Dead Frog Sunset Sencha Tea Infused Sour Saison

Dead_frog_sunset_senchaBrewer: Dead Frog Brewery, Aldergrove, BC
Style: Sour Saison
ABV: 6%
IBUs: 30

Description: Dead Tree’s latest limited release is their contribution to the current sour trend. And in their case, it involves a sour saison-style beer that combines Pilsner, aromatic and rye malts with Sterling hops which is then infused with Sunset Sencha leaves – a type of Japanese green tea.

Tasting Notes: This latest sour was certainly interesting. Combining saison yeasts, sour fermentation and tea contribute to a beer that is very tart, but also quite light and refreshing. Basically, its highly reminiscent of sour lemonade. While it was (much like most sours I’ve had this season) a little tart for my liking, it is undeniably refreshing and creative.

Appearance: Deep golden, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malt, tart fruit, yeast, lactic acid, strong citrus, green tea leaves
Taste: Gentle malt, burst of tart lemon flavor, hint of green tea, and 
Aftertaste: Lingering lemon flavor, subtle tea notes, clean finish
Overall: 7.7/10

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Parallel 49 Rye The Long Face Imperial Rye IPA

p49_ryethelongfaceBrewer: Parallel 49 Brewing, Vancouver BC
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.5%
IBUs: 86

Description: Part of Parallel 49 Spring Seasonal lineup, this Imperial IPA combines a hefty combination of pale and rye malts, and is then bittered using a similarly robust amount of Chinook, Simcoe, Amarillo and Centennial hops.

Tasting Notes: As Imperial IPAs go, this beer was quite smooth and drinkable. Surprising considering its strength and the hefty dose of rye. And yet, the rye malts and heavy helping of Pacific Northwest hops balance out to create a pretty subtle but complex brew.

Appearance: Deep orange, mildly cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: rich malt, rye notes, citrus, pineapple, and passion fruit hops
Taste: Smooth, slightly crisp malt, notes of herbs, citrus, peach, pineapple
Aftertaste: Lingering tang, citrus and tropical fruit and rye bitterness
Overall: 8.3/10

Bomber Blood From a Stone Red Rye IPA

Blood-from-a-stoneBrewer: Bomber Brewery, Vancouver BC/ Stone Brewery, San Diego CA
Style: Rye India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.6%

Description: A collaboration brew between Vancouver-based Bomber and San Diego-based Stone, Blood from a Stone is a rye-based India Pale Ale that combines hops and yeast from the US, malted barley and rye from Canada, Australian hops, and German and Belgian malts to achieve a beer that is truly international in character.

Tasting Notes: As combination beers go, this was definitely an unusual experience. It started with a fruity, richly malty nose which gave way to an unusual flavor. Here, the combination of rye and European malts, along with a heavy dose of Australian hops, made for a beer that had tons of grassy hop flavor, but also had some discernibly dry, ESB-like characteristics.

Appearance: Deep ruby, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Good malt, notes of baked bread, citrus, pineapple, dry hop aroma
Taste: Sharp malt, good tang, mild citrus and strong grassy, dry hop finish
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness, strong grassy notes
Overall: 8.3/10

Ommegang Fire And Blood Red Ale

https://i2.wp.com/www.ommegang.com/got/img/bottle-3-fab.pngBrewer: Ommegang Brewery, Cooperstown, NY
Style: Belgian-style Red Ale
Alc/Vol: 6.8%

Description: The newest beer in Ommegang’s Game of Thrones collaboration series, this beer is named after the motto of House Targaryen – “Fire and Blood” – and comes with three labels that show the images of Daenerys Targaryen’s three dragons: Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion. Like all Ommegang products, this red ale is brewed in the traditional Belgian style, has added spelt and rye malts, anchillo peppers, and is then refermented in the bottle.

Tasting Notes: Consistent with a Belgian-style red, this beer has a rich malt flavor, strong notes of yeast, and just enough malt and hop bitterness to challenge the taste buds. The addition of spelt and rye add a layer of complexity, as do the achillo peppers, contributing to a malt profile that is also dry and tangy in addition to fruity and quite smooth.

Appearance: Deep red, cloudy, good foam and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, strong yeast, mild floral hops
Taste: Deep smooth malt, yeast, notes of dates and plums, dry tang and rye bitterness
Aftertaste: Lingering rye bitterness, yeasts, and malt sweetness
Overall: 9/10

Deep Cove Star Struck Rye IPA

deepcover_starstruckBrewer: Deep Cove Brewery, Vancouver BC
Style: India Pale Ale
Alc/Vol: 7%
IBUs: 82

Description: As part of their year round series, the India Pale Ale is the first beer to be released since their initial lineup. In addition to what is surely Pale and Crystal (as well as Rye) malts, it is generously hopped with Galaxy and other West Coast strains.

Tasting Notes: This beer is my latest sampling from the Deep Cove Brewery, and came highly recommended to me by the good staff at my local beer store. And they certainly knew what they were talking about! This IPA comes in with some nice, smooth malt, a good dose of citrus and tropical hop flavor, and a nice hint of rye that manages to smooth and round out the flavor.

Appearance: Amber-orange, slightly cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Good malt, citrus hops, passion fruit, pineapple and rye
Taste: Smooth malt, good tang, tangerine, passion fruit, pineapple
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness and notes of tropical fruit
Overall: 9/10

Base Camp Brewery Has Arrived!

basecamp_ipl
It seems there’s no end to the amount of beer coming up from the south lately. In addition to American, Diamond Knot, and Skagit, a great deal of hubbub is also being made by the operation known as Base Camp Brewing, which like many stellar brewing operations comes to us from Portland, Oregon. I was immediately drawn to their spot in the aisle when I noticed that they store their beer in aluminum tallboys, much like Surgenor brewing – may she rest in peace – used to do.

As it stands, only two beers in their lineup are available locally. And after having tried both, I was quite impressed. This included their IPA and Pilsner, which combined some serious authenticity with just enough experimentation to make them surprising.

In-Tents Lager:
in-tents_IPLThe flagship beer of the brewery, this beer is one of the few that makes it to export. And unlike many India Pale Lagers I’ve tasted in recent years, this beer manages to marry the best of both worlds – rich malts and a strong hop bite with the clean-tasting, refreshing qualities of a lager – without compromising on either. According to the commercial description, this beer is dry-hopped with a combination of Pacific Northwest hops and aged in caskets of toasted white and red oak. The end product is then lagered, which creates a beer that is at once malty, dry, fruity and sugary, but also refreshing and crisp. The play on words that is this beer’s name is clearly well-deserved.


Appearance:
Orange-amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation

Nose: Strong malts, sweet, citrusy hops, ruby red grapefruit
Taste: Sweet and sugary malts, strong citrus, pine, passion fruit hops
Aftertaste: Lingering bitterness, mild fruity notes
Overall: 9/10

Ripstop Rye PIls:
ripstop-rye-pilsAnother beer that is available for export, the Ripstop Rye Pils is the breweries reinterpretation of the classic pilsner lager beer. Basically, this beer is a marriage of traditional Pilsner with west coast hops and toasted rye malt. This results in a beer that smells of European malt and noble-type hops are discernible, as are some interesting traces of orchard fruits. In terms of flavor, the characteristic Pilsner taste mingles with some spicy rye notes, added fruit, and some grassy hops. And of course, it all finishes off crisp, clean, with a little lingering spice for emphasis. Quite the pleasing and refreshing hot weather beer and well paired with spicy foods. I think this one just might be a contender for my “Beer that tames the fire” list.

Appearance: Light golden blonde, slightly cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Sharp hops, mild fruit, notes of peach and plum
Taste: Immediate tang, slightly bitter, grassy hops, rye spice, touch of peach
Aftertaste: Lingering crisp hop flavor, discernible rye aftertaste
Overall: 9/10

From just a passing glance at their website, I can see there are many left to try. Apparently, their expanded lineup includes 19 beers, ranging from a Pale Ale to a Sessional, from a Saison to a Doppelbock. I can only assume that many of these are only available on tap and not for sale outside of the local brewpubs. Guess I’ll just have to arrange a road trip!