Showing posts with label Salt Spring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Salt Spring. Show all posts

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Una Mas by Canoe and Salt Spring Island

I am a slacker. I have not reviewed a beer for weeks. That is it! I commit to review a local beer every weekend. Luckily it is the summer and new releases are scarce. Sometimes I wonder why I do it. It is not as though this blog has a great number of readers. There is little fame and even fewer fortunes derived from blogging. Perhaps it is the community (small) and the creative process. Kinda like brewing itself. You take raw ingredients, add knowledge and you produce a unique and desirable product. That is the theory.
But I digress. This is another Victoria area beer collaboration.  Salt Spring Island is a little far away, but they are close enough. I had some reservation about this beer. Both of these breweries are known for unleashing diacetyl (D-bomb) beers. Now you put them together...

Una Mas = -1/10

Ratebeer no ratings 
Beer Advocate no mention

Oh yes, there is the diacetyl and sulfur I was dreading. It is mixed in with a cracker aroma and slight lager character. There is a bit of lemon and cream corn in there too. The mouthfeel is light to moderate with medium carbonation. Chewiness is the best way to describe the sip. Add that to crackers, a slight lemon and mixed citrus flavours. It is the aftertaste that really gets me; quite slick and sticky. I don't think I finished the bomber. Lets not talk about the pint I had on Canoe's patio. This is not going to be posted on Twitter or anywhere else. Some people quite liked this beer.

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

Glassware: Standard lager glass

Food Pairings: Nope

Cellar: I'm sure this beer will see a lot of shelf time

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Saturnalia Gruit by Salt Spring Island

The flavour profile of beer can be thought of the balance between sweetness and bitterness. Dopplebocks are closer to the sweet side, while IPAs drift toward the bitter side. Sweetness is provided by barley malts and bitterness is often provided by hops.This is not the case with the gruit style of beer. Before the regular use of hops, herbs and spices provided the countering bitterness and preservative properties need to enjoy a low alcohol, fermented beverage. We rarely get to sample beers where herbs and spices play a significant role in the flavour profile. This is why everyone should try the Saturalia Gruit.

Saturnalia Gruit =  8/10

From the start you know this brew is going to be different. Peculiar aromas of sweet herbals, burdock and licorice rise from this tar black beer. Things get off-setting at the first sip; this beer is assertively tart and sour. Not in a lambic way, more of a digestive bitter angle. Other odd flavours of burdock, licorice fern and cinnamon swirl around an indescribable herbal sweetness. The finish is sour, dry with a long linger. The gruit is not for everyone, but if you like sours you will like this one. It reminds me of those burdock and dandelion sodas you find in British sweets shops.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (nice labels with description of flavours you might expect)

Glassware: Whatever you have is fine. I would have used a stretched tulip.

Food Pairing: Good luck. Something quite sweet and spicy would resonate nicely. Perhaps toffee pudding with a hint of brandy.

Cellar: This might be a fun one to try, sort of a risk though. If those herbals flavours fade this will be one syrupy sweet beer.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Creme Brulee Vanilla Stout (Saltspring Island)

This, I believe, is a first for BC craft beer. Notice I said 'craft'. Liquor Plus worked in collaboration with Salt Spring Island Brewing to create one unique beer. Essentially Salt Spring Island brewed a one-off batch of beer and Liquor Plus bought it all. I can think of a few people who would shudder at this idea. But bravo to Rod Phillips of Liquor Plus, for taking a risk to further craft beer in BC. Collaborations like this are not new in Canada. The EPIC Sherbrooke Liquor store in Alberta has worked with a few breweries to create their own beers, the most noteworthy is Paddock Wood.

Creme Brulee Vanilla Stout = 8/10

An inky black pour with a tan head is a sign of a stout that means business. The first point of order is the real caramelized vanilla aroma. It reminds me of Madagascar vanilla in full fat ice cream. A lighter than expected body, for an 8%ABV brew, touches almost every stout flavour. There are berries, milk (lactose), caramel, faint coffee, vanilla creamsicles and cola. The slight tongue slickness is easily overlooked because the long finish is all sweet, milk chocolate and vanilla. It is a sweeter stout, but not excessively so. People will like this beer, especially fans of the Lighthouse and Phillips chocolate porters. The Creme Brulee flavours are not robust enough to warrant cellaring. This beer is only available at Liquor Plus starting this upcoming Monday, March 25th. How did I get my hands on a few bottles? I would like to think my l33t blogging status places me into the in crowd. Most likely, Rod let me buy a bottle early so I would not harass him all weekend.

Taste +3 (Bonus points for organic malts)
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 8%ABV
Value +1
Appearance +1 (Good description of flavour and elegant label)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Harvest Moon ESB and Learning

I have learned a lot from my little girl. Rarely do my reviews start with fatherly wisdom crap, but I will have a point soon. One day, my little girl's classmates were sitting around their teacher talking about what they liked, and disliked, about school. The usual opinions came up: I like storytime, I hate math, I like recess and so on. All the little ones adamantly agreed that they liked recess and lunch break the best. That is until my girl raised her hand and said that she did not like recess.
The teacher was puzzled and asked why? It was hard to find my classmates on the busy playground, my little one mentioned. Slowly, other hands went up. Her fellow classmates had the same issue with this (supposed) unanimously fun event. The teacher was puzzled, but worked out a solution to help them find each other on the playground.
I am getting closer to my point - pinky-promise. At a CAMRA beer judging event, I was seated with two elder statesmen of the Victoria craft beer scene. After a respectful kowtow, I quietly sat down and awaited the first beer to judge.
It arrived and was sampled by all of us. They talked about the interesting flavours of the beer, it's richness, complexity and how it was a good example of the style. My sip gave me pause; this beer was clearly infected and tasted like crap. A moment of doubt was focused on my palate. Then I remembered my brave little daughter. Out of my mouth blurted the words,"Yuck! This beer is off. Can you not taste the vinegar?" The honourable others were perplexed, but took another sip. They too agreed with my opinions of this beer and proceeded to document their ill findings.

This brings me to the review of the new beer my Salt Spring Island Harvest Moon ESB.

Harvest Moon ESB = -2/10

Perhaps I got a bad bottle, but others have confirmed my thoughts from other bottles in different cities. This beer is bad. I hate to say anything bad about anybody, but I gotta tell it like it is. The aroma comes across with hints of vegetal (DMS) and caramel. It is actually boardering on butterscotch. A medium to full mouthfeel was oddly creamy and slick for an ESB. Perhaps I had not tasted an ESB in a while. Nope, I had sampled a Fuller's ESB at Clive's Lounge earlier that evening. BTW the Fuller's is absolutely delicious. Each sip was disappointing, this was not an ESB. There was no rich fruit/berry flavours. Nor was there any nuttiness nor caramel aromas. It actually tasted like a plain golden ale, except the vegetal and butterscotch ruined it. There was also no hop presence to speak of. Half the bottle was dumped down the drain. Perhaps the bottle should have been returned to the store; I'm not confrontational enough. It is not as though I have not tasted an ESB in my life. Boundary Bay ESB, Naughty Hildegard, and Anderson Valley ESB share no similarity to this beer. I`m sorry, but I didn`t like it.

Taste -2
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0 5.2%
Value -1
Appearance +1 (nice label with good description)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why do I keep mentioning casks?

I like casks. Why do I like casks? It is not just because they contain beer; although that helps. I like casks because they provide brewers with an opportunity to experiment. Everytime you drink cask beer, you sample a one of a kind beverage. This beverage was hand made by the brewer especially for your tasting pleasure. Well maybe for you and thirty of your friends. Hopefully this trend will continue in Victoria.

Speaking of casks; Clive's Classic lounge has a Salt Spring Island cask on Thursday. How about we spare me the typing and read from the press release:

Our Golden Ale is most definitely a session ale – actually it won Gold for ‘best session ale’ at Vancouver Craft Beer Week last year. It also has won 2 national gold medals for ‘best cream ale’ and ‘best Golden/Blonde ale’ at the Canadian Brewing Awards. It’s light and highly quaffable, but with a really good balance of biscuity malt & citrusy hops. The cask version is dry-hopped with a special edition of our own Salt Spring Nugget hops. If you already like our Golden Ale, you will LOVE this aromatic casked version.

Our Golden Ale is a great beer with almost any kind of savoury food. It would be amazing with aged cheddar cheese, nuts, Italian food, pizza, beef sliders etc.
Sounds good to me. See you there

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Golden Ale Salt Spring Island

Golden Ale Salt Spring Island
American Blonde Ale

Ratebeer 2.85 29th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

Taste +2

The nose is nutty with hints of digested fruits. Average taste of tart honey with a bitter snap at the end.

Aftertaste 0

It was clean and dry with a wisp of honey.

Alcohol Content 0 5%

Value 0

If you like blonde/pale ales, this will be sure to please. I am just not a fan of this style

Ingame Enhancement 0

This was one of the brews at the Epic Tactical Nuclear Penguin tasting party.

Overall 2/10

It was pleasant drinking beer. The was just no excitement, but this is just the way it is with a blonde ale. Certainly a big step above the macro swill blonde ales.

Trappist Achel Blonde

Saint-Martin Blond

Fireside Winter Ale

Fireside Winter Ale (Salt Spring Island)

Ratebeer 2.33 13th percentile
Beer Advocate C

Taste +2

The nose smells lightly of dark fruit, caramel and alcohol. There was a light, creamy mouthfeel with a hint of maple syrup and spice. The taste was quite light for a beer this strong. It's caramel backbone was a little weak. There was no hiding the alcohol burn/tingle.

Aftertaste +1

It was lightly caramel sweet with a palate cleansing alcohol burn. It was very dry cider like.

Alcohol Content +1 7%

It burns like a bad urinary tract infection.

Value 0

It was nice but not exciting.

Ingame Enhancement 0

No nothing; I'm done here.

Overall 4/10

It was a below average winter warmer. The caramel and spices were there, but just not enough.

Lions Winter Ale
Lighthouse Winter Ale
Winterbier Dopplebock