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Archive for the tag “hops”

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 #353 Valhalla Red IPA by Elysian Brewing Company

Elysian Brewing Company has a wonderful and hop forward series of beers called the “Manic IPA Series”. The most recent of this series is Valhalla Red IPA. This is an unapologetic hop forward red IPA. Not as potent as Lighthouses divine hop stormtrooper, Siren, but this beer is still an elite super agent fore the organization H.O.P.S.

Valhalla is a deep orange, near red beer with a 1cm cream coloured head on top. The aroma is pungent, citric hops are in the forefront then mingle with the malts bringing to the mind hints of marmalade. It was no surprise to me that this beer is a bitter forward beer. Flavours of pine and grapefruit are immediately on your tongue. Then it is followed by a momentary wash of sweetness, only to be followed up with more hops. The best way to describe the way this made my mouth feel is, imagine you’re eating grapefruit with some of the pith. This is not a balanced beer, they let the hops out and did not reign them back. As a hop head, I loved this beer. It’s available through this month from Elysian, and then the next on their Manic IPA Series is the sublime Idiot Sauvin (as per the website)

Leapbeer #353 is Valhalla Red IPA

Valhalla Red IPA from the Manic IPA series by Elysian Brewing Company

Valhalla Red IPA from the Manic IPA series by Elysian Brewing Company

Brewery: Elysian Brewing Company of Seattle WA
Size/ABV/IBU: 650ml Bottle/7.5% ABV/70 IBUs
Availability: Limited
Purchased @: Cascadia Liquor Store Courtenay
Website: http://www.elysianbrewing.com/beer/manicipa.html
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer, Beerthirst

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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 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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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 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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