Showing posts with label Phillips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Phillips. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sax in Dark by Phillips

No preamble nor sharing, just cleaning up notes. This was the second in the Phillips sour series, Thorny Horn was the first. And much tastier.

Sax in the Dark = 3/10


Not a big fan of this one, most of the sour or tartness came from grape additions. It smelled a little like table grape bits on dark toast. Sour notes seemed to come from grape tannins and not Lactobacillus influence. The sip was a mix of whole wheat toast, slight chocolate and tart grape seeds with a linger of tongue coating grape tannics. Not really for me.

Taste +2
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0
Value 0
Appearance 0

Glassware: Clean

Food Pairings: Something

Cellar: Nope

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Phillips Botanicale

Has it been this long since a blog post? I truly am slacking. The Phillips Botanicale should be thought of as either a gruit or that dreaded BCJP category called "experimental" or "spiced". Although I don't think it is truly a gruit as this beer has hops for bittering while a true gruit only uses herbs or spices.


Phillips Botanicale = 7/10*


The asterix means you must like gin. The flavour is very reminiscent of the Phillips STUMP gin, which does contain Cascade hops and Grand Fir. There are much things gin on the nose: juniper, orange oil and forest. Reminds me of a well done negroni. These botanicals add a creaminess to the light to medium mouthfeel. It drinks like a plain pale ale with a shot of gin. Much botanicals with orange oil, juniper sweetness tempered with a citrus bitterness. The finish is a long coating of orange oil. Definitely worth a sip, if you like gin.

Taste +4 (If you like gin)
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 6.2%
Value +1 (Yah its worth a taste)
Appearance +1 reasonable description of flavour

Glassware: Just clean

Food Pairings: Crab cakes, must be crab cakes or any other firm fish. Perhaps with a sage, rosemary and basil rub to get your herbal mojo going.

Cellar: nope

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Odyssey Porter (Phillips)

There can never be enough nitrogenated beers. Nitrogen gas adds a creamy mouthfeel and sweet flavour. Since nitrogen is quite insoluble in most liquids, it adds a thicker creamier mouthfeel. When served on draught, nitro beers display that classic bubble cascade associated with a certain Irish stout. Within that fancy nitro beer faucet is a restriction plate (plate with tiny holes). Beer is forced through these narrow openings and nitrogen is forced out of solution, which leads to that large dense head. Nitrogen gas also has a sweetness which contrasts and softens bitter beers like stouts and porters. I have heard of nitro IPAs and hoppy pilsners.  If Clay is reading this, which I doubt, perhaps he would consider a nitro version of Potts Pils? That would be nice.
When nitro beers are available in cans, there is a whole different magic that happens. Read all about it here, because the internet is always true. Regardless, with a quick opening and a hard pour you can enjoy a creamy cascading beer at home.

Odyssey Porter = 8/10

A sweet aroma greets you with an equal mix of light toast, powdered milk and cocoa. The mouthfeel is creamy as expected, but a little thin. This is a straight forward porter with dry cocoa, milk chocolate, toast and slight fruity red apple. It all ends with a whipped cream and chocolate finish. Overall it is very nice.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.0%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (Nice art with reasonable description of flavour)

Glassware: Definitely an Irish tulip, for historical effect. Make sure it is the 500ml version

Food Pairings: I would go for a mushroom and beef stew. The chewiness of the stem would mesh well with the creamy mouthfeel of the Odyssey. Generally stews are rich and umami heavy, perfect to balance with a sweet porter. For any veggies reading this, try with a mushroom and red kidney bean pot pie.

Cellar: Nope

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cereal Killer (Phillips)

Rye is the new and trendy grain to brew with these days. It ranks up there with the kettle sour. There is nothing wrong with this trend at all. When in used appropriately, rye adds a pleasant dry cereal and characteristic spiciness to a brew.

Cereal Killer = 5/10

Rye is apparent in the nose with its desired spicy cereal aroma. Not use why I am picking up marshmallow, maybe it is the kidlets hot chocolate. Despite the slightly slick mouthfeel, the Cereal Killer delivers the rye. It has the wet cereal, light spicy rye and chewy red apples you might expect. The only flavour not to fade was the sticky cereal. Tasty for a bottle, but might not buy a second one.

Taste +2
Aftertaste 0 
Alcohol Content +1 7.2%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Glassware: Any thing clean will do, the shaker pint would do fine

Food Pairings: Indian food or Thai would do nice. The spiciness would blend together while there is enough maltiness to calm the spicy heat. Hello tofu Pad Thai. Even the carnivores don't mind this dish.

Cellar:Nope

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sky High Grand Fir by Phillips

Is this the first release of the year? I think so, which is often the way with Phillips. Always with the fast and furious releases. Again with the firsts, this might be the first fir tree beer in Victoria. We have had several spruce tip releases, most notably from Tofino and Axe and Barrel.
Sky High Grand Fir = 5/10


The nose is as you would expect, forest. What was unexpected was the prominent orange crush aroma. It reminded me of a trip to Silk Road Tea House to randomly sniff the essential oil selection. Although, I sometimes feel that most evergreen trees have a slight orange smell.  The aromatic fir oil added an extra spiciness to the medium-light mouthfeel. It tastes just like it smells with an added straw, white bread malt background. Tasty enough, but I don't think I will have another.
Taste +2
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1 Tasty enough for one
Appearance +1 Excellent description of beer flavour considering uniqueness of taste
Food Pairing: I wouldn't try to pair this beer with anything specific, too many odd, prominent flavours. If pressed, perhaps a cedar plank salmon with an orange or lemon glaze. Get your full forest on.
Glassware: Whatever is clean
Cellar: Nope.  

Friday, January 1, 2016

Phillips Thorny Horn Sour Raspberry Brown

This is what I call a pseudo-sour. When I hear the word sour, I imagine tartness from Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus or Pediococcus . The sourness and tartness from this beer is fruit derived, which is just fine.


Thorny Horn = 7/10


The nose has a bit of funk to it, but all I got was raspberry jam and bike tire air. It is all about the jammy fruit tartness on par with cranberry cocktail juice. You do get a bit of chocolate and acidity enhancements. The sourness is fruit derived only.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 6.8%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (label gives reasonable description of flavour)

Glassware: Tulip

Food Pairings: I'm thinking dessert. The fruit sourness would balance a sweet cheese cake. I raspberry or other berry topping would bridge the two nicely.

Cellar: This one might develop more sourness as time passes. If you can still find one, it would be a reasonable addition.

Phillips Scarfface Cranberry Orange Wit


This beer is certainly a front runner for best label and wittiest name of the year. Although it might not be the most original; anyone remember the blood orange wit? Still, it's a tasty little glassful.
Scarfface = 6/10

Orange is the most vaporous aroma, perhaps Orange Crush or Orangina.  Naturally there is a wheat creaminess too. The taste is pretty straight forward; creamy wheat, sweet oranges and a light lingering of tart oranges.  Not sure where the cranberries went?

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Glassware: Put it in a clean pint glass to keep Chapman happy. If you have an octagon wit glass you could use that, but that is a bit obsessive.

Food Pairings: Peking Duck or duck à l'orange. The tart orange flavours would bridge nicely with the duck and the effervescence would help lift the fat from the palate. Bird lovers can substitute braised bean curd.

Cellar: Nope

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Super Cooper Phillips 14th Anniversary ale

Has it been 14 years already? Looks like it is time for another strong anniversary beer from Phillips. Don't get me wrong, I liked this beer but it just tasted the same as last year and the year before that. It tasted like the Monkey Drummer at year 12 and the Hangman's from year 13. Now that I think about it, if this beer has been aging for a full year in bourbon barrels, it very well may have been the same beer as last year. Why the number 14? Perhaps it might be in reference to 14 points of copyright infringement on the label. Despite the fact I am not a expert in copyright law, the resemblance to Donkey Kong and a Mario Bros character is easy to spot. I haven't even played these games in over two decades. That small hop guy in the bottom corner looks very similar to Goomba. And what other large ape with high eye brows carries a barrel? Am I the only one seeing the red tie with a logo on it?

Super Cooper = 5/10


The nose was a mix of dry hop madness and oak character. It was an overabundance of vanilla, tannins, pine, spruce and pineapple. My mouth felt violated with each fully, sticky, slick and bitter boozy sip. Complexity is the label on my glass. There was extensive mingling of vanilla, pineapple enzymes, syrupy spruce, bourbon vapours and canned pear syrup. The flavours hung around longer than the weird neighbour after a block party BBQ. Still it was a nice sipper, but it did border on undrinkable bitter and boozy.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 11.6%
Value 0 (same as last year)
Appearance 0 (Had to hide bottle to avoid litigation)

Glassware: Use a brandy snifter or tulip

Food Pairings: Almost too much for food. Maybe cedar planked salmon.

Cellar: The hop and booziness will certainly fade, but I'm not certain the malt contains suitable complexity. I'm going to say no.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Barnstormer Saison IPA (Phillips)

You know, I've had it up to here, with hybrid styles that add descriptive dashes. Wait.. you can't see the motion I just made with my hand, can you? Oh Bother, this is the reason why I do not work in radio. Nor TV for that matter. Nor do I correct grammar in English 101. There is this trend to add descriptive names to the same dang beer. Just you wait for the "Barrel aged-brett fermented-session strength-imperial-imperial-india-pale-ale-on-lees-dry hopped with Mosiac". That last bit was for you Brewtal Truth. It will take a wrap around label just to get the whole name on. As always, I digress. So why does the Hawaiian Shirt enigma rant about a beer at midnight? There are two reasons: Firstly, to inflate my basement dwelling ego. The second is to validate your own, basement dwelling ego. I had this beer lined up in my sights to rip it apart. Yes, it tastes like every other Phillips IPA. Yes, it is most likely another Phillips beer with a funky yeast added. We know this. But you know, it is not that bad. I can actually hear the blog followers clicking the unsubscribe button. This beer delivers everything we- well not all da we's - want to drink. A drinkable IPA, with hints of something tropical and hints of unique yeast. Enough of the Keepers Stout infused rant - what does the beer prick think of this beer?

Barnstormer Saison IPA (Phillips) = 7/10


As expected the nose starts off with tropical fruits and spicy yeasts, luckily not too phenolic. This bubbly brew delivers a light to medium punch of grains, light pit fruits, pears, apricots and passion fruit. The taste is almost session like until the fusel nail polish alcohols hit the back of your nose. Still, I liked it. Would I buy a second bottle? Ask me in person.



Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 7.2%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (reasonable description of flavours)

Glassware: Pick you fanciest glass and make sure it is clean.

Food Pairings: I suggest something dry, mildly spicy and with a hint of funk. How about seafood pasta with parmigiano shavings? Cheese pairing is either Grana Padano or Reggianito.

Cellar: Nope

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Coast to Coastless by Phillips et al.

I know what an ESB tastes like, and this is not it. The previous BJCP guidelines had a category for extra special or strong bitter. The current guidelines now call this category the British Strong Bitter. Perhaps because ESB is a trademark belonging to Fullers; news to me also. The Brewers Association still lists guidelines for an ESB, but the Coastless still does not hit these marks either.  The strong bitter should be a fruity, malty beverage with noticeable hop bitterness and low alcohol presence. Maybe at the top end of the alcohol range (4.6-6.2%) you might get some alcohol flavours. This Coastless is boozy as all get up, it tasted like a Negroni with prune juice. If I were to classify the beer, I would call it an Old Ale. So, I shall review as an Old Ale; otherwise the score would be much lower. This is not a judging contest, but a taste evaluation. Thanks to Bradley for the nice photo.

Coast to Coastless = 6/10


As mentioned above, this beer is boozy. It smells like rum soaked cherries, but oddly the mouthfeel is thin. Not really medium light as BJCP would like. It was still quite boozy in the sip like a negroni cocktail muddled with treacle, prunes and a Macintosh toffee bar. Still more warming boozy in the finish. If it wasn't such a thin beer the boozy might not as be so noticeable. Still it would make an excellent Ole Ale

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content +1 7.6%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (simple label are relatively good description of flavour)

Glassware: A lager glass, common pint or a dimpled mug

Food Pairings: Roasted light meats, pork, burgers, lamb. Could also work with grilled vegetables or kabobs.

Cellar: The dissolved yeast might further change the flavour, but the simple malts and low hop presence, cellaring might not be suitable.

Vital Stats: ABV 7.6% and IBU 50. According the BJCP 2015 should be 4.6-6.2%ABV and 30-50IBU. Brewers Association 4.8-5.8%ABV and 30-45 IBU. Old Ale would fit better at 5.5-9% ABV and 30-60 IBU (BJCP) similar for BA.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

ShortWave by Phillips


Just a real quick review to keep my backlog from getting too long. Not much to say about this beer anyways, it is a pale ale in a tall can.

ShortWave = 4/10

The nose started promisingly with a pronounced whiff of pine, cedar and bitter oranges. Sadly once this pleasant aroma dissipated there was a noticeable aroma of diacetyl. This was confirmed by the slick mouthfeel that was best described as medium to full. Building on the citrus, pine thing was the usual honey and biscuit malts. The Shortwave is a oddly sweet beer despite the initial hop bitter aroma. Overall, the best thing in a can for under 2 bucks. I think the description is aggressively popular.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.2%
Value 0
Appearance 0

Glassware: Right from the can is fine.

Food Pairings: Would go with anything, honest.

Cellar: Nope

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Tale of Two Beers

It was the best of beers, it was the worst of beers. This is the only line that I know from the Charles Dickens novel. Actually, this knowledge was learned from Mr. Google. The title does introduces two contrasting beers nicely. Today I shall be ranting about Phillips, most days I rant about Phillips. Mix this rant about what makes a beer good. A beer is good for two reasons. The first is that it loosely follows guidelines and is free of flaws or faults. The second is that it tastes good (to you). Unless you are entering a beer in a contest, the first reason is usually ignored. Except for the flaw part. Now we come to the second reason, does a beer taste good?
Does a beer actually taste good.... really? Are your tastes biased due to marketing, preconceived expectations or the third and most insidious reason of Untappd review bias? I like to call this the Emperor's New Clothes effect. In this instance you are presented with a new beer. It has great packaging, great description, made by a big craft brewery with lots of positive Untappd or Ratebeer reviews. This must be a good beer right? Not always. In some circles this is called expectation or subjectivity. The classic example used wine experts and their impression about a certain wine. In this experiment, experts were served a bottle of red wine labeled as a grand cru (special) and a bottle labeled as a vin du table (ordinary). Experts rated the grand cru as better than the table wine. The kicker was that they were served the same wine in different bottles. You can influence experts with labeling. It happens in the beer world too. Samuel Adams Utopia is only pretty good, Pliny the Elder is not that mind blowing and the Phillips 10th Anniversary beer was an average IPA in a really fancy bottle. Perhaps this is enough ranting, I think you get the point.

3rd Blind Mouse by Phillips = -2/10

Like you never saw this review coming. Mr. Mouse started off with a wonderfully sweet nose of sweet tropical fruit, pineapple and passion fruit. Should have called it 3rd Blind Mosaic. Things went south when the tongue numbing bitterness became difficult to stomach. It was overly bitter, boozy and lacked malt balance. I imagine that this is what 20 year old can of tropical fruit salad would taste like. Despite all this, I felt there was a bit of diacetyl slickness in the aftertaste. This beer hit the drain. My thoughts were confirmed by others in the room with me: a great homebrewer, a professional brewer and a highly rated beer geek. They also thought it tasted like every other Phillips IPA. It looked wonderful, smelled great, was made by a famous craft brewery and had many great reviews. To me this beer just sucked.

Taste -1
Aftertaste -1
Alcohol Content +1 10.2%
Value -1
Appearance +1

Apteryx IPA = 7/10


I found this IPA to be quite tasty and interesting. I liked the use of Nelson Sauvin hops. I can't say that I have ever tried a gooseberry, cape gooseberry yes, but not a European one. Sauvignon blanc wine has passed over my tongue and yes you can taste it in these hops. There was the expected mix of tropical fruit, grapefruit with spicy papaya seeds.The mild bready and fruity malts did not distract from the slight white grape juice taste of the hops. A lingering of peppery fruit provided a pleasant end to the sip. I liked it, not stellar, but very tasty.

Taste+3 
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 6.5%
Value +1 (I liked it)
Appearance +1 (Nice label art with good description of flavour)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Coffin Kicker Porter Phillips

I could be wrong but is the first draught only release by a non-brewpub brewery? Lighthouse has had experimental growler fills but has not made a big deal about them. Wouldn't it be great if this idea caught on. It might lead to more experimental brews, less packaging use and more Untappd check ins. Maybe the last one isn't so important.  I have a great idea; how about if a local brewery sets up a 'pop-up' growler fill station at a local market. This is also selfish, as Moss Street market is only a few blocks from my house. I digress and dream. How did the Coffin Kicker taste?

Coffin Kicker = 5/10 
 
The nose was usual porter style: milk chocolate, roast, pencils and stale coffee. I happen to find the aroma of stale coffee appealing. It was an oddly creamy sip and not high in the roasted astringency department. This porter was straightforward and tied together roasted coffee beans, 33% cocoa mass and dark berries. One might think it was a little on the thin side, but I thought it increased quaffability. The finish added a little glycerin like coating. Overall a nice, simple and unflavoured porter.
 
Taste +3
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1 (a simple tasty porter)
Appearance +1 (Growlers always get top marks)

Glassware: Anything is fine, even the simple shaker.

Food Pairings: You could draw in other roasted foods like BBQ burgers, steak or vegetable kabobs. In contrast use the roasted, dry character to balance out sweet and rich foods like brownies or mac and cheese. For a cheese pairing try a mild blue like Blue d'Auvergne or an aged cheddar.

Cellar: nope

Monday, October 6, 2014

Playing catch up August and September

People think blogging is easy; it is not. It pains me to drink all these great local beers and fire off my opinions. The research involved can take hours: looking up facts, consult other tasting notes and determining impact upon local beer scene. Hah, who am I kidding - blogging is easy. I am just lazy. Plans are made, notes are taken but the world conspires against me. Sometimes it is a Herculean task to raise myself from the couch. Binge watching NCIS with Mrs. Left4Beer is quite enjoyable after a pint - or two. Agent Gibbs is the worlds most dangerous man.
Impressive procrastination require creative solutions. Maybe I should try a stream of consciousness approach to beer reviews. Let the stream begin. Sounds like I just faced off with the urinal.
Octofox from Phillips was a usual release from the boys and girls on Government street. It was a well done bomber of hoppy goodness. This one was more on the tropical side: mangoes, pineapple and caramel apples. When I think about, has any new Phillips release been anything but hoppy?  I'm not talking about the revisited favourites like the Rifflandia beer. The Kangarooster keg was another hoppy American IPA. I'm sure this scary clown beer will also be a hop bomb too. Let's give the Octofox a seven; it was darn tasty. The Kangarooster beer gets a four. There was a bit of funk in there that might not have been intentional. I might not drink the scary clown beer, I have this thing against buying six packs. Maybe it will be on tap at the Drake. On my shopping list there will most certainly be the Gerry Hieter Cherry Ale. Why are there all these Phillips releases all of a sudden? Oh right... The advent calendar. There was an article in the Boulevard magazine with Matt Phillips which stated that each beer would be different.
Who else released beer this week. Not sure about Spinnakers, there have been no emails from them lately. Either they have nothing to say or no one is handling the media emails. Could be both. In the past, I have visited the historic waterfront brewpub and found new beers on tap with no press release. The coffee and spoke beer comes to mind. Mind you, this was a few months ago.This might have been the first cold brewed coffee beer produced in Victoria. Cold brew coffee is proper; it showcases a good quality bean.
What else have I drank this week? Road Trip by Lighthouse was nice. A fresh hopped beer that is not an IPA/PA is refreshing. Sadly the American brown style Road Trip does not really display the fresh hop goodness well. It does makes for a tasty, juicy hop beer. This one gets an eight; pair it will roast (either vegan or flesh) and gravy. Glass? Anything pretty will do. I should insert a picture in here soon... There - perfect.
This photo brings me to my next beer: BenchWarmer by Moon Under Water. This beer is fricken great. Well done John Adair and Jeff! This blonde brew packs lots of cereal and oat malts with understated flowery and spicy hops. There is a bit of lemon citrus for good measure. This beer gets a nine! Definitely serve in a Star Wars glass. Pair with a lemon breaded trout or any creamy pasta. This might even go well with a Hollandaise sauce. I can't wait to try the Moon's other collaboration with Molsons. There is more to this story, but Altbier is a good ending.
I forgot to mention the fresh hopped beers. Satori was awesome, as usual.Was a little disappointment with the Wolf Vine this year. It smelled and tasted like wet dog. Looking forward to the Phillips fresh hop release in Mid October; doesn't seem very fresh thought. Didn't this same thing happen a few years ago?
There. I'm all caught up, you figure out your own pairing.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Phillips 13 Knot Anniversary


I have seen some great marketing ideas during my blogging days. There have beers in pine boxes. One litre sized cans in a German stein was nice. Glow in the dark labels are fun. Bottles hand wrapped in paper are very elegant. No one can deny the pull of an Advent Calendar full of beer. This marketing idea by Phillips almost tops them all. Who can pass up an drink combination that could be called the PNW boilermaker? An imperial IPA with a side of liqueur, this is great. Reminds me of something the legendary Bert Grant was rumoured to have done. He would place a few drops of hop oil extract into any beer he was drinking if it was deemed underhopped. There is a nice write up about the pricing and legality on Brian's Blog. So how does this marketing gimmick taste?

Phillips 13 Knot = 8/10

This review will be in three parts; IPA only, liqueur only and both together. Perhaps we should start with the best part, the Hop Drop liqueur. I am certainly not an expert on spirits, but this hop drop is darn tasty. The favour is similar to a dry hopped mezcal. Ample honey sweetness and smooth with a slight pine and citrus addition. Very nice. This the best part of the package. Drink the spirit, trade the beer.

The Impy IPA on its own tastes like any other Phillips hop bomb. It reminded me like last years anniversary IPA and the year before last years. A beverage sure to please the hop heads in BC. Massive hop bitterness that is a mix of key limes, grass, pine and tropical fruits. The acidic mouthfeel feels like you did a face plant into a pile of pine needles. Once the initial attack fades, there is a lot of flavours to work through. There is cotton candy, pine sol, geraniums, pie crusts (Thanks Brian), and bread dough.

The two parts together make it a quite syrupy sip with acetone vapours. It almost becomes hard to taste anything, but there are whole wheat croissants, pine resin and a citrus fruit basket.

Interesting fact: It is illegal in some states to display a noose. 

Taste +3
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 (11.8 or 13%)
Value +1 (the liqueur is worth the cost)
Appearance +1 Great packaging

Glassware: Definitely a tulip.

Food Pairings: I honestly can't think of any food that could stand up to this exorbitantly hopped beverage.

Cellar: Maybe, since I plan to have a few bottles left over.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Schottleweizen (Phillips)

I'm a pensive fanboy for style combinations. At times the blending of brewing techniques can yield new flavours. Or it can go wrong and raise the question, "How do I spit out this mouthful of beer in a crowded bar?" Luckily this bottle by Phillips hits the former category. This tees up a stronger dark malt base (dunkel?) and allows a saison yeast to dive in an do its thing. Will spicy phenolics mesh with a rich, dark fruity malt canvas? I'm sure others will disagree with my thoughts.

Schottleweizen = 7/10


From the start, the spicy phenolics dominate the nose. There might be a little dark bread if you dip your nose into the foam. Each chewy mouthful supplies something new. The Schottleweizen is all over the map with flavours of dark breads, chocolate, prunes, bananas esters intertwined with a spicy saison yeast. It fades just as it starts. Perhaps a little unfocused but still very tasty.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 7.5%
Value +1
Appearance 0 (barely. Nice art and a vague description of how beer will taste)

Glassware: Definitely need a weisse glass to accommodate the massive head on this beer.

Food Pairings:Something dark and spicy will work well here. Chicken mole or Jamaican jerk might be in order. What cheese, what cheese? Let's be bold and pair this with a roquefort. If you like desert, try this with flamed bananas with a cinnamon rum glaze.

Cellar: Nope. Most of the flavours are yeast dependent and should fade quickly.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Twisted Oak Rye Bock (Phillips)


Brevity shall be the order of writing today. Not due to lack of verbiage but lack of positive things to say. I think Mr. Beaumont mentioned a few months ago that not all things need to be barrel aged. Barrel aging will not make things inherently good.

Twisted Oak Rye Bock = 3/10


Perhaps this is a bit nit picky, but where to start - the aroma. It is very faint of cola, spicy rye and cardboard. Wood aging can round out a beer's flavour with complimentary oxidization; mild beers just smell like musty wood. The mouthfeel is right on at light to medium and lowish carbonation. Perhaps mild flavoured beers do not mesh well with barrel aging. I love that spicy, powdery rye flavour like a good Canadian. This beer just doesn't cut it. Each sip is lackluster with temperate tastes of cola, tannic oak, stale coffee and watered down Jack Daniels. The ending is a little boozy and metallic. Great pangs of guilt sting my fingers with each tap of the keyboard, but unbiased thoughts are paramount. To be fair the other two barrel aged beers by Phillips have been great: rum barrel red ale and Scotch ale.

Taste +1
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content +1 6.8% AB1
Value 0
Appearance +1 (Elegant label with good description of beer)

Glassware: Technically this is a lager, so elongated pint glasses or mugs are called for. Seeing this is a barrel aged version, perhaps something slightly rounded would be good. A red wine glass would do well.

Food Pairings: Normally bocks are rich and pair well with wild game or rich bread dishes. This one, with its rich tannic notes, might do well with cedar smoked salmon.

Cellar: Nope



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.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kaleidoscope Mosiac IPA (Phillips)

Tonight will be a quick review as I am packing to head up island. This is essentially Hop Circle with the new and trendy Mosiac hop. The Mosiac hop is the daughter of Simcoe mommy and Nugget daddy as bred by the Hop Breeding Company (HBC) aka. Select Botanicals Group. It has been described as Citra (also a HBC variety) on steroids.

Kaleidoscope Mosiac IPA = 8/10


It is great to taste single hops variety IPAs. This way one can learn all the unique flavours in order to try and pick it out of other beers. Doesn't everyone do this? The nose is slightly grassy/earthy with hints of tropical fruit punch. Sweet tropical fruits slash across in every sip. Mosaic delivers guava, papaya and maybe pineapple in an oddly unbitter like fashion. I'm sure the IBUs are mountainous but the mouth puckering is just not there, which is nice. I would have liked to see a bit more malt depth, but you can't have it all. Why won't this sweet citrus tongue coating go away?

Taste +3
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 6.5%
Value +1
Appearance+1 (always great label art and reasonable description of beer)

Glassware: Shaker, pint or tulip

Food pairing: Aged cheddar or gouda. That stinky soft cheddar in the red plastic tub would work well. Think bold flavoured Indian food or Pho, even an arugula salad would be nice.

Cellar: Nope, drink fresh




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Twisted Oak Scotch Ale (Phillips)

One of the best, and worst, parts about blogging is that there is no set schedule. The spring months are forgiving because brewing efforts are focused on lawnchair lagers and away from new seasonals. Thankfully hockey season is over so new bombers should be hitting shelves soon. I think Lighthouse has something coming out Thursday. Moon has the Berliner Heist and Phillips has something out called the Elsinore? Must be in the showcase pack.
 
Twisted Oak Scotch Ale (Phillips) = 7/10


Immediately one assumes this will taste like an Innis and Gunn bottle. Not true. While it does share the familiar vanilla, caramel and whiskey nose; the Phillips version is not as overly sweet. It is all there: the sweet toffee, burning whiskey, aromatic vanilla and tannic oak. Each mildly carbonated and warming sip fades to coat the tongue with slight vanilla and whiskey notes. This was pretty good, worth the price anyways. I'm remember seeing a few boxes left at Hillside liquor store.


Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 6.8% but not hot
Value +1 pretty decent
Appearance +1 great label art and reasonable description of beer flavour