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Archive for the category “Driftwood Brewing Company”

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

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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

Read more…

Leapbeer Review #260 Sartori Harvest IPA by Driftwood Brewing Company

I feel that I’ve fallen behind a bit in showcasing the Vancouver Island beers so I thought I’d take a week to post about some of the recent seasonal and limited release beers. To start things off I’m going with the most recent holy grail of BC beers, Sartori Harvest by Driftwood.

So what’s all the fuss about? For the uninitiated, when the Sartori Cedar Ranch has their hops ready for harvest they put the call out. Several breweries get hops from this ranch for their beers. Another brewery posted a nice video about visiting the farm, you can watch it here. When Sartori Harvest IPA is released there is a flood of craft beer enthusiasts that swarm the stores looking for them. In some cases the stores have to limit the amount people are allowed to buy to ensure that more people get to try it.

The Sartori Harvest is a wet hopped beer, meaning that instead of adding a kiln dried hop they use the cones direct from the vine. As soon as they are harvested they go into the beer. While I’m not 100% certain on the time frame between harvest to addition it is a very different take on flavour infusion. I have had a chance to sample quite a few different wet hopped beers, and Sartori Harvest was one of my first.

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Leapbeer Review #251 Son of The Morning Strong Golden Ale by Driftwood Brewing

Let me preface this review with me saying that I initially bocked at purchasing this beer. The label art bothered me as a christian. I was torn between my beliefs and my need to be a VI Craftbeer completist. I settled to do research as to why they decided to market this beer this way before making any uninformed decisions. As it turns out this beer is named ‘Son of the Morning’ in an homage to Duvel Moortgat. Initially when the Duvel Moortgat brewery released their as Victory Ale, to commemorate World War I. But during the 1920s, an avid drinker described the beer as “nen echten duvel” (a real devil in Brabantian Dutch) – perhaps in reference to the strength of its alcohol content (8.5% ABV) – and the name of the beer was changed to Duvel (Obviously translated Devil). It has become the brewery’s flagship beer. This beer is considered by many the definitive version of the Belgian Strong Golden Ale style. Because driftwood used their flagship beer as a target to try and reach, it is fitting they chose such a name.

So this beer is mysterious to me. It pours to a cloudy golden colour with a white head on top. My bottle had quite a bit of sediment in it, so I gave it a good spin before drinking. Reading over the label it indeed has a bit of evil in it, It is a beefy beer weighing in at 10% ABV. Listed ingredients from the label are Water, Hops, Malt, Candy, Coriander and Black Magic (very scary kids – SCTV ref). It smells quite sweet, very reminiscent of Fin Du Monde to me. To say that this beer has a strong and sweet taste to it is an understatement. The Belgian yeast is front and centre in the taste of this beer. It’s not entirely sweet though, as there is a nice bitterness to it as well. The strong alcohol flavour is not masked at all, a bit of the devil indeed. Too much of this beer and you will be asking your friends what you did last night. I also think its of note how highly carbonated my bottle was. It would wash over your tongue as you sip it. To me this beer seems immature. Perhaps I should have aged it.

Leapbeer #251 is Son of the Morning Golden Strong Ale by Driftwood Brewing

Brewery: Driftwood Brewery of Victoria BC
Released: March 22, 2012
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/10.0% ABV
Availability: Very Limited
Purchased @: Top Shelf Liquor Store
Webpage:
No Longer on the Driftwood Site, but Beer On the Rock Release notes. http://www.beerontherock.com/?p=1174
Other Reviews:
http://blog.liquorplus.ca/?p=1951  &   http://www.vancouverbeerblog.com/?p=3203

As a bit of a side note, I tried drinking the 2nd half of this bottle with some homemade smoked salmon. I had accidentally made the brine too strong, leading to an extra salty smoked salmon. This beer cut right through the saltiness of that and actually enhanced the berry flavours I use in my smoked salmon.

Thanks for reading

Leapbeer at HOPoxia

As many of my readers will know I attended my first Beer event ever last Saturday night. It was … interesting. Rather than delve upon the entirety of the events I will fill you in on who brought what, or what I remember. Whom I didn’t sample (because I purposefully avoided a couple of beers) and whom I really liked. Of the brewers I sampled all but a few of them. I tried;
Tofino Brewing’s Hoppin Cretin IPA, Russell Brewing’s Blood Alley ESB, Lighthouse Brewing’s Switchback IPA w/HOPoxinator, The Moon Under Water’s Waxing Crescent IPA, Driftwood Brewing’s  Fat Tug, Vancouver Island Brewery’s Cascadian India Dark Ale, Canoe Brewpub’s Siren Song Pale Ale, Spinnakers Brewpub’s Hoptoria IPA, Wolf Brewing’s Red Brick IPA, Parralel 49’s Hoparazzi IPA, Hoyne Brewing Co.’s Devils Dream IPA, Coal Harbour Brewing Co.’s Powell IPA, Longwood Brewpub’s Island Pale Ale, Phillips Brewing’s Hoperation Tripel Cross
I didn’t sample the following, for various reasons. Either I’ve already had their beer and didn’t want to overdo it (see lessons learned below) or their beer wasn’t favorably received by other patrons.Whistler Brewing Co. – Pink Grapefruit Ale
Howe Sound Brewing Co. – Total Eclipse of the Hop
Central City Brewing Co. – Red Racer ESB
Granville Island Brewing Co. – Cascadian Dark Ale (I think, I didn’t even go by there)
Salt Spring Island. (I don’t remember their presence, but maybe I just missed them)
My overall thoughts of the event. – The crowd was great, everyone I talked to was having a good time. I met a few people I’d only talked to on twitter and also got to hang out with some new friends as well. Everyone was there for the beer, from hardcore enthusiasts, home craft brewers, brewery professionals and everyday schmoes like myself. While the crowd was good I was somewhat underwhelmed by what some of the brewers brought to the event. Of all the brewers, only 3 did anything special. Vancouver Island Brewery had a specially made cask for the event (Cascadian India Dark Ale), The Moon Under Water Brewpub brought a brand spanking new Waxing Crescent IPA and Lighthouse had the Hopoxinator for filtering their Switchback IPA through various varietals of hops during the day. I was also intrigued at what Longwood Brewpub brought. Their Island Pale Ale is an IPA recipe using all Vancouver Island sourced ingredients, including the hops. All the other breweries brought standard release beers, many of which I’d had already. The only one of the ‘standard issue’ beers that I went back to repeatedly was the Hoppin Cretin because of its limited availability. Perhaps I had misconceptions about what other people would bring to the party, but It wasn’t just me who felt somewhat disappointed by the turn out from the beer side. We made up for it by having fun.
Leapbeer #200 is India Dark Ale by Vancouver Island Brewery (Photo Courtesy of Rob Ringma of Vancouver Island Brewery)
Leapbeer #201 is Waxing Crescent IPA by The Moon Brewpub
(picture hopefully coming soon)
Leapbeer #202 is The Hopoxinator by Lighthouse Brewery (Photos Courtesy of Joe Weibe @thirstywriter)
Here’s the varietals of hops they were using during the day (Photo Courtesy of Joe Weibe @thirstywriter)
Now on to the lessons I learned from this experience. While it was an enjoyable time I’m absolutely certain that I could have had a better time, and been more responsible at it too. Here’s the lessons I learned while out at my first big beer event.
1) Know your location. If it is going to be held in an open cement backyard of a brewery (not a bad thing) know this ahead of time and bring either a hat or loose clothing. It was so sunny and so hot out there. I’m certain the heat led me to consume a bit faster than I would have before.
2) Carefully choose your dining options for before, during and after the event. At this one which was 4 hours long, I hadn’t eaten a proper meal before hand (WRONG) I decided to get a Ghost Chili spiced hot dog from the onsite vendor (double WRONG!) and I didn’t have any plan for following the event. Choosing something during depends upon what is available, but afterwards is something that can be planned. A strong coffee and a slap in the face would’ve helped me for sure.
3) Survey the landscape and formulate a plan of attack. This is something I did do. I knew which breweries I wanted to sample first and then on. I really wanted to get in on the few special beers at the event, and I was very glad I did. VIB’s cask was the first to sell out completely if I recall, and it was in the top 3 for the event in my books.
4) Choose your service vessel well. If you lose or dirty yours ask for another one. Don’t randomly accept a graduated cylinder to drink from, even if it was passed to you by a brewer. They’re tricky to drink from, and you may (or in my case will) spill on your shirt.
5) Have an exit strategy mapped out. While it may change or things deviate a bit, set something up so that everyone gets back okay. Don’t ever think that driving away from one of these events is a good idea. EVER. Even if you plan to spend the next 3 hours after it doing laps around the block drinking copious amounts of water to wash the alcohol out of your system it is a bad idea. Cabs are cheaper than a ticket every time.
6) Bring little, so as not to lose stuff. I misplaced both my camera and my phone. Both of which were recovered (Big thank you again to Bryan at Cascadia and the staff at Phillips for that) It is really easy to put something down when you’re in the throes of an event and walk away from them. I was wrought with grief for a day worried about my camera.7) And this is an important one. Pace yourself. Even if its super hot try not to go ridiculous there. I didn’t follow by this, and ended up getting a bit stupid.

All in all I had a good time, but I could have made it better. A big thanks to Phillips (Matlock especially) for putting on the event.
For those of you wondering what happened to me when I drank from the graduated cylinder (aka the Spillinder), here’s a pic courtesy of @redhairedblond Julie Lavoie
Thanks for Reading

Leapbeer Halfway Post – Victories and Mistakes

It is officially the halfway point in the year, and I am also at the halfway point in the Leapbeer. I’m at beer 183, with another 183 to go. How can I sum up how things are going with the Leapbeer journey? It has been hectic. I feel that the blog and the journey are starting to taking on a life of their own, and it just keeps on building. There’s been a fair amount that I’ve learned over the first half of this journey. Like many things, though, I realize that the more I learn the more I have YET to learn. Especially when I consider what I am hoping to do with next year.

A few things I wanted to share about my educational journey so far into the world of beer would be about glassware, community, and research. I thought I’d also have a ‘mea culpa’ moment about a few of the mistakes I’ve made on the blog so far.

Glassware – If you recall from my post ‘Whats in a glass?‘ I disclosed the nature of 4 different styles of beer serving glasses. In truth there are literally hundreds of different beer glasses out there. I do my best to research my beer before opening to try and get the most appropriate service vessel for it. But sometimes I end up going to my new tulip glass. It was a gift from @Jonnybeers when we went on our Tofino road trip. Thanks again for that Jon, even if my first use of it was with a pilsner. I’ve found a few other glasses to add to my collection at thrift stores now. A large range of glasses isn’t essential though. Michael Jackson, the beer hunter, a well published and respected beer writer had endorsed a glass set that was simply 4 glass styles. A tasting or tulip, a snifter, a session or pint and a summer or stemmed glass.

Image Via wikipedia

Even if you don’t have a collection of glasses you likely have a better alternative to drinking it straight from the can or bottle, a wine glass. A fellow blogger from the Pacific northwest wrote a great piece about this in his blog ‘I Think About Beer’ where he extolled the benefits of using a wine glass. You can read it here http://ithinkaboutbeer.com/2012/06/20/glassware-a-victim-of-the-beer-vs-wine-culture-clash/ I’d be willing to bet that if you looked into your cupboard, there’s a great service option for your next pint of frothy goodness. Give glassware a chance, you won’t regret it.

Community – I’ve had the opportunity to visit a few of the breweries and chat up some of the staff around Vancouver Island. And in the case of Lighthouse, I got the tour from non other than their Head Brewer, Dean McLeod. Thanks again for the tour and interview Dean. I got to see in action the operations of Longwood Brewpub, Tofino Brewery, Lighthouse, Vancouver Island, Driftwood and Hoyne breweries. I did visit Phillips as well, but we were too pressed for time to tour the place. I met with several excellent individuals in the industry and got to take a real good look at whats involved in making beer. There doesn’t seem to be a cutthroat nature about these guys. There is an incredible sense of community among these brewers. They get down and help their fellow brewers when they need it, and are building a great thing on Vancouver Island. One of the other great thing to experience is the enthusiasm they have for their products. When you hear someone speaking passionately about something you also enjoy, it is hard not to get ‘caught up’ in the fervor.

Research – When I met with Gary from Driftwood for a tour of their place we chatted a bit about my comments on the Old Cellar Dweller 2011. In my review I had noted that there wasn’t service notes on the bottle. He told me that if people are shelling out over ten dollars for a bottle of beer, they’re likely the kind of people who know how to serve it. And he’s right, the average consumer will pass by the craft section. But I would like to think that as the craft beer scene continues to expand, there will be more people like myself who decide to expand their horizons by trying new products. If you do decide to go and try something new read the label. If you have the time check the website. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it will make with your experience. Take for example when I drank the Phillips Double Barrel. I didn’t read the label before I opened the bottle and it wasn’t very special at all. Then I read the label and read that I should’ve been consuming it at 10c. When brought to the right temperature it was a completely different experience. What I’m taking a rather long way to say is, a little research can make a big difference.

Mistakes – I’ve made a few. There have been many a grammatical and spelling error that have gotten through. Obviously I’m not an English major (Not a major of any sort, I never went to normal college/uni) I’ve also had my first double purchase error. I got distracted while reaching for a Spinnakers Tour De Victoria bottle, but only after completing my purchase did I find out that what I had grabbed was something that was already in the leapbeer fridge. Recently too I had a numbering problem, where i forgot to list one of my reviewed beers into my master list, the Salvator by Paulaner. The most egregious of my errors, though, was one I committed in my review of Spinnakers Blue Bridge Double Pale Ale. It was drawn to my attention via email by the Publican of Spinnakers that I reviewed it as a Double IPA. I don’t know why I read it that way, its not like you can’t read it in the picture, but I didn’t let that go in my review. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to get another sample of this beer to give it a proper review, but I am going to do that this month coming up.

Whats coming up? – I’m taking leapbeer on the road again in July. I shall be doing at least 2 road trips over the course of the month to breweries and events. As I mentioned in my review of the Hop Box, I will be at the HOPoxia beer event at Phillips brewery on July 21st. I also have at least 1 other brewery tour planned, and another one I hope to do as well. Also July will be my first chance to get out fishing, so I’m hoping to do some ‘reviews on the water’ as well. We’ll see how that goes. I also plan to break down and do the post I’ve hinted about hops. I’ve done some research into it, but I need to do a bit more before I put pen to paper (so to speak). Lastly I hope to bring you more interviews. I really enjoyed the chats I had on site with the brewers and brewery staff, and I hope to be able to bring that to you, my readers.

Well I hope that catches you up on what I’ve learned and whats coming up. Now its to you. Leave a comment about what you’ve learned, or what beers you’ve tried that you liked. Maybe there’s some style of beer that changed your perspective, or something you tried that was absolute dreck. Any comments are welcome.

Thanks for reading.

Leapbeer Review #183 Singularity RIS 2012 by Driftwood Brewing

According to Ray Kurtzweil, the Singularity is Near. I say ‘Nay, its not near. It’s in my hand.’

All attempted frivolity aside I’m not speaking of Kurtzweil’s hypotheses that man and machine will become one integrated entity in the near future. I am, however, speaking of the grand daddy of Victoria craft beer coveting, Driftwood’s Singularity Russian Imperial Stout.

To say that this beer has been well reviewed is an understatement. Mr.Lloyd, left4beer, gave this behemoth a 10/10 (A somewhat rare occasion). Other sites gave it similar praise. It boasts a 93 (exceptional) rating at BeerAdvocate, and a 94 at Ratebeer. Knowing this before opening it, I wanted to pick the best moment to consume this intense beer. It pained me to wait. But here I am, officially half way through the leapbeer journey. The perfect tipping point for this beast.

Driftwood used to use foil on the tops of their bottles of Singularity, similar to how Old Cellar Dweller is still packaged. This year they went with something a little more … theatrical. Similar to Three Floyds Dark Lord, they encased their jewel in a crown of wax. I call it theatrical because while it is very functional from an aging protection, it is also a royal pain in the keister to open. It must have taken me a good minute or two to open this bad boy. Admittedly it was my first time opening a wax encased beer, so maybe it was beginners ineptitude.

The Singularity is a deep Russian Imperial Stout that Driftwood ages four months in Bourbon barrels, and it really shows. This beer pours do a deep deep black colour. When you pour it, a milk chocolate coloured head appears on top of it. It’s been said that this beer is one that you not only drink, ‘but you experience’ (as per vancouver beer blog)

It smells rich, of licorice and malts. There are hints of some spice and chocolate to it as well. When you sip it, this beer packs a punch. My first thoughts were “Wow, this beer is a rib sticker.” It has a nice rich stout flavour, with somewhat muted licorice and coffee notes. I honestly expected more licorice flavour to this beer, but they (Driftwood) surprised me. And then the bourbon sweetness seeps in late. Followed by a real latent alcohol burn in your throat as the 11.8% ABV hits you. This stout is no lightweight. Let all you calorie conscious light beer drinkers beware, this beer will consume you. It coats your entire mouth, well. So much so that I still tasted this beer the next day. This beer is big, black, and impressive. It is the Darth Vader of beers. Meaning this truly left an impression on me, as I now have a very high bar with which to compare other specialty Russian Imperial Stouts.

Leapbeer #183 is Singularity Russian Imperial Stout by Driftwood Brewing

I couldn’t have planned a more perfect beer for the halfway point. Driftwood really knocked it out of the park with this beer. Now I realize I’ve been a super Driftwood fanboy up to this point in the blog, but with good reason. They assembled all the powerful ingredients used to make this brew, and then deftly arranged them into a liquid symphony for us all to enjoy. I agree with left4beer’s comments about this beer being under priced, as similarly crafted beers fetch top dollar from consumers in our neighbours to the south. I look forward to whats next from these guys, and to enjoying more Singularity in the new year.

183 down, 183 to go.

Thanks for Reading

Leapbeer Review #169 Crooked Coast Altbier by Driftwood Brewery

My last review of a Driftwood product came across as a bit overly complimentary. Let me try to begin this beer in a different vein. This beer, the Crooked Coast Altbier, is my least favorite Driftwood beer. It may sound harsh, but that’s like saying its the lowest gpa on the honor roll. It was still a tasty beer.

So, what is an altbier? Altbier literally means “Old Beer”. The style originates in Düsseldorf and other parts of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Altbier style refers to the pre-lager brewing method of using a warm top-fermenting yeast. Over time the Alt yeast adjusted to lower temperatures, and the Alt brewers would store or lager the beer after fermentation, leading to a cleaner, crisper beer than is the norm for some other top-fermented beers such as British pale ale. (via Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altbier)

So how does this Altbier stack up? I’ve already stated it is my least favorite Driftwood beer, but where does it stand. Well it pours to a lovely amber colour with a creamy coloured head. It has a lovely sweet malty aroma to it. The taste of this beer is quite different. The Tettanger hops in it give a very distinct flavour to it. You can see how these hops contributed to the cross-breed that is Citra hops. I realize I’ve been going on about hops varieties lately. I do plan to do a post all about hops, with a great list of varieties and characteristics., but that’s another time.

Back to this beer, it has a lovely bitterness to it. There’s almost a woody bitterness to it. It tends to cling inside the mouth.
It is strong yet sessionable. Regardless of where this sits on my report card for Driftwood it is still delicious.

Leapbeer #169 is Crooked Coast Altbier by Driftwood Brewery

Thank you all for reading.

Leapbeer Reviews #159-#160 A Pair of Victorians

I noticed a particularly troubling trend in my beer fridge. It was really quite loaded with imports. Being that one of the main goals for this Leapbeer journey was to cover every available Vancouver Island craft beer I felt it imperative to reach in for a couple of Vancouver Island brews.

It is hard to avoid the influence of the United Kingdom in the beer world. So many of the great beers are crafted there. Today I have 2 on the table that are brewed in Victoria BC, but inspired by styles that originated in England and Scotland,Lighthouse Brewing’s Highland Challenge and Driftwood Brewing’s Naughty Hildegard Extra Special Bitter.

Lighthouse brewed this small batch to coincide with the Highland Games in Victoria. I found this scottish ale to be mild, malty & surprisingly bitter. It poured to a ruby amber color with no head. I don’t get a lot of scent on the nose from this beer, but I do enjoy its bitter malty taste. It is quite enjoyable. Like a mild & extra carbonated bock. On a side note, I love their small bottles, kind of like a revamped stubby or nuevo stubby.

Beer Advocate describes Scottish Ale’s as “The Scottish style of ales break down into Light, Heavy and Export. In the 19th century Scotland, a nomenclature, based on the now obsolete shilling currency, was devised in order to distinguish each. 60/- (light), 70/- (heavy), 80/- (export), 90/- to 160/- for Scotch Ales.

Scottish Ales traditionally go through a long boil in the kettle for a caramelization of the wort. This produces a deep copper to brown in colored brew and a higher level of unfermentable sugars which create a rich mouthfeel and malty flavors and aromas. Overall hop character is low, light floral or herbal, allowing its signature malt profile to be the highlight. Smoky characters are also common.http://beeradvocate.com/beer/style/68

Leapbeer #159 is Highland Challenge by Lighthouse Brewing Company in Victoria BC

I have a problem to report. I have a really hard time saying no to Driftwood’s brews. Their track record with this leapbeer journey has been unmatched. Ever since I fell deeply and madly in love with the beer that I swore I wouldn’t mention again in my blog I was hooked. And every other beer of theirs I’ve tried I have loved as well. So naturally when they released the new seasonal, Naughty hildegard ESB, I was excited. I felt predisposed to loving it. Add to that the promise of a copious hop body on this naughty nun, it was enough for this hop head to catch the vapours. And I hadn’t even cracked the bottle yet.

I pop the top on this 650ml bomber already with a glazed look in my eyes. This lovely beer poured to a deep amber and echoed a bouquet of hoppy scent. Atop this beer sits a lacey cafe-au-lait coloured head. When I taste this beer I get a real quick bitter note, and then it lingers quite long in the palate. Despite its strength (6.5% ABV) this ESB is really easy drinking. A strong yet sessionable beer. Again I’ve been wooed by Driftwood. Who knows when these brewing mavericks will pitch one that this beer lover doesn’t like? I, for one, hope that day never comes.

Leapbeer #160 is Naughty Hildegard by Driftwood Brewing Company of Victoria BC

Beer Advocate describes ESB’s thusly. “ESBs are essentially more aggressive and more balanced Bitters, both in alcohol and hop character, but nothing overpowering. Color range will be similar, though leaning towards the darker end of the scale; dark golds to copper. Low carbonation. Malts tend to be more pronounced, often toasty and fruity, with maybe some notes diacetyl. And despite “bitter” being in its name, ESBs are not really all that bitter. They key to an ESB is balance.http://beeradvocate.com/beer/style/66

Thanks for reading

Leapbeer Review #121 – White Bark Wheat Ale by Driftwood

To say I’ve been developing a bit of a love affair with Driftwood Brewery’s beers is somewhat of an understatement. In my somewhat limited opinion, they are producing some of the best beers available. Easily they make the best beer I’ve had so far, but I promised myself I wasn’t going to mention it again for a while.

I return to their stable this evening to sample their White Bark Wheat Ale. Their site has some wonderful info about it. This traditional Belgian-style wheat ale is brewed with the addition of freshly ground coriander and curacao orange peel. Hops are outshone by the wonderful floral aromas that dominate the nose of this dry and quaffable beer.

It pours to a cloudy light gold colour with a fluffy white head on it. It smells of a floral bouquet and fruit. Initially it tastes really refreshing and then gets almost a bit spicy to it. The coriander really comes through. I know people usually say wheat beers smell of banana’s, but I don’t get that from this beer. The oil from the orange peel helps to stick the taste of this beer with you. I served this straight from the fridge, and it is going down really easy. A quaffer if there ever was one. This beer is served from a 650ml bottle at 5% ABV. Again this is one that I’d love to have available in a 6 pack to encourage sharing, but thats kind of a throw away point. It is a treat to drink.

Thank you again Driftwood for your delicious brews.

Leapbeer #121 is White Bark Wheat Ale by Driftwood Brewery

As a site note I’m going to be away to Mexico for a week. I’m going to try to do some site posts while I’m away and get some scheduled for release while I’m gone. I’m also going to try to uncover Mexican craft beers. Another note, my next review will be #122 or 1/3 of the way through the journey.

Thanks again for reading, Enjoy your beers responsibly folks.

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