Phillips Green Reaper IPA 2014

GreenReaper-300x416Brewer: Phillips Brewery, Victoria BC
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%

Description: This is Phillips third annual fresh-hopped special seasonal beer whose release coincides with the fall hop harvest. This year’s is hopped using fresh Cascade hops from local farms to create a smooth drinking, slightly citrusy, and well-balanced India Pale Ale.

Tasting Notes: This is my second time sampling Phillips Green Reaper, and this year’s is comparable to last year’s, but also has a few noted differences. For one, the malts were lighter in hue, and the hop palette was slightly different, packing more citrus and pine into the nose and flavor profile. However, it remains an overall subtle brew with gentle notes and an overall clean taste.

Appearance: Light amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong malt, floral hop aroma, citrus, pine, pineapple
Taste: Smooth malt, mild tang, hint of citrus, pine and herbs
Aftertaste: Lingering dry hops, bitterness, clean finish
Overall: 8/10

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Townsite Perfect Storm Oatmeal Stout

townsite_perfectstormAt long last, I am closing in on my goal of having sampled the entire Townsite lineup. Ever since they began delivering to the Island, I have been steadily working my way through every beer they have put out since my wife and I first visited their operation. At this point, only seasonal releases remain; and after tonight, only one beer will be left! But since I’ll have to wait until October to try that one (their Time Warp Wet-Hopped Pale Ale), there’s nothing to but wait and enjoy this one!

As far as Oatmeal Stouts go, this one was very good. In addition to the usual stout characteristics – black and opaque body, a rich malt with notes of coffee and chocolate, and a pleasantly bitter finish – this one has a hint of coffee liqueur of the nose. Not something I was expecting, but it certainly didn’t detract from the overall experience. In fact, I might go as far as to say this is one of the best stouts I’ve had in some time.

Appearance: Pitch black, opaque, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, notes of espresso, dark chocolate, coffee liqueur
Taste: Coffee-like dark malt and mild hop bite, semi-sweet and bitter chocolate
Aftertaste: Lingering bitter malts and espresso flavor
Overall: 9/10

In truth, there are actually two Townsite beers that I have yet to try. But from what I’ve been told, the Charleston Belgian Triple was discontinued after its first year and replaced by the YOGN 82. As such, it is beyond my reach and any reasonable expectation of sampling. Unless anyone has a bottle of it lying around they would be willing to part with…?

Paralell 49 Black Hops Cascadian Dark Ale

p49_blackhopsOh my, how Cascadian Darks are becoming all the rage! But seeing as how craft brewers up and down the coast have decided to produce their own version of this dark, hoppy ale, it stands to reason that a brewery such as Parallel 49 would have their own variation to share. And considering their usual, experimental fare, it was quite interesting to see them producing something quite standard for a change.

And as usual, it was quite enjoyable. I’m surprised it took me awhile to find this one, but I imagine distribution is a bit of an issue when a brewery produces so many limited releases. In any case, the Black Hops was an interesting twist on Cascadian Darks, possessing some richly dark, smokey malts, and a strong hoppy profile with serious herbal notes.

Appearance: Pitch black, opaque, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong, grassy hops, herbal notes, toasty malts
Taste: Immediate burst of hop bitterness, piney, smokey, herbal flavor
Aftertaste: Mild bitterness, lingering herbal essence
Overall: 8.5/10

In truth, I was reminded of herbed bread and stout, which would make for some interesting food pairing. Looking forward to Parallel 49’s next quirky and interesting limited release. Maybe, just maybe, it will be something simple this time… Not holding my breath!