Showing posts with label spice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spice. Show all posts

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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dough Head (Vancouver Island)

This is the first repeat of VIB bomber seasonals. Oddly I had a hard time finding this beer, it was sold out everywhere I went in Victoria. Perhaps this is a good sign. So what did I think?


Dough Head = 6/10

It is what it is: gingerbread beer. People who like this holiday delicacy will be all over this bottle. Those who are creeped out by simulated festive cannibalism (eating gingerbread men) should probably choose another bottle. The Doughy nose is delightful of wet gingerbread dough, heavy nutmeg, cloves and all spice. Might be a little ginger and cinnamon in there too, but mostly nutmeg. The sip delivers the same flavours in liquid form. Perhaps it feels a bit thin in the mouthfeel, but that is just me being picky. Enjoying one bottle is enough for me this year. Food pairings? Save this one for dessert; it would go well with pumpkin or sweet potato pie. This might actually taste pretty good warmed with a side dish of shortbread.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.5%
Value +1 it's nice
Appearance +1 (label adequately describes flavour)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dough Head Gingerbread Ale

Thanks to Jeff K for inviting me to the lovely (yet dated) Vancouver Island Brewery taproom. It is rare that I make a big deal about a beer; I have a reputation to maintain. I was not very excited about this beer, although it was very tasty. What did get me excited was rumours that there would be more seasonal releases by VIB. This is just what Victoria needs to grow its beer scene. With more options from the Island, people with have less desire to turn their palates elsewhere. Lighthouse is now doing special releases. Driftwood has been sending out advancing brews for a while. A locally malted sour beer, brilliant. Phillips just keeps cranking the releases out like Pez from a dispenser. I'm excited to see what Chris and the VIB boys release in the new year. There was even talk of a bomber bottling line. Here is a list of places where you can try this brew on tap.

Dough Head Gingerbread Ale = 6/10

This was a tasty little beer. The nose was just like you would expect after reading the description: cookie dough, cloves, slight nutmeg and cinnamon. The medium mouthfeel gave a slight chewy and tingling sensation from the spices. It actually tasted like gingerbread. A little dry and powdery with nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves. These flavours held on for just a little while.

Thanks to Jeff and Chris for doing some painful market research.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.2%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (fun art)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Old Sarsaparilla (Phillips)

This is something fun, a traditional root beer recipe. Sarsaparilla (Smilax febrifuga) was a common ingredient in old root beer concoctions. Traditionally, the root was used and was thought to help treat rheumatism, leprosy and syphilis. The saponins of sarsaparilla root can act as laxatives, diuretics and expectorants. There are other traditional root beer ingredients in this brew, so how does it taste?

Old Sarsaparilla (Phillips) =7/10

Two words: delicious, delicious. Not your usual ale; this beer is something unique. The aromas are full, spicy with nutmeg and that real rootbeer smell. Not that A&W crap but the good Henry Weinhards stuff. This beer's tastes are all herbals and spices. The spice rack flavours include: cloves, nutmeg, dusty roots and cooling menthol. At the end, a dusty ginger and nutmeg taste is all that remains of this effervescent brew. I couldn't drink a lot of it, but I'm glad to have tried it. Well done!

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance +1 Fun, retro old west style label

Other spiced beers
Saison Du Buff
Tree Spiced Reserve


Friday, June 17, 2011

Edelwiess Weissbier Snowfresh

I have no idea why this runaway 33beers thing is bugging me. You take notes, you write them up and you are done. The problem is that they are not getting written up. I sample between 2-3 new beers a week. If it is a Dave beer party, make that 11. Only one or two beers get written up a week; you do the math. For a goal orientated person, this is torture.

Edelwiess Weissbier Snowfresh = 7/10

Ratebeer 3.25 77th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

So this is a wheat beer. Apparently it is spiced, which comes through in the slightly medicinal nose. It goes well with the wheat, scones, yeast and lemon/citrus normally associated with this style. The taste goes a little further. Yes there are lemons, tart yeasts, floral and spicy notes. What is nice is this little herbal blast at the end; almost like someone dropped a Ricola in you glass. Very refreshing.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Midas Touch and how far will you drive for cheap beer
Saison du buff

Spice Reserve (Tree Brewing)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Spiced Reserve (Tree Brewing)

Sometimes procrastination can be a very handy way to solve problems. I have not found the time to write up the Spiced Reserve Ale by Tree Brewing. This beer was released in Fall 2009. Now is the perfect time to write it up since this year's version is going to be released soon.

Ratebeer 3.13 48 percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +4

Like most winter warmers, the nose is heavy on the caramel. There is also a bit of roasted grains in every sip. The real difference is the spices that warm the back of your tongue: cinnamon, cloves, ginger. It will remind you of a mulled spice drink. There isn't much of a hop presence; I think can taste a little banana in there.

Aftertaste +2

It had a long spicy finish that coated the tongue. There was a little bit of soapiness, but it worked.

Alcohol Content +1 7.5%


Value +1

I liked this one. It was nice change of pace from the usual hop bombs lofted out of brewery windows.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Writing up this review is only making me look forward to next years edition, or maybe next weeks?

Overall 9/10

For something completely different, pick this brew up. It was a great winter warmer with all the necessary spices and alcohol warmth.

Saison du Buff
Midas Touch and How Far Will You Drive for Cheap Beer.
Granville Island Ginger Beer

Friday, July 30, 2010

Saison du Buff


Saison du Buff

This was a collaboration between Stone, Victory and Dogfish Head breweries. Their saison was brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

Ratebeer 3.65 97th percentile

Taste +4

The nose was unexpected with huge amounts of rosemary, thyme and citrus hops. Parsley doesn't really have a strong smell and the sage probably blended with the spicy wheat/yeast. It was a good saison on its own. The spicy yeast and tart wheat was greatly enhanced by the herbal thyme and rosemary. This was rounded out nicely with a good dose of citrus hops. Overall it had a medium mouthfeel with a good amount of lacing.

Aftertaste +2

There was a long coating of creamy wheat with a slight tart astringency.

Alcohol Content +1 6.8%

I'm sure the alcohol enhanced the spiciness.

Value +1

This was a glorious, bottle conditioned twist on the classic saison.

Ingame Enhancement +1

This was another Seattle hotel room beer.

Overall 9/10

This is great new take on an old saison style. The added herbals and spices made this a great beer. It might not be suitable for the unseasoned beer drinker.

Midas Touch and How far would you drive for cheap booze?
La Moneuse
Ommegang Hennepin

Friday, October 30, 2009

Midas Touch and How Far Will You Drive For Cheap Beer


I love good science, but this one is wacky. In the August 2009 edition of Journal of Health Economics, researchers studied the purchasing behavior of households near an international border with lower taxes on the other side. They should have called me first, I could have told them the answer. Supermarkets near the border had lower sales of alcohol and tobacco than those stores further away from the border. I was shocked! Please note sarcastic use of punctuation. Also households near the border reported buying 37% more beer than those further away from the border. The researchers found these results, "straightforward and intuitively pleasing." These results dissipated when the drive was over 2 and 1/2 hours long.

There was one interesting finding; there were more drunk driving arrests nearer the border. This is does not really prove anything, but provides more empirical evidence that higher taxation of alcohol leads to fewer alcohol related highway crash deaths.


Midas Touch Dogfish Head


Ratebeer 3.51 88th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

This brew is based on an ancient Turkish recipe. Apparently it is brewed using the original ingredients from the 2700 year old drinking vessels discovered in the tomb of King Midas.

Taste +3

The nose is sweet white grape juice, cane sugar and a slight floral smell (saffron). The orange coloured liquor slips about the mouth leaving a sweet grape and honey flavour everywhere. This is followed by an alcohol warmth and slight tartness. It reminds me of a barley wine.
Aftertaste +1

It is sweet and warming but ends quickly and clean.

Alcohol Content 9% +1

Value 0

It was a nice beer/mead beverage, but I would not get it again. Just a tad on the sweet side.

Ingame Enhancement 0

It is getting harder to drink while playing NFS-Shift on the PS3. The driving action is too quick.

Overall 5/10

This is a very interesting brew for a new taste adventure, but not something you want to bring to a poker party.

Routes Des Spice (Dieu Du Ciel)
Palo Santo Marron

Friday, October 23, 2009

Gentleman Jims Ginger Ale

Gentleman Jims Ginger Ale (Phillips)

Ratebeer 3.38 5 ratings
Beer Advocate B-


Taste +2

There is not much to the nose except fresh sweet ginger, not the spicy kind. The taste is tangy ginger over the top of a caramel ale. There was a bit of spiciness at the start, followed by a caramel sweet middle and a spicy ending.

Aftertaste +1

It was very dry and clean, with a slight warming ginger coating. The spiciness coats the lips and mouth.

Alcohol Content 0 5%

Value 0

It was nice but Granville Island's was better and spicier.

Ingame Enhancement 0

No gaming, just an office party at Smugglers Cove Pub. Glad to see lots of local drafts on tap like Driftwood and Phillips.

Overall 3/10

A good ale enhanced with strong, fresh ginger. It was delicious and unique.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Granville Island Ginger Beer


Granville Island Ginger Beer

Rate beer 3.06 39th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Taste +2

The nose is similar to a strong, spicy ginger ale. Hiding behind the prominent ginger flavour is a nicely balanced ale; not to malty and not too hoppy. The ginger is spicy enough to warm, but not enough to burn.

Aftertaste +2

There is nice malt sweetness that carries the ginger spiciness all over the mouth and down the throat.

Alcohol Content 0 5%

Value +1

It was nice; just gingery enough. I will probably get it next year.
Ingame Enhancement 0

Nope no zombies tonight, sorry

Overall 5/10

If you like ginger, you will like this one.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Route Des Epices

Route Des Epices (Dieu Du Ciel - Quebec)

Ratebeer 3.37 75th percentile
Beer Advocate B


Taste +1

I'm sure this is a fabulously complex beer and has won awards somewhere, but I did not like it. It started off nice; standard red ale with a nose of malt sweetness and hint of spice. The first sip began with a nice opening malt sweetness with hints of dark fruits and chocolate; then came the spice. Have you ever dumped too much pepper in your chili? This was the same; a spicy pepper wave came out of nowhere and ruined everything.

Aftertaste -2

This god-awful peppery spice filled the mouth and would not go away. To make it even worse, there was this slight warmth that traveled around the mouth and headed down the throat. It felt like someone stuck a few peppercorns in my toothpaste.
Alcohol Content 0 5%

Value 0

It was not bad beer, just a style I did not care for.

Ingame Enhancement 0

I think I had to miss a few rounds, because this beer had to be poured down the sink.

Overall -1 EWWW

I am really trying hard to think of something nice to say about this beer. Ok. I tried. It might make a good marinate for a pepper steak?