Black Sam Licorice Stout – Lighthouse Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Black Sam Licorice Stout – Lighthouse Brewing, 7.2% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC Craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“With an aroma of roasted malt and nighttime, this pitch black stout has flavours of rich maltiness, molasses sweetness, dark chocolate, and a delicate note of Licorice.”

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  • Style: (flavoured – Licorice) Stout
  • Taste: Sweet molasses light roast barley malt mild coffee dark chocolate licorice
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn / N. Bby
  • How much: $8 (after 10% off) – 650ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Pours coffee black with no head, almost no retention, scatter micro bubbles surfacing.

Nose: caramelized barley malt, cocoa, slight roast (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp, sweet dark barley malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), molasses, medium roasted barley, coffee,

Finish: dark chocolate, licorice, sweet roasted barley malt exhale

Summary: Overall clean and well-bodied. It lacks creaminess but makes for up for it with a crisp bite up front. Smooth transitions of flavours from start to finish.

Scarfface Cranberry Orange Wit – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Scarfface Cranberry Orange Wit – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“Say hello to our little friend! Scarfface is a welcome break from the heavy winter ales, this seasonal offering is snow-packed with enough cranberry and citrus to make a bad guy feel good. The world is yours…and so is this.”

Ingredients: water, barley, wheat, hops, yeast, cranberry juice, coriander, pure orange oil, acacia gum

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  • Style: (cranberry juice, coriander, orange oil) Flavoured Wheat ale
  • Taste: Light pukey palate rough tart tangy unappealing orangish/cranberryish wheat malt
  • Where I got it : Legacy liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $6.90 (after 10% off) – 650 ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no way in frozen hell

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours almost clear pale candy orange without much of a head, ringed retention, scattered small clustered steady streams, minor lacing.

Nose: unappealing orange oil, hints of berries. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: crisp-huge tart, light funk’d tart fruity wheat malt impression

Mid-palate: persistent tartness, (lvl-2-sweetness), tangy-tart acidity, background thin orange oil, palate rough soft banana wheat malt

Finish: slight coriander dry, more palate rough tart slight cranberry finish

Summary: Unfortunately none of the particularly advertised flavours shine; the whole experience lacks refinement. There’s also a major palate roughness in here that makes it quite unpleasant to drink by itself. Not recommended, though I can’t remember that last time I had a Phillips brew that wow’d me.

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. ”

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  • 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.

Son of the Morning – Driftwood Brewery (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Son of the Morning Strong Golden Ale – Driftwood Brewery, 10% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

“Devilishly named in the tradition of Belgian Strong Golden Ales. Feel the pull of the underworld as you enjoy this drinkable treat, but beware, the Dark Prince will exact his price…””

Ingredients: (unfiltered) – malt, hops, yeast, water, candi sugar, coriander, black magic


  • Style: Belgian Strong Ale
  • Taste: Heavy boozy honey chamomile clove barley malt
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $9 CAD (after 10% off) – 650 ml., March 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not as good as a Belgian

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Pours frosty golden orange with a small dissipating head, ringed retention with an island, very tight clusters of cascading steady streams.

Nose: chamomile-honey barley malt, boozy. (lvl-7)-intensity

Attack: slightly thicker viscosity, micro-tingly soft crisp, boozy dense barley malt impression

Mid-palate: honey, numbing-BOOZY HEAVY barley malt, candi sugar (lvl-7-sweetness), chamomile

Finish: mild coriander, lingering sweet heavy barley malt

Summary: Heavy and weighs on the palate. It has the core characteristics of a Belgian strong, but lacks the balance and refinement of a made in Belgium. The richness of flavour is lacking in the finish allowing the alcohol to dominate.

Old Sarsaparilla – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Old Sarsaparilla Root Beer Style Ale – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“The stranger: Say friend, d;ya have a good sarsaparilla?

Bartender: We’ve got Phillips old sarsaparilla.

The stranger: That’s a good one.”

Ingredients: water, malted barley, hops, sarsaparilla, wintergreen, anise seed, spearmint, licorice, ginger, nutmeg and yeast

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  • Style: (root beer spices) Spice/Herb Beer
  • Taste: Mainly toffee barley malt off-dry wintergreen-sarsaparilla-nutmeg exhale no thin carry
  • Where I got it : Legacy liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $5 (after 10% off) – 650 ml., November 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Pours translucent medium dark copper brown with a dissipating 2mm head, ring and island retention, singular fast loose streams.

Nose: sarsaparilla/wintergreen, hints of nutmeg, caramel malt – quite inviting. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: off-dry thin body impression, light crisp

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), grainy toffee metallic barley malt dominant

Finish: wintergreen-sarsaparilla exhale, nutmeg, anise seed-licorice, subtle hops, flat no carry residual thin barley malt.

Summary: The initial sips are somewhat disappointing in that you get mainly a toffee barley malt bomb without the accompanied sugar rush you usually get in a beverage label “sarsaparilla/root beer”. Most of the spices are discernible at the finish, quite nice; I’m not liking the thin watery mouthfeel and lack of carry of the barley malt though.

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.

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  • 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.