Craft Beer Tasting Notes: Nov. 19

Some holiday-themed beers and ciders are starting to show up, along with the regular assortment of darker brews, IPAs and the occasional sour. It’s an exciting time for craft beer (and craft cider).

Speaking of the holidays, we’ll be putting together a very special 12 Beers of Christmas Craft Beer Advent Calendar this year, which we will be announcing the details for soon. It will contain 12 carefully selected 473ml tall cans and will be available for ordering via our online Beer Mail page, as well as in-store. Please note, however, that there will only 48 of them, so we’re anticipating it will sell out quickly. It will likely go on sale Nov. 30 and be available until they are all sold out.

Here’s what’s new:

Fraser Cider Smoked Sage 7% 750ml (BC)
Pours a pale lemon yellow colour. Hint of smoke and spice notes on the nose. Herbal smoked sage notes balanced with apple sweetness.   

Merridale Yule Fuel Cider 9% 473ml (Cobble Hill, BC)
Pours a rich golden yellow colour. Comforting, homey notes of baked apple and pie spice on the nose. Sweet on the palate, with baked apple and spice notes. Like liquid apple pie.

Fuggles & Warlock Miyabi Cranberry Sour 6% 650ml (Vancouver)
Pours a red-tinged copper colour. Notes of grainy malt and tart cranberry on the nose. Big acidity with bright sour cranberry notes and a hint of bitterness on the palate. Dry finish.

Phillips Sweet Tart Passionfruit Gose 4.8% 473ml (Victoria)
Pours a hazy golden yellow colour. Notes of tart passionfruit juice and grainy malt on the nose. Perfect sweet/tart balance with juicy passionfruit notes. Literally tastes like juice.
Spinnakers Chai Brown Ale 5.2% 473ml (Victoria)
Pours a chestnut orange-brown colour. Notes of chai spice, molasses and roasty malt on the nose. Nice fruit notes mingle with classic chai spice notes on the palate, with hints of roasty malt.

Townsite Blackberry Wheat Sour 5.5% 650ml (Powell River, BC)
Pours a ruby rose colour. Notes of sweet berries, rustic earthiness and sweet malt on the nose. Juicy tart berries and grape notes on the palate, with balanced acidity. Very dry and almost wine-like.
Field House Blackberry/Blueberry Dark Sour 10% 650ml (Abbotsford, BC)
Pours a dark berry-red colour. Notes of berry, spice and grainy malt on the nose. Juicy acidity and big berry notes on the palate. Hides the ABV well.

Firestone Walker Lager 4.5% 6pk (California)
Pours an orange-yellow colour. Notes of honeyed malt and light fruit on the nose. Classic clean lager notes of round malt, hint of fruit and a crisp, dry finish. Clean and refreshing.
Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA 7% 6pk (California)
Pours a copper orange-yellow colour. Bubblegum and tropical fruit notes on the nose. Similar on the palate with stone fruit notes on the palate, as well.

Townsite Sentinel Ridge Belgian Single 5.2% 650ml (Powell River, BC)
Pours a hazy pale orange-yellow colour. Notes of honey, stone fruit and spice on the nose. Light-bodied, but falvourful with notes of spice and exotic fruit and a bitter finish.

Category 12 Symmetry Oatmeal Stout 5.9% 473ml (Saanich, BC)
Pours a black coffee colour. Notes of dark chocolate, coffee and dark grain on the nose. A touch fruity, with rich coffee and cocoa powder notes and a pleasant bitterness on the finish.

Field House Zinfandel Ale with Vanilla and Oak 7.7% 650ml (Abbotsford, BC)
Pours a cloudy red-purple colour. Notes of vanilla and juicy berries on the nose. Tart up front with notes of juicy berries, vanilla and a hit of oak. Hint of sweetness, bitter finish.
Field House Lavender ESB 5.5% 650ml (Abbotsford, BC)
Pours a cloudy burnt orange colour. Sweet floral and dried flower notes on the nose. Fruity, malty and earthy with a bitter finish and a hint of floral lavender.   

Persephone Barrel Aged Doppelbock 7.4% 650ml (Gibsons, BC)
Pours a copper colour. Complex notes of caramel, toffee, bourbon, vanilla and booze on the nose. Boozy, but not heavy on the palate with notes of caramel, nutty malt and vanilla-tinged bourbon. Rich and warming.

Gigantic Sodbusters VI: Return of the Simcoe Fresh Hopped Pale Ale 5.5% 500ml (Portland, OR)
Pours a golden yellow colour. Notes of bright citrus and citrus zest on the nose. Light on the palate with piney spice and citrus notes and a pleasant bitter finish.

Backcountry Dead of Night Galaxy IPA 6.6% 473ml (Squamish, BC)
Grapefruit juice colour. Notes of sweet citrus and tropical fruit on the nose. Juicy and soft on the palate with big ripe tropical fruit notes.
Superflux Colourer & Shapyest IPA 7.2% 473ml (Vancouver)
Pours a cloudy pale yellow-orange colour. Sweet, ripe tropical fruit  and citrus notes on the nose. Spicy, juicy citrus and ripe tropical fruit notes on the palate. Bitter finish.

Parkside Attack of the Cherry Stout Imperial Stout 8.3% 473ml (Port Moody, BC)
Pours a dark black-brown colour. Smoke/char, coffee and dark chocolate notes on the nose. Cherry tartness up front with notes of chocolate, coffee, dried fruit and booze. Nice balance between sweet and tart.
Cannery Darkling Oatmeal Stout 5.5% 473ml (Penticton, BC)
Pours a dark black-brown colour. Creamy chocolate and espresso notes on the nose. Dry on the palate with notes of chocolate, cocoa, smoke and black coffee.