Last Week’s Craft Beer Tasting Notes—Aug 21–27 (36 Beers)

Well, here we are again! It’s been another week of hard drinking and I’ve survived to tell the tale. I’ve had the usual bottles at home, cans in the park with a beautiful girl, who then accompanied me the the Canadian Alesmith launch at The Drake, then there was also a Rogue Ales tap Takeover at Moon Under Water.

I feel like this is a good time to remind everyone that if you keep a blog, you aren’t an alcoholic, you’re an enthusiast.

The Canada Alesmith Launch at The DrakeIMG_20170823_222826

Old Numbskull by AleSmith Brewing Company

This was billed as an American barleywine, but tasted quite a lot like an English barleywine. It had malty notes of caramel, toffee, plum, and figs, followed by gentle hop bitterness and a smooth finish.

Grand Cru by AleSmith Brewing Company

This dark Belgian ale had sweet caramel malt with notes of raisin, plum, chocolate, fruity esters, spicy phenols, candi sugar, and balanced hoppiness. Complex and intriguing.

Horny Devil by AleSmith Brewing Company20170825_212513

This Belgian strong was fruity and spicy with notes of banana, orange, peppercorn, and coriander. It had lots of sweetness from the malt and candi sugar, but finished dry from the booze

Wee Heavy by AleSmith Brewing Company

Rich malty notes of toffee and caramel, and dark fruits offset by a touch of smoke and subtle hop bitterness.

Speedway Stout by AleSmith Brewing Company

This multiple award-winning imperial stout was full-bodied with intense notes of coffee and dark chocolate over a roasty dark malt backbone. It was rich, decadent, and boozy. World class!

Thai Speedway Stout by AleSmith Brewing Company


This annual variant of the Speedway stout was had dark malt notes of coffee, chocolate, and caramel complemented by notes of tropical fruit and spice. Rich and complex.

IPA by AleSmith Brewing Company

Hoppy aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, pine, and tropical fruits over over a sweet bready malt backbone. Finished with resinous bitterness.

Nut Brown Ale by AleSmith Brewing Company

Smooth, dark, and rich, and full-bodied with notes of biscuit, mild cocoa, and earthy hops.

X Extra Pale Ale by AleSmith Brewing Company


Hoppy aromas of citrus and pine over a light, crisp malt body. Smooth, with the bitterness of the hops offset by the malt sweetness.

Spezial Pils by AleSmith Brewing Company

This was a classic German pilsner with a grainy malt body and spicy, floral noble hops. It finishes crisp, clean, and dry with a touch of bitterness.

Lil’ Devil by AleSmith Brewing Company

A light Belgian pale with added orange peel and coriander to enhance the natural yeast and hop flavours and aromas.

Bottles and Cans

Olde Ale (Bourbon & Brandy Barrel Aged) by AleSmith Brewing Company

A sample of this amazing rare beer was shared with me by Mike Spence who founded The Drake. It was rich and decadent with notes of bourbon, brandy, vanilla, raisins, and oak. The finish was very boozy and comforting.

Double Cyclope by Brasserie Dunham

This double IPA was really juicy with notes of pineapple, guava, papaya, orange, and grapefruit. It had moderate bitterness and hid its alcohol very well

Isseki Nichō by Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

This dark saison was aged for two years and had rich chocolate and coffee notes from the dark malts with peppery spice from the Belgian yeast. Divine!

Pipewrench by Gigantic Brewing Company20170827_202519

This gin barrel-aged IPA had a lovely floral quality from the juniper and gin botanicals that really complemented the citrus notes from the hops.

Dark Saison by Field House Brewing Co.

I really wasn’t impressed by this beer, it was a one-dimensional kettle-sour with gentle lactic acidity. Despite the ingredients, there waslittle liquorice flavour and barely any saison yeast spice or fruitiness.

Punch Bowl Mango IPA by Russell Brewing Company

The mango in this was very subtle. I think this would work better as an NE style, as the hops were slightly too bitter for the delicate flavour.

Personas West Coast Common by Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks

This is more of an ISA than a California Common. It had hoppy aromas of citrus, tropical fruits, with a touch of floral and herbal.

Breakfast of Champions by Riot Brewing Co.

This coffe lager had nice coffee notes over a sweet biscuity malt base. The finish was a little sweeter than I would have liked.

Hopocalypse Meow by Phillips Brewing Company20170821_205623

This 14th anniversary beer was a a big old hop bomb. I got tropical fruit, melon, and resin. Not getting the esters due to the strong hops. It was like Amnesiac’s long-lost brother.

Bachelor Pad by Twin Sails Brewing

This smooth East Coast Double IPa had hop-forward aromas of pineapple, mango, orange peel, and a touch of dank. The body was hazy and the mouthfeel was incredibly smooth.

Market Saturation IPA by Coal Harbour Brewing Company

This was one of the best Coal Harbour beers I’ve had. They nailed the NE style. It was cloudy and smooth with tangerine, pineapple, and melon.

Juice Monkey Tropical IPA by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub


Decent tropical fruit and citrus aromas, but it wasn’t nearly juicy enough. Definitely not a true NE IPA.

Blazing World by Modern Times Beer

This red ale had hoppy aromas of grape and gooseberry over a light bready malt backbone. It was really dank and highly aromatic.

Impeachment by Red Collar Brewing Co.

Wheaty, but neither tart, nor particularly peachy. Had the aroma of cheap beers I drank as a teen.


Zomer Saison by Four Winds Brewing—at The Drake Eatery

A light and thirst-quenching saison with notes of apple, citrus, pepper, coriander, and a gentle touch of oak.

Double IPA Bavaroise by Les Trois Mousquetaires – LTM—at Smiths Pub

Smooth and slightly hazy with notes of honey melon, pineapple, guava, and mandarin oranges.

Ten Times Ten by Brassneck Brewery—at The Drake Eatery


A really nice pale ale with lots of pine, citrus, and a grassy/earthy bitterness.

Dime Bag by Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery—at Smiths Pub

While this latest batch of still a good Brett IPA, I couldn’t taste the candy as muchas much as previous batches.

Tangerine Wheat by Lost Coast Brewery—at The Mint

There was tons of tangerine aroma and flavour in this dry and thirst-quenching wheat beer.

Chimay Bleue (Grande Réserve) (2017) by Bières de Chimay—at The Mint

Rich notes of dates, raisins, cherry, caramel, toffee, apple, pear, clove, pepper. So much alcohol warmth with a drying finish.

Hiatus by Category 12 Brewing—at The Mint

This might be my perfect summer beer. The cucumber and lime combine so perfectly with the earthy, rustic character of the Norwegian yeast.

8 Hop IPA by Rogue Ales & Spirits—at Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery20170826_185443

A big hop bomb with notes of pineapple, grapefruit, pine, earthiness/grasiness. Nice lingering bitter finish.

Morimoto Soba Ale by Rogue Ales & Spirits—at Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery

This was interesting. It didn’t really taste like noodles, but the soba added a bit of nuttiness. Otherwise a little unremarkable.

Hazelnut Brown Nectar by Rogue Ales & Spirits—at Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery

Smooth and malty with a subtle hazelnut flavour that enhanced the nutty notes from the malt.

Cold Brew IPA by Rogue Ales & Spirits—at Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery

The coffee flavour and aroma really came through, while also complementing the hops with bitter and earthy notes.