Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In the know and Trappist casks in Victoria

We here at Left4beer have never broken a major beer related story in Victoria. There are two reasons for this. The first is that there is no 'we', only a singular 'I'. The other is that this 'I' does not get out much. Something happened the other day - something spectacular. For the first time ever, and possibly the only time, I was 'in the know'.

It all started at the CAMRA open house at Swan's hotel. A large number of beer enthusiasts turned out to view the luxurious penthouse suite. This was all lovely and nice, but not the important part of this story.

The next stop was at Clive's Classic Lounge. I met up with my main man Shawn, the cocktail wizard behind the bar. I'm sure lots of people call Shawn their 'main man'; he is very personable, mixes a mean cocktail and knows his stuff. He let me try his latest draft offering: Warsteiner Dunkel. I've tried the dark lager before (1/10); the flavour was better on tap. The roast and raisins actually mixes well with the vegetal/sulfur. It was OK, but that is not the important part.

What caught my attention was that Shawn mentioned that he was having a cask night Thursday, July 8th. Vancouver Island Brewery is making a one-off cask clone of Duckstein Ale. I have tried this wonderful copper weizen ale and found it uber-delish (6/10). His first cask night went very well, so get to Clive's Lounge early. They are located in the Chateau Victoria. It is the same hotel that has Vista 18 upstairs. Again, this was not the important part of the story.

Shawn also mentioned that he was promised a cask of La Trappe. Apparently the distributor for this Trappist Ale will be relaunching the brand this summer/fall. It was previously available as Koningshoeven Trappist Ale, but will be marketed under the name La Trappe. I don't care what you call it, I call it good (8/10). If the cask night goes well, it might be available regularly on tap.

There will also be a rhubarb wheat cask later this summer, so stay tuned.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bigfoot Ale 2010

Big Foot Ale 2010

I have heard good things about this big ale. Most of it mentions successes with aging.

Ratebeer 3.89 99th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

Taste +3

The nose was light with citrus but mostly a wallop of pine and resinous hops. A touch of fruitiness and alcohol could also be noted. The mouthfeel was medium to full with low carbonation and a pronounced alcohol tingle/burn. Throughout your sip was the unrelenting hops, similar to the nose. Some light fruits (peaches and apricots) managed to sneak through. It is quite a bitter brew.

Aftertaste +2

This could easily be a -2 if your palate is not favourable to big, bitter beers. It was long, dry and astringent. The dominant flavours were resinous hops and alcohol.

Alcohol Content +1 9.6%

There was no hiding it anywhere.

Value 0

I can see this beer benefiting from ageing. It was a little harsh when fresh.

Ingame Enhancement 0

Still in Seattle, I wish I had bought 2 bottles. The other could have been saved for aging.

Overall 6/10

If you like a strong, hoppy and boozy brew grab one of these. If you have the patience, but a couple aside for a few years.

Legacy Ale (Swans)

Old Cellar Dweller
Green Flash Barleywine

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hop Stoopid Ale by Lagunitas

This will be a speed review. I just realized that I have a backlog of over 40 beers to review.
Hop Stoopid Ale by Lagunitas

Ratebeer 3.96 100th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

Taste 5

Huge nose of sweetness, mostly pine but with light citrus and floral. With this massive nose the creamy and medium body was unexpected. The low carbonation carried an oddly sweet hop forward taste; it was not as intense as expected. All the usual suspects were there; pine, grapefruit citrus, some resin and even cotton candy. Malts, what malts? The 102 IBU's kicked the malts off the taste charts.

Aftertaste 2

There was a long lingering of subtle sweet tangerines and a lot of biscuit malt sweetness. Not a significant amount of astringency was noted.

Alcohol Content 8% +1

No complaints here.

Value +1

For sure a hophead must.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Still in Gord's basement watching The Spectacle with Elvis Costello. I am not sure why but I do not like Elvis Costello. I do not like him with a goat, I do not like him in a boat. Try it with a beer; try I say. Try it, try it and you might like I say. I still no not like Elvis Costello.

Overall 10/10

This is one of the biggest IPA's so far. A hophead essential.