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.”

(back)


  • 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.”

(left)


  • 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

(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.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout 2016 – Steamworks Brewing Co. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

2016 Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout – Steamworks Brewing Company, 9.5% ABV – 60 IBU, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


on the front-left label:

“Aged in Tennessee Bourbon Barrels, this powerful Imperial Stout pours near black with a thick tan head at 60 IBU’s. Perfect for immediate enjoyment or further maturing.”

(left)


  • Style: (Tennessee bourbon barrel aged) Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Harsh alcoholic heavy vanilla bourbon roasted barley malt chocolate
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $16 CAD – 650ml., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not worth $ for a local brew

Visual: Pours jet black with a super-INFINITY-lasting 2cm frothy head, great micro foamy retention, thick sticky lacing, superfine micro clusters of activity. Visually, a masterpiece.

Nose: deep thick and sweet caramelized barley malt, vanilla overtones. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: thick-creamy crisp bite, heavy alcoholic malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-8-sweetness), bittersweet roasted barley malt, alcoholic numbing heavy, woody caramel, vanilla, chocolate

Finish: bourbon exhaled alcoholic heat, residual light roasted sweet caramel malt

Summary: Drinks full flavoured at 13°C and warmer. A pretty harsh heavy alcoholic sweet front but the vanilla-oak flavours from the bourbon barrel aging are actually quite nice. Not quite balanced/elegantly round enough to be great, too jagged at the entry. Also not worth the $16 CAD (for a local beer) as other people have noted.

Blazing Arrow Tawny IPA – Parallel 49 & Gigantic Collaboration (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Blazing Arrow Tawny IPA – Parallel 49 Brewing & Scuttlebutt Brewing Collaboration, 6.0% ABV, 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the 4-pack bomber box:

“Blaze one down as you sip on this tawny IPA that has enough malt character to balance out the massive amount of hops in this beer. You down with H.O.P? Ya, you know me.”

(on the box)


  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: 60/40-malt-citrusy bready barley malt soft bitter hopped finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $28.75 CAD / 4-pack of 650ml., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not worth buying the 4-pack

Visual: In a mixed 2017 4-pack of bombers. Pours clear copper orange without much of a lasting head, ringed retention, countable clustered fast streams.

Nose: tangerine peel, sweet citrusy bready malt. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, sweet malt/soft hop impression

Mid-palate: slight creamier/thick, (lvl-4-sweetness), big orange-citrusy-malt presence, mild dry grassed out hop

Finish: soft tart, soft bitter citrus hop

Summary: A good 60/40-malt-citrus hop balance with a decently smooth and fullish mouthfeel.

Baby Got Back Hoppy Hefe – Parallel 49 / Scuttlebutt Collaboration (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Baby Got Back Hoppy Hefe – Parallel 49 Brewing & Scuttlebutt Brewing Collaboration, 6.5% ABV, 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the 4-pack bomber box:

“This Bavarian style hip hop n’weizen boasts traditional flavours of clove and banana. This Hef is backed by badonkadonk aromas of melon imparted by the hops.”

(on the box)


  • Style: German Hefeweizen
  • Taste: Big banana wheat malt mild wheat malt roughness
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $28.75 CAD / 4-pack of 650ml., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not worth buying the 4-pack

Visual: In a mixed 2017 4-pack of bombers. Pours clear pale orange with a very small head, a thin half-layer of micro retention, a good spread of clustered steady streams.

Nose: banana wheat malt, a bit of bubblegum. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, slightly thicker mouthfeel, fruity banana malt impression

Mid-palate: banana wheat malt, (lvl-3-sweetness), tangy-very mild bitterness

Finish: major clove/mild melon exhale, slight wheat malt palate rough, subtle stealth

Summary: Easy drinkability, mostly banana wheat malt with some minor clove and melon nuances. Fairly clean but some noticeable wheat malt roughness at the finish. Decent, but not noteworthy.