Showing posts with label 5. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 5. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cereal Killer (Phillips)

Rye is the new and trendy grain to brew with these days. It ranks up there with the kettle sour. There is nothing wrong with this trend at all. When in used appropriately, rye adds a pleasant dry cereal and characteristic spiciness to a brew.

Cereal Killer = 5/10

Rye is apparent in the nose with its desired spicy cereal aroma. Not use why I am picking up marshmallow, maybe it is the kidlets hot chocolate. Despite the slightly slick mouthfeel, the Cereal Killer delivers the rye. It has the wet cereal, light spicy rye and chewy red apples you might expect. The only flavour not to fade was the sticky cereal. Tasty for a bottle, but might not buy a second one.

Taste +2
Aftertaste 0 
Alcohol Content +1 7.2%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Glassware: Any thing clean will do, the shaker pint would do fine

Food Pairings: Indian food or Thai would do nice. The spiciness would blend together while there is enough maltiness to calm the spicy heat. Hello tofu Pad Thai. Even the carnivores don't mind this dish.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sky High Grand Fir by Phillips

Is this the first release of the year? I think so, which is often the way with Phillips. Always with the fast and furious releases. Again with the firsts, this might be the first fir tree beer in Victoria. We have had several spruce tip releases, most notably from Tofino and Axe and Barrel.
Sky High Grand Fir = 5/10

The nose is as you would expect, forest. What was unexpected was the prominent orange crush aroma. It reminded me of a trip to Silk Road Tea House to randomly sniff the essential oil selection. Although, I sometimes feel that most evergreen trees have a slight orange smell.  The aromatic fir oil added an extra spiciness to the medium-light mouthfeel. It tastes just like it smells with an added straw, white bread malt background. Tasty enough, but I don't think I will have another.
Taste +2
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1 Tasty enough for one
Appearance +1 Excellent description of beer flavour considering uniqueness of taste
Food Pairing: I wouldn't try to pair this beer with anything specific, too many odd, prominent flavours. If pressed, perhaps a cedar plank salmon with an orange or lemon glaze. Get your full forest on.
Glassware: Whatever is clean
Cellar: Nope.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Super Cooper Phillips 14th Anniversary ale

Has it been 14 years already? Looks like it is time for another strong anniversary beer from Phillips. Don't get me wrong, I liked this beer but it just tasted the same as last year and the year before that. It tasted like the Monkey Drummer at year 12 and the Hangman's from year 13. Now that I think about it, if this beer has been aging for a full year in bourbon barrels, it very well may have been the same beer as last year. Why the number 14? Perhaps it might be in reference to 14 points of copyright infringement on the label. Despite the fact I am not a expert in copyright law, the resemblance to Donkey Kong and a Mario Bros character is easy to spot. I haven't even played these games in over two decades. That small hop guy in the bottom corner looks very similar to Goomba. And what other large ape with high eye brows carries a barrel? Am I the only one seeing the red tie with a logo on it?

Super Cooper = 5/10

The nose was a mix of dry hop madness and oak character. It was an overabundance of vanilla, tannins, pine, spruce and pineapple. My mouth felt violated with each fully, sticky, slick and bitter boozy sip. Complexity is the label on my glass. There was extensive mingling of vanilla, pineapple enzymes, syrupy spruce, bourbon vapours and canned pear syrup. The flavours hung around longer than the weird neighbour after a block party BBQ. Still it was a nice sipper, but it did border on undrinkable bitter and boozy.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 11.6%
Value 0 (same as last year)
Appearance 0 (Had to hide bottle to avoid litigation)

Glassware: Use a brandy snifter or tulip

Food Pairings: Almost too much for food. Maybe cedar planked salmon.

Cellar: The hop and booziness will certainly fade, but I'm not certain the malt contains suitable complexity. I'm going to say no.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spinnakers Red Fife Dunkelweizen

I am catching up, this one was from May. Doubt you can find this one in stores anymore, too bad it was rather nice. Perhaps I should try and give a bit on knowledge, the limited amount that I have. Dunkelwiezen is loosely translated into dark wheat ale. This dunkel is an ale, as contrasted with a Munich dunkel which is a lager. This style of wheat beer is middle of the road beer. Nothing too flashy, IBU bitterness not too high and ABV in the normal range. The unique flavours come from a combination of lots of wheat malt used, usually 50% or higher, and a wonderful German wheat yeast. This yeast produces all sorts of spicy phenols and fruity esters. Cloves and pepper flavours are from the phenols and the banana and bubblegum are fruity esters. For those that want to get super beer geeky, take a whiff of a wheat beer and say, "Mmmm, love that isoamyl acetate and 4-vinyl guaiacol. These and the chemical compounds associated with the flavours of bananas and cloves, respectively. Enough knowledge, what about the beer.

Red Fife Dunkelweizen = 5/10

Beers like this are rarely highly rated because they are just simple and nice. Nothing too flashy in the nose, just the expected toasted banana bread, cloves and mild vanilla. The sip is spot on with a creamy fruitiness with hints of chocolate, wheat cakes and saw dust. There was a bit of soy in there, but nothing outrageous. My finish was a banana bread creaminess the faded quickly away. Just a simple and tasty sipper.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 4.5% (yay for a session strength ale)
Value +1
Appearance 0

Glassware: Most certainly a German weizen glass. This glass is unique with a tall body and an exaggeratedly large bowl at the top. These beers tend to produce a large fluffy head due to larger than usual amounts of protein from the wheat malts. I love these glasses because they are often very ornate with great art and sometimes gold rims.

Food Pairings: Most anything will do as the beer flavours are calm. Something grilled and slightly fatty would work nice, maybe with some breadiness too. I'm thinking of a spicy sausage sandwich.

Cellar: Nope. Then again I had a many year old Aventinus and it was stellar

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Coffin Kicker Porter Phillips

I could be wrong but is the first draught only release by a non-brewpub brewery? Lighthouse has had experimental growler fills but has not made a big deal about them. Wouldn't it be great if this idea caught on. It might lead to more experimental brews, less packaging use and more Untappd check ins. Maybe the last one isn't so important.  I have a great idea; how about if a local brewery sets up a 'pop-up' growler fill station at a local market. This is also selfish, as Moss Street market is only a few blocks from my house. I digress and dream. How did the Coffin Kicker taste?

Coffin Kicker = 5/10  
The nose was usual porter style: milk chocolate, roast, pencils and stale coffee. I happen to find the aroma of stale coffee appealing. It was an oddly creamy sip and not high in the roasted astringency department. This porter was straightforward and tied together roasted coffee beans, 33% cocoa mass and dark berries. One might think it was a little on the thin side, but I thought it increased quaffability. The finish added a little glycerin like coating. Overall a nice, simple and unflavoured porter.
Taste +3
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1 (a simple tasty porter)
Appearance +1 (Growlers always get top marks)

Glassware: Anything is fine, even the simple shaker.

Food Pairings: You could draw in other roasted foods like BBQ burgers, steak or vegetable kabobs. In contrast use the roasted, dry character to balance out sweet and rich foods like brownies or mac and cheese. For a cheese pairing try a mild blue like Blue d'Auvergne or an aged cheddar.

Cellar: nope

Friday, May 17, 2013

Off the Grid (Hoyne)

Whenever I open a beer of Hoyne I never expect extreme stuff. This is very comforting. Whatever pours from a Hoyne bottle will be solid, highly drinkable and above average in taste. Off the Grid is true to form. It was just - well - nice.

Off the Grid (Hoyne) =5/10

Faint pecans and toast aromas rose from the glass filled with Off the Grid. This followed into every sip with a medium mouthfeel that carried nutty, bready and toasted tastes to the end. The ending was clean with the faintest pecan loaf residue. Lots of people will sip this, stare into their glass, smile and carry on. Perhaps this is what makes a great session beer.

Glassware: Whatever you have will work

Food Pairing: Choose things with bready and nutty flavours. Salami sandwiches, nut burgers, pecan pie.  

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.3%
Value +1
Appearance 0  (label didn't really describe beer flavour well)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Voltage Espresso Stout (Hoyne Brewing)

I love going into BCAW stores. Not just to buy beer - which is nice - but to observe people. My regular haunt is the Hillside liquor store, it is the closest to my house. Most people walk through the front door, open their favourite beer cooler, grab whatever and leave. They never browse. I'm sure you could paint the walls pink and most people wouldn't notice. There are a few things I notice: people drink a lot of FAXE, high alcohol beers sell well on Fridays and people drink a lot of Hoyner Pilsner. Your arm has to be pretty long to grab that last bottle deep in the fridge. The staff also seems to know a lot about beer, or local beer releases are posted in the staff washroom.
Nice clerk, "I see you got the newest one by Hoyne."
Me, "Yup"
Nice, observant clerk. "It's a stout made with local coffee."
Me, "Yup"
Good memory clerk, "It's like the beer he used to make at the other place."
Me, "Yup"
Fictional clerk,"You don't say much, you pompous twerp. I'm trying to be sociable."

Voltage Espresso Stout = 5/10

The nose is fairly straight forward: powdery espresso, slight chocolate and mild earthy herbals. Nothing new in the sip, just a dry stout ending. In the middle is a slight cooling wateriness, but it's nice. Not the most exciting beer of the year, but it is solid and I am sad that my bottle is empty. Well done.

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0 5.6%

Value +1
Appearance +1 (great art, but should have a description of the beer. I like the random story on the side)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dark Chocolate Porter (Lighthouse)

So, it begins. The great Victoria beer battle started with a new deployment. This week Lighthouse has released a dark chocolate porter suitable named "Dark Chocolate Porter". It doesn't take a genius - certainly not with my low IQ -  to figure out that this is a direct market challenger to Phillips Longboat Double Chocolate Porter. Apparently Phillips sells a crapboat load of this beer; I can't confirm this but supposedly it is one of the best selling bombers in BC.
"The base beer was a solid robust porter and it was pretty chocolatey itself from good malt selection. We then soaked it for two weeks on dark cocoa nibs from Ghana and then bottled it." says Dean Mcleod, the newest brewer at Lighthouse, "Nothing fancy, no tricks or gimmicks, just a good ol' beer if you like that sort of thing."
So which porter is better? "We'll let chocolate porter drinkers discover that for themselves", muses Dean.
What does the beer prick think?

Dark Chocolate Porter (Lighthouse) = 5/10

It starts out with the standard porter aromas: dusty cocoa, bittersweet chocolate with a bit of smoke. Stick your nose in a can of Fry's cocoa for a similar sensation. The mouthfeel is chewy with lowish carbonation. Add to this a fullness enhanced by mild roasted astringency. Chocolate is the name of the game here; of which there is ample. A dusty cocoa anaconda wraps around a 65% bittersweet chocolate backbone and squeezes out a hint of alcohol warmth mixed with dark berries (blackberries and elderberries). The finish is long, dry and cooling. This is not powerhouse porter action, but it is very tasty. A must for the chocolate beer lover.  Is it better than Longboat? I have my thoughts, what are yours?

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.5%
Value +1
Appearance 0 (no description of taste or brewing techniques)

Other portly reviews
New World Porter (Avery)
Swan's Double Shot Porter
Spirit Chaser Coffee Porter (R&B)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cygnet Ale

Two seasonals from Swan's in the same month? It is too good to be true. One was good; the other..

Cygnet Ale = 5/10

This will be a welcome sip to those -like myself - that like the Tessier's Witbier. The flavour is very similar. It emits greater than expected aromas of sweet wheat, orange, yeast and a little banana. After a tingle and palate cleansing wash, the barrage of flavours begin. Wow only 4.2% delivers all this: tart wheat, oranges, bananas, spicy yeast and hockey card bubble gum. Sadly no aftertaste, just a refreshing ending. Delicious.

Taste +4
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content -1 4.2%
Value +1
Appearance +1 at brewpub

Other wheat/wits

Estrella Damm Inedit
Double Wit (Great Divide)
Happy New Beer (Spinnakers)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Corporal's Bitter Brown Ale

I admit it; this beer was bought on appearance. Who can resist the stubby. Luckily the beer inside was really good.

Corporal's Bitter Brown Ale = 5/10
Ratebeer 3.45 92nd percentile
Beer Advocate 79th

This little brew is a true session strength 4.3%ABV. Fortunately no flavours were skimped over. The nose was a little faint, only a hint of earth, nuts and toffee could be detected. The mouthfeel was almost sparkling. Two words: dry and nutty. Add this to ample earthy, citrus hops, toffee, light coffee and you have a winner. It was a tad hop forward at 84IBU, but who from BC would mind that.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content -1 4.3%
Value +1
Appearance +1 great art and in a stubby bottle!

Beaver Brown Ale (Canoe)
Stuarts Natural Session Ale
Hockley Dark (they sure like their brown ales in TO)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Down Easy Pale Ale (Hoyne)

This is a style of beer that polarizes people. You either drink it all the time or never touch the stuff. I fall into the later group, which is a fault I'll admit to. To me most pale ales are ..well... pale. Perhaps this is a fault of many beer geeks. When I stand in front of a beer cooler deciding how to spend my limited imbibing funds, the pale ale never enters my mind. Go for the imperial stout, or grab a saison; these are the thoughts I get. However there is a time and a place for a beer that is not a palate challenge. Sometime you need a casual refreshing brew; this is where the Down Easy comes into the picture. This beer does not shock and awe, but it is enjoyable.

Down Easy Pale Ale (Hoyne) = 5/10

The nose is pretty standard: faint floral, toast and mild citrus. It's light, creamy mouthfeel carries ample light caramel and bready/biscuity malts. These are accompanied by a balanced accompaniment of  citrus, herbal and mild flowery hops. The balance was nice; maybe a little hop unfocused. Down Easy's ending was a tad sticky with a quick ending floral bitterness. It would have been nice to have a good hop snap at the end. It is what it is; an easily enjoyable beer.

Taste +2
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.2%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (nice label art with some description of taste of beer)

Other pale ale reviews
Drifter Pale Ale (Widmer)
Mirror Pond Pale Ale
Northumberland Pale Ale

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Das Razz (Spinnakers)

Sticking with the theme of the three fruits, here is the local raspberry addition to their strong abbey style ale.

Das Razz (Spinnakers) = 5/10
Ratebeer 3.29 64th percentile
Beer Advocate

A sweet, syrupy raspberry odour jumps from the glass. The cider-like, raspberry sweetness packs a fair bit of astringency and tartness. This will certainly appeal to cider drinkers. The cooling at the end carries the berry flavours away quickly. I thought it was a little sweet, but the Mrs. quite liked it.

Taste +2
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content +1 8.2%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Other 'fruity' reviews
Currant Noir
Fruli Strawberry
Cherish Kriek Lambic

Monday, November 21, 2011

Phillips Ancient Brown Ale

All proceeds from the sale of this beer go to the Ancient Forest Alliance.I like that, but how does the beer taste?
Phillips Ancient Brown Ale = 5/10

I have not been enthused by the Phillips releases this year. This one I like. It has a simple nose: dry, ashy with burnt nut aromas. There is quite a bit of astringency from the roasted flavours. The taste is simple- yet complex. At first you get a dry and burnt/roasted sip of powdered cocoa and pecans. Then the slight fruitiness arrives followed by their friends toast and chocolate coated peanuts. Their impressions of powdery, burnt almonds don't intrude for long. The Ancient Brown Ale is not a powerhouse of flavours but I liked it.

Taste +2
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What the Huck

Just do it. Just do the review - get one more ahead. No matter how crappy it is..tick tick tic. My readers are familiar with my crappy reviews.All 90+ of them, yes I keep track. I'm goal orientated remember?

What the Huck = 5/10
Ratebeer wanted password and I was not into that today
Beer Advocate B

Ok.focus. I'm a little bit blurry from the beer- or is it from playing Left4Dead2 for over an hour? Most likely the game, we tried a new map..SHUT UP and focus.

I never expect great things from Fernie brewing; this is a fault of mine. Maybe I am held up on the name. I've been to Fernie, BC. Honestly the best part about the town was the road sign that said "please visit us again". That again is not fair- it is near... Well, the sign was very nice.

The Huck is a huckleberry wheat ale. It did not give a good first impression with it's uneventful wheat and grass nose. There was a slight berry fruitness involved. Taste is very important. WOW, that last sentence makes me sound so stupid. It tastes like every other wheat beer you have sampled: cereal, grass, yeast and citrus. The Huck added a suitable tart huckleberry flavour. It was neither too tart, nor overly syrupy. Your linger was tart yeast with an off sweet berry tongue caress. This is the perfect summer beer. If you see their Sap Sucker Maple Porter: get it!

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance 0 (Fernie has never made great labels)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Amsterdam Nut Brown Ale

Why do I even bother? There is a Herculean task ahead of me here: document all the beers in my various notebooks, cellphone notes and scrap pieces of paper. What would this accomplish. Actually nothing. At the end there will be no Brownie badge, no power up, no medal and no parade. Such is the life of a beer ticker. However I have noticed one trend in the lifecycle of the beer geek. The rate of new beers sampled is decreasing. I used to fill up one 33beers book every two weeks; now, one will last be over a month. Does this mean there is some sort of metamorphosis coming?

Amsterdam Nut Brown Ale = 5/10

Ratebeer 3.04/5 49th percentile
Beer Advocate B-

Honestly I look forward to tasting a nut brown ale as I do to brushing my teeth. The whole point of a nut brown ale is that they are easy drinking and unobtrusive. The Amsterdam is no exception. Your aroma is pecans, with slight DMS - but OK. There is a mild creaminess in the sip with a tolerable astringency from roasted grains. The more I drank this beer, the more I liked it. Its cocoa, dry toast and pecan butter meshed well with the mineral hops. Overall an enjoyable, but not challenging, beer.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance 0 (it's a can!)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Iceholes Celebration Lager

I remember this beer; it was a response to Stephen Colbert calling us a bunch of syrup-sucking iceholes. Apparently other nations were not allowed to practice in certain official venues during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Iceholes Celebration Lager = 5/10

Lagers never score well under my rating system; this one was nice. The nose was very.. well, lager like. There was a bit of vegetal and slight hints of lemon. It was very smooth on the tongue with a good snap of spicy and floral hops. The Icehole restored my faith in lagers. It blended familiar flavors like lemon, lettuce with new ones of cotton candy and candied corn. I miss the Olympics and this beer.

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Sunday, June 5, 2011

John By Imperial Stout

This was a draft selection from Bar Volo. At first I was very excited about visiting this beer bar. The reviews from Toronto beer bloggers were praising. It only got better as I saw the person next to me jot in is notebook as he worked his way through a flight of beers. Every few minutes the barman would walk over to talk to him: this was my kinda place. I sat down, now it is my turn. Then everyone left and no service at all. I could have choked on a peanut (if there was one) and nobody would notice for hours. It was almost comical; none of the staff even looked at me. Finally I got a beer after waving my arms like a drowning sailor. But he never returned until I sent a semaphore message. Oddly he returned very quickly as I got up to leave.

John By Imperial Stout = 5/10

Ratebeer 3.71 98th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Lots of roast in this nose; maybe a little too much. Needless to say these was burnt vanilla and roasted coffee everywhere. This was a nice impy stout but not stellar. It had everything you wanted: wood notes, vanilla, bitter sweet chocolate and a malt that changed with every sip. But somehow it was just not doing it for me. Perhaps it was the unusual about of alcohol in the nose and taste.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 8.7%
Value 0
Appearance 0

Old #38 Stout

Habit Espresso Stout
Labyrinth Black Ale

Saturday, May 7, 2011

10W30 (Neustadt)

This a speed review. Most of my readers are aware of my beer ticker problem and my desire to be up to date on my reviews. Maybe there is a tickers support group like 'tickers needn't be anonymous.' It could be called TNA, hahahahahah. Wasting time must write up beer.

10W30 (Neustadt) = 5/10

Ratebeer 3.07 53rd percentile
Beer Advocate B

I had this on tap and C'est What? Another can followed me home from TO; perhaps I liked the packaging. Nose is faint but could detect a slight roast. It is odd how a medium mouthfeel beer and delivery this much flavour. There is more than expected chocolate, licorice and citrus. This is closer to a weak Black IPA than a brown ale. It was good and drinkable; almost porter-like. The slight wood and dry chocolate tastes faded away too quickly.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.5%
Value 0
Appearance +1 (At least its a fun looking can)

Naramata Nut Brown (a very under rated beer)
Beaver Brown Ale (Meterman Cameo)
Howe Sound Nut Brown

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Northumberland Ale (Church-Key)

This was most likely sampled on my trip to Toronto last summer. Despite all larger population and good breweries, it is actually hard to find good beer there. If you visit the LCBO, they have better selections of foreign beers that local ones. I think I had this at C'est What; a great gastro-beer spot with massive local selection.

Northumberland Ale (Church-Key) =5/10
Ratebeer 2.61 22nd percentile
Beer Advocate not listed

At first I was worried, vegetal and grass is never a good sign for a beer nose. Luckily things improved with each sip. It was light and effervescent with grassy/herbals hops, honey and a good dose of citrus. The pale fruitiness from the malts was nicely balanced. This was not an exciting beer, but a solid English pale ale. Easy drinking and mildly flavourful.

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0
Value +1 (great English Pale Ale)
Appearance +1 (nice local makes things look better)

Bass Pale Ale

Salt Spring Island Pale Ale
Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Friday, February 25, 2011

Belgian Ale (Yaletown Seasonal)

This was the last stop on our pub crawl. I didn't ask a lot of questions about this beer, and frankly, our server could have cared less to answer. Most of the people around us had glasses full of pale yellow swill- idiots!

Belgian Ale (Yaletown Seasonal) =5/10

It was a Belgian strong ale alright; tart yeasts, apricots and light citrus flavours were abundant. As was the slight lemon grass and alcohol warmth. The slightly sour linger was a pleasant ending. It was OK, but I have had better - many better.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 (prob over 6%)
Value 0
Appearance 0