Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Twisted Oak Scotch Ale (Phillips)

One of the best, and worst, parts about blogging is that there is no set schedule. The spring months are forgiving because brewing efforts are focused on lawnchair lagers and away from new seasonals. Thankfully hockey season is over so new bombers should be hitting shelves soon. I think Lighthouse has something coming out Thursday. Moon has the Berliner Heist and Phillips has something out called the Elsinore? Must be in the showcase pack.
Twisted Oak Scotch Ale (Phillips) = 7/10

Immediately one assumes this will taste like an Innis and Gunn bottle. Not true. While it does share the familiar vanilla, caramel and whiskey nose; the Phillips version is not as overly sweet. It is all there: the sweet toffee, burning whiskey, aromatic vanilla and tannic oak. Each mildly carbonated and warming sip fades to coat the tongue with slight vanilla and whiskey notes. This was pretty good, worth the price anyways. I'm remember seeing a few boxes left at Hillside liquor store.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 6.8% but not hot
Value +1 pretty decent
Appearance +1 great label art and reasonable description of beer flavour

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Upcoming Beer School, "Just Can it". June 9th

The next beer school is called: "Just Can It." This school will showcase the resurgence of the use for the humble aluminum can in craft brewing. There are many advantages to canning and many big names in craft brewing are canning their fluids. That didn't sound right.. 

Email in early to reserve your spot, Sunday, June 9th , 7:30ish at Clive's Classic Lounge in the Chateau Victoria. Here is a list of the beers to be sampled:

1. Hilliards Saison 6% ABV Seattle
2. Maui CoCoNut PorTeR 6% ABV Maui
3. Four in Hand IPA 6.3% ABV California
4. Maduro Brown Ale 5.5% ABV Cigar City, Florida 
5. Fort George Oatmeal PA 4.8%ABV Astoria, OR
6. Might do a local six if we get a full house
As always you are there to learn. There will be history, glassware lessons, food pairing suggestions, a cheese plate to nibble on and prizes. The same format as always: bring a pen, your palate and $20. Email me or leave a comment to reserve your spot. There will be only 20 spots for this event. Do not delay as these schools fill up quickly..

Previous beer school about Cascadian Darks

Please forward this to any other craft beer loving friends who might like to attend. As always plan for a safe trip home.

Looking forward to seeing everyone again,

The Heretic (Driftwood)

I often wonder why I do these reviews. Perhaps these thoughts are validation for my slacking off. Any beer that is released in Victoria people will buy and it is not like there is a tonne of them. There are just enough to give us something new every weekend; which is perfect. If there are no local releases then there are scads of Vancouver beers and other imports. Yes I called Vancouver beers imports: we are on an island.  Your local CBAW is not like Everything Wine where the selection is mind numbingly vast. Bottleworks and Belmont Station are like that. You really don't need an insiders guide to sort through the vast selection of beers at your local. So why do you read my crappy-prick-like beer reviews? Perhaps you want to confirm that you think a beer is good? You don't need a beer reviewer to tell you that. A good beer is one that you like, simple! Whether a beer meets the flavour profile for a BJCP style without faults, that is another story. Perhaps you read beer reviews to see if the expert reviewer picked up the same flavours you did. I always skip to the tasting section of Taps, All About Beer, Beer Connoisseur and Beer West first for this reason. Yes, I do read all these magazines cover to cover. Often your flavour sensations will differ from an expert reviews. Perhaps you want to avoid a totally shitty beer release. This is a valid point. Luckily, it is rare that we get a truly crappy bomber release in this town. It might have a few issues, in my opinion, but it will rarely be undrinkable. We already know which breweries release bombers of inconsistent quality and tend to avoid all releases, unless it sounds really interesting. So why do we read beer reviews? I don't know. If you do, please leave your comments below.

I must act fast and review this beer. It is known that blogs cannot be too long or people loose interest.

The Heretic (Driftwood) = 8/10 

Ok, so we have a Belgian style triple in this bottle. We, or at least I, expect certain things from a triple. The nose should have a vague spicy smell (phenols) with pepper and a slight fruitiness. There should be no alcohol nor hops on the nose. Each sip should be low in alcohol perception and only medium in body with lots of carbonation. A difficult task considering the high alcohol content. The taste should be soft but deep with flavours of lemons, spicy yeast, crackers and pears. It should not linger but only provide a pleasing alcohol warmth and bitterness that could be either hops or peppery phenols. Yup, the Heretic delivers on all these points. I did notice a slight green apple taste, but it was minor. Bonus points for using local malts.

Glassware: A chalice is the perfect choice here. Some might use a snifter, but often this concentrates the already massive head.

Food pairings: All things wash rind cheese but not the blues nor Stiltons. Seafood would be a good choice, especially if there is a lemon sauce involved. Want it for dessert? Picture this with a lemon meringue pie.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 8%ABV
Value +1
Appearance +1 (always great art and reasonable good description of beer flavour)