• My Rating: A-

India Saison – Nøgne Ø & Bridge Road Collaboration, 7.5% ABV – 0.5L., (Grimstad, Norway)

on the front side label:

“India Saison is the hoppy, crisp and refreshing result of a north south collaboration. Classic Belgian malts and yeast, pungent Australian new hop varieties and clean Norwegian water. Served chilled and enjoy with cheeses and charcuterie. This product is bottle conditioned and has a slight sediment at the bottom of the bottle.”


  • Style: (India) Saison
  • Taste: Sweet malty bready ultra-creamy grapefruit hopped light sour fizzy
  • Where I got it : W.16th Liquor Store
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 0.5L., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: I just love collab beers, it means twice the amount of brains and love went into making it, am I right? Pours light cloudy apple juice golden yellow with a HUMUNGOUS lasting creamy head, a scandalous amount of CO2 activity, sticky lacing.

Nose: orange blossom, lemon citrus malts, quite fruity (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: ultra creamy-fizzy

Mid-palate: crisp (lvl-6) malty sweetness, (MAIN) yeast, malts, lemon, grapefruit peel, straw, bready

Finish: burpy-bloated, smooth ultra-soft grapefruit bitter hops, sour-bitter hopped finish.

Summary: Very drinkable, especially with a meal. I pretty much finished the whole bottle just trying to review it. Recommended, quite a trip.


  • My Rating: B+

The Hammer Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout – Phillips Brewing, 8.3% ABV – 650ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada)

on the front side label:

“Take some original Hammer Imperial Stout and delicately roshambo it into bourbon soaked American oak barrels. Drop the hammer and smash your way into rich, roasted caramel warmth. Break down that wall! … or conform & be dull.”

  • Style: (bourbon) Barrel-aged Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Syrupy spicy bittersweet roasted mocha licorice malts
  • Where I got it : Firefly Liquor Store
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 650ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: The barrel-aged version of their Hammer Imperial Stout; I still have a bottle of it in my cellar but I expect this one to be better. Pours inkjet black with a smallish, very long lasting creamy head, a good layer of retention, lots of micro bubbly streams near the base of the glass.

Nose: mocha caramel malts with a good hint of bourbon, very aromatic (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: creamy silky texture

Mid-palate: (lvl-7)-dense malty sweetness, (MAIN) bitter roasted coffee malts, chocolate, licorice, soy sauce, bourbon booziness

Finish: quick black pepper spiciness, syrupy texture, sweet roasted malt finish.

Summary: An interesting complexity with a good body and balance. It has just a touch of watery mouthfeel near the finish but overall very nice for the price.


  • My Rating: C

Floreffe Triple – Brasserie Lefebvre, 8% ABV – 330ml., (Rebecq-Quenast, Belgium)

Ingredients: water, barley malt, hop, canesugar, yeast.

  • Style: Abbey Tripel
  • Taste: Creamy-fizzy salty chamomile honeyed malts
  • Where I got it : W. 16th Liquor Store
  • How much: $4 (after 10% off) – 330ml., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours golden honey brown with a large cream-foamy head, long retention, lots of sticky lacing, lots of steady streams.

Nose: typical tripel honeyed malts with chamomile (lvl 5)-pungency

Attack: super crisp fizzy

Mid-palate: creamy mouthfeel, (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) weird saltiness, chamomile, honey malts, 

Finish: salty off-dry hopped finish.

Summary: The strange saltiness in the mid-to-finish is hard for me to thoroughly enjoy. Although the body and depth are there, I can think of several other Belgian tripel I’d much rather enjoy.


  • My Rating: B

Dornfelder Rosé Icewine 2007 – Silver Sage Winery, 11% ABV – 375ml, (Germany)

on the back label:

“Dornfelder Rosé Ice Wine (or in German, Eiswein) is a type of dessert wine produced from Dornfelder Red wine grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does, allowing a more concentrated grape must to be pressed from the frozen grapes, resulting in a smaller amount of more concentrated, very sweet wine. This gives ice wine its characteristic refreshing sweetness balanced by high acidity.”


  • Style: (Dornfelder Rosé) Icewine
  • Taste: Dense red grape-raisin jammy sweetness
  • Where I got it : Sherbrooke (?)
  • How much: ~$30 – 375ml., sometime in 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours clear dark reddish-brown, no sediment.

Nose: sweet grapey-raisins, clean & precise flavour (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: dense fruity sugars w/ tang

Mid-palate: (lvl-9) fruity sweetness, tangy, mild alcohol detection, (MAIN) red grape, jammy raisin, fig

Finish: residual tangy acidity, light cloying, clean sweet finish.

Summary: Extremely approachable with good body, depth, and a sweet-fruity-acidic balance.


  • My Rating: B-

Molto Bella Espresso IPA – Tree Brewing, 4.8% ABV, 650ml., (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

inked on the back:

“Tree Brewing Company and Giobean Espresso collaborated to brew this occasional rarity, Molto Bella Espresso IPA. Molto Bella Espresso IPA is brewed using the award winning recipe of Tree Brewing IPAs infused with Giobean’s own special blend of the finest espresso. The result is a full bodied brew with notes of citrus, grapefruit and pine balanced with treacle sweetness of toffee, marzipan, roasted almonds and undertones of dark, slightly spiced chocolate.”

  • Style: (espresso) Flavoured IPA
  • Taste: Burnt roasted coffee-choco pine-grapefruit hopped
  • Where I got it : Firefly Liquor Store
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 650ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours pale cloudy sarsaparilla brown with a decent creamy head, decent foamy retention, sticky lacing, lots of fast and slow micro bubbles, lots of sediment in the bottom of the bottle.

Nose: beautifully fresh roasted coffee beans, A. (lvl-10)-pungency

Attack: sweet sour roast

Mid-palate: light coffee sourness, (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) roasted coffee, nuttiness, dark chocolate

Finish: thin airy mouthfeel, pine-grapefruit hoppiness, roasted bitter coffee-malt finish.

Summary: This one has distinct layers of flavours with a great balance of bitter-sweet-sour-burnt-hoppiness. Quite solid but a little thin near the mid-finish.


  • 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).


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