Cannery Squire Scotch Ale

cannery_scotchBrewer: Cannery Brewery, Penticton, BC
Style: Scotch Ale
ABV: 6%
IBU: 20

Description: This Scotch Ale, which is part of Cannery’s regular lineup, is named in honor of the Country Squire restaurant located in Naramata, BC. True to the tradition, this brew employs pale malt, a light hopping, and traces of scotch whiskey.

Tasting Notes: This is my first sampling of Cannery’s Scotch, and it was quite impressive. True to the name, this ale packs a lot of whiskey flavor, which includes notes of smokey peat moss flavor, but an otherwise smooth malt base. That being said, it was not my favorite, as the malt base was a bit light for my taste. Still, a fine example of a fine ale that is brewed in the Scotch tradition.

Appearance: Deep amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, hint of smoke, peat moss, scotch whiskey
Taste: Smooth malt, notes of peat, smokey whiskey flavor
Aftertaste: Lingering smoke, whiskey esters, clean finish
Overall: 7.7/10

Abandoned Abbey Belgian Style Dark Ale

bigrock_abbeyBrewer: Big Rock Brewery, Calgary AB
Style: Belgian Dark
ABV: 9.2%
IBU: 28

Description: As part of Big Rock’s Brewmaster’s edition, this dark ale is brewed in the venerable tradition of Belgian Abbeys and Monasteries. It is fashioned using Belgian Dark, Wheat, and Chocolate malts, then lightly hopped for a deep, rich, and complex brew.

Tasting Notes: Again, I am glad I was able to find a limited release beer from Big Rock, as its not readily available out here on Vancouver Island. And it was certainly enjoyable, reminding me of a good Belgian Dubbel with its rich malt, esters of dark fruit, notes of brown sugar, molasses, and plenty of yeast and spices.

Appearance: Deep brown, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong malt nose, molasses, sugars, yeast, dark fruits, spices
Taste: Rich malt, tang, yeasts, dates, raisins, brown sugar and molasses, spicy finish
Aftertaste: Lingering malts, spices, alcohol and yeasts
Overall: 8.2/10

Jeune Gueule Weïti

jeunegueule_weityBrewer: Jeune Gueule, Matoury, French Guyana
Style: Fruit-infused White Ale
ABV: 5%
IBU: Unlisted

Description:  As part of this French Guyanese brewery’s regular lineup of beers, this white ale is brewed using malted barley and wheat, and then infused with Guyanese oranges and orange peel to give it a fruity aroma and smell. The final product is also unfiltered and unpasteurized, resulting in a cloudy, golden-white ale.

Tasting Notes: Again, a bottle that came to me thanks to an unsold advent pack. And like its predecessors, it did not disappoint. The wheat and barley malt provide a smooth, easy-drinking base that is then augmented with a strong infusion of sweet, citrusy orange, creating a very refreshing brew.

Appearance: Golden yellow, slightly cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Wheat malt, orange zest, yeasts, floral bouquet
Taste: Smooth malt, burst of orange citrus, yeasts, mild bitterness
Aftertaste: Lingering malt, yeast and zesty orange flavor
Overall: 8/10

Nøgne Ø Tindved Sour Ale

nogneo_tindvedBrewer: Nøgne Ø Brewery, Grimstad, Norway
Style: Sour Ale
ABV: 7%
IBUs: 15

Description: Located in Norway, the Nøgne Ø brewery is renowned for its commitment to craft brewing in the tradition of ales and top fermentation. As one of their One-Off creations, the Tindved is an unfiltered, unpasteurized sour ale that is made from a combination of malted barley, wheat, and the fresh-pressed juice of sea buck-thorns fruit.

Tasting Notes: Again, this beer was the result of an advent beer calendar that didn’t make it out of the store. Good news for me, because this sour ale was as good as any I’ve enjoyed in the Pacific Northwest, and was crafted using tart fruit rather than brettanomyces yeast. Like a good sour, tart fruit and loads of sour cherry flavor mingle with a yeasty backbone and some oaky aftertaste to create an appetizing and pleasant drinking experience.

Appearance: Golden/amber, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Lighter malt, tart fruit, sour cherry, yeast cultures, oak
Taste: Light malt, sour cherries, yeasty kick, tartness, oaky finish
Aftertaste: Lingering sour cherry flavor, yeasts, and oak
Overall: 8.5/10

Weltenburger Kloster Anno 1050

weltrenburger_anno1050Brewer: Weltenburger Kloster, Regensburg, Germany
Style: Marzen
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: This Marzen is a classic example of the venerated German style, brewed by the world’s oldest Abbey brewery. Rich, deep colored malts combine with a mild dose of Noble hops to create a slightly sweet and syrupy lager.

Tasting Notes: The last of the advent pack, and this one the oldest of the bunch! As a big fan of Marzens, I was quick to appreciate what this beer had to offer. In addition to the usual richer malts and mild tang, I was surprised to notice a hint of smoke and brandy-like flavor. Definitely an interesting and very German

Appearance: Light amber/orange, clear, medium foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, sugars, caramel, mild hops, minerals
Taste: Smooth malt, mild tang, caramel, hint of smoke, notes of brandy, minerality
Aftertaste: Lingering minerals, malt flavor, smokey sweetness
Overall: 7.8/10

Porcupine Quills Karoo Red

Quills_karooredBrewer: Porcupine Quills Brewing, Bothas Hill, South Africa
Style: Red Ale
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: 49.4

Description: This dark “real ale” is the brewery’s second creation, and combines deep red malt with a generous hopping using Willamette whole flower hops. At 5.5% alc/vol, just under 50 IBUs of hops, and yeast cultures still in the bottle, it strikes a nice balance of rich malt, floral hops, and yeasty effervescence.

Tasting Notes: This is my sampling of the Quills Brewery, courtesy of my local beer store selling off all the beers that were part of advent calenders that didn’t get sold. In a lot of ways, I was reminded of Orval, mainly by the rich, yeasty malt base and the trace of oak flavor. At the same time, it had some strong caramel flavor (similar to Tripel Karmeliet), and an interesting hint of floral hops. Definitely wish I could find more Quills around here!

Appearance: Deep amber, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, strong notes of caramel, bread pudding, yeast, oak
Taste: Sharp start, yeasty, notes of caramel, hints of oak and flowery hops
Aftertaste: Lingering caramel, yeast and malt flavor, mild bitterness
Overall: 9/10

Central City Red Racer ESB

red_racer_esbBrewer: Central City, Surrey, BC
Style: Extra Special Bitter
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: 60

Description: This brew, which is part of their regular Red Racer lineup, is Central City’s take on the classic English ESB. It combines with UK Maris Otter and Superior Pale Ale malts with a blend of Crystal malts, and is then bittered using a combination of German Magnum, Horizon, Centennial and Cascade hops.

Tasting Notes: I’ve come to expect good things from Central City, and the ESB has been something I’ve been meaning to review for awhile now. Like a classic bitter, it has the smooth malt base and the dry hop flavor. But owing to a combination of British and Pacific Northwest influences, it also has some a nice balance of citrus, grassy and herbal notes, and a hint of sweet malt flavor that rounds everything out nicely.

Appearance: Ruby amber, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malt, mild citrus, dry hops, grassy, herbal, minerals
Taste: Smooth malt, mild sweetness, dry hop flavor, grapefruit, citrus rind, grassy, herbal
Aftertaste: Lingering bitterness, grapefruit and herbal hops
Overall: 9/10