Stone Stochasticity Project – HiFi+LoFi Mixtape – Stone Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA, USA)

Stone Stochasticity Project – HiFi+LoFi Mixtape, A blend of fresh and barrel-aged ales – Stone Brewing Company, 8.8% ABV, 750 ml., (San Diego, California, USA)

“Fresh and vintage tracks combine for the perfect liquid playlist.

Even before the science of beer was fully understood, those seeking the present the finest iteration of an ale had their ways of ensuring flavors and textures that were a cut above. In Britain, pub owners kept ‘stock ales’ on hand, beers that had been left to mature in vats or oak barrels. During this aging period, the beers would mellow and occasionally develop a twinge of tartness. These publicans were unaware of the oxidative or microbiological reasons for such changes, but found that blending some of their stock ales with  fresh beers-which tended to be overly bitter and smoky-made ideal quaffs for their patrons. For this beer, we have taken a page from this tale of British pub life and blended a stock ale aged more than three months in oak foudres (large wooden fermentation vessels more commonly used by vintners) with a fresh version of that beer to create a perfect harmony spanning end to end on the taste spectrum”


  • Style: (Barrel-aged – 3+ months in Oak Foudres) American Strong Ale
  • Taste: Boozy sweet heavy barley malt backgound citrus tangy bitter hops oaked backdrop
  • Where I got it : High Point Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $13.70 CAD (after 15% off) – 22 oz., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: best if shared because it is heavy

Visual: Pours translucent frosty orange-brown with barley any head, ringed retention with a big island, a mix of fast and slow streams, no surprise actually.

Nose: boozy caramel barley malts, like a barleywine, a touch of sourness. (lvl-4)-intensity

Attack: micro-creamy smooth mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (lvl-7-sweetness), background tangy citrus, heavy boozy toasted barley malt, tangy-zingy alcohol, subtle smoky

Finish: oaky backdrop, residual barley malt sweet, lingering bitter hops.

Summary: Very smooth entry, a burst of heavy alcoholic barley malts in the mids that is nicely balanced with some tangy bitter hops and an oaky backdrop. Halfway through though it definitely drinks heavy – a bit too alcoholic and sweet if there’s no salty food to go along with it.

Saison Dupont Vieille Provision – Brasserie Dupont (Tourpes, Belgium)

Saison Dupont Vieille Provision – Brasserie Dupont, 6.5% ABV, 750 ml., (Tourpes, Belgium)

“Saison Dupont is a classic Belgian farmhouse ale. This is a beautifully balanced, complex beer that has a refreshing fruitiness and long, dry finish. It is bottled unfiltered so it may be cloudy or have a slight sediment but this is normal and perfectly natural.


  • Style: Saison
  • Taste: Clean sweet grainy honey/floral/lemon barley malt banana wheat malt exhale
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $8.85 CAD – 750 ml., April 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure

Visual: Corked with a twisty top. Pours golden yellow-orange with a very largy foamy head, 1cm long lasting retention, clusters of micro slow streams.

Nose: honey-floral-citrus sweet malt, yeasty and wheaty. (lvl-6)-intensity

Attack: super crisp

Mid-palate: airy-bloated CO2, (lvl-3-sweetness), grainy sweet lager barley malt, honey, light chamomile, lemony

Finish: banana wheat malt exhale, dry bittersweet hops

Summary: Easy and clean from start to finish. Solid without being excruciatingly complex.

Olde Winston Smoked Porter – Off the Rail Brewing Co. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Olde Winston Smoked Porter – Off The Rail Brewing Company, 5.4% ABV, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

  • Style: (Porter) Smoked
  • Taste: Smoked sweet thin barley malt dry dark choco coffee exhale charred wood bitter
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.10 CAD – 650 ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: okay but not great

Visual: Warning: gusher upon opening: Pours ultra dark brown with a humongous lasting frothy head, tight clustered waves at the bottom of the glass.

Nose: soft sour malt smoked sweet barley. (lvl-6)-intensity

Attack: crisp-airy CO2

Mid-palate: creamy-tingly-fizzy, (lvl-5-sweetness), encroaching smoked medium roasted barley malt, cola, metallic off-flavour (from the cap)

Finish: dry dark chocolate, coffee exhale, charred wood bitter, subtle lingering bitter hops

Summary: The smoked malt flavour is decent, but it doesn’t have any especially captivating nuances. It’s thin in the mids and is a kind of like a low amplitude beer.

Fortified Cranberry Fruit Wine – Wellbrook Winery (Delta, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: B-

Fortified Cranberry fruit wine (Non-vintage) – Wellbrook Winery, 16% ABV – 375 ml., (Delta, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)

  • Style: (Fruit – Cranberry) Fortified Fruit Wine
  • Taste: Eau-de-vie’d tangy tart cranberry/slight raspberry alcoholic
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $19 (after 5% off) – 375ml., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados:

Visual: Pours garnet red with noticeable legs, clear and slightly thicker viscosity.

Nose: red jolly rancher with cranberry tangy depth. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: thicker, oily-slick, detectable alcohol

Mid-palate: tangy cranberry-raspberry with depth, (lvl-7-sweetness) with slow alcoholic heat

Finish: berry eau-de-vie, medium tart, lingering heat, residual berry off-dry exhale

Summary: A much more dynamic and rewarding drinking experience than the Isabella Winery Cranberry Dessert Wine (C-) that I had a couple of days ago. It’s a bit alcoholic up front but the cranberry aromas tone it down and gradually release the heat. Quite sippable.

Apex Barleywine 2015 – Bomber Brewing Co. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Apex Barleywine 2015 – Bomber Brewing Company, 10% ABV – 86 IBU, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

on the front-left label:

“A Canadian winter is a time of traditions, from the first day on the slopes to the last game of shinny. We wait all year for the time to be right, as we’ve awaited the apex barleywine. Aged in cabernet franc barrels, and made with over 15 malts and mountainous hops, this brew is worthy of a tradition of its own.”


  • Style: (Vintage) Barleywine
  • Taste: Stealth alcoholic thick and sweet caramel barley malt with dark fruit dry woody finish
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Bby
  • How much: $10.60 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 650 ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not in particular

Visual: 2015 Vintage. Pours opaque reddish-brown with almost no head, a half island ringed retention, slow and steady singular streams.

Nose: sweet toffee-caramelized barley malt, berry-dark fruit overtones. (lvl-5)-intensity

Attack: incoming fruity hefty malts

Mid-palate: background light tangy, (lvl-8-sweetness), thick caramel barley malts, plum-dark fruit, alcoholic zingy

Finish: alcoholic heat, residual tangy, dry woody, residual dark fruity

Summary: This one hit pretty hard, stealth-like. It went down pretty easy as a sipper, good body and decent depth. No real memorable flavours, but the Cab Franc barrels definitely did impart some grapey/dark fruit flavs.

Cranberry Dessert Wine 2009 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: C-

Cranberry Dessert Wine 2009 – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)

on the back label:

“This delicious ruby red berry packs the powerful punch of its natural flavours into the sweetness of a dessert wine. Enjoy it chilled or shake it up with your favourite martini.”


  • Style: (Fruit – Cranberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Cloying liqueur sweet from concentrate tangy cranberry
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot / Vancouver
  • How much: $15 (after 5% off) – 375ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: don’t sip it, mix it

Visual: (cellared for 7 years), real cork split in half while uncorking. Pours deep ruby red with lots of suspended sediment.

Nose: juicy jammy tangy cranberry. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming dense alcoholic sugars

Mid-palate: syrupy (lvl-10-sweetness), tangy alcohol, light tart, cranberry jam

Finish: alcohol detection, residual cloying sugars, red berry exhale

Summary: Very, very sweet, and normally cranberries aren’t that sweet, so what gives? It seems like they added sugar to this but I can’t be certain since the ingredients aren’t listed. The cranberry flavour itself is nicely rich but has a “from concentrate (FC)” quality to it, like an Ocean Spray cranberry juice. It’s way too sweet as a sipper, instead I’d say this is better as a substitute for a cranberry liqueur in a cocktail; Although it doesn’t quite have the weighty viscosity that a typical liqueur has.

Pear Wine (NV) – Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery (Summerland, BC, Canada)

Pear Wine (non-vintage) – Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery, 11.0% ABV – 750ml., (Summerland, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)

-I purchased this wine along with all their other fruit veriatelas when I visited the winery back in 2010. The winery is located in the beautiful Okanagan Valley – take a tour if you ever have the chance!

on the back label:

“Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery is nestled under the shadow of Giant’s Head Mountain, whose friendly profile was chiselled by glaciers in the days gone by. Today, our fruit wines capture the essence of the Okanagan Valley. Enjoy the tree fruit and berry wines any time and be brought back to a warm summer day in the Okanagan…enjoy!”


  • Style: (Pear) Fruit Wine
  • Taste: Easy-drinking balanced sweet-tangy pear/apple/muscat grape light heat
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $18 CAD – 750 ml., Summer 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados: yes, easy drinking for all

Visual: Non-vintage. Pours light sunshine yellow, crystal clear with a few small bubbles settled at the bottom of the glass.

Nose: fruity apple-pear juice, slight mineral acidity, hints of muscat. (lvl-4)-intensity

Attack: thinner mouthfeel, incoming balanced fruity

Mid-palate: gradual dense fruity, (lvl-4-sweetness), honey apple, tangy light acidity, pear/muscat grape

Finish: subtle woody pie spices, green apple exhale, light alcoholic warmth

Summary: The first few sips were disappointingly thin, but after a few more the subtleties start to come out. Apple-pear-grape flavours are mellow yet clean. Overall very sippable and enjoyable.