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Leapbeer #365 Megadestroyer by Howe Sound Brewing Company

Today’s beer came highly recommended by Vancouver based beer geek, Jonny Beers. Howe Sound Brewing Company makes their Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout by taking their already potent Pothole Filler imperial stout, and jack it up by adding massive amounts of licorice and anise. It was originally brewed to commemorate the 200th tap at Alibi Room, one of Vancouver’s go-to beer geek watering holes.

It is not for the faint of heart. This beer is very bold. Add to that the fact that you have an entire litre of it to enjoy. Thankfully Howe Sound Brewing Co uses the 1l pop stopper bottles making storage for a few days a very viable opportunity. Personally I chose to go a different way. I wanted to enjoy this stout in more than one way. In honor to their summer seasonal, the 4 way fruit ale, I’m enjoying Megadestroyer four ways.

First application, Chocolate Stout Cake. I have to thank @BGCanary and @MikesCraftBeer for sharing this recipe. It is a fairly easy to follow recipe that yielded an extremely moist chocolate cake. I didn’t add the ganache to mine because I needed the bowls and cleaning utensils to prepare the other goodness. The cake itself is very good and moist, but it doesn’t taste too stout-y to me. I had hoped with a bold flavoured stout like Megadestroyer it would shine through, but it didn’t.

Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake made with Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout

Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake made with Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout

Second way to enjoy the stout I chose to make a chocolate stout mousse. Originally I had plans to try a straight stout mousse, but the device that I wanted to make it with wasn’t available. Instead I found a recipe at Brew Nation NZ. It is very chocolatey as well, and even though the stout wasn’t cooked the chocolate overpowered the stout and only part of its licorice and anise goodness could be tasted through the mousse. It is also of note that I could have mixed mine better. I took the whole ‘folding’ thing too literally and could have blended the final integration better. The recipe yielded 8 nice sized servings.

Stout Mousse made with Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout

Chocolate Stout Mousse made with Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout

In my opinion both of these recipes would benefit by the addition of at least 1/2 a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. When I make my hot chocolate mix (the good eats recipe BTW) it calls for the addition of cayenne. I find that the spice really adds something special. It almost sets your mouth up in a way that it can enjoy the chocolate more.

Finished Product, Chocolate Stout Cake & Mousse

Finished Product, Chocolate Stout Cake & Mousse

Third way to enjoy Megadestroyer, was straight up. This is a jet black stout with a tall brown head on it. As you would imagine the omnipresent theme with this beer is licorice. Anise and licorice rip up your nostrils when you smell this bold and unapologetic beer. There is a touch of coffee on the nose as well. Drinking it is heavenly. It is remarkably smooth. All the big RIS tastes are there, coffee and cocoa, along with a generous dose of licorice. Despite it’s 10% ABV this beer is deceptively drinkable. Not that I would quaff it like it was a kolsch on a hot day, but enough that I don’t have to pause every few sips.

Leapbeer #365 is Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout

Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout by Howe Sound Brewery

Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout by Howe Sound Brewery

Brewery: Howe Sound Brewing Company of Squamish BC
Size/ABV/IBU: 1L Bottle/10.0% ABV/73 IBUs
Purchased:
Cascadia Courtenay
Website: http://www.howesound.com/Brewery/Beers/Beer_Megadestroyer_Licorice_Stout.aspx
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

Lastly I decided to do something I’d read about in other blogs and tweets. Megadestroyer’s fourth way of enjoyment is in a beer float. I wasn’t sure how this would be. Not only was I very excited to try it, but I was honestly a little bit scared. I took a chalice, poured it half way up with Megadestroyer, and added a nice dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Stout Float with Megadestroyer

Stout Float with Megadestroyer

The way the ice cream came off in this beer was really good. It actually attenuated the sugars of the ice cream and accentuated the licorice in the stout. When I mixed it up together into a froth it made for an excellent tasting light treat.

So there you have it, 1 litre of stout enjoyed four ways. One application for stout I didn’t utilize is adding it to braising liquid for a pot roast, like I did with the Red Racer Stout. This one may not be the best for that as the licorice flavour may effect the other elements in an unwelcome way.

Big thank you to Mike, Lynn, Jonny for their suggestions, Howe Sound for the delicious beer.

And as always, thank you for reading.

365, just one left. Any guesses as to what it will be?

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 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 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 Reviews #324-328 A Flight of Canoe

Last night I had the opportunity to share some delicious beers with a good friend, so I brought over a sampling of 5 different Canoe Brewpub beers including three of their core beers and two different seasonals. Unfortunately a couple of the bottles were from the summer time and at least one was negatively affected by the age of the beer. The beers we were drinking were Red Canoe Lager, Sirens Song Pale Ale, Summer Honey Wheat Ale, River Rock Bitter and Winter Gale Strong Ale.

Canoe Brewpub FlightRed Canoe Lager, Siren Song Pale Ale, Summer Honey Wheat Ale, River Rock Bitter, Winter Gale Strong Ale

Canoe Brewpub Flight
Red Canoe Lager, Siren Song Pale Ale, Summer Honey Wheat Ale, River Rock Bitter, Winter Gale Strong Ale

First up is the Red Canoe Lager. It was somewhat unfortunate for us to start with this bottle as it was one of the ones that was old. This is advertised on their website as a Czech pilsner, but this bottle didn’t taste like it. I’ve had it at the brewpub and it is a very nice lager beer. This bottle, unfortunately, was not. Drinking a skunky beer wasn’t how I wanted to start off the night. I can attest to the fact that, when fresh, this beer is very pleasant. Its all uphill after this one (I promise).

Leapbeer #324 is Red Canoe Lager

Red Canoe Lager by Canoe Brewpub

Red Canoe Lager by Canoe Brewpub

Brewery: Canoe Brewpub in Victoria BC
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle(Also Available in Growler at the Brewpub)/5.2% ABV
Availability: At the brewpub
Website: http://www.canoebrewpub.com/beer.html
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Reviews #293 & 294 – The Last of the VI Fresh Hops

I’ve covered a bunch of fresh hopped beers so far in the blog. The last Vancouver Island fresh hopped beers I’ve found are the Hop Harvest Pale Ale by The Moon Under Water Brewpub and the Green Reaper Fresh Hop IPA by Phillips.

First up is the Hop Harvest Pale Ale by The Moon Under Water Brewpub. This beer came out early in September of this year, right before the news broke about the change of owners/brewers. This is a lovely deep amber pale ale with a tight bubble cream coloured head on top. The piney fresh hop notes are starting to fade on this one a bit, but they’re still present on the nose. It has a supple malt body that has flavours of mild orange and tart bitterness to it. It is a lovely pale ale that I look forward to seeing the next iteration of it next year. It is of note with this beer that the fresh hops were used for the dry hopping of this beer (as specified on the label), meaning that the hops used in the initial boil were a dried variant of some sort.

Leapbeer #293 is Hop Harvest Pale Ale by The Moon Under Water Brewpub (2 pictures, the second shows off the beer colour better)

Hop Harvest Pale Ale - Dry Hopped with Fresh Hops

Hop Harvest Pale Ale – Dry Hopped with Fresh Hops

Better Pic of the Colour of the Beer

Better Pic of the Colour of the Beer

Brewery: The Moon Under Water Brewpub of Victoria BC
Released: September 8th, 2012
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/5.0% ABV
Availability: Very Limited (as far as I know)
Purchased @:
Cascadia Liquor Liquor Store Quadra St Victoria

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Leapbeer Review #292 Lions Head Cascadia Dark Ale by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

image via spinnakers.com

I looked after a coworkers cat while he was away and he brought me a treat from his time away in Victoria, a growler full of Lion’s Head Cascadia Dark Ale. I don’t intend to make this a re-opening of the whole ‘cascadia-gate’ thing, just a nice discussion of a great beer. This beer is a Cascadian Dark Ale or Black IPA. It pours to a very dark brown, almost black colour with a thin cream coloured head on top. It does have a fair amount of malt and sweets on the nose along with a great floral hop note. It is a very smooth beer to drink initially, then you’re hit with a latent hop bomb. The great bitter back has a nice pucker to it. Initially the sweet notes remind me of an almost caramel like sweetness. This is a deceptively easy to drink beer, but due to its higher test (6.8% ABV) drink responsibly. This wouldn’t be for non-bitter beer fans, but those who avoid dark beers because they’re too sweet would like this.

Leapbeer #292 is Lions Head Cascadia Dark Ale

Lions Head Cascadia Dark Ale

Lions Head Cascadia Dark Ale

Brewery: Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victoria BC
Released: June 21, 2009
Size/ABV: 1900ml Growler (also available in 650ml bottles and 355ml cans)/6.8%
Availability: Some Private Liquor Stores and @ Spinnakers
Purchased @:
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub
Webpage:
http://www.spinnakers.com/our-beers/available-in-bottles/cascadia-dark-ale

Thanks for Reading

Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Brewmaster Dinner at Swans Brewpub

On November the 10th, Swans Brewpub had their Brewmaster Dinner. It was a limited seating event, taking up the back half of the restaurant. I was teased the day before by a pic they posted to twitter.

Swans 2012 Brewmaster Dinner Cake

Swans 2012 Brewmaster Dinner Cake

(Courtesy of their twitter feed)

With interests piqued my sister and I headed down to Swans to check out the event. It was a packed house for this 5 course meal, each paired with one of their beers. And, as the evening started, it was hinted that there would be a special ‘secret’ beer as well.

Menu for the night

Menu for the night

First course was a fondue starter paired with Swans Arctic Ale (#280 on the Leapbeer Master List). It was a shared plate of apple and pear slices, grapes and spiced nuts to be dipped in a beer infused cheese sauce. The sauce was very reminiscent of what you’d expect from a nice home cooked cheese sauce over cauliflower or broccoli, but with a hint of blue cheese to it as well. The ale served as a nice palate cleanser between each fon-dunk. This was a great way to start the evening.

First Course

First Course Fondue – Paired with Arctic Ale

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Leapbeer Review #276 Titanic Strong Stout by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

I’ve written a few posts about the time I spent at Spinnakers last summer, and while I was there I also picked up this little beauty. The Titanic Strong Stout is another in their high test (7.75% ABV) stouts, even though it doesn’t taste like it. I wanted to give this bomber a fairly comprehensive tasting so I tried it two ways, chilled from the fridge and room temperature.

This beer pours to a jet black colour with a thin puffy cafe au lait coloured head. Tasting #1 (chilled) I detect a nice amount of coffee and licorice notes with the malts. The beer tastes very smooth. It really hides its alcohol well. Even those who don’t like stouts (or say they don’t like stouts) would enjoy this beer when chilled.

Tasting #2 (room temperature) More than before it smells strongly of coffee and licorice and now there’s an addition of dates to it. It has that thick smell to it. The beer still tastes super smooth with a surprisingly thin mouthfeel. This isn’t a motor oil stout. The malts really come alive when served at this temperature. In my opinion this is a very good stout.

I know a lot of people compare stouts to Guinness. I dare to say if someone had this side by side with Guiness that they would think the Titanic was lighter due to the way it feels in your mouth.

One other thing about this that I find interesting is that this has different characteristics from their Tsarist Stout.

Leapbeer #276 is Titanic Strong Stout by Spinnakers

Brewery: Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victoria BC
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 650ml Bomber/7.75%
Availability: Some Private Liquor Stores and @ Spinnakers
Purchased @:
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub
Webpage:
http://www.spinnakers.com/past-beers/seasonals/titanic-strong-stout-2
Other Reviews: Rate Beer, Beeradvocate & Mikes Craft Beer Blog

One other cool thing we picked up while at Spinnakers was a bottle of their home made malt vinegar. They had a couple of bottles there made from a couple of different beers, but we grabbed one from the Titanic Stout setup. It is a very dark and rich malt vinegar, and a welcome addition to our pantry.

Thanks for reading

Leapbeer Review #270 Pumpkin Ale by Swans Buckerfield’s Brewery

This next micropost for Vancouver Island Pumpkin beers comes from Swans Buckerfield’s. They released their Pumpkin Ale this year on October the 4th. I was actually looking for something different when I went into the Liquor Plus on my way out of town in Victoria a while back. But I noticed this and decided to pick one up.

This beer has a fairly prominent pumpkin scent to it. I’m also getting hints of ginger spice and a hint of lemongrass. This looks very much like a fall beer with its deep amber even near red colour. The thin white head on top is formed of tight bubbles. The beer tastes is fairly light, as you’d expect with a five percenter, but you get a lot of pumpkin pie flavour from it. It may be a bit higher on the sweet side for most beer drinkers. It is (again) pumpkin pie in a bottle.

Leapbeer #270 is Pumpkin Ale by Swans Buckerfield’s Brewery of Victoria BC

Brewery: Swans Buckerfield’s Brewpub of Nanaimo BC
Released: October 4th
Size/ABV: 650ml Bomber/5.0%
Availability: Select Private Liquor stores
Purchased @:
Liquor Plus in Victoria
Webpage:
http://swanshotel.com/brew-pub/brew-pub-home (Beer not featured on their beer list)
Other Reviews: Untappd, Rate Beer & Beer Advocate

Thanks for reading

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