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Archive for the tag “stout”

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 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 Review #340 Red Racer Oatmeal Stout by Central City Brewing

Central City’s Red Racer brand garners a lot of attention with the BC beer geek elite. Many consider the Red Racer IPA to be the best IPA BC has to offer. They recently did a mixer pack of their Red Racer ESB, Red Racer Pale Ale and the Red Racer Stout (the beer I’m reviewing today)

Red Racer Stout is an oatmeal stout, adding a very gentle texture to the beer in the mouth. It is a jet black stout that builds a very tall head (see pic below). The aroma is thin, with a hint of milk chocolate and an almost nutty quality. It reminds me of almonds. The beer has a mild bitterness to it. It tastes very smooth and light, yet complex as well. Tastes a bit like cocoa and raw almonds. It’s a very sessionable stout at 4.2% ABV. Also this is a versatile stout. My wife and I used part of one can in our pot roast and infused the vegetables with stouty goodness.

Leapbeer #340 is Red Racer Oatmeal Stout by Central City Brewing

Stout by Red Racer (Central City Brewing) of Surrey BC

Stout by Red Racer (Central City Brewing) of Surrey BC

Brewery: Central City Brewing of Surrey BC
Size/ABV: 355ml Can/4.2% ABV
Availability: Unknown (I got mine in a Red Racer Mixer Pack)
Purchased:
GVMT Liquor Store in Courtenay
Website: http://www.centralcitybrewing.com/red_racer_oatmeal_stout.php
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

Thanks for Reading

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

Thanks for Reading

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 #304-306 A Few Lighthouse Signature Beers

I realized a little while ago that, while I’ve been more than content covering the limited releases and new beers from my beloved Vancouver Island Breweries, I have unintentionally ignored the staple brands from these said breweries. I intend to do some rectifying of this situation, starting today.

Today I have a trio of, as fresh as I could get them (read: straight from the brewery) beers from the Lighthouse Brewing Company. These beers are available all year round, as well as in their mixer packs. They do a summer and winter mixer available in most government liquor stores in BC, as well as six packs of most of their beers, either cans or bottles. My friend Aaron shared a summer mixer with me earlier this year on a fishing trip, but I was too preoccupied to take notes on the beers.

Starting off I went with the Beacon India Pale Ale. This isn’t a super hop forward IPA like their delectable Switchback IPA, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t tasty in its own right. It pours to a deep golden colour with an off-white head. I get a nice aroma from this beer of hops and grains, only mildly but still present. The real surprise was tasting the beer. It took my taste buds for a bit of a ride. Starts off a bit strong with a bitter punch, then it smooths out with malty goodness, followed by a bitter back. The rich maltiness is really accented well by the bitter notes.

Leapbeer #304 is Beacon India Pale Ale by Lighthouse Brewing Company

Lighthouse Brewing Company Beacon India Pale Ale

Lighthouse Brewing Company Beacon India Pale Ale

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Leapbeer Reviews #301-303 A Brief Taste of Polynesian Beer

Earlier this year my supervisor, Martin, took his family to Maui for a trip. My first reaction when hearing he was going there was ‘Please bring back beer’, and bring back beer he did. He picked me up a bomber of the Kona Longwood Lager, a Hinano Lager from Tahiti and some of the CoCoNut Porter by Maui Brewing Company.

The Hawaiian Haul, Thank You Martin

The Hawaiian Haul, Thank You Martin

The first beer I sampled from these three is the Longboard Lager. Kona Brewing Company is located on west side (also known as the dry side) of the Big Island of Hawaii, in Kailua-Kona. This beer has been featured in the current iteration of Hawaii 5-0 on more than once, undoubtably as part of the mandatory ‘local content’ for the show. Not that I want to get into the great details about this brewery or its history, but I plain and simple just don’t know it. What I can say is the Big Island is full of wonderful surprises, and this brewery is one of them.

Brewed in Paradise

How about the beer? That I do know. I had a few different Kona beers on my last trip to Hawaii (3+ yrs ago), and I remember them all fondly. Longboard Lager isn’t any drastic step outside of normal Lager territory. It is a very light golden lager that smells a bit bready and yeasty. A decent sized head that dissipates, made of tight bubbles. It proves to be a nice easy drinking beer. While it doesn’t break the mold of lager beers, it is a solid offering. One cool note about these beers is inside the cap includes a Polynesian word and the english translation. This bottle included ‘Malama’ meaning to care, but one of the other caps I’ve seen is ‘Manu’ meaning shark.

Leapbeer #301 is Longboard Lager by Kona Brewing Company

Kona Brewing Company's Longboard Lager

Kona Brewing Company’s Longboard Lager

Brewery: Kona Brewing Company from Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii
Size/ABV: 650ml Bomber/4.6%
Purchased @: Gift from a Martin
Webpage:
http://konabrewingco.com/beers/longboard-lager/

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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 Fieldtrip – Portland Oregon, Day 1

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to pack the family up and take a nice trip down to arguably one of the craft brew mecca’s of the new world, Portland Oregon. Not only is Portland home to more than 40 breweries & brewpubs (as of 2011 per link) but it also boasts some wonderful attractions, and one of the most impressive transit systems I have ever seen.

Image via Wikipedia

As you could imagine I was very excited before going on this trip. My wife and I both started making lists of places we were anticipating to go and see, both beer and family themed. To my initial surprise, it was remarkably easy to intertwine both of those. One of my first revelations about Portland came to me before even leaving British Columbia. A conversation with a fellow BC beer blogger, @BGCanary on twitter informed me that many of the brewpubs and breweries were minor friendly. In fact, some of the pubs even have special kid friendly menus & games to help the two areas coincide. Of course sometimes the people drinking the beer get a hold of the kids games and engage their inner child while enjoying the beers as well, (Lynn).

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