Last Week’s Craft Beer Tasting Notes—Dec 25–31, 2017

With both Christmas and New Year’s in the same week, this was a big week—both in terms of the amount of beers and the high ABV. Don’t worry. I took New Year’s Day off… I was too hungover to get out of bed!


Armored Fist CDA by Boneyard Beer Company

I really like this. It had the typical dark malt chocolate and toffee notes, but the hops brought tropical fruit and citrus.

English Strong Ale by AleSmith Brewing Company

Rich toasty malt notes of toffee, caramel, and dried fruits. Pretty boozy, but I like that.

Bottle & Cans

Nelson Sauvin Brut Dry Hopped! by Mikkeller

Fruity and vinous with green grape from the hops and Chardonnay and oak from the barrels. Highly effervescent. The real champagne of beers!

Hop Shot (2017) by BrewDog

This 20% quadruple IPA was an intense barrage of grapefruit, orange, pine, and dank. Though it wa surprisingly well-balance by a hefty caramel malt base. The mouthfeel was thick and oily and the bitterness lingered for a long time!

Anno (2017) by Dageraad Brewing

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

Trappistes Rochefort 10 by Abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy

I’ve not had this classic in years! This Belgian quad has notes of caramel, toffee, chocolate, raisins, clove, and warming alcohol. Quite lovely!

You Gonna Eat That? by Twin Sails Brewing

This black forest cake imperial stout had light roasty malt notes of cocoa with natural cherry flavour. I often find cherry to come of medicinal in beer, but thankfully that’s not the case here.

Invasion Farmhouse IPA (2016) by Mikkeller & Anchorage Brewing Company

Very tart and super funky with aromas of papaya, guava, citrus and barnyard funk. Quite sharp in the finish.

Invasion Farmhouse IPA (2012) by Mikkeller & Anchorage Brewing Company

This was surprisingly fresh and effervescent for a five year old bottle—I was expecting dead yeast and no carbonation. It was not as sharp as the newer bottle and the Brett brought so much tropical fruit.

Yule Mælk (Yellow Label) by To Øl

Good god, that’s sipper! Dark roasted malt notes of nuts, coffee, and dark chocolate with rich cognac and sherry, with oak an booze.

Straffe Drieling (2014) by Logsdon Farmhouse Ales

“Expired” one ago, but still good. The hops had dropped off a bit though. Herbal nose. Fruity esters, spicy phenols, oatmeal, grassy hops, and barnyard funk.

Biere De Crabe by Twin Sails Brewing & Brasserie Dunham

You can only taste the crab if you really stretch your imagination—probably a good thing! It’s a great saison though with spicy phenols, salt, and lemon.

Timut by Steel & Oak Brewing Co. & The Commons

Bready malt, pepper, coriander, and kumquat. Nice combo of spice and fruit.

Nostradamus (2017) by Brasserie Caracole

Toasted bread, liquorice, nuts, candi sugar, fruity esters and spicy phenols. Nom!

8° (2017) by Dageraad Brewing

Malty with a touch of date to accompany the fruity yeast esters. I felt like it would have been better if it hadn’t been sour.

Santa_top_red_version.psd by To Øl

Dark malt with a touch of orange and light cardamom. Not much hop presence for a black IPA

Galactic Space Dragon IPA by Odin Brewing Company

This IPA was pretty juicy and citrusy with a touch of tropical fruit. However, it was a bit too bitter to be  considered an NE-style IPA.

Odin’s Gift by Odin Brewing Company

This amber ale had lots of caramel malt with a touch of berry fruitiness and some earthy bitterness.

Chili Chocolate Milk Stout by Twa Dogs Brewery

Hmmm, this was a lot spicier when I had it at Winterbrau. It was still nice and chocolatey, but not what I was hoping for.

Passionfruit Wheat Ale by Pasteur Street Brewing Company

Crisp and grainy body with lots of passionfruit flavour. Not too sweet.

Imperial Stout (2017) by Fuller, Smith & Turner

Rich roasty dark malt with notes of cocoa, coffee, molasses, raisins, plums, and a touch of smoke.

McEwan’s Scotch Ale by Charles Wells Brewery (Marston’s)

Bready malt with caramel, toffee, and dried fruits. A classic wee heavy!

Funky Gose Medina by Powell Brewery

Mild funk and tartness along with a touch of citrus, red wine, and oak. Beautiful beer!

Bigfoot (2016) by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Brewed in 2015, but after two years the hop bitterness overpowers the malt notes. I think this needs another two years to mature.

Zenryaku Konominante Kiitenaize Sorry Session Yuzu Ale by Yo-Ho Brewing Company

I guess this tastes like yazu? Pear like tartness with a touch of salt and a hint of citrus.

NE IPA by Strathcona Beer Company

More like a NW IPA with lots of tropical and citrus notes. Almost juicy, but slightly too bitter.

Rei Boysenberry Sour by Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks

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

Quinceotica by Longwood Brewery

Slightly tart and mildly fruity with notes of apple and pear. Had an odour of cheap lager,which also came through on the palate a bit.

Baltic Porter by Phillips Brewing Company

Rich dark malt sweetness with notes of dried fruit, liquorice, and coffee. Finished slightly dry and boozy.

Narwhal Imperial Stout (2017) by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Intense roasty malt notes of coffee, bitter dark chocolate, nuts, dark fruit, and a hint of smoke

Vapor Wave by Twin Sails Brewing

Pineapple and tropical fruit nose. Biscuit and crackery malt base. Mild tartness and drying saltiness. Extremely refreshing.

Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break (2017) by Evil Twin Brewing & Westbrook

Dark roasted malt with coffee, cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, and a mild touch of chili heat. Not as much heat as I was hoping for.

Clover All Over by Strathcona Beer Company

Notes of coffee, chocolate, root beer, and citrus. Dry finish.

Don De Dieu (2017) by Unibroue

A rich dark triple with candi sugar, fruity esters and spicy phenols. Quite well balanced.

Red Racer Snowdrift Amber Honey Wheat Ale by Central City Brewers + Distillers

Touch of honey with a touch of wheat dryness to offset the sweetness.

Hardy Brown Ale by Moody Ales at Moody Ales

Roasty malt notes if coffee, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and nuts. Slightly bitter hoppy finish. Touch thin.

Wild Ride by Parallel 49 Brewing Company

Notes of stone fruit, spices, and mild funk. Dry finish with well concealed booze.

Chocolate Raspberry Porter by Phillips Brewing Company

Nice light chocolatey roasted malt notes with mild raspberry. Nicely rounded and not too sweet.

Highschool Sweetheart by Hearthstone Brewery

Light roasty dark malt with cranberries and black currants. Slightly tart and quite sweet. Better when warmer.

Batch 15 IPA by Aslan Brewing Company

This was super juicy for a NW-style IPA. It was cloudy and smooth with notes of tropical fruit, citrus, and pine.

Parallelogram by Parallel 49 Brewing Company

Very smooth from the N2, but not as much coffee as I was expecting. The body was also a little too thin.