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—Nov 20–26 (36 Beers)

Sorry for the brevity of this week’s notes. Normally I flesh them out a bit, but my girlfriend just got back from a month-long trip and you know, priorities…

Bottle & Cans

Snowball Saison by To Øl

This bottle was couple of years old, so the hops had fallen off a bit. It had horse blanket on the nose and funk and spices on the palate, with a really dry finish.

Elemental Series Wild Saison With Loganberries And Brettanomyces by Category 12 Brewing

I found this wild saison had only a hint of berry flavour, but it had a nice touch of spice and Brett funk. I might leave one to age a little longer.

Saazy Wit by Moody Ales

A respectable wit with Earthy and spicy hops over a dry wheaty body.

Boysen the Hood by Twin Sails Brewing

This was the best milkshake IPA I’ve ever had! The boysenberry really came through and the colour was insane. It was so smooth and deceptively boozy.

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.

Lune de Miel by Unibroue

This had hoppy and spicy nose with notes of honey, spice, and flowers on the palate.

Lavender Earl Grey by Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.

Big floral nose; floral and herbal on the palate with notes of lavender and bergamot dominating.

Home Ec by Twin Sails Brewing

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

Goodnight Sweet Prince by Twin Sails Brewing

One of the best coffee stouts I’ve had. Dark roast coffee flavour with just enough sweetness to offset the bitterness. Nice caffeine kick!

Sakura Gose by Burnside Brewing Co.

This gose had a really floral nose. It was tart on the tongue with hints of cherry blossom and a touch of salt.

Pumpkin Head by Fernie Brewing Company

Mild pumpkin spice and some roasty malt. A bit thin.

Ten FIDY by Oskar Blues Brewery

This big imperial stout had notes of roasty malt, chocolate, liquorice, raisins, coffee, and boooooze!

Winter Dunkel by Whistler Brewing Company

This is a Christmas favourite of mine. It’s basically Terry’s Chocolate Orange in a glass.

Elemental Series Raw Ale by Category 12 Brewing

This has aged a couple of months now. It had a little more funk, along with more of the beech, and mild sulphurous notes. I think the latter will even out with a little more aging.

Sky Mountain Sour by Buxton Brewery

A complex sour with apple, pear, and gooseberry. The sourness was moderate, with a touch of salt and a little hop bitterness on the finish.

Flammenbeer Smoked Ocoberfest by Swans Brewery

Just the right amount of smoke to complement the caramel malt without overpowering it. There’s also a touch of fruitiness to round it all out.

Blackmail Milk Stout by Strange Fellows Brewing

Creamy and roasty with notes of coffee and chocolate. Smooth and not too sweet.

Year In Review by Riot Brewing Co.

Really astringent with too much orange peel bitterness. Left an aftertaste like Lysol bathroom cleaner.

Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale by Boulevard Brewing Co.

A little older, so the hops have dropped off. Notes of coriander, apricot, straw, and barnyard funk. Finished very dry.

Right Kind of Crazy (2017) by Powell Brewery

A big aggressive hop bomb with notes of pine and citrus. I used to enjoy these more, but honestly prefer hazy IPAs now. It’s a very good example of the style though.

Diablo Cookie by Superflux Beer Company

Amazing! Just like the cookie. Chocolate, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, cayenne, and a touch of salt. It’s warm, without being too spicy.

Winter Lager by Steamworks Brewing Company

Almost like an Oktoberfest, but with a bit more caramel malt. Not mucuh going on here.


Alex’s Scandinavian Saison by Driftwood Brewery

A nice light saison with fruity citrus notes and some mild spice.

Juicy IPA by Vancouver Island Brewing

This was not very juicy at all. It had lots of citrus and little tropical fruit. It was more malty than anything.

Fortunate Islands by Modern Times Beer at The Drake Eatery

Citrus and tropical hops over a slightly nutty wheaty body. Finished nice and dry.

Celebration Ale (2017) by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. at The Drake Eatery

This fresh hop ale was quite piney with a touch of citrus and grassiness. Little bit of sweetness from the malt to offset the bitterness of the hops

Abbey by New Belgium Brewing Company at The Drake Eatery

This dubbel was rich and malty with notes of caramel, raisins, figs, hazelnuts, and a touch of spice.

Trippel by New Belgium Brewing Company at The Drake Eatery

Dark fruits, banana, clove, coriander, sweet bready malt, and Earthy hops.

Tropic King by Funkwerks at The Drake Eatery

Passionfruit, mango, peach, pepper, and ginger. Slightly drying finish with some nice alcohol warmth.

Imperial Coconut Porter by Maui Brewing Company at The Drake Eatery

Rich notes of coconut, dark roasty dark malt, cacao nibs, and coffee. Silky mouthfeel with a warming finish.

Rodenbach Grand Cru by Brouwerij Rodenbach at The Drake Eatery

So good. Slightly tart with notes of cherries, red wine, balsamic vinegar, and oak. Sweet, but with a dry finish.

Double Bastard Ale (2015) by Arrogant Brewing at The Drake Eatery

Over two years old and the hops are but a a grassy memory. It’s super malty like a barley wine with plums, raisins, and cognac.

C12 3rd Anniversary

Gin Gone Wild by Category 12 Brewing

Holy moly. This really took on intense botanicals from the barrel. You can still taste citrus from the hops, but there tons of gin flavour.

Heriloom Rice Ale by Category 12 Brewing

Sake-like with notes of rice and Brett funk. Made me think of sticky rice witg red bean paste.

Red Alpha by Category 12 Brewing

Puckering citric acidity with notes of Loganberries on the palate

Honey Badger by Category 12 Brewing

Very malt forward with a floral nose and hints of buts on the palate.

Last Week’s Craft Beer Tasting Notes: June 19–25

Another week, another 27 unique beers. I shall soon be the king of Untappd!


Bottle & Cans

Smoked Hefeweizen by Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

Lightly smokey and wheaty, with banana notes from the yeast and a dry finish. I’d actually like a little more smoke, but I’m weird like that.

Royal City Ale by Steel & Oak Brewing Co. 

Fruity hops, grainy malt, spicy and easy drinking.

Shiny Things IPA by Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

Crisp Pilsner malt with piney hop biterness and aromas of honey dew, tangerine, strawberry, and lemon grass. The oats provided a smooth mouthfeel.

Dinosour Blackberry Sour Ale by Phillips Brewing Company

Decent kettle sour with lots of blackberry candy flavour. Not too sweet. Quite tart, but could do with a bit more complexity.

The Brown Note by Against the Grain Brewery

This was a really delicious brown ale with toasty malt notes of chocolate and caramel, but then there’s citrus and floral notes from the hops! Try not to look at the image on the can when you drink it!

Sour Series: 7800 Saison by Townsite Brewing

Mild citric acid tartness. Peppery from the yeast, slightly spicy from the hops, grainy, with a nice dry finish.

Juniper Lime Ale by Vancouver Island Brewing

Light and refreshing. The lime and juniper comes through really nicely. It’s quite a bit like a gimlet. Carbonation was on the lower side.

Numbskull El Dorado Edition by Lighthouse Brewing Company

The El Dorado hops bring aromas of pear, watermelon, and stone fruit. It finishes with a nice, satifying bitterness. I might like this more than the original!

Hiatus by Category 12 Brewing

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

High Socks by Twin Sails Brewing

Batch #2. Even better than the first. The Mosaic hops bring tons of tropical fruit flavour and a touch of dankness.

Frooty Call by Twin Sails Brewing

Tons of natural raspberry flavour with bright hop notes and a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. One of the best milkshake IPAs I’ve ever had.

Pénombre by Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

A wonderful black IPA with piney hops and roasty malt notes of chocolate and coffee.

Booming Rollers (2017) by Modern Times Beer

Nice tropical and citrus nose. Lighter bodied biscuit malt. Very crushable.

Kamen Knuddeln by Against the Grain Brewery

Tart cherries with dark malt notes of chocolate. They call it a Kentuky Common, but I don’t think those are supposed to be sour. Weird!

Garden of Eden by To Øl

Big hop notes of papaya, guava, and some berries with a little spice.

Arrowsmith Blonde Ale by Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Co.

An easygoing blonde with some floral hop aroma.

On Tap

Tempus Corvi 2017 by Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery

Lemon, apple, tons of funk, oak, and a touch of spice. Very complex.

Azacca Hop Kettle Sour by Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery

Mild citric acidity with hop notes of mango, papaya, orange, grapefruit, and pine.

Sang Du Merle (2016) by Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery

Ripe blackberries, currants, cherries, balsamic, funk, red wine oak. Very complex.

Oud King Crow 2015 by Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery

Tart cherries, plums, vinous red grapes. Balsamic acetic sourness. Touch of funk with lots of oak.

Dime Bag by Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery

I love this. You can really taste the sour keys, and they play so wonderfully with the fruit and funk from the Brett and the hops.

Kokako 2016 by Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery

Gentle tartness and mild funk with pears, kiwi, and a touch of oak.

Saison Blanc by Dageraad Brewing

Wheaty, yeast, red apples, dry and refreshing.

Nebulousness by Brassneck Brewery

Fruity, juicy, and smooth, but missing the NE haze.

Hit the Deck New England IPA by Fernie Brewing Company

Citrusy and smooth, but not really an NE IPA. It can’t decide what it wants to be.

Farmhouse Honey Ale by Persephone Brewing Company

Nice honey sweetness with peppery yeast, earthy hops, and grainy. Off-dry finish.

Naughty Hildegard by Driftwood Brewery

I love it, but let’s be honest, it’s more like an IPA than a bitter.

Vienna Amber Lager by Hoyne Brewing

Earthy and spicy noble hops. Crisp and clean.