Piraat 10.5% – Van Steenberge, 10.5% ABV, 33cl., (Ertvelde, Belgium)

  • Style: Belgian Strong Ale
  • Taste: Alcoholic full-bodied heavy spiced tropical fruity honeyed malt
  • Where I got it : Firefly Liquor Store (Van)
  • How much: $4 (after 10% off) – 33cl., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yep

Visual: This is the heavier 10.5% ABV bigger brother version. Pours golden-orange with a massive long-lasting super creamy beautiful large head, clusters of steady streams.

Nose: orange citrus, orange blossom, sweet honeyed malts (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: incoming heaviness

Mid-palate: warm alcohol detection, palate heavy, (lvl-6)-sweetness, (MAIN) thick honeyed malts, biscuit, rum spices, tropical fruit (pineapple-guava)

Finish: mild alcohol bitterness, residual warmth, spiced honey exhale, super soft hopped boozy finish.

Summary: So Strong!!! Fuller and more flavourful than the 9.5% I reviewed earlier. Get this one instead, if you can handle heavy beers.


Orion Premium Draft – Orion Breweries, 5% ABV, 334ml., (Okinawa, Japan

  • Style: Pale Lager
  • Taste: clean liquid sweet barley malt
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $5 (after 10% off) – 334ml., September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours rich golden amber with barley any head, a thin layer of micro retention, lots of fast singular streams.

Nose: barely anything, a bit of hay/straw. (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: liquid malt sweetness

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) barley malt, straw,

Finish: crisp, trace amounts of hopped bitterness, light clean barley malt finish.

Summary: Very clean and nicely sweet. No complexity but a good hot meal beer.


Weeping Reaper Blood Orange Helles Bock – Dead Frog Brewery, 7% ABV, 650ml., (Aldergrove, BC, Canada)

on the front left-side label:

“A haunting golden lager with an inviting hint of blood orange. A warm golden lager with a splash of citrus and slight caress of fruity hop flavour and aroma. Premium European malts and hops result in a brew that’s light in colour but not in body with a perfectly balanced finish.”


  • Style: (Blood Orange, Helles Bock) Flavoured Lager
  • Taste: hoppy bitter pith/peel weedy rough malt
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5.50 – 650ml., October 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: There’s the grim reaper on the label, setting the mood for October. Pours light whiskey brown without much head, a thin layer of micro CO2 retention, lots of clustered active streams.

Nose: faint orange oil, hints of malty sweetness. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: subdued incoming bitter hops

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) blood orange bitter pith from the peel, sweet + tangy malts, weedy/dandelion

Finish: sharp bitter peel hoppy bitterness, rough finish.

Summary: Something in the mids just doesn’t sit well on the palate. The bitterness is like overly steeped lemon/lime peel. The pith bitterness + hops = gag reflex. Do not like. Doesn’t go well with a meal.


  • My Rating: [C-], unrated on Ratebeer.com

Organic Ginger Beer – Nelson Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV, 355.mcl., (Nelson, BC, Canada)

Ingredients: Water, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Honey, Organic Ginger, Organic Lemongrass, Organic Hops, yeast.

  • Style: (Ginger, Lemongrass) Flavoured Ale
  • Taste: *fishy* ginger lemongrass sweet barley malt
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $11.50 – 6 x 355ml., October 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Comes in a 6pack aluminum cans; welcome to the all organic revolution. Pours clear golden orange with a very small micro bubbly head, thin ringed retention, almost no lacing, several clusters of moderate speed streams.

Nose: real ginger and lemongrass, mixed with light barley malt, almost fishy (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: very crisp

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) ginger, lemongrass, sweet liquid barley malt,

Finish: very mild ginger burn, super soft bitter hops, thin barley malt lingering hopped finish.

Summary: It has the ginger as advertised but it’s not particularly impressive or memorable. In fact, 6 of these would be rather boring. A meal beer, at best.


Piraat 9% – Van Steenberge, 9% ABV, 33cl., (Ertvelde, Belgium)

  • Style: Belgian Strong Ale
  • Taste: Honeyed barley citrus malt alcoholic palate-heavy
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $3.50 – 33cl., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: decent but not wicked

Visual: The 9% ABV (as opposed to 10.5%) little brother version. Pours almost clear marmalade orange with a large lasting super foamy head, thick lacing & retention, lots and lots of clustered streams.

Nose: sweet barley malt mixed with bright honeyed citrus, hints of florals. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: subdued alcohol + incoming honey sweetness

Mid-palate: weightiness, fizzy-tingly mouthfeel, (lvl-6)-sweetness, (MAIN) barley malts, honey, citrus

Finish: light alcoholic warmth + mild alcohol bitterness, subtle bitter hopped, lingering barley malty sweet finish.

Summary: Shockingly easy to drink at first but becomes palate-tiring halfway through. Full-bodied with medium complexity. Not too exciting but solid.


Liefmans Fruitesse, 4.2% ABV, 250ml., (Oudenaarde, Belgium)

on the front left side label:

“Refreshing fruit beer, matured on cherries, flavoured with 15% fruits (cherry, raspberry, bilberry, elderberry, strawberry), sugar and sweetener. Contains barley malt.”


  • Style: (strawberry, raspberry, cherry, elderberry, bilberry) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: Strawberry + mixed field berries fine CO2 soda
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $10/4pack – 4 x 250ml., sometime in 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: perhaps as a mixer
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, worth a try once

Visual: Pours cloudy purplish-red with barley any head, thin ringed retention, a few streams here and there.

Nose: Super fruit-forward blend of strawberries, raspberries, and cherry. Unreal. (lvl-10)-pungency

Attack: fruity sugars

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) strawberry, raspberry, elderberry, some cherry, hints of malt

Finish: hints of tartness, clean light fruity finish.

Summary: This pretty much drinks like a real-fruit soda with finer carbonation. Not much in terms of depth or length, but extremely refreshing and drinkable. A sure hit with the ladies.


Royk Uten ild (Røyk Uten Ild), 8% ABV, 50cl., (Drammen, Norway)

- It’s been over 2 year since I’ve had a HaandBryggeriet beer; I’m quite looking forward to this one since all of my previous reviews of theirs have been consistently good. (Dark Force = B+, Odin’s Tipple = B, Akevitt Porter = A).

description on ratebeer.com:

“Røyk Uten Ild (Smoke Without Fire) is our smoky beer, here we have tried to make a beer as smoky as we can using our smoked malt from Weiermann. We have made a fairly dark and flavourful beer. Apart from the special malt the rest of the malt bill (86%) is smoked malt. You could also say that this is a smoked wheat beer, because we have used our wheat beer yeast here. The beer is not scary but actually very nice even for those that aren’t smoke beer fanatics….try it and you will see. Contains malted barley, Amarillo hops, wheat beer yeast, and lots of smoked malt from Bamberg, Germany. 8% alc, 33 ibu, 48 ebc. Serving temp 8 – 12C or 46 – 53F.”

  • Style: Smoked Beer
  • Taste: Cacao creamy sweet brown sugar malt lightly smoked
  • Where I got it : 16th St. Liquor Store (W.Van)
  • How much: $11 (after 10% off) – 50cl., April 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: A rather simplistic label compared to their regular lineup. Pours cloudy beer bottle brown with a smallish very long lasting micro foamy head, a small layer of retention, a bit of lacing, tons of varied speed active streams.

Nose: Charcoal smoke immediately jumps out, malt, a bit of brown sugar, molasses. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp, silky smooth mouthfeel, creamy

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-sweetness, (MAIN) brown sugar liquid malt, cola, molasses, woodiness, hints of anise, coffee

Finish: minor smokiness, cacao nib bitterness, subtle soft bitter hops, malty sweet finish.

Summary: Quite and engaging cacao sweet malty beer that grabs and holds your attention. Excellent balance and “silkiness” that keeps you sipping.


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