• My Rating: C-

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava (NV), 12% ABV – 750ml, (Torrelavit, Spain)

on the back label:

“Segura Viudas Brut Reserva is the reflection of our passion for the vineyard and its land. Like all Segura Viudas cavas, it has been harvested by hand only with the best grapes. A period of 15 months of aging allows us to enjoy its fruitiness and personality.”

  • Style: (Brut Reserva) Cava
  • Taste: Sour-acidic tangy-tart red/green apple with bitter/salty alcohol
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $17 – 750ml., sometime in 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: no

Visual: High quality foil sealed with real cork and serial number. Heavy duty thick bottle and detailed intricate labels. Pours clear light golden yellow with several very active clusters of small bubbles.

Nose: Sweet-tart-tangy acidic red + green apple, (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming fruity alcohol, tingly-fizzy mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (lvl-2)-fruity sweetness, bitter alcohol detection, medium tart-crispness, med-high sourness + acidity, (MAIN) sour red/green apple, citrus acidity

Finish: continued dense bitter/salty alcohol, thickened saliva, off-dry finish.

Summary: This being my first review of a Cava, I’m not quite sure what to compare it to. By itself as a sipper, it drinks very sour-acidic, with only a fraction of the experience being the apple flavour. I’ve tried this mixed with St-Germain elderflower liqueur + club soda and it’s wonderful. Alone, it’s just average. It’s definitely not in the same class as Champagne, flavourwise (no surprise).


  • My Rating: D

The Flame 2008 – Silver Sage Winery, 14% ABV – 375ml, (Oliver, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“A very unique combination of sweet and spice to create an aperitif wine. A true challenge for any wine lover. This wine has a rich bouquet of peach and apricot natural aromas and the unique hot pepper spice. Serve ice cold. A true seafood and meat companion. The taste that leaves you wanting more.”

  • Style: (cayenne pepper spiced) Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Aperitif wine
  • Taste: Aggressive flaming hot veggie pepper peach with stomach gurgle
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $25 – 375ml., summer of 2009
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: no

Visual: Inside the bottle is what my best guess appears to be a cayenne pepper, still retaining most of it’s red colour except for the discoloured pale green/gray stem. Pours clear medium golden yellow, no sedimentation.

Nose: dominant pepper vegginess, with some sharp peach (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: fruity + spicy hot

Mid-palate: immediate burn, (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) peach

Finish: tension on the face, minor sweats, unsettling stomach, long lingering intense spicy burning finish.

Summary: This one is a tough one to sip without a meal. Perhaps allowing the pepper to infuse for 6 years was a bad idea since the heat is way to powerful and unbalanced. I don’t recall the spiciness to be this aggressive when I tasted it at the winery. As it stands though, I can’t say I would ever have this again.


  • My Rating: C+

Moscato D’osoyoos 2009 – La Stella Winery, 9.5% ABV – 375ml, (Osoyoos, BC, Canada)

on the LaStella.ca website:

“Inspired by the renowned Moscato d’Asti of the Piedmont region in Italy the Moscato d’Osoyoos expresses an intense and complex array of aromatics displaying this grape’s true varietal expression. The light effervescence adds to the texture of this wine and showcases the classic Moscato flavours and perfumes of orange blossom, peach rind, rose petal and melon. With around 8%Alc./Vol. this is a perfect aperitif, dessert or brunch wine.”

  • Style: (Muscat) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Apple-pineapple-muscat dense fruity acidic
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn @Hastings St.
  • How much: $20 (after 5% off) – 375ml., January 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: no

Visual: Pours clear light yellow with a couple of tiny bubbles in the glass.

Nose: light apple juice with a bit of pineapple acidity, a very clear nose. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: incoming bright fruitiness

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-dense sweetness, almost salty, medium acidity/light tang, (MAIN) red apple, pineapple, muscat grape

Finish: residual sugars; half-cloying, alcohol detection, watery-thin mouthfeel, grassy citrus acidic finish.

Summary: Not quite as bright as other Muscat wines I’ve tried nor as sweet as a typical dessert wine, it does however fulfill the job of cleaning the palate after a meal.


  • My Rating: B+

Sweet Heat (wheat ale brewed with apricots and scotch bonnet peppers) – Burnside Brewing, 4.9% ABV, 9 IBUs – 1pt. 6 fl.oz., (Portland, Oregon, USA)

on the front-side label:

“Sweet Heat is a gold medal winning wheat beer with the addition of 200 pounds of apricots, then dry hopped with imported Jamaican Scotch Bonnet peppers. Notice a subtle tartness from the fruit with a slight spiciness from the peppers which also add to the aroma. Excitedly the heat may vary due to the nature of the pepper.”

  • Style: (apricot, scotch bonnet pepper) Spiced Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Sour-sweet spicy apricot wheat ale
  • Where I got it : W.16th Liquor Store
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 1pt. 6 fl.oz., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours cloudy golden sunshine yellow with a small foamy dissipating head, thin layer of retention, lots and lots of active streams.

Nose: Fruity apricot with some funk, citrus, and wheat malts. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: incoming sourness, crisp fizzy mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-fruity sweetness, medium-high sourness/tang, tart mouthfeel, (MAIN) apricot, bright pineapple, wheat malts, jalapeno-like pepper vegginess

Finish: medium-lvl deep heated spiciness, clean wheat malt off-dry finish.

Summary: Extremely sippable with a good balanced complexity of sweet-sour-tart-heat-fruity. Definitely unique and original.


  • My Rating: C

Conflux Series No.1 – Deschutes & Hair of the Dog Collaboration, 11.6% ABV – 12 fl.oz., (Bend, Oregon, USA)

on the front-side label:

“Deschutes Brewery and Hair of the Dog Brewing join forces to weave The Dissident and The Stoic and Fred and Adam into an artistic collage of cask-aging alchemy. Damn. Beer is fun!

Conflux No. 1 – Malt beverage aged in distilled spirit and wine oak barrels.

  • Style: (barrel-aged) American Strong Ale
  • Taste: Red wine sweet/acidic brown sugar malt beer
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $12 (after 10% off) – 12 fl.oz., December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not quite

Visual: Pours cloudy pale beer bottle brown with almost no head, thin ringed retention, several very slow streams.

Nose: Soy sauced malts with some fishiness. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: dense tangy-sour malts

Mid-palate: (lvl-8)-dense sweetness, medium sour/tangy, (MAIN) sweet malts, brown sugar/candi sugar, mild soy sauce, red wine grapiness + acidity

Finish: oaked malts, soft bitter sweet malted hopped finish.

Summary: Hmm.. normally I love barrel-aged beers but I’m not quite sold on this one. The acidity/sourness doesn’t quite balance out nicely with the brown sugar malts. I must say the high ABV is well hidden though. Brewdog does a better job with their similar style Abstrakt AB:10 (A).


  • My Rating: C+

Duché de Longueville Antoinettee (Apple Cider), 4% ABV – 750ml, (Normandie, France)

  • also the producers of various non-alcoholic sparkling juices found at Superstore in Canada. (I’ve reviewed and given them ratings ranging from A- to B-)

Ingredients: Sparkling fermented apple juice – contains sulfites (to protect flavour). No added sugar.

  • Style: Apple Cider
  • Taste: Dry tart yeasty oaked apple cider
  • Where I got it : W. 16th Liquor Store
  • How much: $15 (after 10% off) – 750ml., sometime in 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no

Visual: Sealed with a twisty top + real cork. Be careful this one is a gusher when opened. Pours a clear deep golden orange with a smallish mildy lasting bubbly head, clusters of fast activity, a thin layer of retention.

Nose: fruity apple juice but without much sugar, airy and slightly acidic (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: dry, fizzy, yeasty

Mid-palate: (lvl-0)-fruity-yet-dry sweetness, medium acidity, (MAIN) oaked apple, yeasty, light lemon citrus

Finish: tart & dry apple finish.

Summary: This one is deceptively dry considering the rich appearance and lively activity. I appreciate the burst of natural apple flavour but actually prefer my ciders somewhat sweeter. Thus I can’t say I love this one.


  • My Rating: C

Mongozo Premium Pilsener – Brouwerij Huyghe, 5.0% ABV – 33cl, (Melle, Belgium)

  • Fairtrade (as is the case with their fruit beers) – Organic – Gluten Free

Ingredients: water, barley malt, rice, yeast, hops.

  • Style: (specialty grain) Pilsener
  • Taste: crisp creamy barley malt lager
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $3 (after 10% off) – 33cl., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours clear glowing golden orange-yellow, small lasting ultra foamy head, lots and lots of fast activity, a good layer of retention.

Nose: barley malts, with a touch of metallic apple. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: creamy crisp

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-barley sweetness, (MAIN) grassy off-dry barley malts, bread-grainy, metallic

Finish: residual barley sweetness, super light hopped mild bitter finish.

Summary: Crisp and creamy smooth for a lager. But as with most of the limited lagers I’ve tried, this is a straightforward barley malt beverage without much depth or complexity.


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