Last Week’s Craft Beer Tasting Notes—Jan 16–22

New feature! I drink a lot of beer (it’s not a problem if you have a beer blog!), so don’t have enough time to do a  full review of every beer I drink and untappd is quite limiting with its character limited, so I’ve decided to do tasting notes for all of the beers I try each week.

They won’t be the most technical reviews, but they won’t be pretentious either! Also, I’ll be roughly ranking them in order of awesomeness! There are no bad beers, because all craft beer is fantastic!



Colour & Shape IPA – Superflux Brewing

By far the best BC-brewed east coast IPA. It’s so juicy and fresh. It puts the Steamworks Flagship IPA to shame!

Two Straws milkshake IPA – Twin Sails Brewing

Twin Sails is blazing trails right now with all of their incredibly inventive brew. With Two Straws, they are the first BC brewery to make a milkshake IPA and now everyone else is following suite. For a full review, click here.

La Maison wild saison – Four Winds Brewing

I don’t normally go for light beer, but I was surprised how flavourful this was. The Saison yeast really shone though with tons of spiciness.

Duchesse de BourgogneBrouwerij Verhaeghe

This is an incredibly complex and challenging sour beer. It’s a Flanders red that has been aged in oak barrels for 8 to 18 months! The first time I tried it I thought it tasted like vinegar, but this bottle was a little older, so the flavours had matured and become a little less abrasive. It’s actually quite wonderful.

Isseki Nicho – Microbrasserie Dieu du Ciel! & Shiga Kougen

A hybrid of an imperial stout and a Belgian saison. It poured like a stout and had that distinctive saison spiciness and dry finish. Absolutely fantastic!

Brune –Dageraad Brewing

This is a fantastic take on a dubble. Belgian yeast tends to add dark fruit notes to a dubble, so adding actual Mission figs to the brew really enhances this element and makes it taste even more rich and decadent. Full review.

Juice Plus – Twin Sails Brewing

The big brother of Dat juice. This citra IPA is very dangerous. It’s like drinking spiked orange juice. It’s so smooth with low bitterness. If this was produced on a regular basis I would drink it every day!

Dat Juice citra pale ale – Twin Sails Brewing

Citra pale ales normally have a nice citrus/orange taste, but this one takes the idea to another level. This was like drinking a glass of orange juice.

[EP°K]Trou du Diable

This one calls itself a stout IPA. I thought this was a poor translation and was expecting a black IPA / Cascadia dark, but this is more like stout with a little extra hops. It was rather interesting, but could ahve use a little more hopiness. Full review to follow.

Pineapple Destiny IPAFuggles & Warlock Craftworks

Found on tap at The Churchill in Victoria, this pineapple variant of Fuggles’ Destiny IA tasted like a Pina colada. This definitely made me feel like I was drinking a low IBU east coast IPA. It was actually pretty legit. I hope they bottle it!

Hercule StoutBrasserie Ellezelloise

I’ve loved this beer for years. Originally picked up because it had Belgian detective Poirot on the label. Beyond the gimmick, though, this is an incredbly well balanced and drinkable imperial stout. It reminds me a lot of Old Rasputin.

Oranje Maan – Moon Under Water Brewpub

A really nice imperial orange wit that hides its 8.2% really well. A little like a mimosa!

Phaedra Belgian Rye IPA– Four Winds Brewing

A rye IPA with Belgian yeast. Tons of spicy and fruity character from the yeast and a crisp dry finish from the rye. Heavenly!

Flagship IPA – Steamworks Brewing

Another juicy east coast IPA. This won Best in Show at the 2016 BC beer awards. It is really nice, but nowhere near as good as Color & Shape or Juice Plus.

The Hammer Imperial Stout (bourbon barrel aged) – Phillips Brewing Company

I’ve been drinking this RIS for years and while I’ve discovered better examples of the style, this one still has a special place in my heart. It’s quite flavourful and the bourbon doesn’t assault the senses like it sometimes can with bourbon barrel aging. Still, 8.5% is hardly imperial!

DopplebockTwin Sails Brewing

Before they went experimental can crazy, Twin Sails made a new standard beers. I first tried this at a tap takeover last year and it’s a really amazing dark dopplebock. Highly recommended if you like imperial dark lagers.

1880 Export StoutMoody Ales and Ridge Brewing

Smooth and easily drinkable with notes of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. Finishes crisp and dry.

Steamworks Barrel Aged Imperial StoutSteamworks Brewing

Hmmm, this one was boozy and lots of bourbon flavour. However, it was way too carbonated. I could actually taste the CO2! I left in with a silicon cap on over night and it popped off as soon as I touched it, not a good sign. Then I allowed to breath a couple of hours and it was much better. Not bad, but not $18 good.

Russian Imperial StoutBomber Brewing

This 9.5% beer comes in a  nondescript tallboy can and calls itself “Russian Imperial Stout.” Add to that the fact that it costs just $4 and you would expect something cheap and dirty, designed to get you drunk quickly. However, you would be wrong. This well balanced RIS has tons of rich malt character with notes of chocolate and coffee. It finishes slightly sweet, but nit’s not cloying.

100% Brett IPAOld Abbey Ales

Aged for one year. Surpringly it still had a lot of hop flavour, with notes of mango and tropical fruit and a touch of resin. The Brett funk is the major player, though. Open with caution. Mine blew.

Field Tripper Rye IPADead Frog Brewery

This beer was not quite like any other rye IPA I’ve had before. It was more of a hopy red ale with a dry rye finish. That being said, it was really delicious!

Satan RedBrouwerij De Block

I’ll admit I bought this mostly because I am a huge metal head, so was pleasatly surprised by how well balanced this Belgian red ale was.  It had a malty fruity palate with a touch of floral hops and a dry, spicy finish.

Cheeky Session Ale – Powell Brewery

Again, I don’t usually go in for light beers. This wasn’t bad, but wasn’t exactly mindblowing. It kind of just tastes like a pale ale.

Red Nose – Yellow Dog Brewing

An Indian red ale with a nice balances of hops and malt. Notes of caramel and toffee.

Golden Winter Collaboration BrewPersephone Brewing & Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers

This was very malt rich, with a little bit of vanilla and cinnamon spice and a touch of booze. Maybe a little thin and underwhelming.

Venatrix Frambois Wild Ale – Driftwood Brewery

I… I don’t know how to feel. I love Driftwood. I bought three bottles of this, but it was so, so bad! It’s medicinal, astringent, has an acetaldehyde apple off flavour, ester and phenol off flavours, and raspberry ketone. I feel like Driftwood should have poured this out, but maybe it will mellow with age. Here’s hoping!