P49 ¡Orale! Tequila Gose

P49!ORALE!_500x500Brewer: Parallel 49 Brewing, Vancouver, BC
Style: Gose
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 6

Description: This rarity from P49 takes the traditional Gose –  a beer native to Leipzig, Germany that combines wheat and barley malt malt with sea salt – and then builds on it by aging it in Tequila barrels for 9 months. This combination alludes to tequila shots, complete with a salt lick and a squeeze of lime!

Tasting Notes: This brew does what it sets out to do, which is to allude to the ritual of  Tequila shots. However, this is not a drinking experience that I was ever fond of, so I really didn’t like it in this beer. It is light and somewhat refreshing, but its weak malt is paired with some strong sour flavors – yeast and lime juice – and a hint of salt. This makes for some unappetizing flavor, in my opinion, sad to say.

Appearance: Light blonde, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malt, hint of citrus, tequila nose, quite sour
Taste: Weak wheat malt, hint of salt, notes of sour lime, tequila flavor
Aftertaste: Lingering sour yeast and citrus flavor, wheat malt aftertaste
Overall: 6.5/10

Coal Harbour Blackwing Baltic Porter

CoalHarbor_blackwingBrewer: Coal Harbour Brewing, Vancouver, BC
Style: Baltic Porter
ABV: 7.5%
IBUs: 30

Description: Brewed in the style of an Easter European Porter, this beer was inspired by the thousands of Still Creek Crows that fly over the brewery to their nightly roost. True to its style, it is fashioned using a deeply roasted malt base that is fermented longer to give it greater potency and alcoholic strength.

Tasting Notes: I have a bit of a block when it comes to strong porters and stouts, mainly because I’ve had a few too many licorice-heavy ones (not my thing). However, this Porter was surprisingly smooth, and managed to have all the right notes, but in a slightly subdued form. As such, it was really quite drinkable.

Appearance: Black, translucent, mild foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Gentle malt base, hints of coffee beans, roasted nuts. mild herbs
Taste: Smooth roasted malt, notes of espresso, hint of licorice, mild hop bitterness
Aftertaste: Lingering malt bitterness, roasted nuts and coffee
Overall: 8/10

P49 Apricot Opus Apricot Sour Saison

APRICOTOPUS-500-WEBBrewer: Parallel 49 Brewing, Vancouver, BC
Style: Apricot Sour Wheat Ale
ABV: 6.3%
IBUs: 6

Description: This summer seasonal release is a twist on the summer saison. In addition to the infusion of apricots into a wheat and Pilsner malt base, it is fermented with wild strains of Lactobacillus yeast give it a tart, sour twist.

Tasting Notes: Again, this beer made for a interesting combination. The wheat malts are gentle, the apricot provides a hint of sweetness, and the yeast gives it a touch of spice and a mild sour kick that compliments things nicely. It finishes a little on the light side, but still manages to make for a pretty tasty and refreshing brew.

Appearance: Golden, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Wheat malt, sharp yeast, spices, pronounced fruit, plum and apricot
Taste: Smooth wheat malt, hint of apricot, sour yeast, golden plum
Aftertaste: Mild tart fruit, yeasty and light wheat malt finish, quite refreshing
Overall: 8/10

P49 Corn Hops Imperial IPA

P49_cornhopsBrewer: Parallel 49, Vancouver, BC
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.2%
IBUs: 86

Description: P49’s latest summer seasonal is a new take on the Imperial IPA. Combining Pilsner malt with flaked corn, this Imperial IPA is then hopped with a significant dose of Chinook, Ahtanium, and Citra hops to achieve a strong but slightly sweet brew packed with citrus and tropical fruit flavors.

Tasting Notes: This was definitely a consistent P49 offering! As always, the combination was quite interesting and the end result quite flavorful. The infusion of corn added a hint of sweetness and light color to an otherwise malty Imperial IPA. And of course, the heft hopping added plenty of citrus, passion fruit, and pineapple flavors, along with a nice, dry herb essence.

Appearance: Light gold, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malts, good notes of citrus, pineapple, herbs and passion fruit
Taste: Strong malt, hint of corn syrup, notes of citrus, pineapple, pine and herbs
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness, herbs and tropical fruit
Overall: 8.5/10

Four Winds Sovereign Super Saison

fourwinds_sovereignBrewer: Four Winds Brewing, Delta, BC
Style: Saison
ABV: 8.5%
IBUs: 20

Description: As part of Four Wind’s Eurus series, which is named after the Greek god of the East Winds – Sovereign is a bottle conditioned ale that is brewed according to a venerable European tradition. Like a good Saison, it is brewed using pale malt, mixed fermentation and then dry-hopped to create a spicy farmhouse ale.

Tasting Notes: Four Winds did it again, providing me with one the better beers I’ve had in recent memory. It starts with a strong but smooth malt base, and then gets into some yeast cultures that just pop in your mouth. Notes of citrus, lavender, and oak linger on the tongue before things finish with a lingering bitterness that’s full of dry hops and spices.

Appearance: Deep amber, cloudy, very good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, citrus, herbs, dry hops, lavender, strong yeast
Taste: Smooth malt, citrus rind, lavender, effervescent, spicy yeast, oak, fruity esters
Aftertaste: Lingering yeast and hop bitterness, notes of citrus and lavender
Overall: 9.5/10

Bridge To The Max Charity Ale

bridge_tothemaxBrewer: Bridge Brewing, Vancouver, BC
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: 41

Description: A special release by Bridge Brewing, To The Max is a pale ale that is brewed to help raise awareness and money for the BC Cancer Foundations’ Ride to Conquer Cancer. For every bomber or glass sold, Bridge will donate $1.00 to a team of local cyclists called “To the Max”.

Tasting Notes: This brew was a decent pale ale, with a solid malt base and enough hop bitterness to keep it West Coast appropriate! It was a tad on the bitter side and not as balanced as I would have liked, but its still a good brew and for a good cause! Get some while supplies last!

Appearance: Amber, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Pale malt, notes of citrus, hints of pine, grassy hops
Taste: Smooth malt, good body, citrus rind, piney and resin hops
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness and citrus rind
Overall: 7.8/10

Steamworks Jasmine IPA

Steamworks_JasmineIPABrewer: Steamworks Brewery, Vancouver BC
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: 60

Description: This beer is part of Steamworks regular lineup and is brewed is a combination of Maris Otter, Caramalt, and Munich malts. It is then dry-hopped with Centennial , Celeia & Bramling Cross hops, infused with Jasmine flowers and fermented using Ardennes yeast.

Tasting Notes: When I first drank this beer, what I immediately noticed was the sharp tang of Saison-style yeasts in addition to some Jasmine. I was encouraged to see that my taste buds were not off. In addition, the dry-hop flavor also comes through in the end, providing a nice citrus backing. Nevertheless, the overall taste experience is still quite refreshing and clean, which you might not expect from an IPA that has some serious Saison yeasts going on. I strongly recommend sampling this brew alongside other Jasmine IPAs, a style which is fast becoming popular here in the Pacific Northwest!

Appearance: Golden/amber, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Light malt, saison-style yeast, dry, citrus, floral hop infusion,
Taste: Semi-sweet malts, bitter citrus, sharp yeast backbone, jasmine, dry hop flavor
Aftertaste: Lingering dry hops, bitterness and yeasty flavor, refreshing
Overall: 8.5/10

Parallel 49 Wild Ride Belgian Strong

https://iamthebeersnob.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/82ced-2.pngBrewer: Parallel 49 Brewery, Vancouver, BC
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Alc/Vol: 9.0%

Description: Brewed in honor of Parallel 49’s second anniversary, this combination brew is fashioned using Pilsner malt and German Magnum and Mittelfrueh hops. It is then fortified with cane sugar and fermented with a combination of brettanomyces and other yeast cultures.

Tasting Notes: As always, P49 is at the forefront of experimentation, merging different styles in order to create new and interesting beers. In this case, we get a beer that embraces elements of a sour ale (the brettanomyces that triggers the accumulation of lactic acid), Pilsner and Noble hops for a lager-like crispness and clean flavor, and cane sugar that lends its a Belgian Strong blonde ale flavor. This combination leads to a certain apple cider-like taste crossed with a Belgian Triple.

Appearance: Golden, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Pilsner malt, lactic acid, cider-like, mild hint of wild yeast
Taste: Mild Pilsner malt, slight tang, tart apple, hint of honey, crisp hops
Aftertaste: Lingering malt, hint of sugar and apple, quite clean
Overall: 8/10

Green Leaf Pie Hole Pale Ale

Greenleaf_paleBrewer: Green Leaf Brewery, Vancouver BC
Style: Pale Ale
Alc/Vol: 5.8%
IBUs: 40

Description: This is the brewery’s flagship beer, a West Coast-style pale ale fashioned for everyday drinking. It is made with Pale and Crystal malts, Cascade hops, has an additional dry-hopping while undergoing fermentation, and is bottled unfiltered.

Tasting Notes: As Pale Ales go, this one was certainly both consistent with a West Coast pale, but was at the same time just a little bit experimental. The dry-hopping has a nice effect, providing an additional layer of hop flavor and aroma, and the fact that it was unfiltered was a nice touch.

Appearance: Deep amber, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, citrus hops, grassy and piney aroma
Taste: Smooth malt, good tang, dry hop flavor, bitterness and citrus
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness, dry and citrus rind
Overall: 8.5/10

Green Leaf Burning Rock Ale

greenleaf_brewingBrewer: Green Leaf Brewing, Vancouver BC
Style: Rock Ale
Alc/Vol: 5.5%
IBUs: 25

Description: A specialty beer produced by the brewery, this beer is fashioned by placing red-hot granite into beer wort. This results in a beer that has pronounced malts and caramelized flavor. It is then bottle conditioned to achieve a balanced flavor that is malt-forward and very syrupy.

Tasting Notes: This beer was a twofold introduction. For one, it was the first time I’ve ever had a beer from the Green Leaf Brewery. Second, it was the first and only time I have ever heard of a rock ale; which I have to admit is a pretty cool concept, and has some pretty damn cool results! This ale is not only smooth and very drinkable, its very rich in terms of its malt and caramel flavor.

Appearance: Deep ruby red, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong, syrupy malts, sweet breads, mild hops
Taste: Smooth malt, mild tang, hint of floral, herbal hops, strong caramel finish
Aftertaste: Lingering malt flavor, tang and viscous mouth feel
Overall: 9/10

And in the meantime, enjoy this video of the rock ale production process: