Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bete Noire Paddock Wood


Bete Noire Paddock Wood

Ratebeer 3.5 82nd percentile
Beer Advocate B+

This one was labeled as a black ale. Perhaps it might be classified as an oatmeal stout. People have preconceived ideas about the word 'stout'. Not all stouts are thick and heavy. Take this brew for example...

Taste +4

With a nose of burnt coffee and roasted grains, you know the flavour will match. It is rich and roasty with dry cocoa powder and coffee malts. The mouthfeel is lighter than expected and effervescent.

Aftertaste +1

The long coating of roast and bitter cocoa faded quicker than expected.

Alcohol Content 0 5.4%

Value +1

It was nice and I would get it again. It should be noted that it tasted suspiciously close to my stout homebrew kit.

Ingame Enhancent 0

Quickly working my through the Big Box o' Beer from Paddock Wood.

Overall 6/10

If you like a dry, roasted stout this one will make you happy. If you like it a lot, make your own. The BrewHouse stout homebrew kit tastes very, very similar.

Stone Bitter Oatmeal Stout
Blackheart Oatmeal Stout
Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout

Lions Winter Ale (GIB)

Lions Winter Ale (GIB)

Ratebeer 3.3 70th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +4

This was sampled on tap at the Penny Farthing in Victoria. The aroma is very sweet like a vanilla cream-sickle. It was quite effervescent on the tongue with a light to medium mouthfeel. There were lots of creamy sweet caramel and vanilla malts. The hops did not make themselves known. It tasted like a vanilla cream soda.

Aftertaste +1

The creamy vanilla slowly faded away.

Alcohol Content 0 5.5%

Value +1

This was a nice and different taste. A welcome change from the everyday brew. I don't think I could drink a lot of them in one sitting though.

Ingame Enhancement +1

It is always nice to sit at the bar and talk with a pretty tapgirl.

Overall 7/10

This is just the brew if you like them sweet and different.

Lighthouse Winter Ale
Stone Vertical Epic 9/9/9
Duckstein Ale

606 IPA Paddock Wood


606 IPA (Paddock Wood)

Ratebeer 3.2 60th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +2

The nose is right for an IPA. There is the required caramel malt and grapefruit hops. Grapefruit hops begin their assault with a slowly building intensity that just stopped short. Perhaps it is my West Coast palate than expects an IPA to taste like I tongued a ripe grapefruit. This does mean that you can actually taste the medicinal and caramel malts. This IPA falls just below Brocktons.

Aftertaste +1

It is surprisingly dry and clean for an IPA.

Alcohol Content 0 5.4%

Value 0

This might be my biased grapefruit loving tongue. The average IPA person will most likely enjoy it.

Ingame Enhancement 0

This was an early selection in the IPA tasting night with Gordo.

Overall 3/10

Again, this will probably appeal to the calmer IPA drinker. The grapefruit hops and caramel malts are there in the right proportions. It's intensity is just turned down a few notches.

Driftwood Satori IPA
Brew Free or Die IPA
Phillips Crazy 8 IPA

1897 Amber (Stanley Park Brewery)

1897 Amber (Stanley Park Brewery)

Not listed on Ratebeer nor Beer Advocate

I guess to break into the bottom corner of BC beer scene you need a new angle. The Stanley Park Brewery claims to be sustainably brewed with a wind turbine that generates power for their state of the art brewery. Their labels are printed with vegetable based inks. Call me a pessimist, but the only wind turbine I have seen is on top a Grouse Mountain. It is currently not spinning (December 31,2009).

Taste +3

This is labeled as a 'Belgian Style Amber'. I sampled the one on tap at Vista 18 and in a bottle at Gordo's house. The aroma is a little funky and faint. It is slightly nutty, caramel with fermented acidic fruits (aka vomit). The sip is a lot better with a silky pecan malt and floral hops. It certainly is an amber, but at least it is above average.

Aftertaste +1

The nutty malts leave a velvet coating on your tongue.

Alcohol Content 0 5.1%

Value 0

It is nice but not worth a repeat purchase. If you wanted to bring a tasty beer for a party; this would be a very good choice. It was the best thing on tap at Vista 18, but the competition was pretty week.

Ingame Enhancement 0

This was the last beer on the old fart pub crawl. We were home by 11pm.

Overall 4/10

It was good, above average beer. If your ecological guilt prevents you from drinking beer made in Europe, this selection might help. The label does not mention where their materials came from. Did the hops come from Europe, malts from France? At least the 6-pack case was made from recycled paper. Good luck. The beer was good.

Widmer Drop Top Amber
Race Rocks Amber
Spyhopper Amber Ale

Czech Mate Pilsner Paddock Wood


Czech Mate Pilsner (Paddock Wood)

Ratebeer 3.04 44th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

A big thanks goes out to Nightware for introducing me to this great Saskatoon craft brewery. I picked up their Big Box o' Beer from Firefly. In case anyone is wondering, Firefly has an epic selection of craft beer. This is my new favourite place to go. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable.

Taste +4

I am normally not a fan of pilsners, but this one is well done. The nose is very light with straw, grass, honey and herbal/flower hops. The taste is creamy and slightly bitter/citrus tart hops. This one is not watery at all and very refreshing. The body carries a little lemon bread.

Aftertaste +1

The tart/bitter hops (Saaz) slowly fades away to a crisp ending.

Alcohol Content 0 5.2%

Value +1

This was a very refreshing brew; well done.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Just to bump the score up.

Overall 7/10

This is a pils had the correct way. It is refreshing in taste and not watery tasting like other 'pilsners' one the market.

Bitburger Pils and Palm Springs
Pacific Pilsner (100th review)
Panzer Imperial Pilsner

Phillips Dead Head Barley Wine 2009


Phillips Dead Head Barley Wine 2009

Ratebeer 3.8/5 4 ratings

Taste +3

The nose is very malty with raisins, plums and alcohol. The taste is no different. It is tart and gives a vicious coating of dark fruit, demerara sugar with an alcohol burn. That pretty much was it.

Aftertaste +2

The glycerin-like coating with composting fruit and bruised prunes lasted well in the night.

Alcohol Content +1 10%

Yup, its presence is everywhere.

Value 0

Luckily this was gift. It was nice, but I could think of other better, local barley wines.

Ingame Enhancement 0

Just had some friends over for drinks. My buddy Gord bought me the 'Rate that beer' sheets from Knock Knock. They are pretty cool.

Overall 5/10

It is a barley wine for sure. Lots of alcohol, fruity malts and thick flavours. This one just seemed a little average.

Old Cellar Dwellar 2008
Green Flash Barley Wine
Legacy Ale (Swan's)

Dorothy Goodbody Wholesome Stout


Dorothy Goodbody Wholesome Stout

Ratebeer 3.21 65th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +4

This is not a thick and heavy stout, but a light and drinkable one. A nose that is faint with bitter chocolate and roast is always inviting to a stout lover. This 'goodbody' is medium to full and slippery. The sweetness of the bitter chocolate played well with the roasted cocoa nibs. Overall it is easy drinking and not overwhelming.

Aftertaste +2

A good stout should stay a while on the palate. This one sure does that; it is long and bubbly with sweet, roasted chocolate.

Alcohol Content -1 4.8%

Sometimes low alcohol brews with big flavours are a perfect match. Sadly due to the rigid scoring system developed by the ARC quality assurance department, this beer gets a negative score.

Value +1

Yes, I will get this one again. I would also recommend it to anyone who likes Guinness.

Ingame Enhancement +1

No gaming tonight. I shared this brew with the courier that brought me the Tactical Nuclear Penguin.

Overall 7/10

This is a great and drinkable stout. Just enough flavour is satisfy, but not too much to overwhelm.

Pike Entire Wood Aged Stout
Blackheart Oatmeal Stout
Rogue Chocolate Stout

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ommegang Three Philosophers

Ommegang Three Philosophers
Belgian Style Quadrupel

Ratebeer 3.83 98th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

Taste +5

It is great to have an epic beer early in the year, it sets a good tone for 2010. This is mild on the nose, but you are graced with slight cherries, sherry, plum, raisins, nuts and alcohol. The taste is like a rum pudding. It is tart with yeast, dilute wine grape juice and dark fruits. It tastes very similar to Rochefort 10.

Aftertaste +2

It has a yeasty caking with tart dark fruits that lasted a very long time. The alcohol warmth persisted even longer.

Alcohol Content +1 9.8%

Gotta watch this one; it is smooth and creamy. It would be very easy to drink the whole magnum yourself.

Value +1

Simply delicious with a great corked bottle presentation. It was a real show off beer.

Ingame Enhancement +1

No gaming, it was Holiday dinner time with the family. This brew was a winner, it really impressed my Father. Today was also the day I aquired the Tactical Nuclear Penguin.

Overall 10/10

A good, strong malty beer. The flavours are dark and complex. Well worth sampling many, many times.

Brother Thelonius
Koningshoeven Quadrupel
Rochefort 10

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Panzer Imperial Pilsner

Panzer Imperial Pilsner (Port Brewing)

Ratebeer 3.62 92nd percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +4

Wow, finally a pilsner I truly like. Big lemon grass nose with a little grapefruit. There is a great bitter IPA like start with tart grapefruits and resin. The bitterness just coats everything and barely hides the pale malt sweetness. The sweetness is like tropical fruits (pineapples).

Aftertaste +2

It was a long lingering of slightly astringent grapefruit.

Alcohol Content +1 9.5%

Value +1

This was great, like a strong IPA just switch the caramel malt for a paler variety.

Ingame Enhancement +1

No gaming tonight. We just watched Dead Snow, an epic Nazi zombie flick from Norway. I highly recommend it for zombie flick fans.

Overall 9/10

This beer is for those who love the hops, but want a little change of pace.

Molson Old Style Pilsner 100th review

Steam Whistle Pilsner
Bitburger Pils and Palm Springs

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Belgium Trippel


New Belgium Trippel

Ratebeer 3.62 93rd percentile
Beer Advocate B+

I am about to tell you about the coolest restaurant in Seattle, Cyberdogs. The Misses marked this as a must visit vegetarian restaurant. This place is small with very little seating. But the gourmet veggie hot dogs with custom toppings were amazing. They even had a great beer selection. I plan to make this a regular stop whenever I am in Seattle.

Taste +5
The nose was hard to get through the neck of a bottle. I did notice a vague sweetness with apricots, citrus and yeast. It reminded me a lot of Orval. Each sip was very smooth with fresh, pale fruits, spices (coriander), yeast and citrus.

Aftertaste +1

It was slightly warming with a citrus and yeasty dry ending.
Alcohol Content +1 7.8%

You would never know it.

Value +1

Delicious. Definitely will buy again.

Ingame Enhancement +1

As you can see in the photo, I played a little old school Ms. Pac Man.

Overall 9/10

A great Belgian trippel that does not have to cross and ocean. It was sweet, dry, fruity and strong.

Phillips Surly Blonde

St. Bernardus Tripel
Tripel Karmeliet

Paulaner Salvator plus Wine and Beer are equally as healthy and harmful

This is a first for beer drinkers. Wine drinkers have always claimed that their drink is healthier. It is true that wine contains more anti-oxidants by volume than beer. This study that appeared in the journal Nonlinearity in Biology, Toxicology, Medicine found that wine and beer were equally effective at increasing the amount of antioxidants in the body. The surprise finding was that they were equally as harmful if you drank too much.

All subjects in this study were to drink either red wine (Piat D’Or), 5% lager (Labatts), Guinness (5% Labatts), spirits or alcohol-free stout. After the first drink, all subjects had equivalent increased levels of antioxidants in their blood, except for the spirit drinkers. Then came the bad part. After 3 drinks, subjects actually had fewer antioxidants in their blood than at the start of the experiment. The researchers felt this was caused from byproducts of ethanol metabolism.

Why is this a big deal? A high intake of antioxidants is associated with a lower risk of developing many diseases. These include cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and various eye diseases. And fewer antioxidants in the blood may adversely affect your health. So the same advice still holds; everything in moderation plus eat your fruits and veggies.

Paulaner Salvator
Doppel Bock

Ratebeer 3.59 92nd percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Taste +4

Ah.. yet another great doppel bock. Let us go through the checklist. Is there a sweet caramel , fruit sherry nose - Check. Pronounced alcohol tingle with every sip - Check. Sweet sipping beer with slippery caramel, sherry and cherries - Check.

Aftertaste +1

The slowly fading taste leaves memories of alcohol and sweet vermouth.

Alcohol Content +1 7.9%

Ouch.

Value +1

I am so glad that I can find this one in BC.

Ingame Enhancement +1

There was no L4D2 action tonight, but I did finish up typing all my backlogged beer tasting notes.

Overall 8/10

This was not an overly sweet Doppel, but it was flavourful.

Widmer Bros Cherry Oak Doppel

Spaten Optimator

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jolly Abbott 2009

Jolly Abbott 2009

Ratebeer 3.38 63rd percentile
Beer Advocate B

It is nice to try the same release next year. I was curious to see how my previous rating compared to this year.

Taste +4

With a vinous nose rich with tart apricot brandy, light fruit and rum, you know this brew will challenge your palate. There is a mild spiciness that helps the slippery malts go down.

Aftertaste +2

The alcohol warms you and the sweet pit fruits pleases you.

Alcohol Content 9.5% +1

It is a little bit stronger this year.

Value +1

It was just as good this year as last year. The price did go up by almost a full dollar.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Two words: L4D2 advanced. Actually the first one is not really a word.

Overall 9/10

Last year this beer got an 8. I must like strong, fruity and sweet beers.

Jolly Abbott 2008

Scuttlebutt Triple 7
Bornem Dubbel Double

Old Bad Cat Barley Wine

Old Fat Cat Barley Wine
Fat Cat Brewery Nanaimo

Ratebeer 3.66 93rd percentile
Beer Advocate A-

Taste +3

The nose was very boozy with light sherry hints, vanilla and lots of caramel malt. It has an oddly smooth taste for a big beer. Lots of caramel malt, apricot brandy and vanilla filled all the spaces between my teeth. But there was still more; resinous/piney hops and raisins.

Aftertaste +2

The afterkick was long and syrupy sweet with an apricot tartness.

Alcohol Content +1 11.5%

Oddly not present in the taste.

Value 0

It was not but not worth a repeat purchase. I might get next years edition.

Ingame Enhancement +1

After a bomber of this there is no pain. It does not do well for your score though.

Overall 7/10

It was nice to get a big barley wine that had a bit of hops to it.

Old Cellar Dweller Barley
Green Flash Barley Wine
Legacy Ale

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top Ten Beers of 2009

I'm sure some bloggers do a big preamble before they list their top 10 beers of 2009. Not me, here are the best beers I have tasted in 2009.

10. Obsidian Stout. There is the nose of vinegar, bitter chocolate, coffee and toffee. The first sip 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.

9. Aventius Weizen-Eisbock. The nose is heavy on the fruity malts with a little hint of cloves. 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.

8. Unearthly Imperial IPA. The aroma is an enchanting pine, rose water, fresh grass and medicinal earth. With a creamy mouthfeel, your palate was graced with smooth grapefruit, bubble gum and simple syrup. There was a little effervescence at the end. As the beer warmed up you get more pine and astringent hop tastes.

7. Samuel Smith Imperial Stout. The nose is fulfilling with huge whiffs of milk chocolate, licorice, roasted cocoa and molasses. Your taste is just like the nose; just add a creamy/smooth mouth feel and you got it. Oddly the finish is dry with bitter chocolate. Did I mention that you could pick out smoke and fruit hints?

6. Adam (Hair of the Dog). The nose is something to be feared. It was thick with raisin, plum and dark sugar but oddly no ethanol. The tartness of this brew makes it ideal for sipping. A beer thick and silky with flavours of rum soaked plums, dark honey and wood is something to be savoured.

5. Palo Santo Marron (Dogfish Head). Wow, this beer has some viscosity when it pours, not unlike a strong imperial stout. It pours as black as my parole officers heart. The nose is very complex; you can pick up vanilla, molasses and cherries. Every drink reveals a new flavour; burnt coffee (the good kind), bitter chocolate, cherries and exotic woods.

4. Stone Vertical Epic 9/9/9. There is so much going on I must use point form.
Nose: vanilla, roast and wood, bitter chocolate.
Tastes: bitter chocolate,Stoli vanilla vodka, oak, bitter coffee, vague citrus.
The mouth feel was rich, full and oddly creamy.

3. Gonzo Imperial Porter. It stanks of the deepest porters; roasted, no make that burnt, malts, bitter chocolate and burnt caramel espresso. The taste is more than the average porter but less intense than an imperial stout. Despite the nose, it has a surprising smoothness to it; the bittersweet chocolate malts literally slide over the tongue and down to kiss our soul. Your taste sensation is as expected from the nose, but with an added molasses and licorice sweetness.

2. Rochefort 10. The nose was oddly faint, but there were little amounts of dark sugar, licorice and herbs. The taste is hard to describe, WOW. Alcohol creeps out of the glass and burns your palate clean; clearing the canvas. Then your taste buds are bombarded with all flavours dark and sweet: black currants, brown sugar, licorice, raisins and plums. There was a tequila like sweetness you could pick out. Every sip gave you a new flavour.

And finally...

1. Mikkell Beer Geek Weasel
. It poured as dark as my parole officers heart, with a short lived espresso gelato head. The aroma must be experienced; sweet roasted espresso, vanilla and bitter chocolate. As the brew warmed up bourbon and ethanol became apparent. Did I mention that it poured thick with sediment? The taste made me weep; very creamy, burnt oat toast, espresso and good bittersweet chocolate (70%+ cocoa mass). It was a very big tasting beer.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Phillips Instigator Doppelbock 2009


Phillips Instigator Doppelbock 2009

Ratebeer 3.06 45th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Taste +3

When you pop the top nothing happens. The pour also reveals little; the nose is faint of sherry and cherry juice. The taste improves the situation. It is full and creamy, but oddly watery for a big doppel. All the standard things are there: sherry, caramel, vanilla and alcohol. It is just not grabbing me. I was not sure if it was the alcohol or hops that bit me at the end.
Aftertaste +1

The caramel malt sweetness and ethanol fade fast leaving a slight cola glycerin coating on the tongue.

Alcohol Content +1 8.5%

It does warm the soul.

Value 0

I was a little let down by this one. Perhaps it is because the last few beers I have tried were really good doppelbocks.

Ingame Enhancement +1

It was Monday night which means only on thing... L4D2 night in Canada. I bet you were thinking football.

Overall 6/10

This is a good, solid doppelbock. Just ignore my comments; I think that I am becoming more finicky these days. It was good, strong and malty.

Doppel-Hirsch

Widmer Bros Cherry Dopplebock
Winterbier Dopple and how beer saved my prostate

Lighthouse Winter Ale

Lighthouse Winter Ale

Ratebeer zip
Beer Advocate A- (2 people)

Taste +3

This was sampled on tap at Christie's pub in Victoria. A faint nose of spicy hops, caramel and pale malts almost sprang from the glass. And yes the taste was almost the same. With the sip you get the added benefit of dry, floral hops.

Aftertaste +1
The dry floral ending has a slightly spicy edge to it.
Alcohol Content +1 6.5%

Not noticed in the taste.
Value 0

It was nice but OK. Perhaps it takes a lot of get me to repurchase a beer.

Ingame Enhancement 0

It was the night of the staff party. The best way to have some fun is to let the poor students handle the drink tickets.

Overall 5/10

If you are after a slightly spicy, winter warming beer, this is the one for you.

Wee Heavy (Belhaven)

Nelson Face Plant Ale
Bah Humbug

Storm Black Currant Lambic

Storm Black Currant Lambic

Ratebeer 2.8/5 no rating

The story, if you believe it, is that this beer was found at the back of the cellar. It has been aging on oak for 12 years. Was sampled on tap at Solomon's in Victoria.

Taste +4

The nose is sharp, vineous, yeasty and darkly fruity. This is a sipping beverage. Flavours of acetic acid, tart cassis, yeast and wood overwhelm the tongue with every little sip. Just a little sip is enough to cleanse the slimiest of palates.

Aftertaste +2

The long, sour tastes remind you of a dry blackcurrant wine.

Alcohol Content 0 5.4%

Not listed, but pulled from ratebeer.

Value +1

This is like nothing I have ever tasted. Like a Rodenbach turned up a few notches.

Ingame Enhancement +1

No game tonight. I just sat in Solomon's and enjoyed this beer in the company of my family.

Overall 8/10

This is something to be tasted at least once in a lifetime. Hopefully this will still be on tap somewhere. I heard the Alibi Room had some..

Rodenbach Grand Cru
Chapeau Kriek Lambic

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Paddock Wood Black Cat


Paddock Wood Black Cat
Schwarzbier from Saskatoon!!

Ratebeer 3.54 85th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Taste +4

The nose is great with coffee and very light roast. Who knew such good beer could come from the frozen wasteland of the Prairies. The flavours are rich with burnt coffee, bitter chocolate and caramel. If this was an ale, you would call it a porter.

Aftertaste +1

A dry finish did not last long enough, but it was all bitter coffee/chocolate.

Alcohol Content 0 5.4%

Value +1

This was a great, rich dark lager.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Someone got the Arena L4D map ported over for L4D2. This could be the start of something beautiful. I even let Nightware get high score out of respect for this great Sask brew.

Overall 7/10

This is a great dark lager. The roasted and bitter bits did not overwhelm the palate.

Okanagan Black Lager and Fast Cars
Samuel Adams Black Lager
Asahi Black

Estrella Damm Inedit


Estrella Damm Inedit
Belgian Witbier

Ratebeer 3.12/5 57th percentile
Beer Advocate B-


Taste +3

This is new to me, I'm used to seeing that cheap red Estrella can. It pours out a glorious light wheat aroma with added yeast and lemon grass. With every sip the crisp flavours of wheat, lemon and orange peel leave a greater impression than the sip before. There is a slight spiciness that comes at the end.

Aftertaste 0

The ending is clean and dry with only the slightest of citrus bite.

Alcohol Content -1 4.7%

This is a lightweight beer that does not lack taste.

Value +1
This has a great bottle presentation and not a demanding flavour. You could bring this to a dinner part and turn some heads and palates.

Ingame Enhancement +1

You could fire this entire bottle away and still hold your hand steady.

Overall 4/10

Despite the low score this was a good witbier. It was light, lemony with just enough tartness. The taste is similar to Hoegaarden, only better.

Estralla, Ozujsko and DAB, everyone likes a threesome

Schneider Weisse
White Bark Wheat Ale and a Shameless Plug

Friday, December 11, 2009

Saltspring Island Pale Ale


Saltspring Island Pale Ale

Lately the Left4Beer fridge has been filled with exotic beers from all over the world. It is nice to have strong ales from Belgium, big IPA's from Oregon and hefes from Germany. Maybe we should be trying beers from closer to home. So I picked up a simple (or so I thought) pale ale from Saltspring Island.

Ratebeer 2.53/5 18th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +3

The first thing I noticed was the aromatic floral hops (East Kent Goldings). A good hit of carbonation cleanses the palate to let the malts and hops have fun. It was a nutty/pecan malt that did overwhelm the hops a bit much. Overall it was good.

Aftertaste +1

It was a quick and dry ending. There was just the bare residue of roasted nut malt and floral hops.

Alcohol Content 0 5%

Value +1

This was a great deal at under $5 for a bomber.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Bias again. You can drink this beer by the glassful and it does not dull the reflexes.

Overall 6/10

I do not care what the Ratebeer reviews say, I thought this was a good beer. It was slightly aromatic, malty and not overpowering in the hop department.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a Love of Dogs
Drifter Pale Ale
Phillips Blue Buck

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Piraat


Piraat

You can find this one on its own, or in the Belgium live beers six pack.

Ratebeer 3.57/5 91st percentile
Beer Advocate A-

Taste +4

The nose is honey with tart fruits. There certainly is a notable alcohol presence. A good alcohol tingle at the start enhances the tart fruits. Apricots, peaches and pit fruits are all represented within.

Aftertaste +1

It had a slightly astringent and tart ending.

Alcohol Content +1 10.5%

Wow. I have had stronger, but not many.

Value +1

This was the best brew from the Belgium variety pack.

Ingame Enhancement +1

The more I drank, the more I melted into the chair. The more I drank the less I cared about worldly concerns.

Overall 8/10

Another delicious, strong, fruity Belgian ale.

Orval Trappist
Westmalle Triple and the Beer Bottle Headshot
Local 1

Howe Sound Hangdog Hefeweizen


Howe Sound Hangdog Hefeweizen

This brewery is located about an hour south of Whistler BC. They are perhaps the most recognizable brand because they use one litre re-closable pot-stoppers. This makes the bottles sought after by homebrewers like me. It is nice that the beer inside is usually good. Their nut brown ale won a silver medal at the Canadian Brewing awards in 2009.

Ratebeer 2.98/5 40th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

Taste +2

The nose has the standard lemon zest and yeast. Sadly the taste is a little weak and watery. On the plus side, the light lemon sweetness is not tart at all.

Aftertaste 0

It was average, dry and clean.

Alcohol Content 0 5%

Value 0

It was nice and drinkable but not spectacular.

Ingame Enhancement 0

What is lacks in quality it makes up in quantity. Any litre of beer easily calms the ingame twitching.

Overall 2/10

It was a little weak for a hefe, but that could be good for some people. At least it comes with a cool bottle.

Howe Sound Baldwin and Cooper Best Bitter
Granville Island Hefeweizen
Tree Hefeweizen and I get by...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Green Discovery Amber Ale


Green Discovery Amber Ale

Green produces gluten free beers for the pure at heart and intestine. This brew is also free-lots of other stuff. A great option for those with dietary sensitivities.

Ratebeer 1.97/5 5th percentile
Beer Advocate D+

Taste +3

I'm sorry but I disagree with the masses, this is a decent brew. Note I said brew and not beer. The brew is cloudy like dishwater with slight scents of rice and vineous stuff. The taste was similar to rice pudding/sake and rich pancakes. This slightly sweet and quite carbonated brew also contained a lot of green apple tartness.

Aftertaste +1

It left a mild green apple and vinegar like residue.

Alcohol Content +1 6%

Value 0

It was interesting but not worth a repeat.

Ingame Enhancement 0

Still staying the course with L4D2. I can see why people get sucked into one gaming franchise.

Overall 4/10

This is a great option for people with celiac disease that can't tolerate glutens from wheat and barley. For the rest of us, it might not taste that good.

Greens Endeavor

Monday, December 7, 2009

Whistler Classic Pale Ale


Whistler Classic Pale Ale

Ratebeer 2.74 24th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +2

The nose is very faint of water and pale barley soup. Overall it was a crisp slight pale malt taste with cleansing hops. Very crisp.

Aftertaste 0

It just ended clean after the floral hop snap.

Alcohol Content 0 5%

Value 0

It is what it is, an easy drinking beer that anyone will enjoy.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Dead Rain map in L4D2 shows a great use of environmental tricks to make the map more changing. It is harder to fight through zombies when it is pouring rain with lightning.

Overall 3/10

This is a better than average pale ale, suitable to bring to a BBQ. Everyone will like it but not be overwhelmed.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Drifter Pale Ale

Butte Creek Porter


Butte Creek Porter

Ratebeer 3.21 67th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +3

When a porter is done right it is a beautiful thing. The faint whisp of roast and chocolate only invites you in to try a deep drink of this medium mouthfeel brew. A nice upfront hop bitterness sets the stage for a light bitter chocolate and faint smoke finish.

Aftertaste +1

It did not last as long as I would have liked for a light chocolate and roast flavoured porter.

Alcohol Content 0 5.9%

It just didn't make it for a positive score.

Value 0

This is a good porter, but not exceptional.

Ingame Enhancement 0

The only bad part about L4D2 is that there are only 4 player slots. It was like someone locked the clubhouse door. I know they were in there having fun, but I was standing outside in the cold.

Overall 4/10

A good porter with light chocolate and roasted bits. Certainly worth trying at least once.

Swan's Coconut Porter and Heart and Soul
Elysian Perseus Porter
Taddy Porter

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Brooklyn Pennant Pale Ale 55


Brooklyn Pennant Pale Ale 55

This was part of the Brooklyn mixed box I picked up at the James Bay Spinnakers CBAW.

Ratebeer 3.09 55th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +3

There were delightful faint nasal offerings of roast and fresh bread/malt. With ample carbonation, this dark amber brew delivers a spicy and floral hop tickle up front. This gives way to dry malt that is slightly roasted with bready/biscuity bits.

Aftertaste 0

The dry and spicy hops releases a slightly fruity finish that vanishes quickly.

Alcohol Content 0 5%

A good, drinkable pale ale is not meant to be a heavy hitter.

Value +1

This is a great pale ale. The same could be said for every beer in the mixed pack.

Ingame Enhancement +1

I'm sure I played something. This brew gets bonus points for quality and being in a awesome box pack.

Overall 5/10

A great pale ale, enough said.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a Love of Dogs

Phillips Blue Buck
Bass Pale Ale

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Eel River Organic Porter


Eel River Organic Porter

This covers two of my favourite styles: porters and organics.

Ratebeer 3.49 86th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +4

Just as a good porter should be; the nose was roasted/smoky with dark malt and a slight cocoa aroma. The taste was also as expected. Simply delicious with smoked wood and sweet/dry cocoa nibs. Overall the taste was roasted and dry. As the drink warmed up, more molasses flavours came out.

Aftertaste 0

The sweet and dry cocoa just vanished.

Alcohol Content +1 6.3%

Value +1

This is a good, simple and rich porter.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Pure bias here. Organic is always a bonus.

Overall 7/10

Yet another solid, roasted and dry porter with hints of cocoa sweetness. Well done.

Black Boss Porter
Snoqualmie Steam Train and New Parts
Canoe Club Dark Cherry Porter

Winterbier Doppelbock and Hops Can Save my Prostate

Preliminary evidence suggests that compounds in hops can help prevent prostate cancer. Sadly this only works if your nads are in a test tube. German researchers found that xanthohumol, a bitter flavonoid in hops, can prevent testosterone from binding to receptors in prostate cells. This binding was shown to prevent the secretion of prostate specific antigen (PSA), an early indicator of prostate cancer in men.

Not everyone is convinced. Dr. Durado Brooks, director of prostate and colorectal cancer at the American Cancer Society, said that if beer could prevent prostate cancer, we would already see lower rates of it.

I can be easily convinced; serve me up another ultra hoppy IPA please!


Winterbier Doppelbock (Altenmunster)

Ratebeer 3.22 65th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +4

It must be winter, the sweet earthy smell of doppelbocks are everywhere. This one added a little caramel and sherry into the aroma mix. The alcohol warmth only enhanced the sweet raisins, caramel, earth and woody flavours.

Aftertaste +1

The residue was slightly vineous with herbal and caramel additions.

Alcohol Content +1 7.2%

It is everywhere with every sip.

Value +1

I love a good doppelbock and this certainly qualifies. It also gets bonus points for beautiful artwork on the label and a cool bottle.

Ingame Enhancement +1

I shared this brew with one of the Dad's that came to my little one's Tickerbell movie party. It is reassuring to know that I am not the only one that thinks Tink is hot.

Overall 8/10

A good doppelback should be strong, syrupy sweet with a good alcohol tingle. This one fits that description well.

Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock
Kozlak Amber and Re-Branding the Beer Belly
Amber Bock (Michelob)

Widmer Bros Cherry Oak Doppelbock


Widmer Bros Cherry Oak Doppelbock

Lately it is all about special edition wood aged beers. I like these trends, it produces unique flavours.

Ratebeer 3.55 87th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Taste +4

The name gave away the nose. Yes, it was woody with cherry syrup that was similar to a mild port. This is a thick, slippery and boozy brew. It is very Trappist like with a good mix of cherry, dry wood and caramel malty syrup.

Aftertaste +2

The slightly glycerin-like coating left a sweet cherry/sherry residue.

Alcohol Content +1 9%

Yup, you can notice it. You also don't really care because it is so delicious.

Value +1

If I could get it again I would.

Ingame Enhancement +1

This is the best brew for sitting on the floor watching your little girl decorate a Christmas tree.

Overall 9/10

This was a stellar brew. It was the syrupy sweetness of a doppelbock with enhanced flavours from wood aging and the added cherries.

Doppel-Hirsch
Spaten Optimator
Yankee Jim Ice Bock

Black Tree Dark Ale


Black Tree Dark Ale (Tree Brewing)

This is a seasonal release by Tree Brewing. The label claims to be a specialty blend of pale ale and a rich porter. I have big expectations for this brew, their Weizen bock limited was excellent.

Ratebeer 2.92 38th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +1

The nose was a bit off and smelled like day old coffee. Even the flavour was a tad watery. It tasted like day old coffee with corn syrup added as a sweetener. There was mild tastes of bitter hops and roasted coffee.

Aftertaste -2

It left a slick oily coating of roast/smoke that would just not go away. I had to scrub my tongue to make it go away. The morning after it was still there.

Alcohol Content 0 5%

Value -1

I feel bad, every other Tree Brewing beer has been pretty good. For six bucks I could have bought another bomber and still had change left over.

Ingame Enhancement 0

I did have a great night in L4D2. Dark Carnival is a great level; it is always fun to beat circus clown with the butt of a shotgun. The problem was that I kept trying to scrap the taste off my tongue with my teeth.

Overall -2/10

I feel bad but I didn't like this beer. It is not like Tree makes bad beers. Their hefeweizen won a silver medal and Hop Head double IPA won a gold at the Canadian Brewing Awards 2009. Personally I think their hefe tasted better than the Whistler brewing hefe.

Chambly Noir and Video Game Help

Okanagan Springs Black Lager and Fast Cars
Jacobsen Dark Lager

Friday, December 4, 2009

Marin Hefeweiss


Marin HefeWeiss

Ratebeer 2.83 29th percentile
Beer Advocate C+

Taste +2

Nose is slightly lemon/limey with yeast. It was not very effervescent with slight flavour of tart lemon and yeast.

Aftertaste 0

After the tart lemon snap on the tongue, it was gone. Just gone.

Alcohol Content 0 5.2%

Value 0

If was a Hefe, not a good hefe.

Ingame Enhancement 0

Time to cut my losses with this beer.

Overall 2/10

It was an average hefe. No make that a below average hefe.

Pyramid Imperial Hefe
Tree Brewing Hefe

Phillips Grow Hop


Phillips Grow Hop

Ratebeer 3.73/5
Beer Advocate Not Rated

This is another wet/fresh hopped beer from a Victoria brewer. Grow Hop is heavily laced with fresh Chinook, so it is sure to be bitter and piney.

Taste +3

Yup its a Chinook, spicy and piney aroma with a slight bit of earthy malts and floral scent. The first sip delivers a good tang of earthy and piney hops. It is a little bitter up front, but is quickly followed with the basic caramel malt.

Aftertaste +2

After the strong snap of hop bitterness, it lingers a long with a dry piney sensation.

Alcohol Content 0 5%

Oddly only 5%, very unusual for a strong tasting Phillips hop monster.

Value 0

It was nice, but it tasted like all the other hoppy Phillips beers. It did cool the palate after the hot chili pepper I accidentally ate.

Ingame Enhancement 0

I'm sorry but the Driftwood Satori was a better wet hopped beer.

Overall 5/10

If you like a bitter, hoppy monster then this is the beer for you. Not really a monster more like a asthmatic puma.

Driftwood Satori IPA
Bailout bitter and Carbon Footprints
Redhook ESB

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Scientologists say I am Addicted to my Beer Fridge

How can you not miss this headline, "A Stocked Bar For Holidays Can Be Introduction To Addiction". According to a survey done by SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), 650,000 underage drinkers were given alcohol by their parents or guardians. On the surface this sound horrible; giving your kids booze is despicable. Right? If you think about this statement, it can be turned another way. All these parents knew that kids are going to drink, why not show them an appropriate way to drink. A glass of wine with dinner or a couple of beers watching a football game. I doubt these parents gave them alcohol with the intention that they get hammered at Billy's pool party.

If you really look at the data that they are pulling this from, it tells a different story. It is partially extracted from this document, "Underage Alcohol Use:Findings from the 2002-2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health", published by the US Dept of Health and Human services. Upon further reading it mentions that more kids get alcohol from someone else under 21 or from an unrelated person over 21. If they were 18-20 years old, they were more likely to buy it themselves. This fact is also interesting, "Among current drinkers aged 15 to 17, those who paid for alcohol when they last used alcohol consumed an average of 6.1 drinks, and those who did not pay for alcohol consumed an average of 3.7 drinks." So if you get it free from Mom you drink less than if you buy it from the bootlegger. I'm sorry that was a totally biased and unfair statement on my part.

I also like this quote from Mike Kent of Narconon Arrowhead, one of the country’s premier drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers (or so the article/advertorial claims).
"Many parents of our clients who come to rehab to battle an addiction to alcohol or drugs never imagined that a holiday tradition such as beer while watching football, a hot toddy before dinner, wine with dinner or rum spiked eggnog to sip on throughout the day could be the precursor for their loved ones journey in addiction".
Did you know that Narconon is run by the Church of Scientology? If Wikipedia says so it must be true.
Addictive behaviours can be harmful to anyone; family, friends, children or oneself. It does not matter if it is to alcohol, drugs or video games. Addictive behaviours is a real mental illness and not as a result from a lack of willpower. If you or someone you love has a problem contact Alcoholics Anonymous or contact your local public health office. Do not call the toll-free at the bottom of a misleading newspaper advertorial.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Southern Tier Heavy Weizen


Southern Tier Heavy Weizen
Unfiltered Imperial Wheat Ale

Ratebeer 3.57 91st percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Taste +5

This strong wheat beer is heavenly. The nose is thick with yeast, wheat and citrus with only the faintest of floral hops. Overall it is gloriously clean, very smooth and not at all tart. Tastes just like you would expect: wheat, lemons, tangerines and yeast.

Aftertaste +1

The ending was a slightly sweet lemon. The carbonation washed everything away clean and dry.

Alcohol Content +1 8%

Despite the higher numbers, you can barely taste it.

Value +1

This was a great Hefe.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Another bias here to bump the score up. I sat on the floor and watched my 5 yr old decorate one side of the Christmas tree. She put all the ornaments on one, non visible side.

Overall 9/10

If you like your Hefes, try this one. Not often to you find a strong and creamy hefe that is not very tart.

Tree Hefe and I get by...
Granville Island Hefe
Pyramid Hefe