Canuck Empire Pumpkin Patch Ale

canuckempire_pumpkinBrewer: Canuck Empire, Aldergrove, BC
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 6%

Description: A seasonal Fall brew, this pumpkin ale is made using a combination of 2-Row, Munich, Aromatic, Caramel, & Wheat malts, then hopped with Magnum and Perle hops. The beer is then flavored with pumpkin and maple syrup, and spiced with a combination of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

Tasting Notes: This is my first time sampling a beer from Canuck Empire, another brewery from the lower mainland that I’ve been noticing around these parts. And for the most part, this beer was exactly what I would expect from a good pumpkin ale. Smooth, pale malt interacts with pumpkin flesh and a pumpkin pie palette to deliver “Fall in a glass”. However, this one was a bit different in that it incorporated ginger, which I initially mistook for clove spice. This added a bit of a bite and a slight bitterness to the mix, which worked well in the end. Still a good brew and a good intro!

Appearance: Amber/orange, slightly cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Gentle malt, pumpkin pie, notes of allspice and cinnamon
Taste: Smooth malt, pumpkin, burst of ginger spice, allspice and cinnamon
Aftertaste: Lingering ginger and spice flavor, mild malt bitterness
Overall: 8/10

Russel White Rabbit Hoppy Hefeweizen

hefeweizenBrewer: Russel Brewing, Surrey, BC
Style: Hefeweizen
Alc/Vol: 6%

Description: A seasonal beer brewed for summer, this German-style wheat ale is brewed with a significant dose of Citra hops to give it a Pacific Northwest flavor. The result is a hefeweizen with an IPA-like twist.

Tasting Notes: Like a proper hefeweizen, this beer is light and refreshing, and the mild malt and yeasty backbone provide a nice clean flavor with a spicy finish. The addition of a generous dose of Citra hops manage to augment this with natural grapefruit and peach flavors, adding to the summery feel.

Appearance: Golden-orange, cloudy and opaque, good foam and carbonation
Nose: Wheat malt, yeast, citrus hops, coriander and clove spices
Taste: Mild wheat malt, yeast, notes of citrus, hints of peach and clove spice
Aftertaste: Lingering yeast, citrus and cloves, clean and refreshing
Overall: 8.5/10

Deep Cove Trapper John’s Lager

trapper johns lager for clientBrewer: Deep Cove Brewery, North Vancouver, BC
Style: Lager
Alc/Vol: 5%
IBU: 48

Description: As part of Deep Cove’s seasonal lineup, this beer is available for winter purchase and was inspired by the history of the pre-prohibition style lagers that were brewed in south of the border. What this amounts to is a Bavarian-style lager with a solid malt base and good, crisp West Coast hops.

Tasting Notes: As lagers go, this beer was very consistent with a good Bavarian-style Lager or Pilsner. In addition to its crisp, malty base, it has a discernible hop presence that peaks of an infusion of West Coast influence. And of course, it finishes very clean and is quite refreshing. Not a bad second installment in my ongoing mission to sample from the Deep Cove Brewery!

Appearance: Light golden, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Pilsner malt, grainy, mild dose of hop bitterness
Taste: Crisp malts, hint of sweetness, mild, citrus and herbal hops
Aftertaste: Lingering malt flavor, very clean finish
Overall: 8/10

Deep Cove Loud Mouth Pale Ale

label_loudmouth-300x300Brewer: Deep Cove Brewery, Vancouver, BC
Style: Pale Ale
Alc/Vol: 5.5%
IBU: 56

Description: The Loud Mouth Pale Ale is one of Deep Cove’s year round products and is a blend of English and West Coast influences. This results in an ale that is initially malt-forward, but is hopped to a respectable 56 IBUs to achieve a balance of flavor.

Tasting Notes: As the first beer that I’ve ever tried from Deep Cove, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I could definitely sense the English influence as I drank it, which is present in the form of subtle but ever-present malts and the notes of toffee and caramel. However, there was also enough of a hop presence that one can detect the West Coast influence, which comes through in a slightly bitter, citrusy, and herbal accompaniment. It then finishes quite clean, with lingering notes of both malt and hops on the palate that further enforce its balanced character. Definitely a good intro to this brewery from North Vancouver!

Appearance: Deep amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong malt presence, notes of toffee and shortbread, mild hops
Taste: Good malt, mild tang, notes of toffee, caramel, slightly bitter citrus, herbal hops
Aftertaste: Relatively clean, lingering toffee malts and mild bitterness
Overall: 8.5/10

Granville Island Shamrocker Potato Stout

shamrocker_stoutBrewer: Granville Island Brewery, Vancouver, BC
Style: Stout
Alc/Vol: 4.8%
IBU: 35

Description: Released just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, this limited release from Granville Island Brewing combines Crystal and base Stout malts with Delta hops and an infusion of potato to create a stout that the brewery describes as “a medley of Celtic proportions.”

Tasting Notes: As stouts go, this one was a little light in alcohol content and flavor, and put me in mind of an auburn ale (another Irish classic!) in a few respects. At the same time, it managed to achieve a nice balance between roasted malts, an hint of espresso bitterness, and the earthy flavor that comes from Delta hops and the addition of potatoes. This last ingredient also came through with the pervasive starchy, slightly sweet essence I noticed throughout. All of this makes for a rather interesting drinking experience, and a welcome addition to St. Patrick’s Day. Slainte!

Appearance: Black, opaque, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Roasted malt, hint of espresso, smokey aroma
Taste: Light malt flavor, hint of starch, tang, espresso, smokey, earthy hop finish
Aftertaste: Lingering earthy flavor and hints of espresso and malt
Overall: 8.5/10