Justintoxicated.

  • My Rating: [B],  I gave it a (3.7 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Zwarte Piet (Retired, now Brusseleir Zwet IPA) – Brasserie de la Senne, 8.2% ABV – 33cl., (Brussels, Belgium)

  • Style: Black IPA
  • Taste:Sour roasted burnt brown sugar malt grapefruit bitter hopped
  • Where I got it : 16th St. Liquor (W.Van)
  • How much: $5 (after 10% off) – 33cl., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

 

Visual: Pours ultra dark cola brown with a large lasting super-foamy head, thick layer of retention, some lacing, tightly knit steady micro CO2 streams.

Nose: sweet brown sugar caramel malts, roasted coffee and choco. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: tingly-micro fizzy, crisp-smooth

Mid-palate: medium sourness, (lvl-5)-sweetness (MAIN) dark roasted malts, caramel, brown sugar, burnt, chocolate

Finish: residual dark malt sweetness, burnt bitterness, grapefruity bitter hops, lingering sour-bittersweet malty finish.

Summary: A good counterbalance of sourness<->bittersweet dark roast malts, all tied together with a nice crisp body, tingly-smooth mouthfeel, and strongly hopped finish. Somewhat all over the place initially, the flavours and textures settle down after the first few sips. Better at 16°C

Tags:

wpid-20140831_015242.jpg

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

Firebird Smoked Hefeweizen – Gigantic Brewing, 6.1% ABV – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., (Portland, Oregon, USA)

on the right-side front label:

“A refreshingly complex wheat beer. Aromas of clove and banana intermingle with light smoke imparted from German malt kilned over beechwood fires.”

wpid-20140831_015255.jpg

  • Style: (Beechwood) Smoked Hefeweizen
  • Taste: Light smoky banana-lemon wheat malt soft-hopped bitter
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey
  • How much: $8 (after 5% off) – 1 pt 6 fl.oz., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure, my first smoked heff

Visual: “Beer #18 in the endless series of limited edition artist and artisan beers”. Pours very cloudy pale orange with a smallish head, a nice layer of creamy retention, some lacing, quite a few spread out steady streams, the last drops contains sediment.

Nose: Somewhat muted. Light sourness, trace funk, lemon-orange curd. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: immediate smoke, background acidity

Mid-palate: crisp-tingly, (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) banana, lemon, airy wheat malts, light yeast

Finish: light burpy, light-medium sourness, soft prominent bitter hops, clove exhale, citrusy-sweet crisp bitter hopped finish.

Summary: A solid-bodied heffy with a compatible initially smoky twist. The smoke isn’t overpowering but adds and extra dimension to an already decent body.

wpid-20140830_013731.jpg

Here we go! I love root beer. Even as an adult, I can’t enough of the stuff. But I’ve since graduated from the HFCS A&Ws, Barqs, Mugs, and onto the finer Virgil’s, Boylans, and various Orca beverages. Heck I even brewed a few bottles of my own (without much success due to not having sassafras). Anyhow I’m excited to get started as this head-to-head contains two things I love dearly – ROOT BEER + ALCOHOL!

1) Root Beer Schnapps – Phillips Distilling Co.,15% ABV – 750ml, (Princeton, MN, USA), $21.50 CAD @ BCLiquor Stores

  • Ingredients: water, sugar, alcohol, natural flavour, citric acid, glycerin, colour
  • technically a “liqueur” since it has sugar added
  • cheap bottle, plastic cap, gaudy sticker label
  • the recipe on the back says it all:

wpid-20140830_013756.jpg

2) Root Beer Liqueur – Blackmaker Brand – White Rock Distilleries, 35% ABV – 750ml, (Lewiston, MN, USA), $29 (w/ 10% off) CAD @ Sherbrooke (EDM)

  • HEAVY duty bottle, coat of arms on the back, classy artistic label
  • ingredients include: ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and sweet birch (via BevMo)

wpid-20140830_013812.jpg

Criteria

Nose: Phillips has sarsaparilla/caramel that you typically find in sodas; alcohol detection surfaces in the mid to finish. Light-medium pungency, clean, not offensive. Blackmaker (BM), wow huge burnt caramel/toffee, cinnamon, clove, almost nutty, with birch poking through in the finish. Med-high tingly alcohol nasal burn, bearable. Phillips = stereotypical root beer soda, BM = naturally spiced caramel. Phillips is much more approachable, BM is way more complex.

Taste & Texture: 1st sip of Phillips, big sugar rush… Lighter viscosity, compounding sugars each subsequent sip. Tastes pretty much as it smells, but cut abruptly by the cloying sweetness and alcoholic warmth. Definitely not a sipper. BM is in an entirely different class. Thicker but not syrupy, the flavours come in alternating waves of spices and alcoholic warmth. Lots of spices here including cinnamon, clove, birch, ginger, licorice/anise, caramel, fading out with lots of alcoholic throat warmth. The sweetness is well masked by the torrent of spices and high ABV but you can feel the sugars tingling on your teeth. Not good if you’re prone to cavities. Still, perceived sweetness is much, much lower than Phillips. Phillips = light root beer+SUGAR, BM = spices+alcohol HEAT

Final Notes:

  • Blackmaker for sophisticated, flavourful cocktails
  • Phillips for “Root Beer Barreling” (shot dropped into beer, chug), batch cocktails

WINNER = Blackmaker Root Beer Liqueur

wpid-20140826_011106.jpg

  • My Rating: [C-],  I gave it a (2.3 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Juniper Berry Mild Summer Lager – Big Rock Brewing, 5% ABV – 355ml., (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

printed on the front right-side of the can:

“Juniper berries are what give gin its distinctive delicious flavour. And, in our experience, citrusy pine and cascade hops combined with pale, vienna and caramel malts make for a crisp, refreshing, easy-drinking lager. So with a mad-scientist glint in our eye, we crushed juniper berries right into the wort at the boil stage of this brew. This sublime fusion results in a summer thirstbuster you’ll want in the fridge this year.”

wpid-20140819_011224.jpg

  • Style: (Juniper Berry) Flavoured Pale Lager
  • Taste: Biting pine-grapefruit hoppy malt with mild juniper background
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $23/12-pack – 12x355ml., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: Part of a variety 12-pack, aluminum cans. Pours clear bright golden orange with a massive semi-lasting bubbly head, barely any lacing, several steady micro streams.

Nose: mild honeyed malts, hints of muskiness. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: biting crispness, incoming hops

Mid-palate: medium bodied, (lvl-4)-semi-dry sweetness, (MAIN) sharp bitter pine hops, bitter grapefruit, light toffee malts

Finish: underlying juniper berry, continued bitter hoppy malty finish.

Summary: Mild juniper, hardly has any impact; The hops make the most impression. All four flavours in this 12-pack were mediocre. Try another brewery if you want something special.

wpid-20140824_023728.jpg

  • My Rating: [D-],  I gave it a (1.6 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Saaz Republic Pilz – Big Rock Brewing, 4.9% ABV – 355ml., (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

printed on the front right-side of the can:

“Tiny motorcycles shoot by as you sit under an umbrella on a quaint cobbled street in the midday sun. This is the beer you quaff as you struggle with how you got to Europe and how any drink can be quite this refreshing, with its mild bitterness, slight hop middle and clean finish. The answer lies in genuine Czech hops combined with Alberta malts, dedication and pride. Like any fine European-style Pilsner, its golden yellow body sports a dense white head.”

wpid-20140819_011224.jpg

  • Style: Pilsener
  • Taste: Plain barley malt numbness soft hopped bitterness
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $23/12-pack – 12x355ml., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: why bother?

Visual: Part of a variety 12-pack, aluminum cans. Pours clear golden apple juice yellow, smallish bubbly quickly dissipating head, a super thin layer of retention, lots of singular steady streams.

Nose: musky barley malt, hints of shellfish. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: palate numbness, crisp-fizzy

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) malt liquor, barley malt, yeasty, hints of red apple,

Finish: clean soft bitter hops, fading body, fizzy-tingly hopped bitter finish.

Summary: Extremely non-enticing with a shellfish nose. Way better brews out there, why bother?

wpid-20140823_191759.jpg

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

Grasshopper Wheat Ale – Big Rock Brewing, 5% ABV – 355ml., (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

printed on the front right-side of the can:

“Ever watch the setting sun turn a field of wheat into a blanket of spun gold? If you could capture that feeling, you’d be holding it right now. At the heart of this world-class Kristallweizen is the very best of Alberta’s legendary wheat and barley. The soft sweetness is balanced by a light touch of hops for a clean finish that gently caresses your mouth. Its pure prairie goodness pours gloriously too, like liquid sunshine capped by fluffy white clouds.”

wpid-20140819_011224.jpg

  • Style: Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Sweet liquid grainy malt w/ hint of citrus
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $23/12-pack – 12x355ml., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nope

Visual: Part of a variety 12-pack, aluminum cans. Pours clear golden yellow-orange, no head, thin ringed retention, many steady streams.

Nose: Almost mute; just a touch of grainy barley malt. (lvl-1)-pungency

Attack: crisp, incoming grainy malts

Mid-palate: thin-bodied, watery mouthfeel, light fizzy, (lvl-4)-sweetness, light metallic, (MAIN) barley malt, bready-grainy, a hint of spiciness + citrus

Finish: a touch yeasty, malty sweet finish.

Summary: Don’t bother, nothing special here. Plain and boring.

wpid-20140819_010919.jpg

  • My Rating: [D],  I gave it a (1.7 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Cracked Pepper Wheat Ale – Big Rock Brewing, 4.5% ABV – 355ml., (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

print on the front right-side of the can:

“Cracked Pepper. Hot days and long evenings call for something light, refreshing and quaffable. And this ale’s fresh, crisp fruitiness is all of that. To balance it, our brewmaster wanted to add a twist of black pepper. Of course, being him, no ordinary pepper would do. We use the King of black peppers: Tellicherry. As a result, you’ll find this ale is definitely all that it’s cracked up to be.”

wpid-20140819_010935.jpgwpid-20140819_011224.jpg

  • Style: (Black pepper) Spiced Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Thin-bodied metallic grainy mostly barley malt faint black pepper
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $23/12-pack – 12x355ml., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no way

Visual: Part of a variety 12-pack, aluminum cans. Pours medium golden orange with a smallish somewhat lasting head, a thin layer of retention, no lacing, many clusters of fast activity.

Nose: almost non-existant; traces of bread. Weakest nose I’ve had in years. (lvl-1)-pungency

Attack: super crisp, off-tasting metallic flavour.

Mid-palate: (lvl-3)-sweetness, low complexity, (MAIN) barley malt, grainy

Finish: traces of pepper bitterness *weaksauce*, malty sweet light bitter hopped finish.

Summary: Such a letdown. The Tellicherry didn’t do squat to the primitive flavour profile. Not worth your time or mine. Okay as a meal beer or sedative.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 131 other followers