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Archive for the day “December 27, 2012”

Leapbeer Review #354 Gratitude Winter Warmer by Hoyne

You may have seen this beer sitting on the shelves at private liquor stores. It comes auspiciously wrapped in a paper label, decked out in festive colours and shrouded in mystery. It is Hoyne Brewing Companies Gratitude, a Winter Warmer from the Victoria based brewery.

Outside of the paper wrapper looks like this. (img via Hoynes Website)

When you unwrap your new brown bottled friend you are greeted by a very wordy label. It extolls the virtues of others and demonstrates things that we should all be thankful for. Thankfully for me BeerMeBC posted a picture of the label on their blog, if you want to see it in full detail follow the link.

Appearance; Clear deep amber beer with a thin tan/off white head
Aroma; Big malts and vanilla notes with hints of caramel, all spice and cloves.
Taste; Sweet vanilla, very smooth. Only a latent booze burn once it reaches your stomach. Flavours of salt taffy and holiday spices, cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg. Extremely smooth and very enjoyable.

Leapbeer #354 is Gratitude Winter Warmer by Hoyne

Gratitude Winter Warmer by Hoyne Brewing Company

Gratitude Winter Warmer by Hoyne Brewing Company

Brewery: Hoyne Brewing Company of Victoria BC
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/9.0% ABV
Availability: Select Private Liquor Stores
Purchased:
The Bridge Liquor Store in Oyster River (Campbell River)
Website: http://hoynebrewing.ca/#beers
Other Reviews: Ian Lloyd (@left4beer), Rate Beer

Thanks for Reading.

 

Gratitude Winter Warmer by Hoyne Brewing Company
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Leapbeer Review #353 Valhalla Red IPA by Elysian Brewing Company

Elysian Brewing Company has a wonderful and hop forward series of beers called the “Manic IPA Series”. The most recent of this series is Valhalla Red IPA. This is an unapologetic hop forward red IPA. Not as potent as Lighthouses divine hop stormtrooper, Siren, but this beer is still an elite super agent fore the organization H.O.P.S.

Valhalla is a deep orange, near red beer with a 1cm cream coloured head on top. The aroma is pungent, citric hops are in the forefront then mingle with the malts bringing to the mind hints of marmalade. It was no surprise to me that this beer is a bitter forward beer. Flavours of pine and grapefruit are immediately on your tongue. Then it is followed by a momentary wash of sweetness, only to be followed up with more hops. The best way to describe the way this made my mouth feel is, imagine you’re eating grapefruit with some of the pith. This is not a balanced beer, they let the hops out and did not reign them back. As a hop head, I loved this beer. It’s available through this month from Elysian, and then the next on their Manic IPA Series is the sublime Idiot Sauvin (as per the website)

Leapbeer #353 is Valhalla Red IPA

Valhalla Red IPA from the Manic IPA series by Elysian Brewing Company

Valhalla Red IPA from the Manic IPA series by Elysian Brewing Company

Brewery: Elysian Brewing Company of Seattle WA
Size/ABV/IBU: 650ml Bottle/7.5% ABV/70 IBUs
Availability: Limited
Purchased @: Cascadia Liquor Store Courtenay
Website: http://www.elysianbrewing.com/beer/manicipa.html
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer, Beerthirst

Thanks for Reading

Leapbeer #352 is Driftwood (Pale) Ale by Driftwood Brewing Company

With this last driftwood review I manage to get all of the Driftwood Brewing Company beers (from this year) on the Leapbeer Master List. I really tried to get as many of the Vancouver Island Breweries on that list. Some of them have been a challenge to get, and others have been downright impossible. Thankfully Driftwood has been pretty available close to my area, and this beer I picked up at my local Campbell River government liquor store.

Many of the Driftwood beers (Fat Tug, Naughty Hildegaard, Sartori Harvest & Singularity) have been among the favorites for the year. When I picked this up it gave me pause to think, ‘when was the last time I bought this beer?’ I honestly could not remember. I didn’t even know what style of beer this was when I bought it.

As it turns out the Driftwood Ale is a Pale Ale (hence the pale in quotes in the title). It is a clear dark golden beer with a white head on top. Its aroma is kind of skunky with piney hops and caramel malts. When I smelled it I was concerned that the bottle may be off. When I tasted it I found it to be a super bitter forward pale ale. There’s big hop notes with a subtle malt body to it. The lasting bitterness from these hops really linger in my mouth. If I had the chance to I would pick up a different bottle to see if it was just the one I bought in CR that was skunky, but I really don’t have the time before the end of the year.

Leapbeer #352 is Driftwood (Pale) Ale

Driftwood (Pale) Ale by Driftwood Brewing Company

Driftwood (Pale) Ale by Driftwood Brewing Company

Brewery: Driftwood Brewing Company of Victoria, BC
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/5.0% ABV
Availability: Wide
Purchased @: Government Liquor Store Campbell River
Webpage:
http://driftwoodbeer.com/beers/driftwood-ale/
Other Reviews: BeerAdvocate & Rate Beer

Thanks for Reading

Leapbeer #351 Seizoen Bretta by Logsdon Farmhouse Ales

I think it’s fair to say that since I went to Portland that my new ‘brewery crush’ is with Logsdon Farmhouse Ales. Their Fresh Hop Seizoen was in the top two of the 50+ beers I had on my entire Portland trip, and both their Kili Wit and Seizoen were very well received. Add to that this this next beer, Seizoen Bretta, is brewed using Brettanomyces (one of the yeasts used in brewing sour beers) I knew that this would be a fantastic beer. Before I get even more overly gooey about this beer do yourself a favour, stop reading and go buy one. Even if you don’t like sours or are not experienced in saisons try this. It seems somewhat ridiculous to say, but the bottles I just picked up of this at Cascadia Liquor in Courtenay were cheaper than the bottles I bought in Portland. Whether that is a testiment to Beerthirst, the local importer of these fine beers, or it is just a price adjustment because of their bulk ordering I don’t know. That said I can honestly say, at 11.99 a bottle you cannot go wrong with this. It may seem expensive when you can buy an 8 pack of lucky for the same price, but this beer is worth it.

This cloudy orange sour has a tall pillowy white head, like clouds floating in the heavens over a sun setting in the sky. The aroma is a perfect balance between peppery yeast (saison) and barnyard (brettanomyces). It isn’t a dig to say the barnyard thing, as that is a trademark sign of a brett beer. Don’t think of it as a detraction, but in a good way (if you can). Imagine the aroma of a farm in full bloom just after the rain.

I was honestly surprised at how this  beer tasted. I expected an 8 percent sour to have some serious punch to it, but this is a light and delicate beer. The balance between the sour brett notes, bitter hops (minimal) and peppery saison yeast is amazing. And the whole melange is placed in a champagne-like delivery system that tastes heavenly. Perfection.

Leapbeer #351 is Seizoen Bretta

Seizoen Bretta by Logsdon Farmhouse Ales

Seizoen Bretta by Logsdon Farmhouse Ales

Brewery: Logsdon Farmhouse Ales of Hood River Oregon
Released: In BC, imported by Beerthirst mid December 2012
Size/ABV: 750ml Bottle/8.0% ABV
Availability: Stores stocked by Beerthirst
Purchased @:
Picked up on Leapbeer PDX trip & at Cascadia Courtenay (YAY!)
Website:
http://www.farmhousebeer.com/Beers.html#Beer_anchor
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

I don’t want to gush on any more about this beer. I think I’ve done that enough. But I do want to say a big thank you and kudos to the guys at Beerthirst. They are an independent beer importer out of Vancouver that brought in these delicious beers (along with many others from other breweries) Add to that, the next shipment from Logsdon will include Peche n Brett a peach infused version of the Seizoen Bretta. I can’t wait (but I have to).

Thank you Beerthirst, and thank you all for reading.

Leapbeer Reviews #349 & 350 Old Cellar Dweller 2012 & Old Barrel Dweller 2012 by Driftwood Brewing Company

Let me start off with saying I really didn’t want to open these beers yet. Driftwood marked the five year anniversary of their Old Cellar Dweller Barleywine with two iterations of this ale. Old Cellar Dweller has a ‘friend’ on the shelf by it this year, a barrel aged version named Old Barrel Dweller. They even did us the added bonus of sealing the tops of these two bold barleywine style beers in wax in an effort to encourage beer geeks to cellar them.  On top of that they even went so far as to release older vintages to private liquor stores to satiate the masses. While I am a fan of both of these beers I beg of you, if you MUST open one, make sure it is just one. I opened them both, for the blog, and I regret it. I regret not giving these beers time to mature and develop. That said, I do have other bottles of them that are sitting safely in the cellar. They are getting a minimum 6 month treatment (if not more).

But I press on, for science, with my review of these two beers. First up is the 2012 Old Cellar Dweller. This is a deep reddish brown and thick barleywine with a thin tan head on top. The aroma is equally complex, hops on the nose initially followed by brandied cherries and port or sherry. It is a big malty beer, giving hints of cherries, oranges, brandy and a latent bitterness. Despite its high test, this is remarkably drinkable. The alcohol (11.8% ABV) doesn’t hit you until its passing down your throat. The carbonation on this was thin, but still there.

Leapbeer #349 is 2012 Old Cellar Dweller

2012 Old Cellar Dweller Barleywine Style Ale by Driftwood Brewing Company

2012 Old Cellar Dweller Barleywine Style Ale by Driftwood Brewing Company

Brewery: Driftwood Brewing Company of Victoria, BC
Released: December 4th, 2012
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/11.8% ABV
Availability: Limited
Purchased @: Cascadia Liquor Courtenay
Webpage:
http://driftwoodbeer.com/beers/old-cellar-dweller/
Other Reviews: BeerAdvocate & Rate Beer

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