Justintoxicated.

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Black Butte Porter – Deschutes Brewery, 5.2% ABV, 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., (Bend, Oregon, USA)

on the front-right label:

“An opening volley, this pioneering dark ale signaled Deschutes’ renegade intentions. Its creamy mouthfeel, complex layers, hop edge and chocolate finish personify passion-forward brewing.”

  • Style: Porter
  • Taste: Light roast caramel malt coffee chocolate smooth start-to-finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5 – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure

Visual: Pours dark cola brown with barely any head, a thin layer of micro retention, lots of medium-speed streams.

Nose: roast caramel malts. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp, incoming roast

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-sweetness, micro fizzy, (MAIN) light roast coffee, molasses, malt, chocolate

Finish: burpy, light roast malt exhale, malty finish.

Summary: The difference between a porter and a stout? This exemplifies it for me right here. Crisp and lighter bodied without the heaviness, cleaner malt flavours, and straighter light roast delivery with a soft finish. Other online sources may tell you otherwise, but this distinction rings true for me at least.

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#500 (Imperial India Pale Ale) – Nøgne Ø (Nogne O), 10% ABV – 0.5L, (Grimstad, Norway)

on the front-right label:

“Nothing is like celebrating your own milestones. This is a celebration of our 500th batch of ale. It was brewed with joy and splendor; the brewer wore a suit, and a TV station filmed the event. As a base for this ale, we have elected to play with numbers: 5 hops, 100 IBUs, 10% alcohol by volume. Indeed it is an Imperial India Pale Ale. Big and bold. Great for a celebration!”

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  • Style: Imperial India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Caramel-toffee malt brandy sweet smooth alcoholic
  • How much: $9 (after 10% off), @16th St. Liquor Store (W.Van), Sept 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: probably not
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: good stuff for sure

Visual: Their signature plain label with just the Ø, but the true excitement is inside. Pours murky root beer brown with a very small head, a thin layer of micro retention, a few micro slow streams here and there.

Nose: aromatic caramel+toffee sweet malt (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: alcoholic crisp

Mid-palate: (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) caramel malt, toffee, nutty, brandy

Finish: subtle soft bitter hops, malty sweet smooth finish.

Summary: This drinks way too smooth for a 10%. Not much bitterness for an IPA, tastes like a strong amber. Good taste:$$$ ratio.

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White Oak – The Bruery, 11.5% ABV – 1 pt 9.4 fl.oz., (Placentia, CA, USA)

on the front label:

“Vivid caramel-esque, coconut-like and vanilla-ish flavors blanked in a crisp yet robust wheat ale.”

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  • Style: (bourbon) Barrel-aged Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Apple juice toffee malt vanilla oak alcoholic
  • How much: $17 (after 10% off), @Brewery Creek, Sept 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, QUALITY that you can appreciate

Visual: Hefty bottle, screams quality. Pours pale dirty brown with a massive super long lasting ultra creamy head, very sticky lacing, clusters upon clusters of fast streams. Feelin’ good about this one.

Nose: woody pressed apple juice, hints of white grape juice, a touch of citrus. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: pressed apple juice

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) red apple juice, toffee malt, oak

Finish: tingly fizzy-tang, vanilla, soft but compounding alcohol hit, light-med warmth, malty bittersweet finish.

Summary: Straight away reminds me of a Belgian blonde; fruity, effervescent, crisp, and alcoholic. Quite skilled to get a wheat ale to behave like this. Fantastic body and character, great drinkability and approachable flavour make this one an interesting brew. Their claim of coconut is more like apple to me. 11.5% ABV, you have been warned.

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  • My Rating: [FAIL]

Cider (Aged, 2010) – Storm Brewing, 7% ABV – 1L., (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

-Something very different this time, and a non-beer apple cider at that. This one I didn’t sample before filling so… I like turtles?

  • Style: (aged) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Overpowering acidic apple cider vinegar woody flat
  • How much: $16 – 1L, bring your own bottle (May 2015)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not much to like

Visual: (growler fill) Pours slight hazy yellow amber without any head, a few tiny bubble streams here and there, not much.

Nose: lots of sour woodiness, apple cider vinegar. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: powerful vinegar-acidity, puckery

Mid-palate: light tart, continued aggressive acidity, medium sour, (MAIN) apple cider vinegar, oak, lemon curd, barnyard, -> (lvl-2)-sweetness

Finish: woody exhale, more apple cider vinegar finish.

Summary: Way too acidic, no texture and no sweetness to balance. I have to be honest, this one is hard to enjoy. In fact, it’s making my stomach feel a little funny. Although I’m a believer in trying new things, in the end I stay true to my palate and not the brand; TLDR: FAIL

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Magic Beans (Coffee Amber Ale) – Brassneck Brewery, 6.5% ABV – 1L., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (local beer)

Brassneck’s description on their website:

“Seems that when most breweries make a coffee beer it’s Espresso Stout or Porter.

We wanted to try something a little different. We brewed a base beer deep amber in colour with natural malt sweetness & delicate fruit character. Instead of adding espresso, we “cold brewed” the coffee beans in the beer.

This gave us some wonderful acidity balanced with delicate fruit character rather than the big roasty flavours many of us are accustomed to tasting in other coffee beers.

The final result was a real tribute to the quality of the beans provided by Bows & Arrows Coffee Roasters in Victoria BC & the creativity of our Head Brewer.”

  • Style: (coffee) Flavoured Amber Ale
  • Taste: Clean coffee bean fruity malt caramel fizzed ale
  • How much: $8 (tax incl.) – 1L, bring your own bottle (May 2015)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: quite good if you like coffee

Visual: (growler fill) Pours cloudy cola brown with a nice very cream lasting head, a nice 2mm layer of retention, sticky lacing, lots of steady streams.

Nose: ground coffee beans, light burnt (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp, soft fizzy, cacao nibs

Mid-palate: immediate coffee beans, (lvl-5)-sweetness, light-med acidity, (MAIN) coffee, caramel, malts, non-descript grape/cherry fruitiness

Finish: malt-caramel, coffee bean exhale, partially lacking -> flat finish.

Summary: Excellent clean coffee bean entry and fruity light bitter-soft sweet mids lend this one to be an easily appreciated beer. It’s like a cold brew coffee with fizz and buzz.

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Hibiscus Wit – Brassneck Brewing, 5% ABV – 1L., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (local beer)

-Located right off of Main & 6th, just right before Main St. splits off into Main and Kingsway, on the right side as if you’re heading south. Parking might be a bit scarce if you head there right after work, expect it to be at least half packed. The left door to enter, right door to exit; try as you might there’s no exterior handle on the right door… (I know, ppl want to see pics, not read.)

-As soon as I entered I could feel the bustle of business so I limited myself to just one taster, this one. You order by writing down your name and beer desire on the provided tag and attaché it to your growler. Service is swift and businesslike though not quite as smiley as I’m used to at Storm Brewery.

-There are a handful of tables to stand at to drink and indulge in the individually wood-fired pizza food truck parked outside (that day). This brewery has been up and running for over a year now and it’s great to see more microbreweries popping up in the beautiful city of Vancouver, BC. Their website has up-to-date info on their daily growler fills, looks like a they keep a pretty good rotation.

-This is my first review of their beers, look forward to more in the future.

  • Style: (Hibiscus) Flavoured Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Strawberry hibiscus fruity banana soft dry wheat ale
  • How much: $8 (tax incl.) – 1L, bring your own bottle (May 2015)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: seasonal, not bad easy drinking

Visual: (growler fill) Pours a pretty cloudy pink grapefruit pink with a small dissipating head, thin ringed retention, lots of lively activity.

Nose: hibiscus, banana wheat malts. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp fizzy, clean fruity entry

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-sweetness, subdued low-med sourness throughout, (MAIN) hibiscus, light strawberry, banana wheat malt

Finish: banana dry exhale, burpy, bready finish.

Summary: An easy-drinking fruity witbier very similar to Dieu du Ciel’s Rosée d’Hibiscus (C+), but cleaner and better without the barnyard funk.

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Cherry Stout – Storm Brewing, 6% ABV – 1L., (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

  • Style: (cherry) Flavoured Stout
  • Taste: Sweet chocolate cherry malt “weird stem-twig-woody”
  • How much: $8 – 1L, bring your own bottle (May 2015)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not 100% clean

Visual: (growler fill) Pours dark cola brown with minimal head, a very thin layer of retention, a few bubbles here and there.

Nose: cherry from the cherry-filled chocolate, cola, malts. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: incoming dark fruit, med-thick malts

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-sweetness, subtle sour, subdued tangy-acidity, (MAIN) chocolate, malts, non-descript cherry darkness

Finish: cherry stems, twigs, leafy-woody finish.

Summary: The initial to mid chocolate-dark fruit is good, but ends with a strange woody cherry stem note, not that clean. Average I’d say, wouldn’t recommend but it wasn’t offensive.

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