Showing posts with label Spinnakers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spinnakers. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Spinnakers Cerveza Resposado

I love barrel aged beers. Contact with the wood mellows harsh flavours and can impose unique flavours upon a beer. Such is the case with this release from Spinnakers, the barrel aged Cerveza. Aged in freshly emptied Mexican tequila barrels, one can immediately pick out the flavours of tequila right away. While I was not keen on the addition of citrus zest and salt, this beer was simple and tasty. Good tequila is sipped, like a fine vodka, rum or whiskey, not shot back with a salt lick and a lemon wedge. But this is just my snootiness coming though.

Spinnakers Cerveza Resposado = 6/10


I should really rethink my rating scale because tasty beers like this never get high scores. The nose does not shock with it's calm gold tequila hints and wood character. Each sip too is one dimensional with golden ale, citrus (both from hop and additions), crackers, tequila and wood tannins. The tequila flavour was subtle and not overpowering. It was a little salty, not gose salty, but just enough to linger on the lips. Overall I liked it and you should too. That is unless you have had a recent bad experience with tequila and are adverse to the flavour flashback. I'm decades out of college, so I was fine.

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

Glassware: Whatever is clean. A simple pint glass will do.

Food Pairings: Light fare would be best, perhaps seafood. Something with lemon and salt to resonate with the beer. This just screams fish and chips

Cellar: Nope

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Snakebite by Spinnakers


While is not really a beer, but a bottled cocktail, this shall be an short review. The snakebite is a beverage that is equal parts cider and lager. Presumably Spinnakers mixes the Kolsch and their house cider.

Snakebite = 4/10


The low score does not really indicate a bad beer, negative numbers would show that. This beer is just, well... bland. Green apple tartness from the cider blends equally with the cereal tastes of the lager. With a tart and dry finish, the Snakebite is certain to be a patio sipper. Some will sip for refreshment, I kept sipping to find flavours. Not many were noticed.


Taste +2
After taste +1
Alcohol +1 6%
Value 0

label 0

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spinnakers Red Fife Dunkelweizen

I am catching up, this one was from May. Doubt you can find this one in stores anymore, too bad it was rather nice. Perhaps I should try and give a bit on knowledge, the limited amount that I have. Dunkelwiezen is loosely translated into dark wheat ale. This dunkel is an ale, as contrasted with a Munich dunkel which is a lager. This style of wheat beer is middle of the road beer. Nothing too flashy, IBU bitterness not too high and ABV in the normal range. The unique flavours come from a combination of lots of wheat malt used, usually 50% or higher, and a wonderful German wheat yeast. This yeast produces all sorts of spicy phenols and fruity esters. Cloves and pepper flavours are from the phenols and the banana and bubblegum are fruity esters. For those that want to get super beer geeky, take a whiff of a wheat beer and say, "Mmmm, love that isoamyl acetate and 4-vinyl guaiacol. These and the chemical compounds associated with the flavours of bananas and cloves, respectively. Enough knowledge, what about the beer.

Red Fife Dunkelweizen = 5/10


Beers like this are rarely highly rated because they are just simple and nice. Nothing too flashy in the nose, just the expected toasted banana bread, cloves and mild vanilla. The sip is spot on with a creamy fruitiness with hints of chocolate, wheat cakes and saw dust. There was a bit of soy in there, but nothing outrageous. My finish was a banana bread creaminess the faded quickly away. Just a simple and tasty sipper.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 4.5% (yay for a session strength ale)
Value +1
Appearance 0

Glassware: Most certainly a German weizen glass. This glass is unique with a tall body and an exaggeratedly large bowl at the top. These beers tend to produce a large fluffy head due to larger than usual amounts of protein from the wheat malts. I love these glasses because they are often very ornate with great art and sometimes gold rims.

Food Pairings: Most anything will do as the beer flavours are calm. Something grilled and slightly fatty would work nice, maybe with some breadiness too. I'm thinking of a spicy sausage sandwich.

Cellar: Nope. Then again I had a many year old Aventinus and it was stellar

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Spinnakers Belgian Porter

Why can't someone just release a normal porter? There are flavoured porters, imperial porters and now a Belgian porter. The porter is a wonderfully drinkable beer. It is a perfect blend of equal parts
roast, chocolate and earthy hops. I'm not sure how a usually spicy yeast will play upon a balanced dark ale.

Spinnakers Belgian Porter = 7/10

The nose is very porter-like with dark fruits/berries, dry chocolate and a slight bit of ash. There is a mild hint of the spicy yeast flavours apparent in the nose. This porter is a smooth sip with one surprise. A slightly minty hop flavour is balanced with bittersweet chocolate, dried berries and potted plant. The Belgian yeast only provides the slightest of spiciness. It is most noticeable in the short lived, calm spicy chocolate linger.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 6%
Value +1
Appearance +1


Glassware: A tulip would be optimal but anything will do

Food pairing. Think of things roasted, earthy or fruity. Might be nice with a spicy Mexican chocolate cake. I would choose a grilled Portabello mushroom burger.

Cheese: This beer could stand up to some potent cheeses. A mild Stilton would be nice or a smoked Gouda.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spinnakers Three Way Review

I never like giving bad reviews. This review almost never left my desk, but then I thought of what  my beer friends would say. It was some kitten poster saying like "tell it like it is", "believe in your palate" and "you have a duty".  So, here it goes.

Not every beer is perfect. Sometimes brewers must take a chance and brew up something new. This is where the Hopscotch Scottich IPA steps in. It is touted as a Scottish IPA: a malty, caramelized brew with super galena hops. The super galena is a very high alpha/beta acid hop variety. This sounded really good in theory, but somewhere, things went wrong. What do I know, people on Untappd gave it 3.5 stars. However the word "interesting" shows up a lot with the experienced reviewers.

Hopscotch IPA = -2/10


The nose presented benign enough, only the faintest whiff of earthiness and caramel. Things started
off great, the earthy sweetness mixed with bready malts and a vague hop bitterness. Caramel was oddly absent, which is usual for a Scottish ale, but acceptable. Then came the wicked aftertaste: massive, tongue scraping slickness. Could this be a diacetyl bomb? Scottish strong ale do have some diacetyl, but not this much. Perhaps it was overenthusiastic use of a very bitter hop? Hard to tell. Mrs Left4beer made me dump it out because I just kept tasting it; trying to figure out what the off flavour was. Perhaps I got a bad bottle, if so, I wasn't the only one.

Taste +1
Aftertaste -2
Alcohol Content 0 6.4%
Value -1
Appearance 0

Glassware: Traditionally the difficult to find Scottish thistle glass. A pint glass or tulip would do in a pinch.


There must always be balance. Which is why the next beer has a good review. The strong Scottish Ale or "Wee Heavy" can be a thing of beauty. Rich and malty, with ample peat and dark fruit flavours. The Keg Tosser did not disappoint.

Keg Tosser = 8/10

Read the BJCP guidelines for 9E, Strong Scottish Ale, and it is all there. Deep malty nose with caramel, peat and mild fruit esters. Tick. A full and chewy sip delivers new tastes each time. with the first gulp, flavours of caramel, vanilla and peat rise up. Next time, you could be graced with dark fruits, plums or even pecans. Throughout it all there is a firm boozy sweetness to keep you focused. Excellent.


Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 8%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (I like the new label graphics)

Glassware: Traditionally the difficult to find Scottish thistle glass. A pint glass or tulip would do in a pinch.

Food Pairings: Contrast with beers sweetness with something sour. Perhaps a lemon/lime fish fillet or a grilled cheese and sauerkraut sandwich. Or use its sweet characteristic to calm spicy Thai food

Cellar: Generally not. But it would be a fun experiment. The malt flavours are complex and enough ABV to keep things safe.

I alluded to there being a third. If you are still reading, the Ogden Porter is an old recipe but still a good beer.

Ogden Porter = 6/10

Brown porters tend to be one of the calmer beers. The Ogden nose was a mild, but prepared you for the roasted and fruity flavours to come. Each sip was a simple and linear presentation of mild coffee, chocolate, blackberries and roasted whole wheat bread. Nothing overly harsh or outstanding anywhere. Some might overlook this beer with all the uber IPAs and imperial what-nots on the menu. This is sad, because the world needs serene, simple beverages.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.5%ABV
Value +1
Appearance +1 (always better at the source)

Glassware: Straight up pint glass.

Food Pairings: Nothing overly flavourful. I'm thinking of a grilled cheese sandwich. Actually, this might work with a peanut butter and nutella sandwich. Focus on mild roasted and slightly sweet flavours. A mild cheddar and hazelnut soup just popped into my mind.

Cellar: Nope.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Choc-O-Holic (Spinnakers)

I heard this beer did so well that Spinnakers had to buy some beer back to stock its own off sales. This is believable, it is a darn tasty beer with everyone's favourite ingredient. The trend in Victoria beers is to go after the chocolate porter market. Makes sense, apparently Phillips Longboat porter is the best selling bomber in BC.

Choc-O-Holic  = 6/10

Campfire mixes well with cool berries to make the nose happy. A roasted astringency starts an enjoyable sip of lagered berries and bittersweet milk chocolate. The mouth feel is medium with an odd cooling sensation. At the end, a dry cocoa dusting leaves a vague nutty finish. The Misses enjoyed it; that is the sign of a good chocolate porter. Very nice.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 7.75% (How did they get that number?)
Value +1
Appearance 0 Art was OK

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Spinnakers Two-Fer review

It is coming to the end of the year and I need to get my notes typed up for the 2011 year in review. This will be a double Spinnakers seasonal review. No photos because I was out with my family for dinner

Baltic Porter  =  8/10

I have had many a Baltic porter and this was a decent one. The body was a tad thin, but the slight smoked malts made up the difference. If you follow the local blogs: these malts were smoked in house with apple wood. All the needed bits were there: weak coffee, bittersweet chocolate and minor fruitiness. The linger was short lived with a dark lager smear. Very nice. I wish my glass wasn't a sampler size.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1
Value +1
Appearance +1 Always nice in brewpub

Biere De Noel = 6/10

This tasted almost identical to the Hoyne Gratitude. Nicely warming with a balance of sherry, wood, bready plums and mild spices. Very clean ending with only a hint of warmth. Well worth the price of admission.

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

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Das Razz (Spinnakers)

Sticking with the theme of the three fruits, here is the local raspberry addition to their strong abbey style ale.

Das Razz (Spinnakers) = 5/10
Ratebeer 3.29 64th percentile
Beer Advocate

A sweet, syrupy raspberry odour jumps from the glass. The cider-like, raspberry sweetness packs a fair bit of astringency and tartness. This will certainly appeal to cider drinkers. The cooling at the end carries the berry flavours away quickly. I thought it was a little sweet, but the Mrs. quite liked it.

Taste +2
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content +1 8.2%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Other 'fruity' reviews
Currant Noir
Fruli Strawberry
Cherish Kriek Lambic


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Currant Noir (Spinnakers)

Can beer bloggers make resolutions? Sure we can; this year I will make three resolutions.

First: Try each new release from Victoria breweries. This will be a tough one because Hoyne will have all new brews. VIB, Moon Under Water and Lighthouse have done many releases last year.

Second: Get the Extraordinary Badge on Untappd. That means you have sampled 1000 unique beers. I'm at 584 already.

Third: I know I have said this before; try and get all my 33Beer notebooks reviewed. This one is a pipe dream.


Currant Noir (Spinnakers) = 7/10
Ratebeer 3.21/5 59th percentile
Beer Advocate (5 reviews)


The nose is mostly tart black currants with a little yeast thrown in. At the start a pronounced black currant flavour coats every dental filling with a pleasant tart/sourness. The slight carbonation carried an afterthought of tastes: apricots, light pit fruits and raisins. Sour currants lingered for a while with it's good friend alcohol warmth. This is not the most unique beer in the world, but the added fruit flavours will appear to a much larger crowd. People who are not usually beer people will enjoy this beverage. The other flavours in the limited release fruit ménage à trois are raspberry and cherries.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 8.2%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (nice label art with a good description of beer and local ingredients)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Discovery Low Gravity Ale (Spinnakers)

We need more low ABV brews. Not the 0.5% grocery store type, and certainly not the 4.2% macro pale lager swill. I'm referring to the 3.8%-4.5% brews that actually have flavour. I was out with the boys at Moon Under Water last night. Their new brown ale was on my 'ticker' list; it was pretty decent. Dry toasted malts, faint herbal hops and a tad thin. Which is just what a brown ale should be: nice, simple and drinkable.

Then I had to go for another: the Blue Moon Bitter. This brew picked up top prize in the CAMRA Vancouver “Fest of Ale Spring Sessional Brewers" challenge. It was a much deserved nod of accomplishment. For a 3.8% brew it packs more aroma and taste than one would expect. If you like your bitters, this is one brew you must try.

This brings me to the new low ABV brew from Spinnakers. Their Discovery Low Gravity Ale floated in at a mere 3.8%ABV. But how does it taste?

Discovery Low Gravity Ale (Spinnakers) = 6/10

The nose is very faint of toasted cereals, grass and light minerals. As expected, the sip it was thin and very light bodied with almost no carbonation. Only the faintest of flavours came up but they were enough to fill the mouth nicely. There was whole wheat toast, thin sherry, and a small slap of herbal/mineral hops at the end. As the brew warmed up, a bit of nut and citrus (lime) fruitiness came out. The aftertaste is almost non-existant; just a dry nut, tongue coating. This beer is not for everyone. The macro crowd will ask what those odd flavours are. The big flavour beer geeks will wonder.. actually they would never try it. I liked it: very easy drinking and refreshing. At the bottom of the glass, there was no noticeable influence from the alcohol.

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content +1 3.8% (normally this would score a -1 but I can do what I want)
Value +1
Appearance +1 (nice label)

Stone Levitation Ale

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Iceberg Strong Pale Ale (Spinnaker's)

I learned lots of interesting stuff about the craft brewing industry whilst having a pint with the VIB guys. Some of it good, some of it bad and some not to be repeated. It might spoil peoples' vision about certain craft breweries. What I will tell you is that if the cask ale served at the Beagle Pub tonight came in bottles, I would buy several six packs. Well done Chris, it was delicious. The new beers from Phillips will be out soon, and I hear some of them are pretty good. Hopefully I can review them before that DamnBeerBlog guy. That is the correct blog name so I am not being rude. The Surly Blonde Ale will be sorely missed; I personally enjoyed the nail polish nose and green apple aftertaste.

Iceberg Strong Pale Ale = 8/10
Ratebeer 3.29 65th percentile
Beer Advocate A

I picked this up recently at the brewpub. The nose of truly effulgent with the hops (floral, pine and slight citrus). Despite the light soapiness and faint vegetal, I really liked this beer. The big florals up front gave way to lesser pine and citrus followings. The malts were very light with honey and dry grass. After it left the mouth, your scrapped tongue was painted with a hop head delight. It was all floral and pine hops. I take back, almost everything, bad said about Spinnaker's beers.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 6%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (fun label, elegant colour and nice lacing)

Russel IP'eh
Captain Sigs Northwestern Ale
Fat Tug IPA

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Beer


This is the first Vancouver Island beers drank in 2011. I mentioned previously that I intend to try every beer produced on our island. Spinnakers Happy New Beer is a Belgian witbier. Classic examples include Hoegaarden and Allagash white. This style usually has a high percentage of wheat and some added spices: coriander and orange peel are common. The kicker with this one is most of the ingredients were grown on the island: Mike Doehnel’s malted wheat & barley from the Saanich Peninsula and Saanich grown coriander.

Happy New Beer = 3/10
Ratebeer 3.2 (1 rating - thanks CapFlu)
Beer Advocate n/a

I was surprised by the forward nose: light spices, wheat, coriander and lemon. This must have been a poorly sealed bottle because there was no carbonation. These beers are usually very bubbly. The taste made up for it. There was ample yeast, lemon bread, light spices but it was a little lifeless. I'm sure it was the lack of carbonation because the flavours really grew on you. It all just faded away too quickly but left a touch of wheat and lemon. I would have picked this as a summer release and not a winter beer.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content -1 4.5%
Value 0
Appearance 0 (average label art)

Estrella Damm Inedit
Double Wit (Great Divide)
Celis White

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fog Fighter (Spinnakers)

Fog Fighter (Spinnakers)
Belgian Blonde Ale

Ratebeer 3.29 58th percentile
Beer Advocate A- (2 reviews)

I went into Spinnakers to pick up my cask festival tickets and it didn't feel right to not try something. So I sat the downstairs bar and had a quick glass.

Taste +3

This brew had all the markers of a great Belgian blonde ale. The nose was very light of apricots, yeast and rock candy. After a strong snap of alcohol burn the flavours settled in. They were right on the money with canned peaches, apricots, rock candy and a faint spiciness.

Aftertaste +2

It was a sweet lingering that was barely on the good side, not sickly but almost there. This was nicely enhanced by the tart yeast spiciness.

Alcohol Content +1 8%

The ABV was not listed, but the friendly barkeep said it was over 8%.

Value 0

It was very nice, but I wouldn't get it again. This rating might be a little biased, I had tasted the Delirium earlier. The Delirium was a truly delicious Belgian blonde ale.

Ingame Enhancement 0

This category should be changed, I don't play that much anymore. Maybe I should just start gaming more.

Overall 6/10

This was a good, solid Belgian blonde ale. All the flavours were represented: rock candy, apricots, spicy yeasts and tart alcohol burn. I had not been fond of the beers from Spinnakers lately; all the styles just seemed lackluster and watery. This had recently changed. The Kolsch they had on tap was simply delicious, this Belgian was also good. I will have to visit this place more often.

Trappist Achel Blond

Saint-Martin Blond
Salt Spring Golden Ale