Craft Beer Tasting Notes—Feb 20–26 (62 Beers)

Wow! That was a big week. I ad a four day weekend and not only did I have a few bombers and cans at home, but I went to a Moody Ales tap take-over at Smiths, then the Extreme Beer with the Beast tasting event, then Island Beer Fest, then to the Drake with friends after.

As this was such a big week, the notes are a little short and to the point. Basically my untappd entries with less drunken typos. I did a couple of full reviews on a few though, so click through to read those.


At Home:

The Victorious Weizenbock—Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery

Dark, malty, and warming. Nice yeast ester and phenols character. Like a wheat imperial stout. Full review.

Wild Muscari Farmhouse Ale – Coolship Collaboration Series 1/4—Field House Brewing

Very light and fruity with floral hop character and a hint of sourness. The wild yeast is not was pretty subtle.

Kataja Juniper Ale—Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

Very tasty and floral,  I was expecting more juniper. It’s there, but more of an accent, rather than being up-front like Deschutes Sage Fighter or Phillips Stump.

Commander Reserve (2013)—Dead Frog Brewery

Roasted malt, molasses, caramel, coffee. In that order. Aging didn’t change it a heck of a lot. Still good, though.

Apex Double—Bomber Brewing

Really nice malt backbone with tons of piney hop character. Way better than the Phillips imperial pils they did for this year’s Benefit Brew.

Mystic Skull #5—Parallel 49 Brewing Company

I’m not a big cervaza guy, but I liked the chocolate and chilli notes. The spiciness was mild though. Could have been more intense.

Quiet Rye’t Rye IPA—Fernie Brewing Company

This IPA had nice spice notes from the rye and peppercorn, which offset the citrus of the hops. Dry finish.

Algerine Collaboration No. 1—Townsite Brewing & Gladstone Brewing

I’m so used to the patersbier’s more boozy big brothers, i.e. dubbles, tripels, and quads. This was light, but still had tons of clove, pepper, and floral notes. Not as fruity as a dubble, though.

Grande Noirceur—Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Tons of roasted malt character, caramel, and coffee in this imperial stout. It was incredibly smooth for a 9% beer.

Tone Def—Twin Sails Brewing

This beer tastes like drinking a freshly-squeezed glass of orange juice. Even the mouthfeel felt a little thinker than a normal IPA, but maybe that was just my imagination. This beer hides it’s 8% ABV dangerously well and you would have no idea it was 60 IBU if it wasn’t written right on the can—I would have perceived the bitterness to be around 20 maybe! Full review.

Solstice d’Eté (Framboise)—Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

This had an intense raspberry flavour with a really tart/sour mouthfeel.

St-Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe (Réserve Spéciale Bourbon) 2016—by Brasserie McAuslan (St-Ambroise)

Notes of liquorice, coffee, molasses, toffee. Well balanced. Full bodied and almost inky. Not very boozy for a 9.2% stout.

On tap at The Drake:

Two Straws—Twin Sails Brewing

Batch #2 on tap at The Drake. It’s even more fruity and juicy than the first. Still king of the milkshake IPAs. Batch #1 review.

5BEANS—Sixpoint Brewery

Strong espresso flavour with a touch of cardamom. Easy drinking for me, but my friends found it boozy. Each to their own.

Jubelale—Deschutes Brewery

So spicy and fruity. Like a liquid Christmas pudding.

3rd Orbit Imperial Porter—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.

Jamaican Coconut Rum Stout—Odin Brewing Company

The coconut and rum played well together against the roasted malt background.

Brett Cherry Wild Ale—Odin Brewing Company

Unexpectedly light for 9.8%. The cherry notes were light, as was the Brett funk.

Hop Cooler—Ninkasi Brewing Company

Nice citrus and tropical hop character with a satisfying bitter finish.

Moody Ales tap take-over at Smiths:

Chipper Blonde—Moody Ales

Decent take on blonde, but not outstanding. Quite drinkable though.

Intrepid Matcha Saison—Moody Ales

Subtle lemon and matcha tea notes, with a crisp, dry finish..

Super Saaz Me White IPA—Moody Ales

Like an amped-up English IPA. The hops are present, but not in your face.

1880 Export Stout—Moody Ales

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

Belgian Strong Scotch Ale—Moody Ales

Hot damn! Caramel malt meets Belgian yeast esters and phenols. This shouldn’t work, but it does! I hope they bottle this.

Double IPA—Moody Ales

A decent DIPA with some citrus, pine, and resin. Didn’t do too much to stand out from the hundreds of others on the market.

Extreme Beer with the Beast tasting event:

Drink’in Passion Berliner—Mikkeller

A nice mild kettle sour with gentle passion fruit notes.

La Tormenta—Breakside Brewery

I love a good dry-hopped sour. This was tart with lots of citrus and tropical fruit notes from the hops. Delicious.

Straffe Hendrik Brugs Tripel Bier Wild (2016)—De Halve Maan

Interesting dry funniness. Didn’t taste much like a tripel. The yeast character was very different.

Peralta—Townsite Brewing

A big foam explosion! Pale ales don’t float my boat, but this was all barnyard funk, so right up my alley.

Tropicale IPA—Brasserie Dunham

Tropical fruits and barnyard funk, oh my!

Farmhouse Cerise—Microbrasserie Le Castor

Great balance of saison spice and barnyard funk. Really dry finish.

Colour & Shape—Superflux Beer Company

Mind-blowingly juicy and fresh. I can’t get enough of this beer!

Puff—Sixpoint Brewery

Definitely more of a West Coast hazy IPA with tons of resinous hop character. I liked it  a lot!

Oranje Maan—Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery

Booze, wheat, and orange. A little like a beer mimosa.

Lustrous—Gigantic Brewing Company

Orange citrus notes, pepper/clove, and floral aromas. A wonderful farmhouse ale.

Island Beer Fest:

Goldilocks—Strange Fellows Brewing

Oh wow! This Belgian golden strong is rich, with candi sugar, banana, clove, and warming alcohol. Strange Fellows really nailed the style here. I’d rank this up there with Gulden Draak and Son of the Morning.

Talisman—Strange Fellows Brewing

Nicely dry hopped pale with citrus and tropical notes.

Salted Chocolate Porter—Steamworks Brewing Company

Lightly salted with nice chocolate and roast malt notes. I have a full bottle in the fridge, which will give me a better picture.

Scottish Heavy Scotch Style Ale—Big Rock Brewery

This tasted like the light beer of Scottish ales. There was a hint of caramel and vanilla, but it left me wanting a real Scottish ale.

Citradelic Single Hop IPA—Big Rock Brewery

It would be better if they marketed this as a pale ale and not an IPA. The Citra hops didn’t stand out. There is a touch of tropical fruit and citrus, but it’s nothing compared to Dat Juice.

Honey Brown Amber Lager—Big Rock Brewery

A touch of caramel and fuggles hops on the nose, but the palate was so bland.

Pilsner—Steamworks Brewing Company

A decent pilsner with hints of lemon and a spicy, herbal finish.

IPA—Lagunitas Brewing Company

There are so many hop and malt varieties here that nothing stands out. This is the Coke of IPAs.

Lot 9 Traditional Pilsner—Creemore Springs

No aroma, no flavour.

Heritage River Hefeweizen—Red Arrow Brewing Company

Nice notes of orange/citrus, with a slightly spicy wheat finish.

Old Style Lager—Red Arrow Brewing Company

Clean and refreshing. Not a huge lager fan, but it’s a nice alternative to macro brews

Midnite Umber Ale—Red Arrow Brewing Company

Toffee, brown sugar, unidentifiable hops. Unbalanced.

Craft Lager—Parallel 49 Brewing Company

Not bad for a lager. Nice balance of flavour from the malt and the noble hops. Not really my style, though.

The Hammer Oak Aged Imperial Stout (2016)—Phillips Brewing Company

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.

Space Goat—Phillips Brewing Company

Spice, grass, and pine from the hops. Creamy mouth feel from the oats.

She’s Da’Bomb Blonde (cask)—Sooke Oceanside Brewery

Like an amped up version of their regular blonde with some extra hop kick. The carbonation was great for a cask.

Lipslide Lager—Riot Brewing Co.

Malt forward with a touch of dry spice from the hops.

Helios—Hoyne Brewing

One of the few lagers I like. Nice bread and caramel malt notes. Clean and crisp. Sean knows his malts

Feelin’ F’whiskey (cask)—Stanley Park Brewing

An IPA, refermented with Brett in whiskey barrels, apparently. Not super sour. I got mild Brett and whiskey notes, and some citrus. Everything was a little muted.

Stanley Park Noble Pilsner—Stanley Park Brewing

Bready malt, touch of fruit. Unremarkable.

Winterglow—Stanley Park Brewing

Some orange, I guess… again, unremarkable.

Dusk—The Parkside Brewery

Decent pale with nice citrus hop notes.

Dawn—The Parkside Brewery

Not bad. Good balance of hops and malt.

Eastern Promises Czech Pilsner—Russell Brewing Company

Another pilsner… I liked the floral saaz hops.

Piper’s Pale Ale— Vancouver Island Brewing

Little-to-no hop presence. Rather bland compared to some of the pale ales out there.

Carmanah Ale—Vancouver Island Brewing

I’ve had far better red ales. Poor hop and malt profile. Thin. Bland.

48 Dark Lager—Vancouver Island Brewing

Like a thinner Hermann’s with a strange metallic aftertaste.