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Archive for the tag “tasty beer”

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

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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

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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 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 #329 & #330 Skull Splitter & Dark Island by Orkney Brewery

The next two beers I’m putting on the blog are from a place I’d never heard of. The Orkney Islands are located off the north coast of Scotland.

Orkney Islands North of Scotland

Cascadia Liquors in Victoria set these two beers aside for me. I’ve always been welcoming to try new beers from different areas of the world. I got one of the Skull Splitter Scottish Wee Heavy and one of the Dark Island Scottish Ale. Despite it being the higher alcohol test beer, I chose to try the skull splitter first.

Skull Splitter is their 8.5% Wee Heavy (no kidding at 8.5%). It was named after Torfinn Hausakljuv, the 7th Viking Earl of Orkney (aprx 950 AD according to Wikipedia) who was nicknamed “Skullsplitter”. This is a deep brown beer with a frothy tan coloured head on top. Only a little light gets out of this beer, its that thick. The aroma it gives off is of dates and rich malts. The taste is something quite strange considering the ABV. It starts off very smooth, very tame. But then mid way through the tasting it grabs a hold of the back of your throat with a gentle alcohol burn. Here’s the tasting notes from their website.

On the nose, this strong beer has a fruity malt character, with hints of dark fruit, spicy hop, dates and figs.
On the palate, rich and complex with sweet toasted malt, molasses, fresh and dried fruit and hints of warming spices.  (per http://www.sinclairbreweries.co.uk/skull_splitter.html )

Leapbeer #329 is Skull Splitter by Orkney Brewery

Skull Splitter Scotch Ale by Orkney Brewery, Orkney Islands Scotland

Skull Splitter Scotch Ale by Orkney Brewery, Orkney Islands Scotland

Brewery: Orkney Brewing Company (Sinclair Breweries) Sandwick, Orkney, Scottland
Size/ABV: 330ml Bottle/8.5% ABV
Availability: Very Limited
Website: http://www.sinclairbreweries.co.uk/skull_splitter.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 Review #320 Black Butte Porter by Deschutes

Originally I wasn’t going to cover any of the basic Deschutes beers. Not for any reason other than the fact that they were a bit pricey to get in my area (16.99-18.99 per six pack).  But this Black Butte is an absolute gem. This has been sitting in my fridge since May, when my sister bought it and left a couple with me.

Even though I have had this black butte for a while, since late summer, but the only sign that it’s starting to pop off is the fact that it’s slightly clouded with old yeast flecks. I’ve had a couple of beers that were like this now, and none have been affected by this at all. If you find yourself pouring a glass that looks like its got snowflakes in it, don’t be afraid.

This beer is a very impressive achievement. Its a browny black porter that pours with a nice sizeable head on top of it. The smell is sweet, malty with a hint of smoke. Not that I think theirs rauch malt (smoked malt) included in it, but it has a hint of it, perhaps a chocolate malt. When you drink this beer it really dances a strange kind of conundrum over your palate. It is rich, light, quaffably, deseving of savouring, complex and simple at the same time. I realize I’m not describing this beer too well, but the flavour profile is overwhelming. Do yourself a favor and get one of these to try (if you haven’t had one yet).  The bottled version is so much better than the fresh hop porter I had back at the Deschutes Brewpub in Portland. I’m not sure how Deschutes packs this much flavour into a 5.2% porter, but I love it.

Leapbeer #320 is Black Butte Porter by Deschutes Brewery

Black Butte Porter by Deschutes Brewing Company

Black Butte Porter by Deschutes Brewery

Brewery: Deschutes Brewery of Bend Oregon
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 341ml Bottle/5.2% ABV
Availability: Widely available at private liquor stores
Purchased @:
Lucky’s Liquors in Nanaimo
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

I also have a bottle of their imperial porter, Black Butte XIV in my cellar. I’m really looking forward to it based on my feelings to this 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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