Showing posts with label lager. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lager. Show all posts

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

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

United Front by VIB and Steel and Oak

I am a little bit behind, so most likely everyone has processed/recycled this beer already. If not, then you should go and drink one. The current trend in beers is to brew obscure and forgotten styles: gose, grisette, gratzer, etc. While the kellerbier/zwickelbier is not obscure it does by far have the coolest name. The United Front collaboration beer label states "unfiltered braun beer". When you say unfiltered lager, you might be referring to a kellerbier. This translates from the German to read "cellar beer", or beer served directly from the lagering cellar. Braun means that is the brown, as there are pale (helles) or amber (Marzen) versions of kellerbier. So what did the beer prick think about the front?

United Front = 6/10


The aroma was a little subdued with hints of mint and lettuce; so a well lagered aroma. Dissolved yeast provided a suitable mild to medium mouthfeel with a slight slickness of diacetyl. Diacetyl was low which is suitable for this style. As with any beer that declares the use of Vienna style malts, the dominate flavours were lightly toasted, grainy with small amounts of earth. Rounding out the palate were dark fruits, prunes and a little green apple. Green apple is not unheard of for an unfiltered lager. These tastes did not linger and provided a clean finish.  


Taste +4
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0 5.8%
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:
SRM 16.5. On the label the EBC (European Brewing Convention) of 32.5 was stated. EBC= 1.97*SRM. This above the range for a Vienna lager (9-15), in the range for an altbier (11-17) and low end for a Munich Dunkel (14-28).
IBU 35. This IBU range makes it hoppier than most German lagers, except for the altbier which has a very wide range (25-50).

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Una Mas by Canoe and Salt Spring Island

I am a slacker. I have not reviewed a beer for weeks. That is it! I commit to review a local beer every weekend. Luckily it is the summer and new releases are scarce. Sometimes I wonder why I do it. It is not as though this blog has a great number of readers. There is little fame and even fewer fortunes derived from blogging. Perhaps it is the community (small) and the creative process. Kinda like brewing itself. You take raw ingredients, add knowledge and you produce a unique and desirable product. That is the theory.
But I digress. This is another Victoria area beer collaboration.  Salt Spring Island is a little far away, but they are close enough. I had some reservation about this beer. Both of these breweries are known for unleashing diacetyl (D-bomb) beers. Now you put them together...

Una Mas = -1/10


Ratebeer no ratings 
Beer Advocate no mention

Oh yes, there is the diacetyl and sulfur I was dreading. It is mixed in with a cracker aroma and slight lager character. There is a bit of lemon and cream corn in there too. The mouthfeel is light to moderate with medium carbonation. Chewiness is the best way to describe the sip. Add that to crackers, a slight lemon and mixed citrus flavours. It is the aftertaste that really gets me; quite slick and sticky. I don't think I finished the bomber. Lets not talk about the pint I had on Canoe's patio. This is not going to be posted on Twitter or anywhere else. Some people quite liked this beer.

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

Glassware: Standard lager glass

Food Pairings: Nope

Cellar: I'm sure this beer will see a lot of shelf time

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Helios by Hoyne Brewing

Excitement often fills my boots when there is a new beer release in town. Will it be a sour? barrel aged? imperial something-or-other? perhaps exotic hops? The excitement faded quickly when I read the description on the Hoyne release; Dortmunder style. Perhaps I should explain. The Dortmunder style originates for the industrial city of Dortmund, Westphalia. It is your standard German light lager. Slightly tasty, mildly sweet, yet very clean. The classic example is that DAB can that is found everywhere. The most exciting thing about DAB is the can. You could fit the full description of DAB in a twitter post. The only other Dortmund style is the Howe Sound Lager. This beer doesn't garnish that much enthusiasm either. I was not very excited about opening this bomber.

Helios = 7/10


This beer is rather tasty. It pours a shimmering light gold colour that is capped by a long lasting white head. The initial aroma is a little offsetting. There is quite a sulfur presence, but that fades quickly to reveal bread and caramel notes. Perhaps you can pick up a little spicy or herbal hops if you try. It drinks a little on the sweet side but the cooling carbonation and slight mineral taste keeps it in balance. The ending is clean with only the slightest of sweet herbal linger. A nice, easy drinking beer.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 6%abv
Value +1 A decent beer
Appearance +1 (nice artwork and a reasonable description of beer taste)

Glassware: Standard lager or pint glass

Food Pairings: The flavours are fairly calm, so it will go with anything. It is sweet enough to calm spicy Thai and Mexican food. This would go well with mushroom Stroganoff.

Cellar: nope

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Storm Watcher Winter Lager (VIB)

The Storm Watcher from VIB will be their winter rotation beer. It replaces the Beachcomber for Victoria's cold season. Hopefully this beer will not be overlooked, but I fear it might. In the winter there is always a plethora of big and bold releases: pumpkin beers, fresh hopped ales, barley wines and stouts. Hopefully this one is not lost in the rush of releases, because it is a nice little brew. I got my six pack early, but the Storm Watcher should hit the CBAW shelves Monday morning.


Storm Watcher Winter Lager = 6/10

This ruby red brew is nice to look at, even though there is no foamy head. Despite the lack of head, it still offers up hints of vanilla and caramel with little hop presence. A cool creaminess delivers lots of malts - think toffee, caramel, slight coffee, honey and biscuits. There is also a continuous presence of vanilla that is not overpowering. The ending is sweet, quenching and ever so slightly astringent.  The storm watcher will appeal to beer drinkers who like their brews on the sweet side. This would pair perfectly with an unsmoked ham and cheese sandwich on rye. Perhaps a caramelized onion and mushroom cream sauce over buckwheat noodles. Maybe a desert of sticky toffee pudding would accentuate this lagers sweetness. Come to think of it, the Storm Watcher could be used to make a hot toddy. That would help to keep the winter chill away.


Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.5
Value +1
Appearance +1 (really nice artwork and a good description of flavour)

Other Wintery Reviews:
Red Racer Winter Warmer

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Longboard Island Lager (Kona)

Everyone needs a good lager once in a while. I'm sure a lot of finger wagging is going on right now, but it's true. Your beer palate needs a little rest every so often.


Longboard Island Lager (Kona) = 3/10
Ratebeer 2.79 31st percentile
Beer Advocate 78th

Nothing really to see here. It's a premium style lager, so anyone can predict the flavours off by heart. The glass smells of straw, water, lemons and the barest of honey. A light to medium mouthfeel serves up a crisp superfecta of straw, apple, spicy and earthy hops. Only a mid-grade linger of straw and honey remains. It's an above average lager.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content -1 4.6%
Value 0
Appearance 0

Other Lager Reviews
Lucky Force 8 100th review
Brooklyn Lager
Galt Knife Old Style Lager

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Shiner Bock

Crap! I have to make an effort to say something witty and smrt sounding because people are reading. So this one of the most well known brands of beer in the US. It's not on par with BUD, but more the Pabst level. It is also a poser beer. It's not a bock for a few reasons. The first is that it is weak. The second is that it is weak. The third is that is doesn't come from un-spellable town in Belgium. The fourth is that you can see through it. Forget the fifth, tick tick tick. I bought this beer based on name alone.


Shiner Bock = 2/10
Ratebeer 2.58 19th  percentile
Beer Advocate 71%

This reminds me of another beer that calls itself a bock, but doesn't taste like one. FYI the local on tastes really good. Even BJCP calls it an American Dark Lager. I call it weak smelling of light lager and grass. YES, lager is a smell, check the dictionary. While you are busy with that: the taste is boring toffee, egg whites and buttery. This brew would taste great over popcorn. Thankfully the ending was quick; just like a last drop. Overall it sux. That is a bit harsh. Call it a gateway beer, until you drink some real craft beer. Grab a New Belgium Ranger and mess yourself up.

Taste +2
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content -1 4.4%
Value 0
Appearance +1 (legendary name alone wins)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cameron Dark 266

This beer produces thought of the brewer referred to as Deebs at Phillips Brewing. It's a very obscure inside joke. Does he still own that Red Wings jersey? Nevermind. Life us rough for an obsessive beer ticker; gotta get thru these 33beer journals. This is 3 of 16!

Cameron Dark 266 = 4/10
Ratebeer 2.91 40th percentile
Beer Advocate 76%

The nose is unimpressive with light straw and roast chocolate. We all know what a well done dark lager tastes like. There is lightly astringent chocolate upfront mixed with toast. Then there is this herbal and citrus hop bite at the end; vary the hop bite a little bit. The Cameron had more hops throughout the sip than expected. You can guess the ending. Wait I will spoil it for you: lightly roasted, toast with Nutella and weak marmalade. It was simple and tasty.


Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 4.5%
Value 0
Appearance 0

Other dark lager reviews
Midnight Sessions Dark Lager YES!
Jacobsen Dark Lager Maybe
Okanagan Spring Dark Lager NO




Friday, November 18, 2011

Midnight Session Lager



Midnight Session Lager = 6/10

Ratebeer 3.69 98th  percentile
Beer Advocate B+

This beer is as dark as my heart. You can probably guess what it smells like. You're right; roasted chocolate and pale grass. The sip has that roasted astringency up front with more alcohol warmth than you might expect. If you like it roasted, then this one will not disappoint. The top of the mouth tingles with wood, vanilla and over toasted whole wheat bread. It might have scored higher with less roast. Did I mention it was very roasty? At least it was better than the Pacific Western Schwarzbock. I'm still mad that they released that in cans after I bought the limited edition boxset!

Taste +3
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value 0
Appearance +1 (always great labels)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fischer Tradition

Let it be known, my choice to buy this beer was so that I could use the bottle for homebrewing

Fischer Tradition = 0/10

Ratebeer 2.19/5 9th percentile
Beer Advocate C

The aroma from this lifeless beer reminded me of grass, vegetables, wet paper and urine. It's flavour was no better: lettuce, grass and metallic corn. Luckily the acidic/astringent metallic and herbal hop snap at the end was short lived. It wasn't so much a snap, but a tongue smack with a wet lasagna noodle. Sometimes I think beers are exported because no one will drink this crap back home.

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

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Folly of Optimism

Today I had a choice. We always have a choice, that is if you believe in free will. I do not. A random series of events placed me in front of a row of beer coolers after work. The illusion of choice was the 2011 Driftwood Satori or the Phillips Eternal Optimist. If my choice was truly free, I would have asked the guy behind the desk to grab me a bottle of Grand River Russian Gun Imperial Stout! Sadly this did not happen, so I set the thinking cogs in motion.
My palate was in an abused frame of mind. So it chose the Phillips. Odd, I have never been to Stockholm. The next question you might ask is why not purchase both? I only had room on my bicycle for one bottle; again lack of free choice.

Phillips Eternal Optimist = 1/10

There was great optimism as I viewed this beer in the glass. The colour was clear, golden and the aroma was very inviting. It was a mixture of pine, floral and faint cotton candy sweetness. The first sip revealed a medium body beer, ample carbonation and a slight astringency. Shit, I chose wrong. Yes, I know DMS is permissible in lagers. Not this much. The cabbage and lettuce coated the tongue with a mild thickness. Next the pine astringency took hold with no malt backbone to restrain it. Just when things couldn't get better, soapiness. A lingering of astringent pine, soap and would not go away. This was not really a bad beer, like say Fischer, but it wasn't great either.

Taste 0
Aftertaste -1
Alcohol Content +1 6%
Value 0
Appearance +1 Cool label and fun name.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Phoenix Gold Lager (Phillips)

I was not expecting much while sampling this beer. When you set your bar low, you will always succeed. That should be on a fortune cookie. Anyways: the Phoenix.

Phoenix Gold Lager (Phillips) = 3/10

It's a lager and smells as such: honey, grass and a little lettuce. There was good carbonation which made easy drinking of this relatively flavourless lager. Every sip was clean with straw, honey and a mildly spicy hop snap at the end. The ending was dry with only the slightest of hop linger. It is what it is, a very approachable lager.

Taste +2
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance 0

Friday, June 24, 2011

Iceholes Celebration Lager

I remember this beer; it was a response to Stephen Colbert calling us a bunch of syrup-sucking iceholes. Apparently other nations were not allowed to practice in certain official venues during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Iceholes Celebration Lager = 5/10

Lagers never score well under my rating system; this one was nice. The nose was very.. well, lager like. There was a bit of vegetal and slight hints of lemon. It was very smooth on the tongue with a good snap of spicy and floral hops. The Icehole restored my faith in lagers. It blended familiar flavors like lemon, lettuce with new ones of cotton candy and candied corn. I miss the Olympics and this beer.

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

Friday, June 17, 2011

Galt Knife Old Style Lager (Grand River)

Thank goodness, this is the last entry in one of my 33beers books. Only 8 more to go.

Galt Knife Old Style Lager = 4/10 (Grand River)

Ratebeer 3.31 83rd percentile
Beer Advocate B

This is a pre-prohibition style lager. Basically it means it has flavour; this is in stark contrast to most lagers today. And flavour it has. The nose is shocking for a lager: caramel malty, floral hops and slight vegetal. This brew is big on the vegetal which gives it a creamy, yet thin, mouthfeel. After the mouth coating of butter fades off, you get lots of floral/resinous hops and straw, caramel and bready malts. This is not a fair review because I generally do not like lagers, especially old style ones. Galt knife is a good example of this style. If you like this style you will love this beer.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content -1 4.4%
Value 0
Appearance +1

Stiegl and is addiction really so bad?
Old Towne Bavarian Lager (Swan's)
Session Premium Lager

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hebckoe

My Father's brought this beer back from his trip to Estonia. You can tell from the can that this is a mass produced light lager. The taste will probable be predictable.

Hebckoe 2/10

Ratebeer (not rated)
Beer Advocate C (1 review)

Yup just as I expected: the nose is faint with honey, straw, lettuce and a vague iciness. With loads of carbonation, Hebckoe delivers its standard load of light grasses and off-sweet honey. Luckily there was little vegetal but sadly no hop snap. There was no linger. It was a plain, easy drinking and unmemorable foreign pale lager.


Taste +2
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value 0
Appearance 0 (plain, unremarkable 500ml can)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trafalgar Grand Lager


I like a light beer. Yes, I admit some light beers are tasty. This is not to endorse mass produced pale light lagers; it's a call to praise the flavourful low alcohol brew. Moon Under Water has a bunch. It can be frustrating to see a new bomber release at 8-9%ABV. That beer is going to punish my innards.

Trafalgar Grand Lager 8/10

Trafalgar Ales and Meads
in good old TO produced a great 4% lager. There was no scrimping on the nose. A glorious waft of grains, honey and slight apply juice graced your nares. A tart grain and honey taste started the sip. The rest of the drink was spicy hops, straw and honey. A long drink it was. The spicy hop linger was longer than expected and a pleasant surprise. Truly a great session beer.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 in this case 4% was a plus
Value +1
Appearance +1 label was a gift card, perfect for sharing.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Duel of the Dunkels

I bought a six pack of Phillips Dr. Funk to watch the Superbowl. To those that know me, watching me buy beer in a @#$#@ing nightmare. The average person takes 3 minutes to buy beer at Cook Street CBAW. I was in there for 20 minutes! After much debate I decided to go local and buy some Phillips. My first impression was that this beer tasted metallic, overly roasted bitter and too much like cream corn. Perhaps I was being a little harsh so I decided to do a head to head with a known Bavarian/Munich Dark Lager. It doesn't end well.

Dr Funk Dunkel =4/10
Ratebeer 3.3/5 3 ratings
Beer Advocate C+

The nose on this one was slightly vegetally with roasted nuts, baseball mitt and whole grain toast. The mouthfeel was a little thin but do-able. Up front there is a pronounced metallic bitterness that I couldn't place. Once that left, a good wash of roasted malts took over: faint chocolate, toast and almonds. Aftertaste was clean with only a slight astringent snap of roast nuts remaining. Perhaps I was a little harsh on my first assessment, this was not too bad. As it warmed up the roasted vegetables got more pronounced.

Taste +2
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value 0
Appearance +1 (everyone likes a potential copyright infringement lawsuit).


Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel =7/10
Ratebeer 3.58 95th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

The nose was fainter, no vegetal, with whole wheat toast and weak coffee. There is a difference between whole wheat and whole grain toast; I can't believe I just said that. While lighter in colour it was smoother in taste. No bitterness up front, just a creamy wash of caramel, toasted almonds, cold coffee and cheap dry chocolate. Very smooth and creamy; truly a pleasure to drink. Little residual flavours, only an enjoyable warmth of caramel. The flavours changed little as the brew warmed up, maybe a little more roasted coffee. BTW if you spell this beer in Scrabble you instantly win.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (the colour of the pour is an amazing deep mahogany)

Needless to say I slammed the Funk back and savoured the remaining Ayinger.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mill Street Organic Lager

I had this on draft at the College Street Bar in Toronto. Mill Street Brewery always produces great brews. They may not be experimental but always solid.

Mill Street Organic Lager = 8/10
Ratebeer 2.27 12th percentile
Beer Advocate C+

Despite the low scores on RB and BA, I thought this beer was excellent on draft. This pale, low ABV lager emitted a surprising amount of straw, light peanuts, apricots and other light fruits. The taste was equally surprising: a pleasant mix of dry peanuts, lemon, straw and pale fruits. Sadly it has a clean finish. Perhaps it was the uberhip location or my demanding thirst, but I found this beer to be extremely delicious and refreshing.

Taste +5
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content +1 4.2% (this gets a positive because of big flavour and low ABV)
Value +1
Appearance +1

Granville Island Lager
Session Premium Lager
Brooklyn Lager

Monday, January 10, 2011

Neuschwansteiner

I will admit buying this beer purely on packaging alone. This officially is a Munich Helles Lager. It was German brewers response to the very popular Czech Pilsner. The helles tend to be a bit maltier with less spicy hop flavours.

Neuschwansteiner 5/10

Ratebeer 2.75 30th percentile
Beer Advocate B

The pour was very clear and yellow so I did not expect much. Here is where that story ends. Glorious was the large floral hop nose with ample sweet grasses. A spicy/herbal hop snap up front mixed well with the good carbonation. The malts fought back with calming pale grasses and honey. It ended very dry and clean with only a hint of spicy honey leftover. I will never look at a lager the same again.

The castle on the label is Neuschwantein castle in Bavaria. I know this castle well; it was the inspiration for the Disney castle. I see this structure a lot.

Taste +4
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content -1 4.7%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (Perhaps the nicest label so far)

Stiegl and is addiction really so bad?
Old Towne Bavarian Lager (Swan's)
Grolsch