This, I believe, is a first for BC craft beer. Notice I said 'craft'. Liquor Plus worked in collaboration with Salt Spring Island Brewing to create one unique beer. Essentially Salt Spring Island brewed a one-off batch of beer and Liquor Plus bought it all. I can think of a few people who would shudder at this idea. But bravo to Rod Phillips of Liquor Plus, for taking a risk to further craft beer in BC. Collaborations like this are not new in Canada. The EPIC Sherbrooke Liquor store in Alberta has worked with a few breweries to create their own beers, the most noteworthy is Paddock Wood.
Creme Brulee Vanilla Stout = 8/10
An inky black pour with a tan head is a sign of a stout that means business. The first point of order is the real caramelized vanilla aroma. It reminds me of Madagascar vanilla in full fat ice cream. A lighter than expected body, for an 8%ABV brew, touches almost every stout flavour. There are berries, milk (lactose), caramel, faint coffee, vanilla creamsicles and cola. The slight tongue slickness is easily overlooked because the long finish is all sweet, milk chocolate and vanilla. It is a sweeter stout, but not excessively so. People will like this beer, especially fans of the Lighthouse and Phillips chocolate porters. The Creme Brulee flavours are not robust enough to warrant cellaring. This beer is only available at Liquor Plus starting this upcoming Monday, March 25th. How did I get my hands on a few bottles? I would like to think my l33t blogging status places me into the in crowd. Most likely, Rod let me buy a bottle early so I would not harass him all weekend.
Taste +3 (Bonus points for organic malts)
Alcohol Content +1 8%ABV
Appearance +1 (Good description of flavour and elegant label)