) Sweet Stout
  • Taste: Fruity berry tangy light sour roasted barley malt chocolate
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Bby
  • How much: $6.85 (after 10% off) – 550ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Visual: Foil sealed cap. Pours super dark brown with a dissipating very small head, a half-sized island with thin ringed retention, steady tight streams.

Nose: sweet caramel, light roasted barley malt, a bit of bourbon booze. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: flat slick-crisp

Mid-palate: underlying light tangy-sour brightness, tingly CO2, (lvl-6-sweetness), raspberry, brown sugar, roasted barley, woodiness

Finish: lingering maltiness, cardboard, molasses barley exhale

Summary: Quite a bit of tangy fruitness in this one, counterbalanced with sweet roasted barley malt and a bit of bittersweetness at the end. Somewhat lacking in thickness/fullness as well as a creamy mouthfeel. Decent, but not remarkable.

Vanilla Oatis – Ninkasi Brewing Co. (Eugene, OR, USA)

Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout – Ninkasi Brewing Company, 7.2% ABV – 50 IBU– 22 fl.oz., (Eugene, Oregon, USA)


on the front-right label:

A delicious Oatmeal Stout with just enough hops to balance the copious quantities of dark roasted malts, oatmeal for a creamy smooth drinkability, and whole vanilla beans for a rich complexity. To achieve this higher level of decadence, we added in whole vanilla beans to the final stage of fermentation – the same process we use to dry hop a beer.

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  • Style: (flavoured – Oatmeal, vanilla beans) Sweet Stout
  • Taste: Slick creamy sweet dark roasted barley chocolate vanilla burnt bitter exhaled bitter hops
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5 CAD ($20 for 4-pack) – 22 fl.oz., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: definitely

Visual: Part of a 4-pack, mixed bombers. Pours jet black with a quickly dissipating small head, a thin layer of retention, a few bubbles here and there.

Nose: sweet medium roasted caramel barley malt, prominent vanilla (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: slick-oily-thick, crisp bite

Mid-palate: thick liquid deep roast barley malt, (lvl-6-sweetness), background dissipating tangy sour, milk sugars

Finish: chocolate, vanilla, lingering roasted bitter intermixed with bitter hops

Summary: A deliciously decadent mix of dark roasty chocolate vanilla – great balance, drinkability, and complexity. Lots of flavours you can focus individually on.

Chocolate Milk Stout – Hearthstone Brewing Co. (North Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Chocolate Milk Stout – Hearthstone Brewing Company, 5.5% ABV – 19 IBUs, 500 ml., (North Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)

-My 1st tasting from this newish brewery up in North Vancouver.


printed on the back of the can:

“A dark and broody milk stout, full bodied and perfect to cuddle up next to a fire with. We age this stout on cacao nibs from the East Van Roasting Company, a non-profit enterprise supporting women on Vancouver’s downtown east side. Notes of coffee, chocolate and a hint of sweetness from the milk sugar, this stout pairs perfectly with desert [sic], red meat and rich cheeses. Enjoy.”

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  • Style: (flavoured – cacao nibs, milk sugar) Stout
  • Taste: Roasted barley background sour cacao nib nutty coffee roasty exhale
  • Where I got it : High Point / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $4.15 CAD – 500ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not that spectacular

Visual: Pours blackish-brown without a siginificant head, ringed retention with large islands, lots of micro streams.

Nose: deep roasted coffee malt (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: light crisp-half slick, light tingly

Mid-palate: background sour, nutty coffee, (lvl-5-sweetness), roasted barley malt

Finish: chocolate mixed with sweet barley, coffee bitterness, deep roasted barley exhale

Summary: More of a nutty cacao nib flavour than actual chocolate, nevertheless it’s still quite good with decent depth and length. Not quite enough ‘milk’ character and a touch thin in the finish.

Seaport Vanilla Stout – Lighthouse Brewing (Victoria, BC, Canada)

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Seaport Vanilla Stout – Lighthouse Brewing, 5.5% ABV, 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC Craft beer*)

on the front-right label:

“Seaport Vanilla Stouts blends seamlessly roast coffee and dark chocolate characters with the exotic flavour of pure vanilla.”

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  • Style: (Vanilla) Flavoured Stout
  • Taste: Caramel light roast cola light chocolate-light vanilla.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6 – 650ml., December 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nothing special

Visual: Pours jet black with a small fine micro foamy head, a layer of superfine micro CO2, lots of fast streams around the perimeter.

Nose: vanilla + roasted sweet malts and cola. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp/half-slick mouthfeel, cola sweetness

Mid-palate: tingly, (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) caramel light roast malts, cola, chocolate, vanilla

Finish: cola caramel, vanilla exhale, clean finish.

Summary: Not super vanilla forward as the name might suggest, mainly caramel with vanilla as a sidekick. Somewhat thin and light on mouthfeel and body. Easy drinkability.

Cherry Chocolate Stout (CCS) – Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery (Canada)

Cherry Chocolate Stout (CCS) – Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery, 5% ABV – 650ml, (Victoria, BC, Canada)

  • Style: Sweet Stout
  • My Rating: B
  • Taste Profile:
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $6 (after 10%), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours dark cola black, minimal head, micro CO2 and not much retention. Malts and chocolate on the nose. Super silky mouthfeel up front, low carbonation, tastes of chocolate, bing cherries, heavy thick malts, light roasted coffee, and a medium deep lingering bitter finish. Medium-high complexity, med-high depth, good carry, good transitions, good drinkability. Overall a very smooth and appreciable stout with a subtle cherry twist.