Showing posts with label Imperial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Imperial. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Monkey Drummer 12th Anniversary (Phillips)

It never ceases to amaze me how certain brewers can produce a beer with such precision. 11.9% ABV on the dot is an impressive feat of brewing skill. Phillips is now 12 years old, well done. I also like the new bottles; they look a lot like the new bottles from Fuller's. Again, I shall be brief. As always my stock of witty comments and banter is limited.


Monkey Drummer 12th Anniversary (Phillips) = 6/10 


Don't get me wrong, it is a decent beer. It hits all the marks of an imperial IPA. Despite the nose that is a little faint with sweet floral, pine and a hint of earth. Chewy, sweet malts leave a lingering boozy and tingling sensation on the tongue. It is a big beer with big sweet malts that speak of cotton candy, pears and those cheap, plastic wrapped mints delivered with your restaurant bill that always remain uneaten. The hops are big, vague, yet cripplingly bitter. There is just no balance. It is as though the malts and hops are on other sides of the Grand Canyon. This is a bold beer but it just didn't WOW me. Another ponderous observation. A beer with this high an ABV must use a lot of malts and a lot of hops. These ingredients cost money. Oddly this bottle set me back around $6.50. It was one of the cheaper bottles on the shelf. Hopheads will like it, but they might not rave about it.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 11.9%ABV
Value + 0 
Appearance +1 always with the eye catching art

Glassware: A pint glass will do, but a tulip would be better.

Food Pairing: This beer is awfully sweet. Might need something salty to balance this out. Maybe something with smoked salmon or capers and tomatoes in a rich alfredo sauce.

Cellar: Nope. Get the hops while they are fresh.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

NumbSkull Imperial IPA (Lighthouse)

Dean, the head brewer at Lighthouse, once told me he would never brew a barley wine. Why would he say such a thing? Perhaps historically, the barley wine was a special release reserved for only close friends of the brewery. It also was the demonstration of a brewer's skill; a testament to brewing ability. Call it a brewers signature. It is not that the Lighthouse team, doesn't possess mad brewing skills. Perhaps it is that Dean is a perfectionist. If you don't believe me: check out his carbon fiber, single gear, bike with the beer growler holder. Anyways I am getting off topic and indulgent. Perhaps this is due to my previous review of Joe's insider beer guide to BC beers. This writer also has insider stuff.. Actually, I don't. This is due mainly to my laziness and reclusive behaviour. Whatever, I have a bottle of southern hemisphere barley wine and 1/2 bottle of Chimay 2011 Grande Reserve in me. Let the opinions fly.

NumbSkull Imperial IPA (Lighthouse) = 9/10



Honestly I drank most of this beer while doing my previous post, so I have nothing left to draw from. So let's review this beer as the fictitious Australian barley wine style. The aroma was all south of the equator. Rakau and Galaxy hops are demonstrative of this style. Addition of citra hops blended in well. These gave a striking tropical fruit and citrus nose. Yes, there are malts. These are simple with syrupy, bready, sherry and Mackintosh Toffee hints. The linger was long with equal part hop/malt intermingle. This was a surprisingly easy to drink barley wine, despite the 9.1% ABV disclaimer. Does it hit barley wine status, yup it does according to BJCP.  Watch for official release later this week. I scored my pre-release bottle from Hillside Liquor store. Thanks again.

Oh crap the Cicerones will need their info too.

Food Pairings: Braised tofu with a caramelized onion and miso reduction. Cheese options are aged Gouda or old cheddar. Wild game or duck poutine are other options for Captain Poutine aka. Noah's Ark palate.  Other options would be dishes with spiciness or savory sweetness. Think Indian, Jamaican or Ethiopian cuisine. You could also end with a creme brulee or a fruit flan with signigiant spicy fruit toppings. 

Glassware options: Choose a wide brimmed glass like a tulip or chalice. A tulip would be a wise choice as the aromas are pronounced yet head retention in slight. If not available, look for a modified tulip. OMG that sounded beer geek pompous. Scratch that: craft beer appreciation is serious business.

Cellar Potential: Not really. There was no dominate flavours that needed to mellow. Enjoy promptly.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 9.1% ABV
Value +1 Buy it
Appearance +1 a reasonable description of beer flavour would be nice. But the local artwork is fun, despite the Comic Sans font on the label.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Siren Imperial Red Ale - Lighthouse

At first I thought this was not actually a real beer style. I was mistaken, it is according to the Brewers Associations beer style guidelines. The description does sound overly vague though. But Dean at Lighthouse was never one to dwell upon style. He once said to me, "We should embrace the inherent variation that exists within beer and discard the dogma of rigid styles and categories. Truly great beers transcend these boundaries and are as sublime as they are fleeting." This poetic quote has always stuck with me. Mostly with help from Google mail search. But I should get on with my review as the bottle is almost gone:

Siren Imperial Red Ale = 11/10

The hop smell became apparent right after the bottle cap hit the desk. Centennial, sometimes you are my only friend. Your citrus peels are almost as spicy as the label. Image the label as Old Milwaukee afterdark. Is it hoppy? Dang right it is. Is it balanced? Barely: the caramel, bready and bruised apricot malts and barely holding it together. Maintain focus, right. The subdued floral and assertive grapefruit/pomelo citrus hops floated over the toasted bready malts. It's linger was as long as a cat's tail in a room full of rocking chairs. Your only thought will be: more hops! Astringent? Oddly not. Will the beer cellar well? Absolutely! Just make sure you tweet your vacation plans so I can plan my midnight excursions. Are you sure this beer is only 8%ABV/6.4% ABW? Well done. Hopheads stock up.


Taste +6/5 You don't like my score? Get your own blog!
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 8%
Value +1 GREAT
Appearance +1 Nice and tasteful label art. Even the Misses approved. Also a flavour description that matches the beer

Friday, July 20, 2012

Phillips Amnesiac Imperial IPA

A long time has passed since drinking a Phillips beer. Perhaps it is my pompous beer persona that has stopped me from drinking Victoria's most popular brewery's offerings. 'Perhaps' is not the right word.. 'certainly' seems more appropriate. The Amnesiac caught my eye and spoke to me. After standing in line - behind a guy with an armful of Corona light - I bought my beer and cycled home. How can they brew a Corona light? I hope that guy buys a lime, because he might mistake his beer for bottled water.
My current beer selection seems to take a back seat to the two current IPA showdown contenders: Fat Tug and Switchback. These two newcomers have shadowed Amnesiac's trend setting appearance. Certain Victoria beers drinkers have lamented about this Phillips product being hoppier in the past. I think the hoppy measuring stick has just been raised over the years.


Phillips Amnesiac Imperial IPA = 9/10

The nose is like walking through a Christmas tree sales lots; fresh cut pine smells are everywhere. Trees yield to a creamy tingle of resin, tangerines and Five Alive juice. Amnesiac is a frighteningly easy drinking beer for 8.5% ABV. After the sip you are left with a long, and slightly astringent, memory of tangerine marmalade on whole wheat toast. I should make my tasting reviews longer; hiding my thesaurus might help.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 8.5%
Value +1
Appearance +1 always the best, and tongue in cheek, labeling

BrewDog Sink the Bismark
Central City Imperial IPA and Gary Lohin interview
BrewDog Hardcore IPA


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gary Lohin talks about Imperial IPA and a Review

When talking to brewers, in the limited extent that I do, I find that they fall into two categories. They are either very brief or they love to talk. It seems Mr. Lohin likes brevity; perhaps he is just short with me. This does signal a big day for beer geeks in BC. Central City has announced that they will produce a limited release line of 650ml bombers. The first is their Imperial IPA followed closely by two versions of Thor's Hammer barley wine (bottle conditioned and bourbon-barrel aged). Both brews have wracked up an impressive amount of awards.
This new line will not sport the famous Red Racer name. "We will not be calling it Red Racer as we may start another brand in the future for high ABV beers," Gary explains. Big IPA indeed: it clocks in at 9.5% ABV and 90 IBUs. These IBUs are real; Gary says they were measured in a lab.
The next question all beer geeks want to ask is, "What hops were used?" Mr. Lohin was a tad vague with his answer. There was only one "C' hop used but also features an "A", "S" and a "M" hop. He wouldn't drop names, but leaves us to speculate. Gary describes the taste as, "a big floral aroma with mango, tangerine, and citrus notes, followed by a long lingering finish."

Central City Imperial IPA = 9/10

The pungent hop aromas are apparent intermediately after the bottle opener does its thing. The nose is very sweet with tropical fruits (mangoes and papaya) and grapefruit rind. Each sip is full and griping with hop bitterness; this is enhanced by a pleasant alcohol warmth. The Central City is quite sweet for an Imperial IPA. Hopheads will delight in the abundance of mangoes, flower essence, guavas, oranges and grapefruit rind. The hops blast begins upfront, last all the way through the sip and lingers for an eternity. Malts are rich, but play a secondary role. A whole wheat bread and nutty malt backbone is but an afterthought. Pair this hoppy brew with a spicy Indian dish for added palate satisfaction. Not into spicy foods? Perhaps a grilled salmon steak topped with a creamy peppercorn sauce would be more to your liking? Myself, I went with a spicy Mexican enchiladas.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 9.5% frighteningly drinkable
Value +1
Appearance +1 Simple, elegant label with good description of flavour

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Belgian White (Lighthouse)

This is the yang to Lighthouse's previous yin Belgian Black brew. The Belgian White is a ramped up imperial witbier. Dean from Lighthouse describes it best, "Belgian White is different. We took the classic wit and gave it a good old west coast make-over: bigger and lots more hops! What I love about this beer though is that the wit characters are still there; coriander, clove, bitter peel, bready wheat and almond notes. Spices up front, classy soft malt mid palate and a dry, lingering bitter finish." Sounds like a good description but what did the beer prick think?

Belgian White (Lighthouse) = 9/10

The first first thing you notice, obviously, is the nose. This would be the perfect beer to drink while playing Diablo 3, it smells a bit like fire and brimstone. Lots of sulfur, coriander, oat straw, hot and dry spices leap from the glass. You better like it because these aromas never leave; after a while they morph into a very inviting scent.  Full and spicy sips reveal a cornucopia of flavours. First there are the grains: oatcakes, cream of wheat, marzipan and fresh bread. Next you must sort through the spices; coriander is king closely followed by cloves and maybe a little cinnamon. To make matters worse, you must contend with the southern hops and fruitiness from the yeast. You can pick out various tropicals, mangoes, jackfruit, slight lemon and other citrus fruits. Nothing is overpowering. It just slides down the throat, giving the uvula a crosscheck on the way past. Very complicated, it might take a few bombers to sort it all out.


Taste +5
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 7.5%ABV
Value +1
Appearance +1 Great art by Michelle Landry again

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Double Dragon 2012

For some unknown reason, I keep buying this beer year after year. Perhaps it was the taste in 2008 that drew me in: overabundance of hops with a great toasted malt accompaniment. 2011 was such a let down that I dumped most of the bottle down the sink. Life is too short for bad beer. How about this year? It was better than last year...


Double Dragon 2012 = 3/10
Ratebeer 3.29 81st percentile
Beer Advocate

First off, this beer smells amazing! It has all the PNW hop goodness one could ask for. Say 'hello' to floral, ruby red grapefruit rind, blood orange, the earth and a hint of toasted biscuits. After this it all went wrong. There was lots of carbonation which only enhanced a vague soapy and citrus astringency. Behind the initial glorious hop slap was a thin whimpering of toasted malts, caramel, cherries ending with spicy arugula salad. The ending was a tad soapy, tacky and sticky. It reminded me of a wilted arugula salad with grapefruit slices on top.  As it warmed up and the aromas died down, the brew became relatively flavourless. Past memories willed me to like this beer, but alas the last bits hit the drain.

Taste +2
Aftertaste -1
Alcohol Content +1 8.4% (hidden very well)
Value 0
Appearance +1 (great label art, but then I had a thing for Asian art)

Other imperial red reviews
Captain Sigs Northwest Ale
Big Red Imperial Ale (Southern Tier)
Hop Head Red Ale (Green Flash)


Friday, February 10, 2012

Singularity 2012 (Driftwood)

I have only one issue with this beer; explanations will come in a moment.

Yes, yes it all smells so very good. Bourbon, bitter sweet chocolate, burnt toast, port and a little bit of vanilla; kinda like a David Bowie cocktail. Certainly the mouthfeel is thick, warming and oddly effervescent for a low carbonated beer. It tingles the mouth like 7-up. Oddly faint at the start and perhaps a bit thin with tickles of real vanilla extract and Kirsch. But only for a millisecond. Now here come the raw cocoa nibs, bourbon, burnt sourdough bread and weak espresso. This mildly astringent foursome leaves a long lasting and dusty coating that never leaves. Even after brushing your teeth, the flavours are still there.

Singularity 2012 (Driftwood) = 10/10 UNDER PROTEST

Here is my complaint -this is what a beer prick does, right? I paid $10.95 for this beer. This is a fricken embarrassment. Brooklyn Black Ops sold for how much, $25+? We had some Deschutes roll by at $20+. Heaven knows how many people opened their wallets and handed over red bills for two Dogfish Head bottles? This beer is as good - or better - than any of these other ones. And we only paid $10.95! If this beer priced this way near the front till at Bottleworks in Seattle, there would be black friday like riots. I have had a Dark Lord 2009, thanks Dave, and Driftwood's was nearly as good. Perhaps I am bitter that this beer did not crack the $14 mark as I predicted. Might be the 11.8% ABV talking: 11.8% heheh.. snort. Price valued products accordingly. My wife spent $25 on a bottle of wine today and we never blinked. I bet my Singularity will make my palate happier than her French Merlot. So there! Honestly, if the high end beer scene wants to grow, Victoria's brewers must act like it deserves it. That being said; I plan to buy 4-5 more and cellar them. I would have done so at $15!


Taste +5
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 (11.8% wink)
Value +1
Appearance +1 (Uber-elegant wax dipped bottle)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Paradox Speyside (Brew Dog)

An impy stout matured in Speyside whisky casks. nuff said. BTW if you are quick enough: Veneto has North Coast 8 ball imperial stout on tap. Well worth the crazy parking!

Paradox Speyside (Brew Dog) = 9/10
Ratebeer 3.79 99th percentile
Beer Advocate 91%

The aroma gave only a faint warning of what was to come. Calm vanilla, sherry, peat and wood can't be too dangerous right? Wrong! BAM. A full-on glycerin slick sip burns the throat. Oddly easy drinking for 10%ABV. Name the cask flavour and it was there: bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, sherry, chewy coffee and port. The port and coffee didn't hang around for the linger.
I realize that this description is not long enough to full detail the awesomeness of this beer. Fatigue plays a major factor in brevity. 

Taste +5
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 10%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Other Imperial Stout reviews
Ten Fidy Imp Stout IN A CAN
Russian Gun Imperial Stout
Mikkeller Black Hole

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mikkeller Black Hole

Ratebeer 3.94 100th percentile
Beer Advocate B

It's a stout and it's big. Please insert the word 'big' in front of every word used to describe this beer. Aromas of vanilla, sweet chocolate, alcohol and wood are everywhere. To taste this beer is similar to licking a spoonful of honey. It's thickness coated the mouth with roast, earthy hops and burnt coffee. None of these big flavours would go away. Truly excellent.

Taste +5
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 13.1%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Mikkeller Beer Geek Weasel
Ten Fidy
Russian Gun Imperial Stout

Sunday, June 5, 2011

John By Imperial Stout

This was a draft selection from Bar Volo. At first I was very excited about visiting this beer bar. The reviews from Toronto beer bloggers were praising. It only got better as I saw the person next to me jot in is notebook as he worked his way through a flight of beers. Every few minutes the barman would walk over to talk to him: this was my kinda place. I sat down, now it is my turn. Then everyone left and no service at all. I could have choked on a peanut (if there was one) and nobody would notice for hours. It was almost comical; none of the staff even looked at me. Finally I got a beer after waving my arms like a drowning sailor. But he never returned until I sent a semaphore message. Oddly he returned very quickly as I got up to leave.

John By Imperial Stout = 5/10


Ratebeer 3.71 98th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Lots of roast in this nose; maybe a little too much. Needless to say these was burnt vanilla and roasted coffee everywhere. This was a nice impy stout but not stellar. It had everything you wanted: wood notes, vanilla, bitter sweet chocolate and a malt that changed with every sip. But somehow it was just not doing it for me. Perhaps it was the unusual about of alcohol in the nose and taste.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 8.7%
Value 0
Appearance 0

Old #38 Stout

Habit Espresso Stout
Labyrinth Black Ale

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Overboard Imperial Pilsner (Lighthouse)

I really hate sounding like a fan-boy; it is not good for my image. Everything limited release from Lighthouse turns out golden. I wasn't really a fan of the Shipwreck. It was good, but I can be a bit of a beer prick. Now this is a style that does not get a lot of attention. Most of the big or experimental US breweries make one. Dogfish has their My Antonia and Samuel Adams has one in their Imperial Series. Rogue did a Morimoto in those ceramic bottles, but $20+ for a fancy bottle is a little steep. After loving the Port Brewing Imperial Panzer, I have been looking forward to trying this style again.

Overboard Imperial Pilsner (Lighthouse) = 8/10

Ratebeer nope
Beer Advocate B (One review)

YADBB when you do a beer review you must say what the beer tastes like. This brew means biznass. Before the bottle cap hits the floor, aromas of spices, grass and sourdough bread speak of boring beer mutiny. Sorry, I felt it necessary to add the nautical reference. From the first sip there is a pronounced alcohol burn that slightly numbs the tongue. Luckily the flavours of banana bread, dry spices and slight citrus are not lost. There is a lot going on here; the creamy texture and ample carbonation deliver new sensations with every sip. A continuous alcohol warmth dries the tongue and paints a floral and spicy ending. Well done. I might buy this beer again; I rarely buy a beer twice.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 8.5%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wilco Tango Foxtro (Lagunitas)

Apparently this beer is referencing a Wilco album called "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot". I have actually heard of the band Wilco; my friend Gord really likes them. This usually means I won't. I just bought it for the initials.

Wilco Tango Foxtrot (Lagunitas) =9/10
Ratebeer 3.63 96th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

This one is described as an "Imperial Brown Ale", it tastes more like a Cascadian dark. The nose is all big IPA with citrus, pine, resins and a hint of light chocolate. Always very hop assertive with an everlasting citrus/pine flavour. Your lips are burning after a 50/50 mix of alcohol and hops pounding. The malts are hidden but try hard to reveal their caramel, chocolate and cherry character. I'm sure the IBU reading of 64.20 is in reference to something else.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 7.83%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (WTF!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Big Red Imperial Ale (Southern Tier)

I like Southern Tier, they make good beer. Enough said; I really must plow through the back log of beer reviews. Thank goodness for 33beers and my obsessive hobby tendencies.

Big Red Imperial Ale (Southern Tier) =8/10
Ratebeer 3.54 94th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

The nose was sweet like bubblegum and cotton candy, yet fruity. There was a tad bit of spicy hops but mostly floral. It was creamy on the tongue but the alcohol burn was not far behind. Once the shock and awe was over, lots of malts flavours were around: grassy, caramel and a little roast. The hops were the confusing part; is that pineapple, resin, citrus and bubblegum? This deserves another sip, there is a lot to take in.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 9%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Green Flash Hop Head Red
Captain Sigs Northwestern Ale
Phillips Double Dragon 2010

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Double Dragon 2011 (Phillips)

It is very awkward when you do not finish a beer. This was not accidental; it was intentional. Breweries always produce quality beers that everyone will enjoy, right? If the beer tastes bad, it is my palate that's flawed. I tried a beer yesterday that I thought was pretty good, but others - whose opinions I value - didn't like it. Today I tried the new Phillips Double Dragon and didn't like it at all. Yet others in the blogosphere thought it was alright. So what do I think about these differences of opinions and questioning of my palate choices: GREAT, bring it on! Being a beer geek is all about exploring and trying new styles. You can like or dislike whatever you choose, but you must give a reason. Here is mine.

Double Dragon 2011 (Phillips) = -3/10


It all started great with a faint nose of slight citrus and watery caramel. Things started to go bad when the medium-full mouthfeel delivered too much alcohol burn. It all fell apart; the dirty caramel became overwhelmed by this unfocused hop bitterness. It was all over the place: mineral, grapefruit pith, herbal and medicinal. There was no focus. Then the aftertaste of soapy bitterness and dry herbal made me question my desire to have another sip. I tried again after it warmed up. It didn't help. My wife came through with the voice of reason,"if you really don't enjoy it, don't finish it." The remaining bottle was deposited in the sink.

Taste -2
Aftertaste -1
Alcohol Content +1 8.2%
Value -1
Appearance +1 (This is my favourite label by Phillips)

I liked the Dragon last year.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Russian Gun Imperial Stout

I was happy to find this beer in Toronto. It won the gold medal at the 2009 Canadian Brewing Awards. All the beer mag 'experts' rave about this beer; what do they know. Pfff.

Russian Gun Imperial Stout = 10/10
Ratebeer 3.53 94th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Apparently they know about good beers. For a high ABV stout the nose is awfully faint. Only the barest of roast and sweet licorice could be detected. A mild alcohol warmth started things off, but the big star was the roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate and licorice. No amount of dental hygiene could remove the oily coating this beer felt behind. Long after the tongue scraper was put away, the alcohol still exerted its warming effects.

Taste +5
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 8.4%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Singularity (Driftwood)
Pothole Filler (Howe Sound)
Longwood Imperial Stout

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Raasted Imperial Stout

Imperial Stouts: you either love them or you don't. These beers age gracefully if you have the patience.

Raasted Imperial Stout = 10/10
Ratebeer 3.91 99th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

An outstanding nose with vanilla, bitter chocolate and citrus (orange). The mouthfeel is unique: velvety, yet prominent alcohol burn/tingle. All this is bundled with roasted milk chocolate, espresso, citrus/pine hops and vanilla. It coats every dental filling with cooling alcohol and roasted chocolate for a linger to remember. Think of this as Guinness on steroids.

Taste +5
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 9%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Singularity (Driftwood)
Pothole Filler (Howe Sound)
Longwood Imperial Stout

Moylan Hopsickle

It's an imperial IPA, what more do you want? Maybe a bottle opener?

Moylan Hopsickle = 9/10
Ratebeer 3.94 99th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

True to form: big citrus and sweet pine peak out of this mixed up hop soup. It is teeters on the good side of too hoppy, but oddly not very astringent. Each painful sip is very dry with mouth puckering resins, citrus and pine. The malt flavours are unknown due to an intense hop barrage. If I had to guess: floral and caramel. It stays long on the tongue with a resinous tingle. Sure to separate the true hop head from the wannabes.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 9.2%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (beautiful colour and OK label)

Unearthly Imperial IPA
Hop Stoopid
Half Pints Humulus Ludicrous

Singularity 2010 (Driftwood)

The barrel photos on the Driftwood website made my heart go a flutter. There are also rumors of a sour Flanders style in the works. Now that will be a great accomplishment. The Singularity is a Russian imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels for 4 months.

Singularity 2010 = 11/10

The nose is powerful stuff, full of sweet bourbon, nail polish and bitter-sweet chocolate. This big ABV brew gives a lasting warmth that travels all the way to your toes. Along the way it spreads liquid joy: the tastes are dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, toffee and coffee. These flavours never really leave you. Its thickness provides a long linger of warm bitter chocolate, bourbon and astringent vanilla. I hate to sound like a fanboy, but this is perhaps the greatest fluidic substance produced on Vancouver Island.

Taste +6
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 11.8% (wink wink)
Value +1
Appearance +1 (very modern label)

Pike Street Entire Wood Aged Stout 2009
Drake's Imperial Stout and Executive Class Guilt
Ten Fidy Imperial Stout

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Labyrinth Black Ale

I hate attending BYOB dinner parties; they can be anxiety inducing. It is not what you are thinking. I have no worries about meeting, greeting and making small talk. Also, rarely do I make awkward comments and come across as a sociopath. It worries me because I have to bring beer. For a beer geek, choosing the right beer to bring to a party can be a Herculean task. In this case I was more like Theseus and headed for the Labyrinth.

Labyrinth Black Ale = 10/10
Ratebeer 3.76 98th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

The label may say 'black ale', but the vanilla, wood and bitter chocolate reveals its true nature: imperial stout. Is that a hint of licorice I smell? Oh man! The dark chocolates, licorice, dark cherry were perfect; a good hop snap at the end made this brew heavenly. There was a very full mouthfeel that was silky and slippery. It was complemented by an all encompassing alcohol warmth. The best beer I have had in some time.

Taste +5
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 13.2%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (Stunning label art and corked bottle)

Pothole Filler (Howe Sound)
Longwood Imperial Stout
Pike Wood Aged Stout 2009