Category 12 Subversion Imperial IPA

c12-bottle-shot-SUBVERSIONBrewer: Category 12 Brewing, Central Saanich, BC
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.7%
IBUs: 85

Description:  This latest release from Category 12 is the brewery’s shot at what is currently one of the most popular styles of West Coast ale. It is fashioned using plenty of (what I can only assume are) pale and Crystal malts, then generously hopped with Mt. Hood, Cascade & Centennial hops for an intense flavor – like a good IIPA!

Tasting Notes: Let me just say I’m very proud of C12 and the work they’ve been doing of late. This brew is just one of a few new concoctions they have come up, and intend to review them all. In any case, this beer was a faithful example of a West Coast Imperial IPA, employing a strong, slightly sweet and coarse malt base and an intense hop flavor that has notes of citrus, pine, passion fruit and dried herbs. And yet, despite it power, it manages to finish quite nicely and cleanly. Not what you’d generally expect from a Imperial IPA.

Appearance: Deep amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, good hop nose, notes of citrus, pine, tropical fruit, grass
Taste: Strong malt, slightly sweet and coarse, notes of pine, passion fruit, herbs
Aftertaste: Lingering malt bitterness, malt coarseness and sweetness
Overall: 9.5/10

4 Mile Pale Ale

4mile_paleBrewer: 4 Mile Brewing, Victoria BC
Style: English-style Pale Ale
Alc/Vol: 5.2%
IBUs: 38

Description: A combination of brewing styles, this pale ale is brewed using English malts and West Coast hops (most likely of the Cascade/Centennial and Amarillo variety). Further indications of its English roots come in the form of extensive dry hopping, which results in a subtle ale with dry, but pronounced hop character.

Tasting Notes: I have to admit, this beer was a tad on the light for me. While I certainly appreciate subtle brews, the hop bitterness was a little too light for my taste, and the finish a little too clean and watery. What was missing was a malt backbone, then the dry hops may have come through better. However, I am prepared to admit that this may have been a false positive. I’ll need another bottle for confirmation, stay tuned!

Appearance: Amber-orange, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malt, citrus notes, grassy and piney hops
Taste: Mild malt, dry citrus bite, notes of grass, pine, and grapefruit
Aftertaste: Mild, dry lingering bitterness, very clean, watery finish
Overall: 7.5/10

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