Sunday, January 25, 2009

Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock


Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock

Ratebeer 3.82 97th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

This is 'ice-strong beer'. To create an eisbock, you essentially freeze a strong wheat beer. Part of the water within the beer freezes. After this step, the resulting nectar is drained away from the slushy part. This takes a normally strong dopplebock at 8% and boosts the alcohol content up to around 12%. It also tends to make the flavours sweeter and more intense. I have been looking for one of these a long time.

Taste +5

Wow, the nose is heavy on the fruity malts with a little hint of cloves. Ouch, this beer tastes big and strong. This brew feels slippery and thick; heavy on the malt sweetness. You can pick out flavours of raisins, peppers, molasses, prunes and dark cherries. These flavours mix with the alcohol to give an almost effervescent, bitter mouth feel.

Aftertaste +2

You can't seem to shake the lingering malt sweetness and prunes. Once the flavour leaves, you are graced with this alcohol warmth. The warmth seems to raise the temperature in your throat and stomach.

Alcohol Content +1 12%

Ouch, the alcohol slaps your face like a first date gone wrong! There is a slight mouthwash quality to this beer.

Value +1

I will certainly buy this beer whenever I see it again. I might even drive to Courtney to get some. It is certainly worth your $3. Wait, the BC Liquor website says they have some at the liquor store down the street; I will be right back...

Ingame Enhancement +1

The excessive amount of alcohol makes you feel invincible. With Nightware and Meterman at my back; I found myself jumping upon alarmed cars and impatiently waiting for the hoards of zombies to merrily arrive. Sadly you can only set off the alarms once, this is obviously a bug.

Overall 10/10 I hear angels singing

This beer is so complicated and intense it is hard to describe. You must try it. This is the kinda stuff that you leave to people in your will. Not me, I plan to be buried with my eisbock.

Blackheart Oatmeal Stout

Blackheart Oatmeal Stout - Nelson Brewing

Rate beer 3.06 48th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Every brewery needs a specialty. Nelson Brewing does nothing but organic beers; nice! Everything I have tried from them is nice; usually nothing spectacular but most certainly above average.

Taste +3

The nose shows hints of smoked grain, coffee and campfires. The first taste is a little watery and hollow for a stout. Showing here is my own bias; I like my stouts thick. There was a little roasted chestnut and smoked toast. This went well with the usual flavours of bitter chocolate, roasted malt and oatmeal.

Aftertaste +2

The finish was all smoke and was nice and long.

Alcohol content 0 5.7%

Well we almost got somewhere. This is little above the norm for a regularly produced light stout.

Value +1

This is a great deal on a bottle six-pack ,$12 for an organic stout that tastes great!

Ingame Enhancement 0

I don't think I did anything this night. Hopefully those Zombies were preparing their living wills.

Overall 6/10

This is very drinkable beer, even for a stout. If you like your stouts a little on the light side, this one is for you. There are still two in my fridge right now. Writing this review is making my mouth water. If you want to try the next step up, go for the St. Ambroise oatmeal stout.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jolly Abbot Abbey Ale (Granville Island)


Jolly Abbot Abbey Ale (Granville Island)

Rate beer 3.54 no percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Taste +4

This has got a lot of complex flavours going on. The nose is similar to alcohol (rum) soared cherries or prunes. The taste is identical the nose, with some added dark fruity sweetness. The flavour starts off with the malt sweetness, then the wave of fruit flavour follows.

Aftertaste +1

It finishes clean and leaves a nice residue of dark fruit and malt.

Alcohol Content +1 9%

Quite impressive alcohol content for a local seasonal brew, you can taste the alcohol just enough.

Value +1

This brew is a great value and flavour at $4.90 for 650ml. Get them quick before they are all gone, or you will have to wait until next year.

Ingame Enhancement +1

I tried to play CSS on the shire, but none of the regulars were around. Decided to make zombies run in fear instead. Nightware helped a little bit too.

Overall 8/10

This is another great beer from Granville Island. Sadly this one is only seasonal, so look for it next year.

Duchy Original Organic Ale


Duchy Original Organic Ale (England)

Rate beer 3.06 48th percentile
Beer Advocate B

This is an effort of Prince Charles HRH The Prince of Wales to try and foster organic farming within England. Duchy Originals makes all sort of stuff; cookies, jams and soups. The most significant in our eyes is the beer.

Taste +3

It pours a nice amber colour with little carbonation. The first whiff calls out English bitter; light hoppy aroma with bread and raspberries. The flavour is all English bitter style; very smooth and slightly bitter. The bitterness is not from the hops, more of a tart apple or toast.

Aftertaste +1

Truly a pleasant balance of bitterness and sweetness that finishes quick and clean.

Alcohol Content 0 5%

Could we maybe get a 5.1% sometime?

Value +1

This is $3.50 for a full pint (500ml). Cheaper than a pub. It is actually the cheapest of all English import bitters; very odd for something organic.

Ingame Enhancement +1

These days the zombies are scared. Nightware has a dedicated server so we have them cornered.

6/10

Duchy is a very quaffable English style bitter. Well worth the money if you like this style of beer, or if you want something organic. Maybe you are into Prince Chuck?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Granville Island Lager


Granville Island - Island Lager

Ratebeer 2.6 19th Percentile
Beer Advocate C+

Granville Island is a great example of quality brewing. They produce several lines of standard brews (lagers, pale ales, cream ales, etc). All of which are above average. At regular intervals they send out 650ml seasonal beers (stouts, abbey ales) which are usually excellent.

Taste +2

There is nothing new here; usual nose of a pale lager with corn, grain and ice. The aromatic hops and pine was a nice change. The very hollow taste showed very light, bready malt and slight hop bitterness. At the end was a nice alcohol and carbonation bite.

Aftertaste +1

The finish was a mild grain and corn that finished fast and clean.

Alcohol Content 0 5%

Value +1

Granville Island brews can be found anywhere and are priced on par with other mass produced beers. A standard glass 6 pack will set you back about $11.50.

Ingame Enhancement 0

The Zombies were safe this night.

Overall 4/10

This a good but not exciting beer. A very safe choice is someone asks you to bring the beer.

Hammer Imperial Stout (Philips) and Get Rich Quick

Flavius: I found a perfect get rich quick idea.
Meteman: Great, just don't sell both your kidneys.
F: Really. I wish you told me that yesterday. This idea is better; Professional Lottery Player.
M: The lottery is a voluntary tax on people who do not understand statistical probabilities.
F: I'm sure that I can win. I just finished reading this book about finding patterns in randomness.
M: Can you find the patterns in my random violence?
F: OWW! Why do you keep hitting me?

Hammer Imperial Stout (Phillips)

Rate beer 3.74 93rd percentile
Beer Advocate A

Taste +4

This beer is seasonal and always a treat. The nose is standard imperial stout; roasted coffee, malt, a little chocolate and burnt toast. The taste is rather sweet for an imperial stout. This thick, dark brew shows lots of bittersweet chocolate, coffee bitterness and full roasty tastes. A very drinkable beer.

Aftertaste +2

The bittersweet chocolate sensation lasts for a long, long time. Just before is fades away you get the slightest bite of alcohol.

Alcohol Content +1 8.3%

Yup, its there, but you can't taste it.

Value +1

At the usual craft beer price $5 for 650ml, this is a steal. I plan to get more.

Ingame Enhancement +1

The usual L4d 3 are getting better and better. We are now purposely setting of car alarms just to attract more zombies.

Overall 9/10 BOOM ZOMBIESHOT

This is truly an exceptional beer. You work hard, you deserve good beer. Buy lots of this one.

Chimay (Blue) Trappist Beer

A little beer trivia might be appropriate here. Chimay is a classic example of a Trappist beer; Trappist beers are only brewed by or under the control of Trappist monks. There are currently 7 Trappist breweries (6 in Belgium and 1 in The Netherlands). The most commonly found brews in BC are Chimay, Ovral and Rochefort. There are other beers brewed in the similar style to the Trappists; they are usually referred to as "abbey ales".


Chimay (Blue)

Ratebeer 4.02 99th percentile
Beer Advocate A

Taste +4

This brew pours a dark ruby/copper colour with the thinnest of a tan head. The nose is wonderful; plums (prunes), dark cherries and slight alcohol (vinegar). The first mouthful had a very narrow feel, but oh the flavours. Lots of dark sweetness from the malt, dark fruit (prunes, cherries) and a little pepper. At the end is a little ting of alcohol.

Aftertaste +1

A very clean, quick finish of light cherry syrup sweetness.

Alcohol Content +1 9%

The alcohol flavour is hidden very well within all the dark fruit flavours.

Value +1

This is not the cheapest beer out there, 330ml for $4. The flavour and alcohol content warrant the higher rating.

Ingame Enhancement +1

It took the regular 3 of us (Flavius, Meterman and Nightware) four tries to get past the roof top finale. @$@#$ Tanks kept punting us off the edge.

Overall 8/10 BOOM ZOMBIESHOT

This is a great beer and luckily you can find it everywhere. If you ever get stranded on a deserted island and could mail order only one beer; make sure this is the one you choose.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rogue Chocolate Stout

Rogue Chocolate Stout

I think Clan ARC should start reviewing lower end beers. All of our scores are quite high. Then again, life is too short for crappy beer.

Rate Beer 3.91 98th percentile
Beer Advocate A

Taste +4

It pours with a full, thick tan head that settles down after a few minutes. The nose is all bittersweet chocolate. Surprise, the taste is just like the smell; roasted malt with bitter chocolate sweetness. There is a very nice balance between the sweet and bitterness.

Aftertaste +1

This brew gives a full mouth feel. There is a pleasant lingering sweetness the fades off to a nice hot chocolate bitterness.

Alcohol Content +1 6%

I'm sure there is alcohol in there somewhere.

Value +1

This was standard import craft beer price; very worthy of your dollars.

Ingame Enhancement +1

I am so glad Valve added the ability to move of a ladder in the latest L4D patch. I needed it to get over the pile of dead zombies left by Meterman, Nightware, Painkiller and myself.

Overall 8/10 BOOM HEADSHOT

Again, another great stout. This was on the sweet side; unlike the Green Flash which was on the roasty side. If you buy a Rogue, you can be sure of a great beer treat.

Green Flash Brewing Stout and Frustration

Flavius: Why are not many people subscribed to my blog?
Meterman: It's crappy
F: Could you help and elaborate.
M: It's really crappy.
F: You are not helping things.
M: You just noticed that, and I thought you were slow.
F: Any ideas how to draw more readers to my blog?
M: Try jumping off a bridge.
F: Great idea! That would be great publicity, it might even hit the evening news!
M: No just jump off the bridge; I'm tired of listening to you whine.

Green Flash Brewing Stout

Rate Beer 3.88 98th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

Taste +4

The nose is full of roast and peat; almost like a good smokey single malt. There are big hits of roasted and sweet malt with every gulp. You can also taste slight bitter chocolate notes after the roast leaves. It finished off with a nice alcohol ting.

Aftertaste +2

There is a full mouth coating of roast that slowly, very slowly fades away.

Alcohol +1 8.8%

The very auspicious alcohol content is not out of place and you can taste it.

Value +1

It was above average price for a 750ml craft beer, but not outrageous for the flavour you get.

Ingame Enhancement 0

Lounged around Meterman's house and entertained kids. Good news for the zombies.

Overall 8/10 BOOM HEADSHOT

This is perhaps one of the greatest stouts I have ever tasted. I picked this up at the Brewery Creek CBAW; they have a great selection of craft beers. They were out of stock of the Rogue XXX Stout; this is the greatest stout I have ever tasted.

Pictures of Clan ARC Beer Fridge



There have been a few requests for photos of the Clan ARC beer fridge. So here they are, the stock is a little low..
In the back is a case of Hermanator and a few other imports..

Monday, January 12, 2009

Red Racer Classic Pale Ale (Central City) and L4D etiquette

Flavius: WOOT, that night of L4D with Nightware and Painkiller was awesome.
Meterman: It was fun but we need a little online etiquette from you?
F: HUH?
M: DO NOT burp into the mic, it makes us think a Boomer is around.
F:Sorry.
M: You also gotta a quit smoking; it is confusing us.
F: HACK, sorry
M: BTW, whenever you die; your whining sounds just like a witch!
F: Maybe I should turn off my mic.
M: Not maybe!

Red Racer Classic Pale Ale (Central City)


Rate Beer 3.17 54 percentile
Beer Advocate B+


As all Vancouver Islanders do; I have a love/hate relationship with Vancouver. I hate the ferries, the traffic, the rude people but I love returning to the Island. I was crossing Robson street (at Davies) when I twisted by ankle and fell like a sack of grain. I'm sure someone stepped over me as I lay sprawled out in the middle of the street. Fearing for my life (did I mention that I hate the drivers), I hobbled to the other side of the street. No one offered to help me and only one person asked if I was OK. This beer was the highlight of my trip.

Taste +3

The nose started off with a nice dose of hops. The taste was as expected from the nose, a nice long pull of hoppy bitterness with tones of grapefruit and light citrus. The hops was about 5/10. This all rested on a good backbone of malt sweetness. Overall a good mouth filling beer.

Aftertaste +1

The very slight hop bitterness finished clean.

Alcohol 0 5%

Well your can't expect too much from a mass produced can.

Value +1

This was very reasonable priced for the flavour; $11 for a 6-pack cans.

Ingame Enhancement -1

I spent the evening in my hotel room; leg elevated with my ankle in a tensor bandage.

overall 4/10

This beer was the helping hand that I never got. I found this to be a very enjoyable and drinkable beer. This will certainly be a regular in my fridge.

3 Monts (France)

3 Monts (France)

Rate beer 3.41 79th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

This one wins points for the most complicated bottle to open.


Taste +2

Almost no nose, perhaps very light honey and smell of carbonation. It had a very light taste of honey, vanilla and almonds, rather like Heineken but with a kick. Heavy on the carbonation. There was this notable wheat taste through the whole bottle.

Aftertaste 0

It was a very clean and unremarkable dry finish, maybe a bit of grain sweetness. This stuff kept coming back with the numerous burps from the heavy carbonation, which didn't seem out of place.

Alcohol Content +1 8.5%

Ouch, this was a stealth beer. After I finished this off, I could barely feel my hands.

Value 0

This was almost $8 for the 750ml bottle. It also required an engineering degree and special tools to open the bottle (see photo).

Ingame Enhancement +1

This beer was after the Innis and Gunn, I was feeling no pain. I wish I could say the same for the zombies. I think 3.2 million zombies were injured in the making of this evening.

Overall 4/10

This was a nice beer, but nothing remarkable. The added alcohol content made it fun.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Innis and Gunn Rum Cask and The Health Kick

.
Flavius: I think I should go on a liver cleaning diet.
Meterman: Very timely, considering our hobby of drinking and reviewing beers.
F: There are so many options; herbal cleanses, colonics, fasting..
M: Draino, Rotorouter.
F: I hope it cleans out all my inner toxins.
M: Great, a nice clean slate for you to start polluting again with your beer and donut diet. Whenever I see you eat I think of the Exxon Valdez disaster.

Innis and Gunn Rum Cask Aged
Beer Advocate B
Rate Beer 3.17 58th percentile

Taste +3

The nose starts off with molasses, rum and cherries. The taste is oddly similar to a rum and coke. There is the rum and oak flavours that overlays the mild malty sweetness. Somewhere in there is little smokey/woody taste. This beer is quite unique

Aftertaste +1

The lingering is all malty/coke acidic sweetness. The finish was clean.

Alcohol content +1 7.4%

You can get just the slightest of alcohol ting at the end of a big mouth full.

Value +1

This was not cheap, but it does present well with the fancy box and all. You get 330ml for $3.50. It gets a positive score for its uniqueness of flavour.

Ingame Enhancement +1

WOOT, as always there was much bloody debris after Meterman, Nightware and I rampaged the virtual zombie infested forests for over an hour.

Overall 7/10

This was a very enjoyable and drinkable beer. I have drank two so far, with one more in my fridge. I plan to buy a few more before they are gone.

Red Stripe Lager (Jamaica)


Red Stripe Lager (Jamaica)
Beer Advocate C
Rate beer 2.21 10th Percentile


I have seen this beer almost everywhere. We bought this one an impulse at a CBAW. This decision is further proof that you should never visit a CBAW after have a few; especially without a list.

Taste +1

I am sounding like a broken record now, but this tastes like every other imported lager. Hmmm lets rattle off the list; light flavours of honey, corn and fresh cut grass. This one had a slight metallic bite to it. Oh, I almost forgot it was far too carbonated.

Aftertaste 0

The lingering bitterness that followed the sweet honey was also to be expected. Luckily it finished clean.

Alcohol Content -1 4.7%

Holy @$@#, this is a surprise, it is less than 5%.

Value -1

You get 6x330ml stubbie bottles for about $12. You could have bought a 6 pack of Blue, used a felt marker to put a red stripe on the can and never known the difference. You would have also saved a few bucks and reduced your carbon footprint.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Well, I did have fun playing SingStar for PS3 with an old University buddy, this helped dull the pain of getting rocked by drinking crappy beer.

Overall 0/10 BLECK

I'm done wasting words.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Raspberry Porter Tree Brewing

I have had several pints from Tree brewing before. This smaller brewery based in Kelowna, BC, usually produces good beers.

Raspberry Porter (Tree Brewing)

Rate beer -not listed-
Beer Advocate B+

Taste +2

This is a porter all right, it pours as dark as my parole officers heart. The nose is all raspberry jam. At first tasting shows a raspberry sweetness, more like an alcoholic extract than fresh juice. There is a good full mouth flavour on a backbone of very uneventful porter. Thankfully the raspberry is not too sweet.

Aftertaste 0

The raspberry and malt sweetness cleanly fade away; pretty quick too.

Alcohol Content 0 5%

Value 0

Standard BC craft beer price $5 for 650ml.

Ingame Enhancement 0

New years spend packing to go into Vancouver. I did listen to Elbow though; great band. If it sounds familiar it was in the L4D TV spot.

Overall 2/10

This beer might be fun to serve with a dark berry or chocolate desert. Other than that I can't really see a reason to drink it. If you really liked raspberries, this beer is for you.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Year in Review or Beer Flashback

Flavius: This our special year in review edition.
Meterman: I try to forget every moment I spend with you.
F: Lets review our best and worth beers of 2008. Lets start with the worst beer, that way things can only get better.
M: I have that same hope whenever you open your mouth.
F: The worst was La Binshoise Brune.
M: Right, that tasted like composting ripe apples covered with dog turds.
F: The best beer was Obsidian stout, with the runner up Okocim Porter.
M: Let's not forget Hermannator. The only reason I hung out with you this year is so that I could try some of that Obsidian stout.
F: Is there any reason for you to hang out this year?
M: None
F: Did I tell you that I found a local CBAW that sells Thelonius Monk?
M: @#$#, It looks like I will be here for 2009.

Yellow Snow IPA and New Year Resolutions


Flavius: Have you made any New Year resolutions?
Meterman: I resolve to simplify my life.
F: Very modern of you, focus on what's important.
M: Yup, you're the first thing to go; you are to complicated and unimportant.
F: I resolve to not let negative comments and thoughts affect my sense of inner peace.
M: Great now I don't have to feel so guilty.

Yellow Snow IPA (Rogue)

Beer Advocate B+
Rate beer 3.68 93rd percentile

Anything by Rogue provides a unique tasting beer experience. These beers are not for the faint of heart or soft of palate. If you think Alexander Keiths is a great IPA, stay away from the Rogue. The Rogue XXX Stout is the nastiest thing in a bottle; one step below draino. I can't get enough of these beers; I have had my fill of draino.

Taste +4

The nose is straight up aromatic hops and apricots. The taste is the same full IPA hoppiness. The flavour of hops is hard to describe; put this beer at a 7/10 for hoppiness. A rating of 10 being undrinkable-pucking-taste-bud-shattering. Some Phillips IPA's reach a 8 or 9. Alexander Keiths might rate as a 3. It does fill the mouth with full hop bitterness. Hidden amungst the floaties are flavours of grapefruit and just a bit of malt sweetness.

Aftertaste +2

Very nice for an IPA. Pleasant and long lasting slight bitterness; it lasts for over one minute. Yes, I did time it.

Alcohol +1 7.5%

I'm sure there is alcohol in there somewhere.

Value +1

This one set me back $6.95 for 650ml at a local CBAW (Cold Beer and Wine). Well worth it if you are an IPA fan.

Ingame (Life) Enhancement +1

I shared this beer with my father on Christmas day. Whenever I get a reaction of "great beer, what is it?" from the old man, it scores high marks.

Overall 9/10 BOOM SANTA HEADSHOT

It is a rare day that I find an IPA that I truely like, but this is the one. Don't rush out an buy this IPA and suck it back, you might hurt yourself. Warm up with a few Keiths, usually after a Irish whisky shot.

Yankee Jim Ice Bock


Yankee Jim Ice Bock

Beer Advocate C-
Rate Beer 1.58 2nd percentile

I have reservations about buying beers in 500ml cans. They are used to efficiently export mass amounts of beer a great distance. This may be good if they are extremely popular and people all over the world love drinking lots of this beer. Conversely, the beer was overwhelmingly rejected in its home nation and needed to be sent far away. The later is the case with Jim's Ice Botch.

Taste +1

Technically it is beer, though not really an ice bock. Ice bocks have bold luscious flavours, this beer does not. It poured dark amber with almost no carbonation. The smell was icy malt sweetness, much lighter than a Hermannator. The taste was a nice malt sweetness with little bitterness. It did have this odd mineral taste; perhaps because the solvent notes had started to dissolve the can. This brew was very light for a ice bock; maybe if they added less water it might have tasted pretty good.

Aftertaste 0

The slightest solvent bite faded to leave a light sweetness. This was a very easy drinking beer. Water is also very easy drinking.

Alcohol Content +1 6.5%

You could get a little alcohol bite on the tongue and throat; perhaps due to lack of masking flavours.

Value -1

I think I paid $3 for this 500ml can at a cold beer and wine. I should have bought a Holsten instead.

Ingame Enhancement +1

At least the virtual company was good. Nightware, Meterman and I left a long trail of zombie parts after almost an hour of gameplay.

Overall 2/10

I don't think this beer gets a lot of repeat customers. If you took away the Zombie and alcohol scores you get a 0.

Obsidian Stout and Self Improvement

Flavius: I have decided to read some self-help books.
Meterman: Do they have one big enough for you?
F: This book will help me find my inner potential.
M: What do you plan to use to find your inner potential? A microscope or the Hubble telescope?
F: I hope to explore my infinite possibilities for happiness and fulfillment.
M: This book must be called, "Find you inner needle in the hay stack of life."

Obsidian Stout (Deschutes Brewery USA)

Beer Advocate A-
Ratebeer 3.78 96th percentile

I am very biased on this review; this is perhaps the greatest beer I have ever tasted. Whenever I visit the States, I make it a top priority to drink and bring home several cases of this beer. That and caffeinated Mountain Dew.

Taste +5

It tastes like angels peeing on my tongue. There is the nose of vinegar, bitter chocolate, coffee and toffee. The first sip (note not a gulp) fills the mouth with roasted barley, malt and a pleasant bitterness. After the initial bitter sting leaves the more decadent flavours of dark chocolate and coffee drift around your mouth like Ken Block.

M: The correct quote is "angels crying on your tongue" golden shower boy. This stout is not too thick, which is very nice. Anyone can make a stout; but a good stout balances thickness, bitterness and roasted flavours well. This brew excells.

Aftertaste +2

Generous flavours of bitter chocolate and roast lingers for a long time. You can't wait to take your next sip.

Alcohol Content +1 6.4%

You can't taste it through the bitterness.

Value +1

I don't care how much this stuff costs; it is worth it. If I remember correctly, the price was on par with other craft brews. It comes in the standard 6-pack bottle style and can be found almost anywhere.

Ingame Enhancement +1

I waited 3 months to drink this beer; it called to me at night. A promise was made to share a bottle with an old friend. This person arrived on Christmas eve, so it was time to crack this one open. I think she was talking to me; I never noticed. My mind was savouring the beer.

Overall 10/10 BOOM HEADSHOT

If you ever catch sight of this beer, you owe it to yourself to try it. If you don't feel like trying a world class beer, then at least buy two 6-packs and bring them to me.