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Archive for the tag “bitter beer”

Leapbeer Review #363 90 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Brewery

A few years ago I watched a documentary called ‘Beer Wars’ that showed a few different smaller breweries in their efforts to crack in against the juggernauts like Anheuser-Busch. One of the brewing mavericks featured in that was Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head. They have a trio of continiously hopped IPAs, the 60 Minute IPA, the 90 Minute IPA and the 120 Minute IPA. By that I mean that hops are added during the boil continuously. It is a concept somewhat similar to what Phillips did with their Pandamonium Anniversary IIPA. Phillips did 11 different hops additions in their beer. Dogfish Head did it differently. Originally they rigged a tabletop shaker football game to deliver the hops. Sam did the video below explaining the process.

This beer is regarded as one of the best imperial IPAs widely available in the states, and because of that I really really wanted to try it. I made sure that a 4 pack of this got made its way into the Leapbeer Portland beer haul.

I was expecting a gigantic hop bomb from this beer, but what I got was something very different. This is a cloudy dark amber beer  with a white head on it. The aromas are more malty with a hint of licorice. Their is only a lingering hop note on the nose. The real shocker for this beer is in how it tastes. It manages to dance this high wire balancing act between pungent bitter hops and smooth sweet malts. They even note on the bottle that they jack up the two-row barley to balance it out. Esquire magazine has called this “perhaps the best IPA in America”.

Sadly this isn’t currently available in Canada. I say currently because a conversation over twitter with AFIC (liquor importer) @beerzarre I learned that they are hoping to have DFH available in BC sometime next year. Here’s to hoping.

Leapbeer #363 is 90 Minute IPA

90 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Brewery

90 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Brewery

Brewery: Dogfish Head Brewery of Milton, Delaware
Size/ABV/IBU: 355ml Bottle/9.0% ABV/ 90 IBUs
Purchased:
Belmont Station in Portland
Website: http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/year-round-brews/90-minute-ipa.htm
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Reviews #358 & 359 Shiny Penny and Biere d’Hiver by Townsite Brewing Company

My wife recently had a family function over in Powell River. Naturally my instinctive request was “Please bring back some Townsite beer, pretty pretty please?” And bring back she did. She brought me the two new beers, the Shiny Penny Belgian IPA and Biere d’Hiver winter warmer.

Shiny Penny is named after the now defunct brewpub that Townsites Brewmaster, Cedric, tried to open up in Saskatoon. It is a clear and deep amber beer with a tan head on top. The aromas of this beer is oranges and caramel. The tart malt notes are accented by subdued hops on the nose. When you drink it, the taste is almost opposite. It starts off with a big citric hops punch up front but then follows with a sweet and malty finish. I have to keep telling myself to slow down because this beer is 8.5% ABV. It is deceptively easy drinking.

Leapbeer #358 is Shiny Penny

Shiny Penny Belgian IPA by Townsite Brewing Company

Shiny Penny Belgian IPA by Townsite Brewing Company

Brewery: Townsite Brewing Company of Powell River BC
Size/ABV/IBU: 650ml Bottle/8.5% ABV/80 IBUs
Availability: Select Private Liquor Stores
Purchased:
In Powell River
Website: http://townsitebrewing.com/beer
Other Reviews: Joe Weibe (@Thirstywriter), Barley Mowat, Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Review #357 Hop Therapy Double IPA by Russell Brewing

I’ve had a few of the Russell Brewing Company beers on my blog so far. They’ve been fairly well received. This next beer, their Hop Therapy Double IPA, eclipses them all. To say that I love this beer is an understatement. In fact, the only thing I can say negatively about this beer is that it is a limited run meaning once its gone, its gone.

Img from Russell Brewings Website

This is a cloudy amber beer with a tan head on top.  The aroma is big time citric hops, think of a citrus orchard in bloom. The beer tastes bitter up front then followed with a nice wash of sweetness. It is a hop bomb for sure. This is from the second bottle of this I had and I can already taste the hops being diminished. That said this is the best BC made double ipa that I have had all year. Well done Russell Beer!

Leapbeer #357 is Hop Therapy Double IPA

Hop Therapy Double IPA by Russell Brewing

Hop Therapy Double IPA by Russell Brewing

Brewery: Russell Brewing Company of Surrey BC
Size/ABV/IBU: 650ml Bottle/9.0% ABV/100 IBUs
Availability: Select Private Liquor Stores
Purchased:
Cascadia Courtenay
Website: http://www.russellbeer.com/bml_beer.asp#null
Other Reviews: Barley Mowat, Mikes Craft Beer Blog, Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Review #345 iStout by 8 Wired Brewing

My love of all things 8 wired has been well documented. Their Saison Sauvin is still one of the best beers I’ve had all year. I was very eager to try this, the iStout, their version of an imperial stout. This is a beefy 10 percent stout, boasting 70 IBUs of bitterness.

I first had a chance to sample this down in Victoria with a few members of the BrewVic crew. This time, however, I really got to sit down with it and get to know it. This is a jet black beer with a chestnut brown head on top. When you swirl it in the glass there’s a real thick alcohol leg showing on the side of the glass. The aroma explodes with big Russian Imperial Stout notes. I’m picking up lots of dark fruits, plums and figs, along with roasted malts, anise, licorice, bitter coffee and molasses. Despite it’s high test this beer really feels quite delicate in the mouth. All the Russian Imperial Stout flavours are present, bitter coffee, anise and licorice. And then the latent alcohol burn kicks in at the end of the tasting. Another home run by the 8 wired crew.

Leapbeer #345 is iStout Russian Imperial Stout

iStout Imperial Stout by 8 Wired Brewing Company

iStout Russian Imperial Stout by 8 Wired Brewing Company

Brewery: 8 Wired Brewing Company of Marlborough New Zealand
Size/ABV/IBU: 500ml Bottle/10.0% ABV/70 IBUs
Availability: Unknown
Purchased:
Cascadia Liquor Quadra St Victoria
Website: http://8wired.co.nz/our-brews/istout-imperial-stout
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

A big thank you to Julie & Arlo of the BrewVic crew for sharing this with me. And thank you for reading.

Leapbeer Reviews #341-344 Catching up with Spinnakers

In my effort to catch up I find myself with a back log of Spinnakers beers to review. A couple of them were released earlier in the year and a couple more recently. The line up for today is Happy New Beer, Über Blonde Strong Belgian Style Ale, India Session Pale Ale and Hoptoria IPA.

First up is the Happy New Beer. This is a Wit bier, or Belgian style wheat beer. It is a low test (4.5% ABV) sessionable beer that I’m guessing is intended for popping midnight December 31st (I’m sorry Spinnakers I couldn’t wait). It is a clear golden beer with a white head on top. It smells of toffee, apples and malt. All arranged in a very delicate bouquet. I find that it is a light and whimsical wit. There’s minor sweetness with a hint of salted caramel to it. My only sticky point with this beer is that it has a very lingering bitter note to the taste, somewhat uncharacteristic for wheat beer styles.

Leapbeer #341 is Happy New Beer

Happy New Beer by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

Happy New Beer by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

Brewery: Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victoria BC
Size/ABV: 650ml Bomber/4.5%
Availability: Some Private Liquor Stores and @ Spinnakers
Purchased @:
Cascadia Liquor Quadra st Victoria
Other Reviews: Rate Beer, Beeradvocate

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Leapbeer Review #339 Beer Geek Breakfast by Mikkeller

To say that Mikkeller is a world famous brewer is not far fetched (in my opinion). He (Mikkel Borg Bjergsø) is what is known as a Gypsy or Phantom Brewer. This is a brewery who has no commercial brewery. Their crew travels from one brewery to another brewing their different beers. This Mikkeller, Beer Geek Breakfast, was brewed and bottled at Nøgne Ø of Norway.

Beer Geek Breakfast has a very stellar report card. It boasts a perfect 100 rating on rate beer, and a similar high rating on both Beer Advocate and Untappd. Even before I did the research behind this brewery I had wanted to try this beer. I enjoy my coffee and I enjoy my beer, so this looked like a match made in heaven. It was on my wishlist and when I saw it at Belmont Station I grabbed it without hesitation (near $15 price tag though).

This beer is a jet black stout with a creamy tan head. There’s big aromas from it, boasting coffee, licorice and cocoa.  It is a thick and hearty stout, not viscous thick but heavy and complex. Lots of espresso and coffee flavour to it, along with nice roasted malt and licorice notes. The coffee adds a fantastic dry bitterness to it at the end of the tasting. This is a very complicated and delicious beer meant for sipping.

Leapbeer #339 is Beer Geek Breakfast by Mikkeller

Beer Geek Breakfast Coffee Infused Oatmeal Stout by Mikkeller

Beer Geek Breakfast Coffee Infused Oatmeal Stout by Mikkeller

Brewery: Mikkeller
Size/ABV: 500ml Bottle/7.5% ABV
Availability: Very Limited (As far as I know, not available in BC)
Purchased:
Belmont Station in Portland Oregon
Website: http://mikkeller.dk/ (its arranged all Danish like)
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Reviews #337 & #338 Voltage Espresso Stout by Hoyne and Chocolate Cherry Stout by Moon Under Water

Last night I sampled the last of the Vancouver Island stouts (as far as I know) for the year.  The Hoyne Brewing Company/Habit Coffee Voltage Espresso Stout and the Moon Under Water Chocolate Cherry Stout.

Voltage Espresso Stout is an opaque black beer with about a 1 cm tan head on top. I tried it two ways, chilled and room temperature. The aroma when chilled is all coffee and cocoa nibs. Warm it is much of the same, but jacked up quite a bit. You really get a bitter coffee/espresso note when its at room temperature. It tastes (chilled) bitter and of dark chocolate. There’s even a hint of a touch of cream, or maybe its just creaminess in the way it feels. Warm the bitterness is jacked up again, more stringent in its attack on your taste buds. Yet it still retains a lovely smoothness to it. Whether you drink it chilled or straight from the cellar it’s a fantastic beer.

Leapbeer #337 is Voltage Espresso Stout by Hoyne Brewing Co

Voltage Espresso Stout by Hoyne Brewing Company

Voltage Espresso Stout by Hoyne Brewing Company

Brewery: Hoyne Brewing Company of Victoria BC
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/5.6% ABV
Availability: Select Private Liquor Stores
Purchased:
Top Shelf Liquor Store in Courtenay BC
Website: http://hoynebrewing.ca/#beers
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Review #336 West Coast IPA by Green Flash Brewing Company

As an admitted Hop Head I was very eager to try this beer. The Green Flash Brewing Co West Coast IPA boasts a 95 IBU rating and a very healthy 7.3% ABV. Their promotional poster (here) boasts some pretty bold claims. This is meant to be THE west coast IPA, the standard to which all others should be judged. In my opinion this is a very excellent offering. I still think there are some that do it as good or better, but it is a high bar to set for sure. This beer features the 3 C’s of the hops world. Columbus, Centennial and Cascade are all west coast hops varieties, and they are all featured well in this beer (along side 2 other varietals).

This beer pours to a deep golden. My bottle had a lot of sediment in it, but that doesn’t affect the flavour. It has a super frothy tan coloured head of little bubbles. The beer isn’t overly carbonated, just lightly so. Immediately you are hit with a big punch in the olfactory with hoppy goodness, and there is an almost skunky citric nature to the hops too. By smell you can tell it’s going to be a very bitter beer. This IPA is brewed to the similar strength of a Imp or DIPA. It tastes fantastic, definitely bitter, all around the outside of your mouth, but in the middle of the tongue there’s a wonderful pocket of sweetness. Then I start to get a fruity taste to it as well, reminiscent of kiwi fruit. For an import it is reasonably priced as a 4 pack is 10 bucks. The bottle boasts “Extravagantly hopped”, and I concur. As far as the bitterness rating goes this beeer doesn’t taste so much like the 95, but more like a 60s. That could be due to the beer taking some length of time to arrive in BC. A lovely beer for regardless.

Leapbeer #336 is West Coast IPA by Green Flash Brewing Company

West Coast IPA by Green Flash Brewing Company of San Diego CA

West Coast IPA by Green Flash Brewing Company of San Diego CA

Brewery: Green Flash Brewing Company of San Diego California
Size/ABV/IBU: 500ml Bottle/7.3% ABV/95 IBUs
Availability: Select Private Liquor Stores
Purchased:
Top Shelf Liquor Store in Courtenay BC
Website: http://www.greenflashbrew.com/our-beers.php
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Review #335 Hops & Robbers Extra Delicious IPA by Double Trouble Brewing Company

Hops and Robbers IPA was one of the beers people were buzzing about at GCBF this year. Unfortunately I didn’t get around to their booth to try it. During one of my recent trips to Cascadia Lq in Courtenay they had just received a case of this beer. At last a chance to redeem myself. Gleeful with my purchase I strutted home eagerly anticipating this beer.

Double Trouble Brewing Company is an Ontario based brewery, but they have their West Coast brewing and distribution by Dead Frog Brewery of Aldergrove BC.

The appearance of this beer is a clear gold/amber colour with a one finger head on top. There’s a nice aroma of citric hops, followed by a lovely caramel malt scent. It is definitely a bitter forward IPA. With a very nice balance between the malts and bitterness. After you sip it the bitterness really washes over you, though, and it lingers in your mouth for quite some time. It seems rather audacious to call it an ‘extra delicious’ ipa, but in this case their bravado is met with a very tasty beer.

Leapbeer #335 is Hops & Robbers Extra Delicious IPA

Hops & Robbers Extra Delicious IPA by Double Trouble Brewing Company

Hops & Robbers Extra Delicious IPA by Double Trouble Brewing Company

Brewery: Double Trouble Brewing Company of Ontario (Brewed for BC at Dead Frog Brewery in Aldergrove BC)
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/5.7% ABV
Availability: Private liquor stores
Purchased @:
Cascadia Liquor Store Courtenay
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Reviews #332-334 Stock Ale, IPA and Sweet Heat from Burnside Brewing Company

On day 2 of my trip to Portland I stopped by the Burnside Brewing Company, they had nine different beers available. I did tasters of the ones they didn’t have in bottles and grabbed bottles of the others. This is a review of three of those bottles, The Stock Ale, Burnside IPA and Sweet Heat.

First up is the Stock Ale. It is an ESB or extra special bitter style of beer. It pours to a cloudy reddish amber with a white head on top. The aroma from this beer is really bready. I get mild hops on the nose along with big malts. It tastes very smooth. Supple malts followed by a lingering bitter note. The beer isn’t overly carbonated either, making it easier to savor in your mouth. Their stock ale is very easy drinking. One of my favorites from Burnside.

Leapbeer #332 is Stock ale

Stock Ale by Burnside Brewing Company of Portland Oregon

Stock Ale by Burnside Brewing Company of Portland Oregon

Brewery: Burnside Brewing Company, Portland Oregon
Size/ABV/IBU: 650ml Bottle/5.8% ABV/51 IBUs
Purchased @: At the Brewery during my Leapbeer Portland Trip
Website:
http://burnsidebrewco.com/Brews.php?Group=House%20Beers
Other Reviews:
Rate Beer, Beer Advocate

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