Phillips Dogwood Rescue Society Red Lager

phillips_benefitbrewsBrewer: Phillips Brewery, Victoria, BC
Style: Red Lager
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: This beer is one of two Benefit Brews made by Phillips for the year of 2015. For the province of BC, the Benefit Brew that was selected was a red lager, and all sales of the beer will go to support of the Dogwood Rescue Society’s mission is to re-home homeless, unwanted or abused sporting and working dogs.

Tasting Notes: This beer manages to combine the syrupy malt flavor of red ale with the crisp, refreshing finish of a lager. It was a bit on the mild side, and could seem just the slightest bit watery initially. However, with further sipping, I was able to discern some layers of flavor that included some dry hops, herbs, mild citrus, some tart apple, and minerals. A good beer for a good cause!

Appearance: Dark amber/red, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt base, minerals, mild herbal and dry hop aroma
Taste: Syrupy malt, hint of sweetness, mineral tang, tart apple, dry hops, mild citrus
Aftertaste: Lingering malt and mineral aftertaste, quite clean
Overall: 7.8/10

If you’re interested in supporting the Dogwood Rescue Society, check out their website.


Granville Island Auld Skill Scottish Ale

granvilleisland_auldskoolBrewer: Granville Island Brewery, Vancouver, BC
Style: Scottish Ale
ABV: 6.25%
IBUs: 20

Description: This Scottish-style ale is part of Granville Island’s Black Notebook Series – a series of small-batch, limited-release beers. In honor of Robbie Burns Day, this beer is brewed in the traditional Scottish Ale-style, consisting of darker, richer malts that are subjected to a longer boil and a mild hopping.

Tasting Notes: Like most of GI’s Black Notebook Series, this brew was a somewhat subdued, but definitely landed in the requisite flavor departments. These included the darker, heavier malt base, the notes of sugar and dark fruits, and the hint of peat moss and general smokiness. Definitely a solid Scottish Ale for those who want a milder variant.

Appearance: Amber-brown, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich, sweet malts, mild smoke and peaty aroma, dark fruits and caramelized sugar
Taste: Semi-sweet malt, burnt sugar, mild tang, hint of smoke, peat moss, dates, raisins
Aftertaste: Lingering malt flavor, sugars, minerals
Overall: 7.8/10

Longwood Wild Child Ale

longwood_wildchildBrewer: Longwood Brewery, Nanaimo, BC
Style: Wild Fermented Ale
ABV: 7%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: Wild Child is essentially Longwood’s Brewery’s version of a sour ale, aka. one fermented using naturally-occurring yeast. It is also the first in Longwood’s new “small batch series”, a series of one-off limited release ales that are experimental in nature.

Tasting Notes: As wild-fermented ales go, this was interesting, but a little unbalanced. The wild yeast flavor comes through with some rather tart raspberry notes, but the malt base is decidedly very light. So its a little weak in one respect and a little overpowering in another.

Appearance: Dark amber, translucent, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malt, powerful notes of raspberry, wild yeast and lactic acid
Taste: Gentle malt start, immediate yeasty tones, tart raspberry, lactic acid 
Aftertaste: Lingering tart fruit, yeasty aftertaste, slightly watery
Overall: 7.3/10

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Dageraad 8°

Dageraad_8Brewer: Dageraad Brewing, Burnaby, BC
Style: Brune
ABV: 8.9%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: This brew is part of Dageraad’s Single Batch Series, and is fashioned in the Brune style, a Belgian brew native to the West Flanders region. In accordance with this tradition, but leaving some room for experimentation, this brew employs English crystal malt, wheat, date sugar, and a mild hopping before being feremented and then referemented in the bottle with Lactobacillus yeast.

Tasting Notes: This beer was a bit of a stumper. On the one hand, its got all of the wonderful aspects of a good Brune going it (with some intrusions into the Dubbel) front, but also has the smooth milky flavor brought about by lacto-fermentation. So in the end, its a smooth-drinking, malt forward beer with notes of plums, dates, raisins, brown sugar, and figgy pudding. And it finishes with a nice, rounded smoothness of supple mouthfeel. One would think a “milk beer” and a Belgian Brune didn’t belong together, but they kinda work!

Appearance: Deep brown/amber,cloudy, thick lacy head, good carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, strong notes of dark fruit, sugars, milk
Taste: Smooth, sweat malt, notes of brown sugar, dates, figs, raisins, smooth finish
Aftertaste: Lingering sweet malt flavor, sugars and fruit, milky smoothness
Overall: 8.5/10

Category 12 Induction Dubbel

c12-bottle-shot-INDUCTIONBrewer: Category 12 Brewing, Central Saanich, BC
Style: Dubbel
ABV: 7.5%
IBUs: 19

Description: The latest from C12, and a testament to their commitment to Belgian-style ales, is a traditional Dubbel. And consistent with this, the brew is made using plenty of dark malt, handcrafted dark candi syrup (which they made themselves), and a mild hopping.

Tasting Notes: The Induction was actually a little different than what I am used to. Whereas your usual Dubbel has some very syrupy and sweet malts with plenty of dark fruit flavor, the Induction is a bit lighter and has a flavor profile that starts smooth and subtle but ends with notes of phenols (aka. tannin) and caramelized sugar. A bit different, but definitely interesting and creative!

Appearance: Brown/ruby red, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, minerals, fruity esters, caramelized sugar
Taste: Smooth malt, syrup, tannin, hint of dark fruits and caramelized sugars 
Aftertaste: Lingering dark malt flavor and tannin, relatively clean finish
Overall: 8.5/10

On a side note, this is my 500th post on the GCBS! Woohoo!

Category 12 Simplicity Ale

c12-bottle-shot-SIMPLICITYBrewer: Category 12 Brewing, Central Saanich, BC
Style: Saison
ABV: 5%
IBUs: 16

Description: This brew was originally one of C12’s many R&D batches, one which they chose to revisit in September of this year and has since been made available in bottles. Combining organic spelt with Saison yeast and a mild hopping, this “Ancient Grain Saison” is a new (or old, depending on your point of view) twist on a classic Belgian beer.

Tasting Notes: I had a chance a chance to try this beer out of the keg months back. But as tradition dictates, I prefer to do a review based on drinking it from the bottle. In any case, this beer is what would expect from a classic Saison, with a sharp yeasty underdone and some spicy, fruity notes. But the spelt malt base is particularly smooth and very light in color, with a hint of nuttiness and a refreshing aftertaste and finish.

Appearance: Straw gold, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: mild malt, grainy, saison yeast, hint of spice, coriander, floral hops
Taste: Smooth malt, mild yeast bitterness, coriander spice, hint of nutty flavor
Aftertaste: Lingering malt flavor, mild yeasts, clean finish
Overall: 8/10

Driftwood De Auras Wheat Sour

driftwood_deaurasBrewer: Driftwood Brewery, Victoria, BC
Style: Sour Wheat Ale
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: Unspecified

Description: Released in time for the Fall harvest season, this sour wheat ale is the latest in Driftwood’s Bird of Prey sour ale series. It is fashioned using a combination wheat malt, raw wheat, hops, and three different kinds of yeast – brettanomyces, lactobactillus, and pediococcus, all lactic-acid producing strains.

Tasting Notes: This was definitely a nice combination, one which I have to admit that I’m not typically crazy about. But in this case, the gentle wheat malt base does well when combined with a whole lot of sour yeasts, adding dimensions of fruit flavor that are reminiscent of sour cherries and tart fruit. And I definitely prefer it to their last offering as well, Oscuritas. Looking forward to what’s next!

Appearance: Amber/orange, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Gentle wheat malt, lactic acid, sour cherry, orchard fruits
Taste: Smooth wheat malt, fruity esters, sour cherry, lactic acid, clean finish
Aftertaste: Lingering sourness and lactic acid, gentle malt flavor
Overall: 8.25/10