Last Week’s Craft Beer Tasting Notes—Nov 27–Dec 3 (36 Beers)

My girlfriend came back from a month-long trip to visit her family in El Salvador, so we had some drinking to catch up on. There were about another 30 beers sampled at the Christmas Craft Beer Show, but I didn’t take notes on those.

Bottles & Cans


Palate Wrecker by Green Flash Brewing Company

Big notes of pine and citrus over a bready malt base. Lots of earthy bitterness that lingers.

Barrel Aged Belgian Tripel by Ravens Brewing Company

Definite notes of dark fruit and spices but only a touch of oak. It finished much too sweet.

Craft Made Pilsner by Phillips Brewing Company

Pretty standard North American pils. Slightly floral nose, touch of corn on the palate, and a crisp body.

Trainwreck (2017) by Phillips Brewing Company

Really good this year. Smooth and rich with notes of vanilla, currants, bourbon, and oak.

Trainwreck Barley Wine (2016) by Phillips Brewing Company

Aged one year. Not as much bourbon character as 2017. Glad they went back to barrels.


Accusation Ale by Phillips Brewing Company

Nice example of the ESB style. Very malt-forward and light with a touch of bitterness in the finish.

Jitter Buzz by Central City Brewers + Distillers

Decent coffee stout with some roasty malt and espresso flavour. A little thin though.

Piñata Squamata by Parallel 49 Brewing Company

Really nice notes of pineapple and coconut in this Piña colada milkshake IPA. The lactose got a little chunky after settling, but rolling the bottle helped.

Sumo In A Sidecar by Evil Twin Brewing


This is a really weird idea for a beer—an apricot and umami IPA. The apricot came through but the umami made it taste a little off.

Levadura by Stillwater Artisanal

This was a really refreshing gose with notes of agave and lime plus a touch of salt.

Mexi-Gose by Odin Brewing Company

Another lightly tart Gose with notes of lime and sea salt.

Gose To Hollywood by To Øl

Really nice Gose with a touch of tropical fruit and salt. Refreshing and smooth.

G&T Gose by Anderson Valley Brewing Company


Really refreshing with notes of lemon, lime, juniper, and salt.

Pêche Mel Scaldis by Brasserie Dubuisson

Loads of fresh peach flavour with a touch of spice from the yeast. It also had hints of brandy.

Anxiety Ale (2017) by Phillips Brewing Company

Fruity esters and spicy phenols from the Belgian yeast complemented by a touch of sweetness and mild flavour from the added beetroots. I’m really glad they brought back the beets for this year’s version.

Gary’s Chocolate Orange by Central City Brewers + Distillers

Whistler Winter Dunkel this ain’t. Nothing on the nose, but hints of orange peel and bitter chocolate on the palate.

SeaQuench Ale by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery


Really thirst-quenching with tons of lime, black pepper, and sea salt. Finished really dry. Mix of three different styles that comes off like a saison.

Mera Belga by Cadejo Brewing Company

My girlfriend brought me this back from El Salvador. Not a bad Belgian Wit. It had a nice wheaty body with a touch of honey, vanilla, and zesty citrus.

Prescription Porter by Barkerville Brewing Co.

A nice chocolate porter with a mild touch of chili heat. Not sure if the chaga mushrooms added much though and the body was a little thin.

Blackberry Wheat (Sour Series) by Townsite Brewing


Really nice blackberry flavour over a grainy malt base. Just the right level of tartness and the wheat offsets the sweetness.

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.

Woke Up Like This by Twin Sails Brewing

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

Arcade Glow by Boombox Brewing Company20171202_200117

Pineapple, stone fruits, berries, lemon. This so amazingly juicy and smooth.

Juxtapose by Four Winds Brewing

Nice subtle funkiness to compliment the tropical fruit notes from the hops and the yeast esters.

Blackberry Jam by Four Winds Brewing

The blackberries in this fruited IPA balanced really nicely against the lupulin. The lactose and vanilla added a touch of sweetness and it finished oh so smoothly.IMG_20171201_143040

Home Ec by Twin Sails Brewing

This Tirimisu stout had notes of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, cookies, and cream. It was sweet and decadent. Phenomenal!

2×4 DIPA by Melvin Brewing

Incredibly hop-forward with notes of pine, citrus, and tropical fruit over a light malt base. Lingering grassy bitterness.

Honorary non-Craft Mentnion

Pilsener of El Salvador by Industrias La Constancia

The national beer of El Salvador. Crisp body with a touch of corn. Not mind-blowing, but way better than Corona.

Green Flash Tap takeover at Smiths Pub

West Coast IPA by Green Flash Brewing Company


Floral nose, with tropical fruit, citrus, and pine on the palate. Nice bitter finish.

Le Freak by Green Flash Brewing Company 

A nice hoppy triple with citrusy hops and spicy phenols.

Imperial IPA by Green Flash Brewing Company

Piney resin, a touch of tropical fruit and grapefruit, and a boatload of dankness.

Soul Style by Green Flash Brewing Company

A nicely balanced IPA with a tropical fruit nose accompanied by citrus notes and biscuit malt.

Tangerine Soul Style IPA by Green Flash Brewing Company

Really nicely expressed tangerine to complement the hops. Nice and juicy.


Passion Fruit Kicker by Green Flash Brewing Company

Slight citric acidity with notes of passion fruit and a hint of tea with a rich mouthfeel and a dry finish.

Ideal Belgique by Green Flash Brewing Company

Beautiful roasty malt, with fruity esters, spicy phenols and hops, and brown sugar. Rich and decadent.

Divine Belgique by Green Flash Brewing Company

Fruity esters and spicy phenols complemented by zesty European hops over a rich pale malt base.


Last Week’s Craft Beer Tasting Notes— Mar 12–19 (35 beers)

I’ve skipped this weekly piece for the last couple of weeks, because it was so hard to keep track of all the beers I drank during Victoria Beer week. However, it’s back again!

Looks like I clocked 35 beers last week, between bottles at home, on draft at bars, and tasters. Where available, click the link to read a full review.


Bottles at home:

Str8 Flexin’ by Twin Sails Brewing

This first imperial stout from TS has big roasted malt flavours, with coffee, chocolate, liquorice, and fudge notes. It is full-bodied without being thick. I’m looking forward to aging a couple.

High Socks by Twin Sails Brewing

This Mosaic hop IPA had a nice herbal aroma with a touch of pine and citrus. Some people get onion from the Mosaic, but I only got it once I had it in my mind. Satisfying bitter finish.

No Fun Zone by Twin Sails Brewing

At first this one is rather sweet, but when once you get past that, you get an incredibly interesting combination of coffee, coconut, cocoa, and vanilla. You wouldn’t expect to get coffee flavour or such a stout-like mouthfeel from a blonde ale, so it messes with your head a bit!

Lush Crush by Twin Sails Brewing

For a 3.8% session pale ale, this is really hoppy! It has tons Citrus and pine hop character with a smooth mouthfeel from the oats. It is incredibly crushable!

Towers And Trains by Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

The Burgamot flavour is definitely lighter than the Salt Spring Island Ales Earl Grey IPA, but that might actually be a good thing. The Earl Grey adds a gentle floral aroma and lingering bitter finish.

American Farmhouse IPA by Powell Brewery

Light, floral, and citrusy with some fruity ester notes of pear, apple, and banana. Smooth and easily drinkable.

The Suburbs by Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

This First ever North American IPA from Dageraad and Steel & Oak has grapefruit and tangerine notes from the hops, with a backbone of bread and biscuit from the malt. Very solid!

City of the Dead by Modern Times Beer

This imperial stout is made with bourbon barrel-aged coffee beans! It has subtle bourbon and strong coffee notes with hints of bitter-sweet chocolate.

East of East Van by Steamworks Brewing Company

This is a really nice North American take of a Belgian-style saison. The black limes really enhance those fruity ester notes, while the the white pepper complements the clove-like spiciness. Full review.

Crazy Train IPA by Off The Rail Brewing

Pine, floral, grapefruit, and a touch of onions and turnip.

Double Secret Probation by Bomber Brewing

Rich and malty with notes of malted milk, caramel, leather, and floral and grassy hops. Warming with a silky mouthfeel.

White by Dageraad Brewing

Fruity, and lightly spicy witbier, with notes of citrus, banana, clove, coriander. Creamy mouthfeel.

No 82 Amaretto by Doan’s Craft Brewing Company

This altbier was made with No. 82 amaretto from Sons of Vancouver. It has notes of apricots, vanilla, and honey, caramel, and cookie dough. Just spectacular.

Son of the Morning 2017 by Driftwood Brewery

The world’s most evil beer is back! This wonderful Belgian-style golden ale has strong banana and pear-like ester notes, clove-like phenol notes, candi sugar, grainy malt, and some light floral and spicy hops.

Nectarous Dry-Hopped Sour (2016) by Four Winds Brewing

This refreshing dry-hopped sour has notes of papaya, mango, and guava. It is tart and has characteristic lactic acid sourness. One of the best dry-hopped sours out there.

The Last Strawberry (2016) by Fuggles & Warlock

This strawberry witbier is sweet, light, creamy, and smooth. It tastes like strawberry cheesecake. A full bottle is almost too much!

Casks at The Bent Mast

Gin & Lime Pilsner by Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks

The light pilsner base really allows the gin and lime notes to shine through. This doesn’t really taste like beer any more, but I love it!

Choqlette Porter With Jameson Soaked Oak Chips by Bomber Brewing

This special cask had notes of Irish whisky, oak, chocolate, toasted malt, and coffee. It was fabulous. Perhaps even better than the bourbon barrel-aged version of the Choqulette porter.

On Tap at The Drake

Allocation II IIPA (Hop Shots Part Deux) by Boneyard Beer Company / Barley Brown’s

Citrus hop aroma with a touch of tropical fruit and resin. Hint of toasty malt backbone. Moderate bitterness for an imperial.

Mosaic Single-Hop Pale Ale by Pfriem Family Brewers

Hoppy nose for a pale ale! Lots of tropical fruit notes, including grapefruit, pineapple, and mango.

Otra Vez by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

This was a tart and salty gose with a touch of lemon rind, pear, and grapefruit. Tingling and mouthwatering mouthfeel. Super refreshing.

Oud Bruin by Les Trois Mousquetaires

Deliciously tart and acetic with notes of dark chocolate, cherries, and malt vinegar. Like a mix of Reynard and Duchesse de Bourgogne.

Rye Lager by Pfriem Family Brewers

I’m not normally a fan of lagers, but this one has a nice dry and spicy quality from the rye to complement the malt notes.

Black House by Modern Times Beer

This oatmeal stout has a silky mouthfeel with dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and toffee.

We’s the Juice by Mikkeller Brewing San Diego

This is a great juicy East Coast IPA. It has low bitterness and tons of citrus and tropical fruit juiciness.

On Tap at The Stickey Wicket

Honkers Ale by Goose Island Beer Co.

Lots of caramel malt with earthy/grassy hops. More like a red ale than a bitter.

Goose IPA by Goose Island Beer Co.

I’m sure this beer used to be better. It has notes of pine, resin, onion, and turnip. Bitter, but in a bad way.

Odyssey Nitro Porter by Phillips Brewing Company

This is always good on nitro. Velvety mouthfeel, bready dark malt, coffee, and nuts. Solid stout.

At a Copper & Theory IPA Tasting

Crooked Moon Double IPA by Mikkeller

Strawberries, grapes, banana, melon, oh my! There’s clearly some wild yeast in here somewhere because there’s a touch of funk. So good!

2×4 DIPA by Melvin Brewing

Tons of floral and orange citrus hop notes with a touch of pine and dankness. Incredible balance between juiciness and bitterness.

Melvin IPA by Melvin Brewing

Nice floral aroma with some fruity flavour and a doughy malt backbone. Not overly bitter.

High Voltage Winter IPA by Gigantic Brewing Company

It might be listed as a winter IPA, but it’s really a hoppy red ale with tons of bready malt to enhance the hops. I like it a lot!

Ginormous by Gigantic Brewing Company

This imperial IPA is super juicy and citrusy with low perceived bitterness for something listed as 100+ IBU. This is mostly to do with the sweetness of the pale and caramel malt creating a nice balance.

Long Shadows IPA by Blindman Brewing

Nice East Coast IPA. Not a ton of haze, but lots of tropical fruit flavour and low perceived bitterness.

4 Hop IPA by Rogue Ales & Spirits

Lots of pine and floral notes, but also that odd soapy taste I’ve found in lots of ISAs.