Showing posts with label 11. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 11. Show all posts

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Siren Imperial Red Ale - Lighthouse

At first I thought this was not actually a real beer style. I was mistaken, it is according to the Brewers Associations beer style guidelines. The description does sound overly vague though. But Dean at Lighthouse was never one to dwell upon style. He once said to me, "We should embrace the inherent variation that exists within beer and discard the dogma of rigid styles and categories. Truly great beers transcend these boundaries and are as sublime as they are fleeting." This poetic quote has always stuck with me. Mostly with help from Google mail search. But I should get on with my review as the bottle is almost gone:

Siren Imperial Red Ale = 11/10

The hop smell became apparent right after the bottle cap hit the desk. Centennial, sometimes you are my only friend. Your citrus peels are almost as spicy as the label. Image the label as Old Milwaukee afterdark. Is it hoppy? Dang right it is. Is it balanced? Barely: the caramel, bready and bruised apricot malts and barely holding it together. Maintain focus, right. The subdued floral and assertive grapefruit/pomelo citrus hops floated over the toasted bready malts. It's linger was as long as a cat's tail in a room full of rocking chairs. Your only thought will be: more hops! Astringent? Oddly not. Will the beer cellar well? Absolutely! Just make sure you tweet your vacation plans so I can plan my midnight excursions. Are you sure this beer is only 8%ABV/6.4% ABW? Well done. Hopheads stock up.

Taste +6/5 You don't like my score? Get your own blog!
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 8%
Value +1 GREAT
Appearance +1 Nice and tasteful label art. Even the Misses approved. Also a flavour description that matches the beer

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Singularity 2010 (Driftwood)

The barrel photos on the Driftwood website made my heart go a flutter. There are also rumors of a sour Flanders style in the works. Now that will be a great accomplishment. The Singularity is a Russian imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels for 4 months.

Singularity 2010 = 11/10

The nose is powerful stuff, full of sweet bourbon, nail polish and bitter-sweet chocolate. This big ABV brew gives a lasting warmth that travels all the way to your toes. Along the way it spreads liquid joy: the tastes are dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, toffee and coffee. These flavours never really leave you. Its thickness provides a long linger of warm bitter chocolate, bourbon and astringent vanilla. I hate to sound like a fanboy, but this is perhaps the greatest fluidic substance produced on Vancouver Island.

Taste +6
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 11.8% (wink wink)
Value +1
Appearance +1 (very modern label)

Pike Street Entire Wood Aged Stout 2009
Drake's Imperial Stout and Executive Class Guilt
Ten Fidy Imperial Stout

Battle of the Barley Wines 2010

Every year Victoria beer lovers await the yearly arrival of the barley wines. This year Phillips released "Trainwreck" aka "Burley" aka "Deadhead"; Driftwood always calls their release the "Old Cellar Dweller". There are two recognized styles of barley wines: American and English. They are very similar but American styles are more hop forward and favour PNW hop varieties.

Trainwreck 2010 = 5/10

Beer Advocate A

This was the first one sampled. The nose was as expected: fruity with light caramel and sherry tones. Ouch! This brew was full of the booze; it burned at the start and went all the way to my navel. Along the way caramel, figs, cherries and pineapple tastes were deposited all over. The flavours didn't last long, it faded into a sherry-like alcohol snap at the end. There was maybe a small splatter of earthy hops, but not much. This might be considered an English Style? It just seemed a little milder in flavour than last year.

Taste +2
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 10%
Value 0
Appearance +1 (nice artwork on label)

Driftwood Old Cellar Dweller = 11/10

Ratebeer 3.9 96th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

We opened this one at the half way point of the Trainwreck; we are thankful to have sampled this one second. The nose was massive with hops: sweet citrus, pineapple and tangerines. Malt aroma was not diminished at all; lots of licorice, caramel, figs and everything! Ouch! Every sip was hop smack (tangerines, pomelo and pineapple) with collateral malt damage (licorice, sherry and toffee). At the end a long warming of sherry will surely draw a smile on every beer geeks face. Oddly the massive alcohol content was only tingling and not burning.

Taste +6/5 (whatever it's my blog)
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 11.8% (ya right, wink wink)
Value +1
Appearance +1 (the label is a little creepy, but this can be overlooked)

The clear winner is the Cellar Dweller. The Trainwreck just seemed thin and tired in comparison. Looking forward to see how the Dweller will age in my beer cellar.