Last Week’s Craft Beer Tasting Notes—Feb 6–12 (23 Beers Reviewed)

Another week, another 23 beers. I’m not sure how I managed that, as I was incredibly sick with the flu for most of the week!

Most of these beers were tasted at The Drake’s 3rd Annual Dark Beer & Chocolate Soiree, which I was glad I was able to make it to. Strangely, my sickness gave me a brief respite for a few hours, but then came back in full force the next day. The miracle of beer!

Remember, these aren’t full reviews, just tasting notes. If you want to keep up with me in real-time, you can follow me on Untappd.


Singularity (2015) – Driftwood Brewery

I’ve been drinking Singularity for about four or five years now and I don’t think I’ve had a bad batch yet. I remember the 2015 batch being incredible when it was new, but aging it for two years made it taste like the “singularity” had become a wormhole to a universe of pure flavour and aroma. OK, maybe I’m stretching this metaphor a bit… Full review.

Surtur Nr.8.1 (Cognac barrel-aged) – Borg Brugghús

This divine imperial stout was aged in cognac barrels. The resulting miracle is a boozy concoction of cognac, dark fruits, roasted malt, and vanilla. This is definitely a sipping beer! I don’t know how The Drake procured this, but I am forever indebted!

3rd Orbit — Ecliptic Brewing

This imperial stout was brewed with cherries, so those are at the forefront, but I also tasted roasted malt, dark fruit, chocolate, and a hint of smoke.

Diablo Rojo – Boneyard Beer Company

This was a nice hoppy red ale with a decent amount of of pine, grass, and resin hop notes that are balanced by biscuit malt. I may have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t been drinking imperial stouts all night.

The Abyss (2016) Deschutes Brewery

This wonderful russian imperial stout has notes of bourbon, molasses, liquorice, oak, and a hints of red wine. It was very complex and intense! It was a touch boozy, but will likely mellow with aging. I have a bottle in my cellar, so I’ll likely report back in a couple of years!

Irresolution – Dageraad Brewing

This special winter ale was made with leftover bags of malt and hops, but you would have no idea. It has lots of warming Belgian yeast character and biscuit malt flavour.

Narwhal Imperial Stout – Sierra Nevada Brewing

This was a very smooth Russian imperial stout, with tons of dark malt flavour and notes of coffee, cocoa, dark fruits, and molasses.

Off Leash sour cherry bruin – Yellow Dog Brewing

This is a really nice oud bruin. The cherries are well represented and the tartness of the fruit compliments the sourness incredibly well. This is almost on a par with Strange Fellows’ Reynard!

Death By Coconut – Oskar Blues Brewery

That name ain’t no joke. That coconut is potent. It’s just like eating a coconut chocolate bar, like a Bounty.

The Tom Green Beer (Randal Infused W/ Coffee Beans) – Beau’s All Natural Brewing

The Drake pushed the Tom Green Beer through a Randal full of coffee and vanilla to add an extra dimension to this already delicious milk stout. Neat idea!

Blå Spøgelse – Mikkeller / Three Floyds

This crazy little sour had lots of tartness from the blueberries, with a touch of wood and a nice funkiness. Not overly sour. Rather wonderful!

Lucubrator Doppelbock – Occidental Brewing Co

This dopplebock had notes of toasted malt, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, and hints of coffee. Decent, but not amazing.

Lil’ Red 3.0 – Townsite Brewing

Townsite keeps revising the recipe for their Lil’ Red and I think this year they might have gotten it right. This sour red ale is lightly funky from the Brettanomyces, but not barnyard level. The candi sugar gives it a nice sweet finish that offsets the sour notes well. Being bottle conditioned with Brett, it was a little explosive on opening, so be warned! I’d be interested to see how this one ages.

Disco SoleilBrasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Sick of grapefruit IPAs? Well this one was brewed with kumquats to give it a tons of intensely tart orange flavour. This works incredibly well with the citrus character of the hops to make you feel like you are sitting on an beach in the summer.

Happyness IPA – Superflux Beer Company

The second beer from Superflux. This is a really nicely balanced IPA with tons of pine and citrus notes from the citra and mosiac hops. It’s not quite on a level with Colour & Shape, but it’s darn close!

Slam Dank – Twin Sails Brewing

Oh my, this IPA was so dank and delicious. It’s sort of like a mix between Driftwood’s Fat Tug and New Growth. It also smells and tastes a heck of a lot like marijuana!

Bread Winner – Twin Sails Brewing

This six-grain IPA is an amazing experience. The nose has citrus, pine, and bready malt aromas, while the palate has biscuity/bready malt flavours and a fruity undertone from the hops. The mouthfeel is really smooth and complex. It’s not something you usually expect from an IPA!

Berliner Weisse – Four Winds Brewing

This is a great  example of the style. Lightly sour with a malt-forward profile and hints of lemon and lime.

The Fuzz milkshake IPA– Bridge Brewing

I definitely got notes of peach and vanilla here, but feel it could be more fruity and milky. It was definitely a good first attempt at a milkshake IPA, but I think Two Straws from Twin Sails still rules the roost.

Weizenbock – Steel & Oak Brewing

This strong heffezen was rich with crisp wheat notes along with some some spicy clove and banana phenols. The mouthfeel was very smooth and the extra alcohol was really warming.

The Hammer (Oak Aged) – Phillips Brewing

An old favourite. This imperial stout had notes of dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, and a touch of oak. While I like it, I have to say I preferred the barrel-aged version from previous years. Oak chips just don’t seem to add as much.

Imperial Pilsner (2017 BC Benefit Brew) – Phillips Brewing

Sadly, I wasn’t very impressed with this year’s Benefit Brew. It just tasted like a standard pilsner, but the subtle malt and noble hop flavours seemed to have muted by the additional alcohol.

Java the Hut – Fernie Brewing Company

This was a nice little milk stout with decent coffee taste and a smooth finish thanks to the lactose. However, it was a little over-carbonated.