Justintoxicated.

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Mabon 2008 Spiced Honey Wine – Meadow Vista Honey Wines, 12.2% ABV – 750ml., (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

on the left side of the front label:

“A warm and spicy metheglin style, Mabon balances just the right amount of coriander, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg with pure BC honey. Pairing well with walnut and goat cheese salad, herb encrusted lamb and your favourite leather chair beside an evening fire.”

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  • Style: (coriander/cardamom/cinnamon/nutmeg) Spiced Mead
  • Taste: Sour-fruity apple-honey spiced acidic alcoholic
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot in Dilworth, Kelowna
  • How much: $30 – 750ml., summer of 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to mead aficionados: didn’t love it & didn’t hate it

Visual: Pours white wine yellow without any bubbles.

Nose: sweet honey wine mixed with distinct cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg, very clean. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: big acidity

Mid-palate: (lvl-3)-sweetness, alcoholic bitterness, (MAIN) red apple, light honey, white grape, green cardamom/cinnamon/nutmeg

Finish: tangy-sour acidity, alcoholic throat warmth, coriander, medium tart apple-fruity off-dry finish.

Summary: Although a little “thin”-feeling on the palate, this mead is well-balanced in flavour, alcohol, and complexity. Too much acidity/sourness for me to love.

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  • My Rating: [C-],  I gave it a (2.5 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Barrel Aged 1000 IBU, 9.6% ABV – 375ml., (Copenhagen, Denmark)

underneath the wrapped paper label:

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  • Style: (whiskey) Barrel-aged Imperial IPA
  • Taste: Flat alcoholic sweet oaked whiskey brown sugar cacao malt coffee bittersweet
  • Where I got it : W. 16th Liquor Store (?)
  • How much: ??? – 375ml., sometime in 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah, it’s retired anyways

Visual: Pours molasses brown with lots of suspended sediment, zero head, just a few countable larges bubbles around the perimeter; Not all that appetizing for a beer.

Nose: smoked woody malty sweet brown sugar. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: FLAT, incoming super sweetness

Mid-palate: alcohol, (lvl-8)-sweetness, (MAIN) roasted coffee, malt, brown sugar, cacao nibs, oak, whiskey

Finish: orange peel, lingering coffee bitterness + hops, malty sweet finish.

Summary: Lots of flavour once you get past the fact that it is non-carbonated. The first few sips are discouragingly uneventful since one would expect a crisp bite when drinking a beers. About a third way through the buzz and (therefore) the character start to emerge. Many others are reporting a head so perhaps this was an expired bottle..? (BB 8/3/2013). Still it was corked. Tasting THIS bottle, it’s overly sweet and my least favourite so far of all Mikkeller’s plentiful offerings.

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  • My Rating: [B-],  I gave it a (3.2 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Roguenbier Rye Ale – Rogue Ales, 6.6% ABV – 25 IBU – 650ml., (Newport, Oregon, USA)

on the back label:

“Dedicated to Farmers, Fermenters & Brewers. GYO is a Rogue Ales term for Grow Your Own. We made this ale with our own rye, hops and barley.

Farming takes determination. Our entire first planting of Rogue farms Dream Rye was eaten by a wave of slugs in 24 hours. We were determined to grow and brew with our own rye, so we replanted. Dare, Risk, Dream.

Brewed using 9 ingredients: Rogue Dream™ Rye; Rogue Black, Rogue Smoked, Rogue Caramel 40 and Rogue Barley Farm Dare™ & Risk™ Malts; Rogue Hopyard Independent Hops; Free Range Coastal Water and Weizen Yeast.”

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  • Style: (also barley) Rye Ale
  • Taste: Caramel bready malty rye soft hopped ale
  • Where I got it : W. 16th Liquor Store
  • How much: $9 – 650ml., April 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure, not amazing but solid

Visual: Pours nutty root beer brown with smallish foamy head, a very thin layer of micro retention, some decent lacing, some varied speed streams.

Nose: light brown sugar malts, smells like a brune (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: very biting crisp, yeasty sourness

Mid-palate: background hopped sourness, (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) brown sugar malts, caramel, bready, yeasty

Finish: hint of quick spiciness,, smooth-crisp mouthfeel malty off-dry soft hopped bitter finish.

Summary: Very drinkable especially while still cold. Overall good body, mouthfeel, and flavour. Forgettable but not regrettable.

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  • My Rating: [D],  I gave it a (2.1 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Cherry Bomber Hefeweizen Ale – Big Rock Brewing, 5.0% ABV – 650ml., (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

on the back label:

“There’s only one way to adequately describe what you get when you combine the most malted prairie barley, golden wheat and Cascade hops. The Bomb. When you add cherries into the mix, well, it becomes the Cherry Bomb. And when you put it into this big of a bottle, you get the Cherry Bomber. 22 deliberately different ounces of full-bodied Hefeweizen ale, with complex aromas and flavors including wheat and vanilla, plus, of course, cherry overtones. And, being a craft brew, you know its beguiling reddish hue and pinkish head are as natural as the slight carbonation you’ll feel tickling your tastebuds. ”

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  • Style: (Cherry) Flavoured Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Watery-thin yeast wheat light ‘cherry-like’ pukey fizzy ale
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5.50 – 650ml., August 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: Steer CLEAR

Visual: Why do I keep buying Big Rock brews? Well I guess just because they so accessible and they do often create unique beers. Anyways, this pours clear copper orange-red with a large partially lasting bubbly head, a decent layer of retention, tons of lively activity, not much lacing.

Nose: thin-pukey fruit, not that offensive, acidic & yeasty, wet cardboard. Not particularly inviting. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: watery-thin mouthfeel, tingly-bubbly

Mid-palate: light sour, fizzy, (MAIN) yeasty, thin wheat malts, light cherry syrup, plastic,

Finish: numb tongue, burpy, thin-bodied, dissipating pukey, fizzy wheat malt finish.

Summary: The cherry flavour wants to come out but it just doesn’t have the fortitude to so do. Overall everything is weak and watery – just a crisp, chuggable brew that leaves no impact to the tastebuds nor imagination. Skip it, it’s just a pukey-hopeless cherry version of their Grasshopper wheat ale.

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  • My Rating: [A],  I gave it a (4.3 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Mout & Mocca – Brouwerij De Molen, 11.6% ABV – 330ml., (Bodegraven, Netherlands)

Ingredients: water, pale, brown, cara, roasted barley malts, premiant (bitter hop), coffee, wild mocca, yeast (top fermenting). Unpasteurized.

  • Style: (coffee) Flavoured Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Deep roasted bittersweet coffee choco malt super smooth high ABV
  • Where I got it : W. 16th Liquor Store
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 330ml., April 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes!!! Finally a beer I’m willing to have seconds
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: absolutely 100%

Visual: A whopping 11.6% ABV!!! Should be good… Pours dark beer bottle brown, a smallish head, a thin ultra-micro bubbly layer of retention, some lacing, a few hard-to-see tiny CO2 streams.

Nose: Fragrant deep-roasted coffee, some caramel malts, lots of chocolate, trace amounts of sourness. (lvl-10)-pungency

Attack: slick-crisp mouthfeel

Mid-palate: immediate bold flavours of -> (MAIN) deep roasted coffee, chocolate, demerara sugar, mild alcohol detection, late -> (lvl-5) malty sweetness

Finish: light counterbalancing sourness, gentle long-soft bitter hops, background non-invasive alcohol heat, smooth bittersweet roasted coffee finish.

Summary: Initial sip = knew this was a great brew, absolutely stunningly smooth. ABV is supremely well-hidden by the full-bodied mocha-malt mix. It’s like drinking a nicely bittersweetened roasted coffee beverage. Kudos to the De Molen team for such a fab brew. Lots of roasted coffee on the inhale-exhale. Alcohol detection increases as it warms.

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  • My Rating: [C+]

Raspberry Ginger Beer – Crabbie’s, 6.9% ABV – 750ml., (Edinburgh, UK)

on the back label:

Ingredients: carbonated water, sugar, alcohol (water, glucose syrup, yeast), ginger wine (water, glucose syrup, grape juice concentrate, ginger extract, yeast), grain alcohol, citric acid, natural flavour, anthocyanins (colour), potassium sorbate (preservative), sodium metabisulphite (preservative), ascorbic acid (antioxidant). Contains wheat and sulphites. [full of non-beer stuff!]

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  • Style: (raspberry, ginger) Flavoured Cooler
  • Taste: Fruity grape med-sweet light ginger cooler
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $4.25 – 500ml., August 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not particularly special

Visual: Pours clear brilliant ruby red without any head, no retention, no lacing, and only a few countable streams.

Nose: Very fruity berry, ginger beer soda in the background (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: dense fruity sugars

Mid-palate: Very berry-forward, (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) red grape, mild ginger, syrupy sweetness

Finish: mild ginger burn, rooty ginger-sweet finish.

Summary: Not actually raspberry, but grape, and not actually a beer but a mix of alcohol, wine and juice. Pretty good drinkability, but not something I’d want again and again.

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  • My Rating: [C+],  I gave it a (3.0 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Reverend Nat’s Hallelujah Hopricot – Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, 6.9% ABV – 750ml., (Portland, Oregon, USA)

on the front label:

“To the finest Heritage apples, I have added hops, apricots, and a carefully selected melange of spices to produce this highly drinkable libation. ‘Never praise your cider,’ said Benjamin Franklin, yet I am confident that had he crated the cider in this bottle, he would have shouted with elation.”

  • Style: (Apricot, spices) Flavoured Cider
  • Taste: Acidic sour fruity apricot apple lightly spiced & hopped
  • Where I got it : Crosstown Liquor Store (Downtown Vancouver)
  •  
  • How much: $23 – 750ml., August 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: only if you can enjoy sour ciders

Visual: Bailer-top resealable cap, handy dandy. Pours almost clear light pale orange, virtually no head, minimal ringed retention, a few slow micro CO2 streams here and there, not much going on.

Nose: very fruity peach-apricot, trace amounts of sourness, hints of feminine perfume. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: incoming acidic sourness

Mid-palate: continued sourness, (lvl-3)-sweetness, (MAIN) huge fruity apricot, cinnamon, yeasty, apple, light-med barnyard

Finish: lingering sourness, medium tart, mild bitter hops, off-dry fruity apple finish.

Summary: Very sour, tart and partially dry. Big apricot while apple takes the back seat. Too sour for me to fall in love with. The spices don’t shine through much due to the big sourness.

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