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Archive for the day “December 22, 2012”

Leapbeer Review #331 Dough Head Gingerbread Ale by Vancouver Island Brewery

I originally had planned to do this review in conjuncture with my wife and daughters gingerbread house day. I thought it would make for a great picture. Alas I missed out on my window for pictures, and someone got a bit hungry. My fault, at least they didn’t drink the beer.

When 5 yr olds attack!Apparently someone got a bit hungry before I could take the pic with the beer.

When 5 yr olds attack!
Apparently someone got a bit hungry before I could take the pic with the beer.

While I’m a proven fan of the rejuvenated bomber line from Vancouver Island Brewery this beer didn’t pique my interest. I’ve had a hit and miss relationship with winter beers. And when I think of a gingerbread beer it seemed wrong. I was expecting this beer to be overly sweet and overly spicy and generally over the top. I’m glad to report that it isn’t. This reddish amber ale has all the ginger and spice aroma that I was expecting. But when you drink it, it isn’t overly sweet. It tastes like a carbonated gingerbread house. If you’re looking for a hair burning ginger sting, don’t look at this beer, but if you’re looking for a gently flavoured seasonal this is a great choice.

Leapbeer #331 is Dough Head Gingerbread Ale

Dough Head Gingerbread Ale by Vancouver Island Brewery

Dough Head Gingerbread Ale by Vancouver Island Brewery

Brewery: Vancouver Island Brewery, Victoria BC
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/5.5% ABV
Availability: Wide Release in BC
Website: http://www.vanislandbrewery.com/default.aspx?PageID=1053
Other Reviews: Ian Lloyd (@left4beer), Mikes Craft Beer Blog, Parting Glass Beer Blog, Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Reviews #329 & #330 Skull Splitter & Dark Island by Orkney Brewery

The next two beers I’m putting on the blog are from a place I’d never heard of. The Orkney Islands are located off the north coast of Scotland.

Orkney Islands North of Scotland

Cascadia Liquors in Victoria set these two beers aside for me. I’ve always been welcoming to try new beers from different areas of the world. I got one of the Skull Splitter Scottish Wee Heavy and one of the Dark Island Scottish Ale. Despite it being the higher alcohol test beer, I chose to try the skull splitter first.

Skull Splitter is their 8.5% Wee Heavy (no kidding at 8.5%). It was named after Torfinn Hausakljuv, the 7th Viking Earl of Orkney (aprx 950 AD according to Wikipedia) who was nicknamed “Skullsplitter”. This is a deep brown beer with a frothy tan coloured head on top. Only a little light gets out of this beer, its that thick. The aroma it gives off is of dates and rich malts. The taste is something quite strange considering the ABV. It starts off very smooth, very tame. But then mid way through the tasting it grabs a hold of the back of your throat with a gentle alcohol burn. Here’s the tasting notes from their website.

On the nose, this strong beer has a fruity malt character, with hints of dark fruit, spicy hop, dates and figs.
On the palate, rich and complex with sweet toasted malt, molasses, fresh and dried fruit and hints of warming spices.  (per http://www.sinclairbreweries.co.uk/skull_splitter.html )

Leapbeer #329 is Skull Splitter by Orkney Brewery

Skull Splitter Scotch Ale by Orkney Brewery, Orkney Islands Scotland

Skull Splitter Scotch Ale by Orkney Brewery, Orkney Islands Scotland

Brewery: Orkney Brewing Company (Sinclair Breweries) Sandwick, Orkney, Scottland
Size/ABV: 330ml Bottle/8.5% ABV
Availability: Very Limited
Website: http://www.sinclairbreweries.co.uk/skull_splitter.html
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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