Fernie Hot Saw India Brown Ale

Fernie_hotsawBrewer: Fernie Brewing, Fernie, BC
Style: IPA/Brown Ale
ABV: 7%
IBUs: 60

Description: This is a Winter/Spring seasonal by Fernie, available between the months of January and March. And as the name suggests, it combines the brewing styles of a brown ale with an IPA. A dark malt base is combined with hop back and dry hopping methods to create a balance of toasted malts with hoppy bitterness.

Tasting Notes: I was a little late to this brew, but was glad I caught up with it. A Brown IPA combines many aspects that are pleasing to the discerning beer-drinker. Notes of caramel, coffee, licorice, and roasted nuts combine with a hoppy profile that create a balanced but powerful brew.

Appearance: Dark brown, opaque, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Toasted malt, roasted nuts, coffee, licorice, caramel, citrus, piney hops
Taste: Dark, rich malt, roasted nuts, notes of coffee, licorice, piney hops
Aftertaste: Lingering roasted malt and pine hop bitterness
Overall: 8.3/10

Fernie Black Mammoth Winter Ale

Fernie_blackBrewery: Fernie Brewing, Fernie, BC
Style: Winter Black Ale
ABV: 8%
IBU: 25

Description: This winter ale began production in winter of 2013 in honor of Fernie Brewing’s 10th anniversary. It is brewed with chocolate malt and spiced with an infusion of cocoa and curacao orange peel before being lightly hopped.

Tasting Notes: This beer put me in mind of other well-known black BC brews, not the least of which are VIB’s Hermann’s Dark Lager and Hoyne’s Dark Matter. The dark, roasted malt comes through with notes of chocolate and espresso, while the curacao peel lends it a mildly sweet, slightly citrus taste that compliments the roasted flavor quite well. Not a bad seasonal at all, and definitely a good winter warmer.

Appearance: Black, opaque, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Roasted malt nose, notes of espresso and dark chocolate
Taste: Roasted malt, hint of sweetness, dark chocolate, espresso, mild citrus
Aftertaste: Lingering chocolate and espresso, roasted malt flavor
Overall: 8.5/10

Fernie Rockpile Red IPA

Fernie_rockpileBrewer: Fernie Brewing, Fernie BC
Style: Red India Pale Ale
ABV: 7.2%
IBU: 80

Description: This beer is the first in Fernie’s 2014 IPA Bucket List – a repeat of last year’s tribute to IPA’s – with seasonal availability from Nov to Dec. This brew is fashioned using Caramel and Crystal Malts, and then bittered with a large dose of Admiral, Ahtanum and Chinook Hops.

Tasting Notes: This IPA is an interesting combination, being rather malt-forward in character despite its high IBU rating. The rich red malts are immediately apparent in the lacy head it creates, and the flavor is reminiscent of baked bread, caramel and toffee, and with a slight, mineral tang. The hop flavor comes through with notes of grass, pine and herbs, but which are decidedly dry. All of this strikes a nice balance, and which provides a good intro to the 2014 Bucket List.

Appearance: Deep ruby, clear, good, lacy foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Deep roasted amber, caramel, minerals, dry hops
Taste: Sharp malt, sweet bread, caramel and toffee, grassy, piney, dry hop finish
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness, hint of citrus, grass and herbs
Overall: 8.5/10

Fernie Brewing Last Cast Summer IPA

Fernie_summeripaBrewer: Fernie Brewing, Fernie, BC
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.7%
IBU: 70

Description: The final beer on Fernie Brewing’s Bucket List IPA Series, the Last Call is a summer-seasonal IPA is lighter bodied than their previous offerings. Much like the others, it is bittered using a combination of new hops, including the Falconer’s Flight, Amarillo, Ahtanum and Galaxy varieties.

Tasting Notes: An unusual IPA, to be sure, the Last Call was reminiscent of both a Pilsner and an IPA. This comes through in the crisp malts (which I can only assume are Munich, Pilsner and/or Vienna), but is reinforced in the hop combination that brings out a certain herbal and slightly skunky flavor, in addition to a good citrus bite. A nice combination and a good way to finish off a lineup!

Appearance: Golden, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Grainy malt, dry, herbal hops, mild skunk
Taste: Crisp, grainy malt, good tang, strong bite of bitter, herbal, citrus hops
Aftertaste: Lingering citrus bitterness and herbal notes
Overall: 8/10

Fernie Quiet Rye’t IPA

QUIET-RYETBrewer: Fernie Brewing, Fernie, BC
Style: Rye IPA
Alc/Vol: 6.7%

Description: As part of the breweries “IPA Bucket List” – which is described as “a collection of four unique and flavoursome small-batch IPA’s launching throughout the year” – this rye IPA is available during the months April/May, alongside their Last Cast Summer IPA.

Tasting Notes: While I am a fan of this brewery, my range of sampling from this brewery is unfortunately limited. So I’m glad I’m getting into their limited run stuff, since they are a pretty good way of seeing exactly what a craft brewery can do. And their rye IPA was a good example of a West Coast IPA, being both strong in malt and containing a good dose of citrus and tropical fruit notes. This is nicely balanced by the rye flavor, which provides some bittering but also evens out the malt and hop flavors.

Appearance: Amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Sweet malts, sugar, citrus, pineapple
Taste: Strong malt, slight sweetness, tang, citrus hops, passion fruit, rye bitterness
Aftertaste: Lingering malt flavor, citrus and rye bitterness
Overall: 8.5/10