Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Black Boss Porter (Poland)

Black Boss Porter (Poland)

There must be something about Polish beers, I have liked every one that I have tried.

Taste +4

This beer is black as black can be, almost as dark as my parole officers heart. A true strong porter all the way; noses of roasted malt, espresso and peat. The taste is what you would expect from the nose, heavy on the dark chocolate, roasted coffee and light bits of licorice.

Aftertaste +2

Nice finish of dark fruits (plums) and tingle of alcohol.

Alcohol +1 9.4%

Ouch, you can taste the ethanol on this one. It doesn't stop you from wanting to drink more and more.

Value +1

Sadly this came from the Bottleworks in Seattle. It was only $2.99US for 500ml, this was a great deal for the flavour.

Ingame Enhancement +1

I don't remember what I was doing while sampling this beer. But I do remember was that I couldn't physically finish typing of the review. I was flying Executive Class and had quite a few gin and tonics; I couldn't feel my fingers.


This is a stellar beer. If you like dark porters/stouts, this beer is a must.

Trappist Achel Blond (Belgium)

Trappist Achel Blond beer

I had big hopes for this beer. It came highly recommended by the guy at Bottleworks. Or maybe he said don't take this swill it tastes like expensive camel piss. I forget.

Taste -2

Now I remember what he said. This beer was like drinking moonshine from your uncles garage. Except in this case your uncle threw in a few tablets of bubbly Eno to be funny. It was fizzy, bland and harsh tasting. There was a surprising lack of flavour.

Aftertaste -1

It was too fizzy and produced trucker like belches. You do NOT want to taste this beer twice. Aftertaste was rather like sawdust.

Alcohol content +1 8%

I felt that I was obligated to say something positive about this beer.

Value -1

You couldn't pay me to drink this again. I only drank it because I drove it 300miles. I should have driven it back.

Ingame Enhancement -1

Blech! I never played this night. I was too busy brushing my tongue.

Overall -4/10

I doubt zombies would drink this stuff. I might stock a bottle or two; it might be useful to scare off the undead. Perhaps I may have gotten a bad bottle or just don't like Belgian Blonde beers, because it got a high rating on beer advocate.

Vichtenaar - Flemish Ale

Vichtenaar - Flemish Ale (Belgium)

We all need a good Flemish style beer once in a while. If nothing else, just for a change in flavours. Only once in a while. You can find this beer in some cold beer and wines around Victoria.

Taste +4

Very good for a Flemish, huge nose of bing cherries. A very deep sour taste is noted, but in a good way. The colour is a dark amber, almost red. No head due to a almost lack of carbonation.

Aftertaste +2

There was very sweet finish, lingering with bing cherries.

Alcohol content 0 5.1%

Not a heavy weight, but it has other strengths

Value 0

11.2 oz for around $4; not great but not great.

Ingame Enhancement 0

Neutral night, there was no computer animated violence.

Overall 6/10

This would be a great beer to have with a desert. Impress you friends; serve it with a fruit flan. Your friends will either think you are a gastronomic genius, or feel that you share similar attributes with that Flan.

Tin Whistle Chocolate Cherry Porter and playing the field.

Flavius: Left 4 Dead is great; you get to play both sides!
Meterman: Just like last weekend, skippy.
F:Huh? I got to be a Boomer and throw up all over people.
M: Just like last weekend, Chuck.
F: Under my feet. I as played as a Hunter and jumped on people and tried to tear their clothes off.
M: Aren't you forgetting the restraining order from last weekend.
F: Hmm. The best part was being the Smoker and wagging my tongue around.
M: Just like you are doing right now, witch.
F: At least I thought I was playing L4D last weekend..

Tin Whistle Chocolate Cherry Porter (Penticton, BC)

This is smaller brewery in BC, which has a lot of beer in most liquor and cold beer and wine stores.

Taste +1

There was a small nose of chocolate malt. The taste is just like the label states. This brew is a standard, slightly bitter porter with mild tastes of dark chocolate and cherries. There is just a little hint of sweetness.

Aftertaste 0

The only taste left was a slight dark chocolate bitterness.

Alcohol content 0 5.5%

Value 0

It costs about $5 for 650ml, so it is not the greatest value.

Ingame Enhancement 0

My parents were in town so couldn't play L4D. I didn't want to explain to them why their son was playing ultraviolent zombie video games soon after reading his little girl bedtime stories. But I did get to watch Terry Jenkins beat Phil Taylor on the 2007 World Matchplay of darts, which was the next best thing.

Overall 1/10

If you are into flavoured porters or want to try something a little different, this beer might be for you. I wouldn't buy it again.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Okocim (Polish Porter) and wisdom

Luckily Meterman is not here; he would have a few choice words for my latest post. There are a few good choices I have made in my life; going to University, marrying my first (and only) wife and ignoring that cold sales call about buying Enron stocks. Another smart choice is to always listen to wise men. This was the case with the learned shop keeper at Bottleworks in Seattle. He said I must try this beer; so I listened.

Okocim Porter

Taste +5

This beautiful brew is as dark as a forest fire night. A vigorous pouring leaves a fluffy head, but oddly there is little carbonation even though the beer tastes effervescent. The nose is all malt sweetness with mild chocolate and fruit. The taste is a little on the sweet side; lots of malt, with hints of peat, phenolic chocolate and an espresso finish.

Aftertaste +2

This beer leaves a very long, lingering malt sweetness that is very pleasant. It packs a goodness like a fine scotch.

Alcohol Content +1 8.3%

You can taste the alcohol in this one; it leaves the tongue and mouth with a nice tingle.

Value +1

I don't care how much this one costs, it was worth it.

Ingame Enhancement +1

There was no gaming this night. I just sat in the kitchen very contented and enjoyed my beer. After every sip I pondered various plans about how to obtain more.


Sigh.. Now I know how a zombie feels; an irrational and all consuming craving for a tasty, tasty treat. This beer shall haunt my thoughts, calling me from afar. If you have some, you might need a boomstick to keep me away.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Estrella, Ozujsko, DAB- everyone likes a threesome!

Flavius: OK Meter, we are running behind on our beer reviews.
Meterman: I say again, I do not want to be associated with this dog and pony show.
F: But this is the perfect post Threesomes and beer.
M: As long as you are not involved, I'm listening.
F: It's a commentary piece. Why to large international breweries heavily export bland, tasteless pale beers?
M: Because they travel well. If you have no flavour, you can't lose it during transport. Also televised sports addicted men drink this shit up by the gallon!
F: You could do a blind taste test with Budweiser, Labatt Blue, Heineken and Pilsner Urguell and I bet no one could tell them apart.
M: I'm sure some people could tell the difference.
F: What if you make eating potato chips and yelling at the TV part of the taste test?
M: I think you may be on to something.

Estrella (Spain), Ozujsko (Croatia) and DAB Dortmunder (Germany)

These beers all came in the same 500ml tall can format.

Taste +2 all

Standard pale lager flavour; mild flavours of corn, honey and malt sweetness. The colour of these beers would be the same coming in as the are going out. Lots of carbonation that left a finger wide head. DAB had the slightest hint of bitterness.

Aftertaste 0

Almost tasteless. The Ozujsko had a crisp cider-like finish. Now that you mention, it they all did.

Alcohol Content 0 4.93% (average)

Estrella 4.6%, DAB 5%, Ozujsko 5.2%

Value +1

This is where all these beers excel; lots of volume for pocket change. You get 500ml for $2.10 for the German and the Spaniard, for the extra value of $2.45 you too can enjoy Croatia's favourite beer.

Ingame enhancement +1

All three of these beers were drank during a monster Left 4 Dead zombie killing spree. Over 400 zombies were hurt during the making of this article.

Overall 4/10

These beers are all uncomplicated and easy drinking. If I had to pick a winner it would probably be the Ozujsko. Oddly enough they are all marketed the same way and to the same people: just old enough to drink, attend large scale sporting events or parties and don't have a lot of money. The cans are all similar, flashy and bold; Estrella is bright red, DAB has huge letters and is shiny, Ozujsko also huge, slanted, shiny letters.

Despite all the negatively involved in this article, they are all nice beers for the price. I would buy any of them again, especially the Ozujsko. They would be perfect for a hot day or watching televised sports.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Red Seal Ale, dogs and ponies

Flavius: This is our second requested beer review. I know this fan feedback will gain us more readers and later fame and fortune.
Meterman: I will not be part of your dog and pony show to get noticed. Your feeble attempts to gain popularity will lead you nowhere.
F: What do you care. Think of it this way; more requests means more free beer for you.
M: Now you are talking. WOOF WOOF

Red Seal Ale - North Coast Brewing

This is sure to be a good one. Anything my North Coast Brewing is a great beer. Other notable beers by this brewery is the old Rasputin Stout.

Taste +3

This is beer a little on the sweet side, but not too much. This dark amber ale (almost copper colours) holds plenty of carbonation and a thick head that never went away. Immediately there was a nose of hops, pumpkin. This gave a nice light bitterness that floated from the front to the back of the mouth. A well executed red ale; very nice balance of caramelized, malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness.

Aftertaste +1

These flavours are followed by a nice hoppy bitterness; slightly metallic.

Value 0

It can be a little hard to find in Victoria. I found it at the Spinnakers cold beer and wine in Esquimalt. It carries the standard imported craft beer price tag. A 341ml bottle costs $2.30.

Alcohol content 0 5.5%

A very easy drinking beer and you can't taste the alcohol.

Ingame enhancement +1

The actual acknowledgement that I am doing reviews giving this a positive score.

Overall Score 5/10

Despite the low score this is a good beer. It has won many awards, or so they claim. If you see it pick one up and send one to me.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bah Humbug - Preparing for the Holidays

Flavius: ..this is the most wonderful time of the year...
Meterman: Caught up in the Christmas spirit in early November, you must have just been to Costco.
F: Nope. This is when all the winter and seasonal beers are released.
M: Leave it to you to associate the holiday season with drinking more alcohol.
F: Yup! My inlaws are coming! Screw the eggnog and fruitcake; make mine a 15 pack of Lucky Lager and a pocket bottle of Jagermeister!
M: ..Joy to the world the beers have come..

Bah Humbug by Wychwood

Usually anything by this brewery is a good choice. They also have some of the coolest bottles and artwork. I hope I get the t-shirt and beer gift set this year.

Taste +4

This is a great tasting, smooth beer. Very apparent flavours of malt sweetness, light cinnamon and dried fruits. There are subtle tastes of spices such as cloves and coriander. Very low carbonation, which is the English ale way.

Aftertaste +2

Lightly sweet and spicy with just a hint of malt. The burps taste great.

Alcohol Content 0 5%

You don't drink this beer to get messed up.

Value +1

This was $3.50 for 500ml from BCLS . A very good flavour to dollar ratio. I wish I had bought two.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Played GRID on easy mode. Some days you just feel the need to win.

Overall 8/10

Do not wait for this to appear in your stocking on Christmas morning. I know you have been a very bad boy this year (especially LK for knifing me). Just buy yourself one or two; don't forget to pick up a Father John's Winter Ale also.

Dads Little Helper - A Good Tale of Malt Liquor

Meterman: Oh no, what the hell is this! You brought malt liquor to the party. We are not wanna-be rappers!
Flavius: Its OK my hommie, its from Rogue. And yes I know almost every beer-drinking male has a bad memory associated with malt liquor.

Dads Little Helper Malt liquor by Rogue

Taste +4

This amber coloured brew gives off a nose of apple cider vinegar. It was a nice flavour, almost halfway better a pilsner and a full on Belgian beer. A slight effervescent sensation high on the palate gave flavours of malt, corn and light fruits (peaches). Meterman gave it a 5; Flavius gave it a 3.

Aftertaste 0

Not much just a lingering malt sweetness with a little fruit.

Alcohol Content +1 8.5%

You can certainly taste it on this one.

Value 0

Its a good beer but not cheap.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Anynight that you drink malt liquor and play GRID on PS3 is a good night

Overall 6/10

If you are trying to purge your mind of bad malt liquor memories, then this beer is the place to start. Just remember to drink only one or two.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Duchesse de Bourgogne and a taste for blood

Flavius: I have found the perfect beer. All these other inferior red ales must be discarded.
Meterman: How many have you had?
F: 6 or 7. I admit I'm a bit blurry.
M: Perhaps you should have waited until after work to pour all the red stuff down the sink
M: OK Flav, tell these fine people where you work and what you are really pouring down the sink.
F: I work at the blood bank and currently I am pouring a bottle of Type O...Oh shit.
M: Bela Lugosi. Table for one.

Taste +5

This is the biggest tasting beer so far. The initial nose is full of malt vinegar and relish. Every single gulp reveals a new flavour: green apple, sour cherries, wine and mayonnaise. The brew provides a sensation like drinking sparkling apple juice. Taste after taste reveals something; you will not get tired of drinking this beer.

Aftertaste +2

Very effervescent with linger tastes of sour bing cherries and tart fruits. Then the aftertaste just vanishes.

Alcohol +1 6.2%

You can't taste the alcohol through all the other flavours.

Value +1

You could charge double for this beer and I would still buy it. At $3.27 for 330ml the price is a little indulgent, but you are worth it.

Ingame enhancement +1

You could telegraph the final score before I posted the enhancement factor. Just sitting at home, drinking good beer and playing GRID (easy setting) on Playstation; life does not get any better.

Overall 10/10 BOW-CHICA-WOW-WOW

This is a new CLAN ARC favourite. The flavours are very complex and will not disappoint. You must like big tasting beers. If you were disappointed by my unfavourable review of Lucky Lager, stay away from this one. These beers are at the opposite ends of the taste spectrum.

Lucky Lager goes well with horses

Flavius: It appears as though I am alone. Meterman has an objection about the content of this review and has decided not to participate.

This has been a beer of much controversy, you either love it or loath it. According to Wikipedia, and therefore unquestionably truthful, southern BC and Vancouver Island have the highest consumption for this beer. If you want to check it out for yourself; look at the online inventory at BC Liquor stores. I personally have never had one, so I got 'lucky' with the off track betting at the Tally-Ho and decided to try one. This betting happens to be the source of disdain for Meterman; not so much the horse racing part, but the gambling. How hard can it be to read a full page of racing statistics, factoring in the last minute changes to these statistics, take into account the horses' prior racing results on the current track conditions, and pick the top three horses to win? Or you could do what my wife does, pick the prettiest horse and bet it to show.

Lucky Lager

Taste +1

Call it what you will, but this is cheap beer. It looks cheap and it tastes cheap. No nose at all and only a slight taste of almonds. It tastes like watered down baby food quality apple sauce, without the hint of cinnamon. There is still the standard load of carbonation.

Aftertaste 0

Leaves a taste of slightly watered down honey.

Value +1

A six pack is less than $10, so it is one of the cheapest beers out there. If you get the 15 pack it works out to about $1.50 a can.

Ingame Enhancement +2

Extra points for this one. I hit an exacta while drinking one of these and it paid $28.70 WOOT. Thank you trotters at Fraser Downs.

Overall 4/10

Say what you will about this beer, but it is not bad. There will always be a place in your beer fridge for uncomplicated, cheap beer. If not for yourself then to serve to others, so they don't drink your good stuff. I plan to pick up a 4-pack ($5.30) from time to time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Brother Thelonius Belgian and Blade Runner Boobs

Brother Thelonius
Belgian Style Amber Ale

Taste +4

True to the name, this is a classic example of a full-on darker Belgian ale. The flavours are full and intense with notes of wheat, berries and malt sweetness. Despite the nose of soya sauce this is a good beer.
Aftertaste 0

There is a sweet sensation that lingers and turns a little sickly after a while.

Alcohol +1 9.4%

Hold on tight, this beer gives a rough ride. You can smell the alcohol, but you can't taste it. Very dangerous brew.

Value +1

I have not been able to located this beer in Canada, but I would pay any price to get one.

Ingame Enhancement +2

Normally the score is a maximum of +1, but Meterman brought over Blade Runner on Blu-Ray. Drinking strong beer and staring at Daryl Hannah's boobs is as close to Nirvana as I am likely to get.
Overall 8/10 BOOM BOOBSHOT

You must like strong, full flavoured beer to enjoy this one. Don't drink on an empty stomach. On the other hand, Daryl Hannah's boobs may be taken with or without food.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Drake's Imperial Stout and Executive Class guilt

Drake's Imperial Stout.

F: As I write this I am sitting in Air Canada Executive Class. That's correct, I am on the party side of the curtain.
M: **Please note Meterman is not here. He always travels Economy with the rest of the cattle.**
F: One might experience a certain amount of guilt as they watch their fellow passengers stagger back to the room filled with screaming children and cramped quarters. This guilt is easily suppressed with a few complementary gin and tonics.

Drakes Imperial Stout

This is your standard Imperial stout; dark, complex and thick. Not unlike Meterman; except he is pastey white. I picked this bottle up at a Whole Foods in Las Vegas. It was an impulse buy, as my wife and I finished off the bottle of sparkling wine in our limo. Sadly this type of behaviour and indulgence is not a regular occurrence on the Clan ARC budget.
Enough about me and my opulence and more about the beer. Oh nice, a warm face towel just came by in Executive class.

Flavour +3

As with all Imperial Stouts there are thick flavours of chocolate and espresso. The real distinguishing characteristic of a good imperial stout is the lack of bitterness. This brew has that full imperial flavour, but lacks the bitterness that is sometimes present. There is almost no carbonation which is essential; you DO NOT want to burp this stuff up.

Aftertaste +2

It does coat the mouth, but there is no lingering bitterness; only sweetness. There is a slight phenolic aftertaste, which is pleasant.

Alcohol +1 8.75%

This is approximate because they use an old form of measurement. Be warned, you can not taste the alcohol in this brew.

Value +1

This brew was 2.99US for 500ml. Not a stellar bargain, but worth it for the taste.

Ingame +1

Actually there was no game this night. I watched Forbidden Kingdom (Jackie Chan and Jet Li) instead. It was a great Kung Fu Epic, so I guess it counts as a positive score.


If your like Imperial Stouts this is sure to please. If you have never found a stout you liked, maybe you have never tried this one.

Brasserie Des Rocs Brune and no time for small talk

Brasserie des rocs Brune
Belgian brown ale

F: Well there is a huge back log of beers to review, so no witty banter from Clan ARC.
M: I cant' recall anything you have ever said that was witty.
F: Hey, I thought you were my friend..
M: I can't recall ever saying that I was your...
F: FINE, forget I even said anything.
M: I'm sorry were you still speaking.

This is a formidable beer to look at; huge 750ml bottle, its corked, and has a high alcohol content. This is one to impress (or scare) your friends with, but how does it taste?

Taste +4
Slight wisps of hazelnuts greet you as you dive into this cloudy dark amber ale. There is almost no carbonaztion but there a lot of floaties. Full palate flavours of light citrus,caramel and bing cherries. It is not often than I call a beer earthy.

Aftertaste +1

It fades too quickly but it leaves that nice bing cherry coating.

Alcohol Content +1 9%

Be very careful, this is a stealthy knockout beer. It is a big bottle, easy drinking, tasty and you can't taste the alcohol.

Value 0

A 750ml bottle for $7.99 US is not a great deal, but I have not seen it on the west coast of Canada.

Ingame enhancement +1

WOOT, I did better than most of the other players. Even in spite of the fact that I had a high blood alcohol content. There has been much debate about the influence of alcohol and gaming; both arguing its enhancement or detriment. I am in the camp of enhancement. The sauce can relax the twitchiness, improve flow and calm the frustration and anger responses.

Score 7/10

Not quite a headshot, but it is high in the rankings. If you can get this one, try it. You will almost certainly like it, if you can get past the floaties.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Nelson FacePlant Winter Ale and a new beginning

Meterman: Flavius why is every single light on in your house are you are cowering in the basement?
M: Wait, I'm not a zombie because.... I have a medkit!! Here I will heal you.
F: Thats not a Medkit, its beer can.
M: Whatever, it makes you feel better, doesn't it.
F:Yes! Yes it does. Good you are not a zombie.
M: How long have you been playing that Left 4 Dead Demo.
F: Not sure, what time is it now?
M: Wrong answer, you are cut off. Even your oven light is on.

FacePlant Winter Ale (Nelson Brewing Company)

I like this BC Brewery, everything they make tastes great. Their Nelson Afterdark Ale is especially good.

Taste +4

This is one easy drinking beer. Just enough flavours of malt and brown sugar to keep things interesting. Only the slightest of hoppy bitterness.

Aftertaste +2

The sweetness lingers on and has an almost bran flake taste to it.

Alcohol content 6% +1

Be very careful with this one. The cans are stacking up on the table one after the other. This is a very easy drinking beer. Not the kinda drinking where you think it is like water, but the kinda drinking where you look forward to the next sip.

Value +1

For $12 a six pack, well worth it.

Ingame Enhancement +1

I cracked open one of these brews to calm my nerves after trying the Left 4 Dead Demo. MOMMYYY. I'm so glad I prebought; I plan to take the 19th and 20th off work.


This is good all around beer, sure to be a regular in the CLAN ARC beer fridge. It might even replace the Holsten Festbock.