Last Week’s Craft Beer Tasting Notes—Dec 11–17 (88 Uniques)

Well, that was a busy week of boozing, with the Strange Fellows birthday bash, the Parallel 49 barley wine festival, Vancouver brewery hopping, a trip to The Drake, and a tasting.

Sorry for the lack of pictures. I’m running out of server space!

Draught

Death Blow by Twin Sails Brewing—At the Parallel 49 Barley Wine Fest

This was pretty good for a young barley wine. I got notes of raisins, plums, caramel, and toffee. I think it will be better after barrel-aging.

Spirit Animal (2017) by Brassneck Brewery—At the Parallel 49 Barley Wine Fest

Horse blanket and booze on the nose. the palate had an interesting mix of caramel, plums, raisins, and funk.

2014 Sherry Barleywine by Parallel 49 Brewing Company—At the Parallel 49 Barley Wine Fest

Wow! That really had a strong sherry quality to it. So cloudy, oaky, and warming!

Barley Wine (2014) by Parallel 49 Brewing Company—At the Parallel 49 Barley Wine Fest

Aged beautifully. Rich and smooth with notes of caramel, toffee, plums, raisins, vanilla, smoke, and oak.

Barrel Aged Cherry Barleywine by Coal Harbour Brewing Company—At the Parallel 49 Barley Wine Fest

Medium bodied and fruity with notes of caramel, cherries, red wine, oak, and a touch of funk.

Apex Barleywine by Bomber Brewing—At the Parallel 49 Barley Wine Fest

Lots of caramel with a touch of fruity, vinous character, some earthy hops and a hint of oak.

Solstice d’Hiver (2015) by Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!—At the Parallel 49 Barley Wine Fest

Caramel, plums, raisins, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and mild earthy hops. Slightly sweet, but offset by the alcohol.

Woolly Bugger (2015) by Howe Sound Brewing—At the Parallel 49 Barley Wine Fest

Aging really well. Rich notes of caramel, toffee, plums, raisins. Slightly dry and warming finish.

Willy’s Winter Warmer by Real Cask Brewing—At the Parallel 49 Barley Wine Fest

Caramel, maple, vanilla, plums, raisins. Rich and sweet.

MASSIVE! (2016) by Gigantic Brewing Company—At the Parallel 49 Barley Wine Fest

Plums, raisins, figs, caramel and not unpleasant hop bitterness. I prefer the British style, but this had a decent balance.

Critical Hit (2014) by Ninkasi Brewing Company—At the Parallel 49 Barley Wine Fest

Three years old, but still had lots of hop bitterness. The malt peaks through with notes of raisins and caramel, but the hops are in charge.

Barley Wine by Longwood Brew Pub & Restaurant—At the Parallel 49 Barley Wine Fest

Malty with hints of raisins, vanilla, oak, and bittersweet chocolate.

Old Numbskull by AleSmith Brewing Company—At the Parallel 49 Barley Wine Fest

Malty notes of caramel, toffee, plum, and figs. Moderate hop bite in the finish. Well balanced for an American barley wine.

Boris (2016) by Strange Fellows Brewing—at Strange Fellows Brewing

Rich dark malt notes of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, molasses, and a touch of smoke.

Krampus (2017) by Strange Fellows Brewing—at Strange Fellows Brewing

Malt-forward with notes of chocolate, toffee, caramel, and chocolate. Warming alcohol in the finish.

Grendel the Funk by Strange Fellows Brewing—at Strange Fellows Brewing

Tart cherries with moderate funkiness. Dryness of the Brett offsets the sweetness of the malt.

Kveikstokker by Strange Fellows Brewing—at Strange Fellows Brewing

Notes of peach, apricot, plums, white wine, and dusty spiciness. Finishes off-dry.

Cyclhops (Centennial) by Strange Fellows Brewing—at Strange Fellows Brewing

Floral nose. Tart and citrusy with notes of orange, grapefruit, and lemon.

Coup De Foudre Sour Brown by Strange Fellows Brewing—at Strange Fellows Brewing

Lightly sour with notes of caramel, cherries, plums, oak, and a hint of funk. Dry finish. Wonderful.

Blackmail Milk Stout Barrel Aged With Coffee Beans From Notch Coffee Company by Strange Fellows Brewing—at Strange Fellows Brewing

Wow! So much rich, roasty coffee flavour with a touch of vanilla and oak. Smooth and creamy.

Irresolution (2017) by Dageraad Brewing—at Dageraad Brewing

Unexpectedly hoppy and citrussy with notes of lemon, mandarin orange, and grapefruit.

Anno (2017) by Dageraad Brewing—at Dageraad Brewing

Fruity and spicy with notes of pear and coriander. The Brett adds a touch of funk. I’d be interested to see how this ages.

Accidentally On Purpose by Brassneck Brewery—at Brassneck Brewery

Fruity and funky with a slightly cheesy undertone.

Cherubesque by Brassneck Brewery—at Brassneck Brewery

Toasty malty, pears, apricots, Candi sugar. Rich and warming.

Spirit Of DIXmas by Brassneck Brewery—at Brassneck Brewery

Bready malt, pine, citrus, and lingering bitterness. Truly an old school West Coast IPA.

Changeling (Rosé) by Brassneck Brewery—at Brassneck Brewery

Best Changelingl yet. Tart with nice rose vinous character. Nom!

Blacklight by Brassneck Brewery—at Brassneck Brewery

Very different altbier with dark roasty malt notes and gentle fruitiness.

Rum Barrel Imperial Con Leche by Twin Sails Brewing—At Twin Sails Brewing

Rich roasty dark malt with notes of coffee, chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, rum, and oak. Warming alcohol finish.

Blended Reality by Yellow Dog Brewing Co—at Yellow Dog Brewing

Tart and slightly funky with notes of peach and mild oak.

Jeff O’Neill Show Sweater Season Winter Ale by Yellow Dog Brewing Co—at Yellow Dog Brewing

Warming and festive with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

Harvest Companion Wild Kettle Sour by Yellow Dog Brewing Co—at Yellow Dog Brewing

Gentle citrus and lactic acidity. Vinous and musty with notes of chardonnay grapes.

Attack of the Cherry Stout by The Parkside Brewery—at Parkside Brewery

The cherry was very mild and added a touch of tartness. Sadly it obscured the rich dark malty flavours you expect from an imperial stout.

Strange Side by The Parkside Brewery—at Parkside Brewery

Not much going on here. Very mild Belgian yeast character. Mostly just malty.

Dreamboat Hazy IPA by The Parkside Brewery—at Parkside Brewery

Light and hazy with lots of citrus flavour, but a little soapy.

Dark Ginger Ale by The Parkside Brewery—at Parkside Brewery

Lots of ginger flavour. Like a boozy Jamaican ginger ale.

More Animal Than Man by Powell Brewery—at Powell Brewery

Caramel, dried fruits, leather, oak. Nice and dry finish.

Eggnog Latte Stout by Storm Brewing—at Storm Brewing

Lots of nutmeg, but not as creamy as expected.

Hibiscus Lemonade Pilsner by Storm Brewing—at Storm Brewing

Light and refreshing with notes of hibiscus and lemon.

Sasparilla Ale by Storm Brewing—at Storm Brewing

Herbal, almost medicinal on the nose. Tastes like real sasparilla rather than root beer.

Grapefruit Cayenne IPA by Storm Brewing—at Storm Brewing

Lots of grapefruit with a touch of spicy Cheyenne pepper.

Lime & Black Pepper IPA by Storm Brewing—at Storm Brewing

Citrusy with lots of lime, but only a hint of black pepper.

Tequila Sunrise IPA by Storm Brewing—at Storm Brewing

Notes of tequila, orange, and grenadine.

Almond Roca Ale by Storm Brewing—at Storm Brewing

Mild notes of almond, toffee, and chocolate.

Most Premium Russian Imperial Stout (2017) by Gigantic Brewing Company—At The Drake

Rich dark malt with notes of coffee, chocolate, nuts, raisins, and molasses. Not quite as good as Most Most, but still great.

Evil Dead Red (2017) by AleSmith Brewing Company—At The Drake

Perhaps a bit past its prime. I got lots of caramel malt but the hops were just bitter and grassy.

Redamancy by Engine House No. 9—At The Drake

Nice fruity saison with a touch of earthy spice.

Bottle & Cans

Beer Geek Brunch Weasel by Mikkeller

The best coffee stout I’ve ever had. Rich and boozy with gorgeous roasty malt and fantastic coffee presence. I actually this before brunch before helping to move a piano.

Orange X by AleSmith Brewing Company

light bodied and slightly tart and light with lots of orange peel flavour.

Pink Lemonade IPA by Evil Twin Brewing

A smooth and juicy IPA with notes of lemon and raspberry. Low bitterness and not too much sweetness.

9 Donkeys Of The Hopocalypse by Phillips Brewing Company

A big old NW hop bomb with notes from f pine, citrus, and tropical fruit. Lingering grassy bitterness.

Low Rider Sugarplum by Central City Brewers + Distillers

Light, sweet, and tart. Notes of plum and vanilla.

Oatmeal Stout by Phillips Brewing Company

Roasty malt with notes of nuts and chocolate. Smooth mouthfeel.

Spicy Nuggs by Bomber Brewing at Bomber Brewing

Light chili heat over a dark rye malt base providing notes of chocolate, nuts, and spice. Dry finish.

Früli Strawberry Beer by Brouwerij Huyghe

Tons of strawberry fruit juice flavour. Quite sweet, but the wheat offsets it a little.

Proper Treacle by Parallel 49 Brewing Company

Smooth and creamy with rich notes of chocolate and coffee.

Santa’s Sac by Bridge Brewing Company

Notes of pear, apple, pepper, and clove. Sweet finish offset by the booze.

Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter Stout by Dead Frog Brewery

Rich notes of chocolate, peanut butter, and coffee with a slightly sweet finish. This is the best beer Dead Frog makes.

S’more Stout by Base Camp Brewing Company

Lots of roasty malt with notes of chocolate, crackers, and a touch of marshmallow.

Blackberry HeiferBison by Phillips Brewing Company

Notes of blackberry and banana. Light and refreshing.

Latus (2017) by Driftwood Brewery

Quite tart and funky. Notes of black cherry, red wine, oak, horse blanket and a touch medicinal. A decent Flanders red, but not world class.

Hop Circle IPA by Phillips Brewing Company

A well balanced IPA with notes of grapefruit rind, orange, melon, pine, and caramel malt. Lots of earthy bitterness.

Hoperation Tripel Cross Belgian IPA by Phillips Brewing Company

Better in the Snowcase than this year’s bomber. Lots more spicy phenols to accompany the citrus from the hops.

Red Racer Temperance Pre-Prohibition Lager by Central City Brewers + Distillers

The corn made this taste like Budweiser. Eww!

Thor’s Hammer (2017) by Central City Brewers + Distillers

A classic English barley wine. Malty and boozy with notes of caramel, plums, and raisins.

The Tiki Bar by Coal Harbour Brewing Company

Moderate citrus acidity with notes of pineapple, papaya, and guava. Light and refreshing.

Ashore Rye Porter by Britannia Brewing Company

Notes of chocolate, nuts, coffee, and spice with a really dry finish.

Riptide Rye IPA by Britannia Brewing Company

Notes of apricot, nectarine, melon, and mild spice with a dry finish.

Historical FIGures Porter by Hearthstone Brewery

Rich, roasty dark malt with notes of figs and dates, with a mild hint of maple.

Woke Up Like This by Twin Sails Brewing

Big toasty and roasty notes of coffee, chocolate, and nuts, with a smooth and velvety mouthfeel.

Batch 15 IPA by Aslan Brewing Company

Super juicy for a NW IPA. Cloudy and smooth with notes of tropical fruit, citrus, and pine.

Space Armadillo by Twin Sails Brewing

This Sacc trois IPA was really juicy with notes of mango, pineapple, citrus and a touch of light funk. It finished nice and dry. I’ve missed this beer.

Flaskers Ale by Smugglers’ Trail Caskworks

A decent example of the English bitter style. Lots of bready malt and Earthy British hops.

Canoe Chase IPA by Smugglers’ Trail Caskworks

Pine, citrus, vegetal. Not great.

Rei Boysenberry Sour by Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks

Solid kettle sour. Boysenberry smell and taste. Puckering lactic and citric acidity.

Pilsner by Slow Hand

Solid traditional pils with a floral nose and earthy spice on the palate. Crisp and light.

Early Bird by Coronado Brewing Company

Nice mild coffee taste with moderate bitterness offset by the lactose sweetness. Creamy mouthfeel.

Alpen by Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

Toffee, caramel, molasses, dark fruits, and biscuity malt. Rich and warming.

Eleven Boroughs IPA by Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

Awesome west coast IPA. Notes of citrus and light pine with a satisfying bitter finish.

Widowmaker IPA by Backcountry Brewing

Straddles the lines between east and west. Lots of tropical fruit aroma and flavour, but maybe a touch bitter to be considered juicy.–

Yeast Van Brewery District Collab Beer Vol. 1 by Coal Harbour Brewing Company

Super malty with little hop character. Also getting a little Belgian yeast. Confusing.

Double Dutch by Field House Brewing Co.

Very malty and boozy with notes of caramel malt and earthy hops.

Tire Biter by Bad Dog Brewing

This was more like a British IPA than a West Coast IPA. The hops notes were underwhelming and the malt was too sweet.

Double Dragon Imperial Red Ale by Phillips Brewing Company

Lots of caramel malt with notes of grapefruit, tangerine, and lemon from the hops.

Kaleidoscope Mosaic IPA by Phillips Brewing

A well-rounded IPA with hoppy notes of tropical fruit, citrus, berries, and pine over a bready malt base.

Darkest Night by Central City Brewers + Distillers

A little too sweet for the schwarzbier style with a touch of fruitiness and not enough chocolate.

The Toques Of Hazzard by Parallel 49 Brewing Company

Hoppy notes of melon, orange, grapefruit, and mango over a grainy base. Slightly drying finish.

Barley Wine – Barrel Aged (2016) by Persephone Brewing Company

Really good bourbon presence, but I found the base barley wine was a little thin.