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.

Russian Imperial Stout – Parallel 49 Brewery (Vancouver, BC, Canada)


  • My Rating: B

Russian Imperial Stout – Parallel 49 Brewery, 10.9% ABV – 750ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

on the front left-side label:

“In the 18th century, this bold, strong stout was brewed in London for the long and treacherous trip to the Imperial courts of Russia. In keeping with this stoic tradition, this whiskey-barrel aged imperial stout is warm, full bodied and fit for a Czar. Ingredients: Roasted Barley, Pale, Chocolate, Munich & Crystal Malts, Magnum & Fuggles Hops, Yeast.”

  • Style: (Whiskey-Oak) Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Alcoholic caramel-chocolate sweet malts w/ oaked whiskey backdrop
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $12 (after 10% off) – 650ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Yay! Finally a review of a local beer. Sealed with wax and a cap. Pours inkjet black with a smallish creamy head, a thin layer of retention, some lacing, active streams visible near the surface.

Nose: rich caramel malts (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: light fizzy-creamy, incoming heavy malts

Mid-palate: alcohol heaviness, (lvl-6)-sweetness, (MAIN) caramel malts, subtle roast, chocolate, soy sauce, cola, sweet oaked whiskey

Finish: tingly, medium boozy, sweet chocolate malt finish with light hopped bitterness.

Summary: Solid flavours, body, and drinkability. It could be a bit creamier but overall the texture is pleasant.

Innis & Gunn Highland Cask Beer (Scotland)


  • My Rating: B

Innis & Gunn Highland Cask  (69-day matured), 7.1% ABV – 330ml, (Edinburgh, Scotland)

-this is part of their Limited Edition 3-pack which includes their branded glass

On the back label:

“This special bottling of Innis & Gunn has been matured in oak barrels which had previously been used to mature 18 year old single malt Scotch Whisky from the famed Highlands region of Scotland. The result of this unique maturation is a smooth, complex and warming beer with notes of vanilla and toffee.”

  • Style: (Highland Cask) Barrel- Aged Ale
  • Taste Profile: whiskied sweetness -> scotch/toffee/caramel -> light fizzy/honeyed malt finish
  • Where I got it : Legacy
  • How much: $16/3pack +glass (after 10% off), December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours dark tan brown with a nice foamy head, good ringed retention, quite a few active streams. Whiskied caramel malts and strong toffee on the nose.

Attack: 7/10-sweetness, whisky aromas

Mid-palate: oaked scotch w/ alcohol, toffee, caramel malts,

Finish: light fizzy, honeyed malt finish.

Good interesting brew from I&G, this one is a winner.

Russell Brewing Nectar of the Gods (Canada)

Nectar of the Gods 2010 – Russell Brewing, 10% ABV – 650ml, (Surrey, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“Matured in Tennessee whiskey barrels for over four months, this Wheat Wine Ale delivers multiple layers of flavour complexity. Comprised of 50% Wheat Malt plus a combination of Pilsner and Munich Malts. Fruity-ester characteristics are beautifully complemented by vanilla-like flavours and tannins imparted from the barrels-aging process. US Columbus Hops provide a firm bitterness and French Strisselspalt Hops present a lusty black currant flavour and balanced finish. Bottle-conditioning results in natural carbonation and sediment – pour gently. Drink today or Cellar for up to a year.”

  • Style: Wheat Wine Ale
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: Sweet heavy caramel malts -> whiskey alcohol/wood/chocolate -> malted bitter alcoholic finish.
  • Where I got it: Firefly
  • How much: $10 (after 10%), March 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Tasting notes: pours slightly opaque brown with a very small head, small CO2, lots of medium fast streams. Sweet malts and hints of whiskey on the nose. Bold aggressive 9/10-sweet heavy caramel malts up front, alcohol detection + whiskey, hints of chocolate, resiny wood, and a heavy alcoholic med-heavy malty bitter finish. Body is on the thinnish side for a high ABV beer. Medium complexity, med-high depth, okay transitions, good carry, okay drinkability. Doesn’t quite have the creaminess of fullness to carry the alcohol.