BC Gin Round 5 – Victoria (Champ) VS Long Table

All right 2018, let’s do this! In round 5 of the gin battle we have the 2017 winner Victoria up against the local Long Table located in downtown Vancouver. Both weighing in at 45% ABV and Victoria made with 2 more botanicals than Long Table, which one will dominate the taste buds? Let’s do this, guy.

1) Victoria Gin – Victoria Distillers – 45% ABV – 750ml., Sidney, BC, $46 CAD (1/2018) @ BCLiquor

  • new label and bottle since spring 2016, , victoriadistillers.com
  • 10 botanicals including: juniper berries, coriander, angelica, orris root, star anise, orange & lemon peel, cinnamon, and rose petals. (…and the 10th one?)
  • 2016 Winner, Vancouver International Spirits Competition
  • 2016 Gold, Beverage Testing Institute Awards


2) London dry gin – Long Table Distillery – 45% ABV – 750ml., Vancouver, BC, $53 (1/2018) @ BCLiquor


Nose: VG has a medium cleanliness with flavours of juniper and bright citrus emerging from the detectable alcohol. LT is duller with rounded edges, slightly creamy with grassier notes. The LT alcohol detection is much more apparent with just a bit of harshness on the nose. Although VG comes across as slightly soapyVG is the winner.

Taste & Texture: VG, upon the first sip, the beautifully aromatic star anise jumps out, fruity juniper in the mids with strong citrus overtones backing it up until the finish. LT despite being a London Dry style, surprisingly comes across as sweeter up front, thicker viscosity, muddly grassy juniper, licorice-coriander alcohol numbing mids, mild cinnamon, citrus undertones, slight nutty – almost salty finish. LT displays a pleasant balanced roundness. In terms of explicit and distinguishable flavour, Victoria takes the cake. VG wins.

Final Notes:

  • Victoria Gin is much brighter, thinner in mouthfeel, soapier, has a bit more roughness, but is overall has and displays strong notes of star anise and orange citrus.
  • Long Table London Dry Gin is creamier, showcases balanced ingredients of grassy juniper and mild citrus
  • Victoria Gin is $7 cheaper ($46 vs $53 @ BCL)

Verdict: Victoria Gin is my preference and winner. Nevertheless Long Table London Dry Gin is quality gin but it doesn’t have any standout flavours despite being balanced.


710 Oaked Stout – Faculty Brewing Co. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

(TL:DR – “Oaked stout?! At first I was like ‘oh yeah!’ but after the first few sips I was like ‘oh, this kinda sucks'”)

710 Oaked Stout – Faculty Brewing Co., 5.0% ABV – 20 IBU, 650ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)

-Faculty Brewing Co.! Located in central Vancouver off of Main st. where all the hip breweries are popping up left, right and center. This is the first brew that I’m trying of theirs and it gives me the impression of them being just and “average” brewery. Let’s hope they can up their brew game in the future releases.

on the front-right label:

“Aromas of vanilla from American Oak complement the roasted character of this dry stout.”


  • Style: (flavoured – American oak chips) Dry Stout
  • Taste: semi-sweet roasted barley malt light coffee chocolate oak exhale sourish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $7.70 – 650ml., January 2018
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: no
  • What made an impression: weak barley malt mids

Visual: Pours thicker viscosity dark coffee brown without much of a head, a very thin ringed retention, mild oil slick on the surface, slow micro stream along the perimeter. Uneventful.

Nose: roasted barley malt, hints of caramel coffee, cocoa notes, oak presence. (lvl-7)-pungency.

Attack: crisp-dull CO2, underwhelming entry

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), background short sourness, low depth roasted barley malt,

Finish: watery mouthfeel, muddled caramel-vanilla, mild oak exhale, lingering roast malt

Summary: The flavours are okay but this tastes rather basic and fails to wow. The stout base doesn’t feel full enough and the sour notes in the mids detracts from the dark notes. Just an average brew with some oak influence, not memorable.

Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter – Powell Street Craft Brewery (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter – Powell Street Craft Brewery, 6% ABV – 27 IBUs, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

on the back label:

“We’ve aged a robust porter for six months in American whiskey barrels. Notes of cherry and vanilla enhance the subtle dark fruit and coffee flavours of this limited edition beer.


  • Style: (whiskey barrel aged) Porter
  • Taste: Heavy sweet caramel toffee malt alcoholic vanilla
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Bby
  • How much: $9 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 650 ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah, not enough balance
  • What made an impression: aromatic vanilla from barrel aging

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Pours heart of darkness black with a small 1cm frothy head, 1mm retention, lots of fast tight clustered streams.

Nose: brown sugar molasses malt, vanilla (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp-fizzy-airy, sweet impression

Mid-palate: tingly-bloated, sweet cocoa, cloying heavy (lvl-7-sweetness), light woody, sweet caramel-toffee malt, tangy alcohol

Finish: vanilla, cherry-dark fruit, mild bittersweet

Summary: Decent body, but too much persistent sweetness that becomes cloying and heavy on the palate. The whiskey barrel influence is certainly there, but it’s lacking in creaminess and finesse to balance it out.

Hopopotamus Oak Aged IPA – Big Rock Brewery (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Hopopotamus Oak Aged IPA (Limited edition), 6.8% ABV, 650ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)

on the back label:

“Surprisingly smooth with a booming bite, this IPA is big on flavour. Hopopotamus packs a punch of citrus and pine, and finishes with the vanilla and caramel sweetness of oak.”


  • Style: (oak aged) India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Tangy citrus piney sweet toffee vanilla malt soft bitter
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.70 CAD – 650ml., September 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yep

Visual: Pours opaque orange-brown with a very small 1mm lasting head, ultra fine layer of retention, scattered steady micro streams.

Nose: orange-piney citrus floral bright hop oils (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp thicker, heavy sweet malt impression, creamy tingly mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), tangy mandarin orange overtones, smooth toffee malt, light oak vanilla, green piney notes

Finish: lingering pine hops, a burst of hop bitter

Summary: Excellent complexity and balance in this one, with the oak playing a prominent yet balanced role in adding warmth and slight woodiness to the citrus piney base IPA. The transition from citrus to oak character is very pleasant and unique. Recommended.

Stag and Pheasant Imperial Stout – Main Street Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Stag and Pheasant Imperial Stout – Main Street Brewing Company, 9.3% ABV, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

on the front-left label:

Before brewing beer, Charles Doering, co-founder of the Vancouver Breweries which is now houses Main Street Brewing, owned the Stag & Pheasant saloon to follow his passion of opening a brewery. It is with this same passion to brew beer that we tip our collective hats to Charles with our ‘Stag & Pheasant’ Imperial Stout. This stout is a combination of rich roasted malts which give a deep, earthy taste, while interlacing chocolate, coffee and a touch of pine with a hint of smoke. The bitterness balances out the sweetness to finish of this delicious winter warmer.”


  • Style: Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Thick barley sweet malt controlled alcohol dark choco piney hop roasted coffee
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $9.30 CAD (after 10% off) – 650 ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure

Visual: (cellared for almost 2 years). Red wax & bottle cap sealed. Pours jet black-brown with no head, very thin ring with an off-shape island, surfacing slow bubbles, barely visible micro sporadic streams here and there.

Nose: sweet thick caramel malt, molasses. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: oily-thicker, light crisp, thick malt-tangy alcohol impression

Mid-palate: tingly, (lvl-6-sweetness), controlled alcoholic weighty, sweet roasted barley malt

Finish: dark chocolate, moderate piney hop bitter, light burnt roasted coffee

Summary: A bit too bright and hoppy at the start and mids which are competing with the roasted malt sweetness at the beginning to mids. Eventually the roastyness and hopped bitter zen out at the finish. Not the smoothest imp stout but at least decent; I’d like to try the BA limited edition.

Enigma Kettle Sour – R&B Brewing Co. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Enigma Kettle Sour – R&B Brewing Co., 6.5% ABV – 18 IBUs, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

on the front label:

“A pleasantly tart kettle soured ale, dry hopped with enigma and galaxy hops and fermented with our favourite Belgian yeast strain. Dominant flavours are tropical fruits, pinot gris and citrus combined with subtle spicy yeast character.”

  • Style: Sour/Wild Ale
  • Taste: Tart tangy peachy-mango sour off-dry light malt balanced
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.30 CAD (after 20% off) – 650 ml., October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours clear light copper orange with a a large dissipating foamy head, a touch of lacing, clusters of steady streams.

Nose: fruity peachy-mango, slight hop grassy (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: tart-crisp, med-high sour, tingly CO2, tart fruity malt impression

Mid-palate: soft creamy CO2, persistent tart-sour, (lvl-2-sweetness), tangy peach-apricot, light barley malt

Finish: short subtle prickly spice, peachy hop exhale, puckery gums

Summary: Big tropical fruity tart sourness as advertised, balanced nicely and never too aggressive or cloying. Decent body and all around pleasant.

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


  • 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.