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Archive for the tag “citric hops”

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 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 #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 Review #323 Lagunitas IPA

At first with this blog I didn’t want to admit to my mistakes. I would attempt to proofread and double check every error into oblivion. This proved harder than I thought, being that beer drinking was involved. One of such errors occurred with this beer. I purchased a bomber of this a long time ago. It sat in my fridge for only a short time before I drank it. I poured the beer, took the picture, sampled, took notes then consumed the rest with glee (it is very nice). Then, for whatever reason, I discarded my notes. I have no idea why when I looked at the note on my phone I thought “Oh I’ve already posted that”. Thankfully the new Cascadia location came to my rescue, and this time instead of a bomber I’ve got a lovely six pack to share.

My love for Lagunitas beers has already been well documented. I still contend that their Hop Stoopid is the bar that I measure all double IPAs to. It is the gold standard for such a widely available beer.

Their standard, or unlimited, release IPA is a clear gold & copper coloured beer with a lovely fluffy tan head on top. It has all the aroma expected of a lovely hoppy ipa. There’s hints of citrus, orange peel and underlying malty sweetness. The beer is definitely easier to quaff than their hop stoopid. The tasting of this beer washes over you with initial bitterness, then a lovely sweetness from the malt followed by a lovely dry finish. The malt of this beer has the same kind of light licorice quality I picked up from the Samuel Smith’s beers. While not the cheapest six pack out there, it is sure not to disappoint any hophead (like me).

Leapbeer #323 is India Pale Ale by Lagunitas

India Pale Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Company

India Pale Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Company

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma California
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 355ml Bottle(Also Available in a 650ml)/6.2% ABV
Availability: Unknown
Purchased @:
Cascadia Liquors Courtenay
Website:
http://lagunitas.com/beers/ipa/
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Reviews #315-319 A Cornucopia of Phillips Brau

Another in my list of compressed reviews is me catching up with some of the seasonals by Phillips Brewing Company. My lazy blogging has left me with quite the back log of Vancouver Island craft beers to cover, but all that is changing. You’ve undoubtedly noticed that I have been covering multiple beers per post during the month of December. I was almost 90 back from my 366 goal when December started, but I’m catching up. Enough of the ‘mea culpa‘, lets get on to the beer.

I assembled quite the line up of beers to taste, but I included one from leapbeer’s past. Here’s the tasting line up

The Selection of Phillips Brewing Company BeersAlso a Flying Tanker as a reference beer for a White IPA style

The Selection of Phillips Brewing Company Beers
Also a Flying Tanker as a reference beer for a White IPA style

First up was a head to head comparison of White IPAs. I managed to pry one final Flying Tanker out of VIB Rob’s stash to use as a benchmark to compare the Phillips offering against. If you didn’t read my review of the Flying Tanker White IPA you can read it here. But to sum up, I loved it. It was beer of frankenstein-ish make up that it both confounded and pleased my taste buds. I’m breaking my reviews down to the three critera system I used in the post about beer cellaring. They’ll be examined by Appearance, Aroma and Taste.

Appearance
Flying Tanker: Dark Gold and cloudy with a tall pillowy white head
Electric Unicorn: Cloudy and golden, almost a sun yellow gold colour. Thin white head present.

Aroma
Flying Tanker: Slightly piney, some  citrus hop notes. Hefeweizen yeast characteristics as well (cloves and banana type aromas)
Electric Unicorn: Big time hops, pines and citrus. Hints of orange groves. A bit of a bready or biscuit type aroma as well.

Taste
Flying Tanker: A bolder flavour profile from previous tanker tastings. A strong bold IPA wrapped in a fluffy hefeweizen coat.
Electric Unicorn: Thin and smooth. Very easy drinking. Lots of hops bitterness to it, tastes more IPA than white IPA

My overall thoughts about the Electric Unicorn are that it was a very tasty beer. I tried it earlier in the year and really didn’t enjoy it. That was why I got the flying tanker to do a side by side with since I loved that beer so much. The age hasn’t been that good for the Tanker, which is to be expected. Hefeweizens or those made with that yeast strain are meant for consuming, not aging. The age, however, was a good thing for the Unicorn. I think it made it a more palatable. I kind of missed the window to showcase the Electric Unicorn during its sale period, and for that I apologize.

Leapbeer #146 is Flying Tanker White IPA and Leapbeer #315 is Electric Unicorn White IPA

Vancouver Island Brewing Flying Tanker & Phillips Brewing Company Electric Unicorn White IPA

Vancouver Island Brewing Flying Tanker & Phillips Brewing Company Electric Unicorn White IPA

Brewery: Phillips Brewing Company of Victoria BC
Released: August 28th, 2012
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/6.5% ABV
Availability: None
Purchased @:
Merecroft Village Liquor Store
Other Reviews: Ian Lloyd (@Left4beer), Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Reviews #311 & 312 Uncharted Belgian IPA & Siren Imperial Red by Lighthouse

This next post is me catching up on the latest from Lighthouse Brewing Companies ‘Big Flavour’ series. These bombers have been quite well received up til now, and, as you will read, the trend continues. The latest two are Uncharted Belgian IPA, released late October of this year, and Siren Imperial Red Ale released December the 3rd.

Lighthouse Brewing Companies Latest Big Flavour Series BombersSiren Imperial Red and Uncharted Belgian IPA

Lighthouse Brewing Companies Latest Big Flavour Series Bombers
Siren Imperial Red and Uncharted Belgian IPA

First of these I’m covering is the Uncharted Belgian IPA. I wasn’t able to try last years version of this beer. According to one source the last years version was a blend of two beers by two different brewers. This years version was not. It is a 100% Dean McLeod production, and it’s delicious. It pours to a clear goldy amber colour with a lovely off white head that really sticks around. The bouquet off this beer is lovely. Floral and citric hops notes bring up thoughts of passion fruit and apricots (yes I know there’s no passion fruit or apricots in this beer). That’s kind of how the tasting starts with this beer as well. It is initially fruity but then a nice bitter washes over you from it. This is a beer meant for savoring, not lending itself to quick mass consumption. I did notice that the bottle I had recently didn’t have as strong a hops aroma as the one I shared with @eskimodave closer to the release of this beer. But when I gave the glass a swirl the bouquet opened up  again. A very solid and tasty beer from my friends at Lighthouse Brewing Company.

Leapbeer #311 is Uncharted Belgian IPA

Uncharted Belgian IPA by Lighthouse Brewing Company

Uncharted Belgian IPA by Lighthouse Brewing Company

After drinking Uncharted I thought there was no way to top it. I knew Lighthouse was planning to release an Imperial Red Ale, as they included it as their beer for Winterbrau at Canoe Brewpub. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this beer when I initially heard about its release. I figured it would be good, but I was outright WRONG. This beer is a tour de force of hoppy goodness. It is an all out assault on your olfactory glands and taste buds, in a very very good way. It is a deep reddish amber beer with a thick fluffy tan coloured head on top. The aroma from this beer is like an intoxicating blend of piney hops. The kind of melange meant to ensnare a hop head like me. No wonder it’s called Siren. This beer is enough to make me steer my ship into the rocks, its that good. Even before a drop hits my lips I’m sold on this product. And then when you drink it you get blasted by this unapologetic uber hop monster of a beer. The complex malt framework can on just support the massive hop injection provided from this libation. I love this beer.

Leapbeer #312 is Siren Imperial Red

Siren Imperial Red by Lighthouse Brewing Company

Siren Imperial Red by Lighthouse Brewing Company

Brewery: Lighthouse Brewing Company of Victoria, BC
Released: Late October 2012 (Uncharted), December 3rd, 2012 (Siren)
Size/ABV/IBU: 650ml Bottle/7.5% (Uncharted) 8.0% (Siren)ABV/
Availability: Limited
Purchased @: Merecroft Village Liquor Store & Cascadia Liquor Comox
Webpage:
http://www.lighthousebrewing.com/products/big-flavour-series

Truly these beers deserve their own platform for review. Unfortunately I have to keep compressing posts to hit my Leapbeer deadline of December 31st. If these products are available in your area try them immediately. Especially the Siren, since it’s aroma hops will only dissipate with time. A big Kudos to Lighthouse and their team for these amazing beers.

Thanks for reading

Leapbeer Reviews #295-300 Flight of the Townsite

With it getting closer to the end of the year and me needing to get my blogging butt in gear I coordinated a nice tasting evening for me and some friends. This has helped me to cover some of the stockpile of beers I’ve been sitting on. It also helps me to get through a full flights of beers without being left with the task of consuming four or more bombers in one night. Our most recent tasting evening included a flight from Powell River’s own Townsite Brewery. You may recall that I went through there earlier in the leapbeer journey in one of my leapbeer field trips.

They have a really cool set up there with lots of local flair. Karen noted to us that Cedric their brewmaster could very well be the only Belgian born brewmaster in BC. Each of their labels has a tidbit about the name of the beer along with the local significance. They will be included in the write up as well.

First beer from Townsite is their Westview Wheat a summer witbier, or belgian style wheat beer. It is a very tasty beer that I am guessing they will be bringing back again late next spring/early summer 2013. It is a touch on the sweet side, but doesn’t have the usual banana-esque notes that most hefeweizens have.

Note: Westview: noun 1. direction of every view in Powell River, and features the epic Comox Glacier, 2. a refreshing summer seasonal witbier

Leapbeer #295 is Westview Wheat

Westview Wheat

Westview Wheat

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