Mission : Leap Beer, 366 Beers in 366 Days

Archive for the tag “bitter”

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

2nd Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Victoria Part 1

With a planned trip out of Esquimalt for Halibut I felt it was a perfect opportunity to hit up a couple of brew pubs in the area.

My first stop along the way was to stop real quick at Hoyne for their new release of Dark Matter. I’m going to save making notes about it since it’ll be available here as soon as its bottled. So far its only available in growler at the brewery. Save it to say, its delicious.

Next I went down to The Moon Under Water brewpub.¬† And before I mention my thoughts on their beers I’d like to note in a few things about the establishment. This brewpub is set up as a English Style Pub. There is counter service, No TV’s and a relatively quiet room to encourage talking. Also their beers are served at 10c, so expect them to be tepid.

I got a 6 beer sampler with their full gamut and 2 seasonal beers that were on tap. Depicted below, back row L-R is The Stout, The India Red Ale. Front row L-R is Tranquility IPA, Blue Moon Best Bitter, Lunar Pale Ale & Moonlight Blonde Ale.

Here’s the notes I scribbled down for their beers.
1) Moonlight Blonde Ale, Smells a bit yeasty/sweet. Has a definite bitterness to it with minor lacing in the glass.
2) Lunar Pale Ale, has a smell and taste of European hops. Very tasty. My favorite of the whole tasting.
3) Blue Moon Best Bitter, The look and smell of real roasted malts (dark). As bitter as the Pale ale.
4) Tranquility IPA, This beer really smells of hops. The beer tastes coat the mouth and really linger. That said it was really underwhelming for my taste.
5) India Red Ale, Smells of grapefruit or citric hops. It has a malted taste. Really reminded me of Double Dragon but way better execution.
6) Stout, Heavy malt. Very smooth, really easy drinking. #2 for the night for my favorite to drink.

Its good to note that all their beers are relatively low in ABV (3.8-5.2%) so they’re great session beers. They offer the opportunity to taste their beers before you buy them which is quite nice. It is only open from Wednesday-Sunday, but it’s a great place to hang out and catch up with friends.

I’d like to thank Hoyne and The Moon Under Water for their hospitality on my trip. I look forward to coming back and seeing you both again in the future.

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