Barley Wine (2017 Vintage) – Longwood Brewery

From Nanaimo’s Longwood Brewery comes their “Barley Wine” a barrel aged beer from the 2017 Vintage.  The beer pours a deep chestnut colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, dark fruits, brown sugar, vanilla and sweetness.  The flavour is of dark fruits, roasted malts, treacle, syrupy, brown sugar, sweetness, earth and some bitterness with some alcohol in the finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 11.5% with an IBU of 45.  This was an interesting English Barley Wine and I look forward to trying it again sooner than later.

Commercial Description:  Steeped in lore and tradition, this special annual brew can be enjoyed now or cellared to futher mature.  Mahogany brown with a vast shattering attack of malt, hints of raisin, vanilla and a bitter sweet chocolate finish.  This well aged ale (8 months in oak) is a great finish to any dining experience or simply by itself.  Best enjoyed at cellar temperature.


Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels 2017- Twin Sails Brewing

From Twin Sails Brewing in Port Moody comes their “Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels” a beer aged for one year in Bourbon Barrels for their second anniversary.  This was bottle 309 of 468.  The beer poured an opaque black with a brown head.  The aroma consists of vanilla, bourbon, roasted malts, toffee, brown sugar, chocolate, anise with a sweet finish.  The flavour was of vanilla, bourbon, oak, anise, chocolate, toffee, espresso, roasted malts, brown sugar, coconut and very little bitterness.  The alcohol content is a cool 11.6% that is partially masked by the flavour of this beer.

Commercial Description:  Aged in select bourbon barrels since September 2016, this dense, inky imperial stout has big aromas of fudge, vanilla and espresso.  The palate brings an intense mix of chocolate, char, and coconut and a thick luscious mouth feel that leads into a warming, rich finish.  An intentionally low carbonation brings an exceptional spirit-like character to the beer.

Speedway Stout – AleSmith Brewing

From San Diego California’s AleSmith Brewing comes their “Speedway Stout”.  The beer pours an opaque black colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of chocolate, molasses, toffee, coffee and ash.  The flavour is of chocolate, toffee, molasses, ash, roasted coffee, burnt malts, brown sugar, earth, dark fruit and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 12% with an IBU of 70.  Well my first experience with AleSmith Brewing went really well.  This beer is really tasty and I look forward to trying more beer from them.  Its a good thing they are available in British Columbia now!

Commercial Description:  Speedway Stout’s ominous, pitch-black appearance has become a hallmark of this modern-day classic. Chocolate and roasted malts dominate the flavor, supported by notes of dark fruit, toffee, and caramel. A healthy dose of locally-roasted coffee from Ryan Bros. Coffee, Inc. added to each batch brings out the beer’s dark chocolate flavors and enhances its drinkability. Despite its intensity, Speedway Stout’s fine carbonation and creamy mouthfeel make it very smooth and surprisingly easy to drink. This beer ages very well and will continue to mature for many years to come.

Food Pairing as per brewery:  This beer’s great balance makes it a very food-friendly Imperial Stout. Pair its roasty flavors and robust mouthfeel with rich beef dishes and char-grilled foods. Both chocolate and vanilla desserts also pair well, as do salty blue cheeses like Stilton or hard nutty cheeses like aged Gouda and cloth-bound cheddars.

ESB – Backroads Brewing Co

From Backroads Brewing Co the newest brewery in Nelson BC comes their “ESB”.  This Extra Special Bitter pours a cloudy brown colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of toffee, brown sugar and a hint of fruit.  The flavour is of mild roasted malts, toffee, brown sugar, semi sweet with some mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 4.7% with an IBU of 30.  While it is not quite like any other ESB I really enjoyed it and I hope that I can get more of their beer sooner than the next time I end up in Nelson.

Monster Ale Barleywine 2007 Vintage – Brooklyn Brewery (Aged aprox 9 years 4 Months)

From Brooklyn Brewing out of Brooklyn New York comes their “Monster Ale” this bottle being a 2007 vintage Barleywine.  This bottle was opened on May 2nd 2017 making it in the neighborhood of 9 years and 4 months old if I assume the beer was released in December.  Unfortunately this beer was discontinued in 2013 after their cat named Monster passed away.  The beer poured a chestnut brown colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of chocolate, toffee, dark fruit, brown sugar, sweetness and some mint.  The flavour is of chocolate, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit, orange, sherry, mild resin, tannins and sweetness.  This beer coats your tongue with every sip.  The alcohol content comes in at 10.1% with an IBU of 47.  I am really bummed to hear of the demise of this beer as this close to 10 year old bottle tastes bloody amazing!

Commercial Description:  Brooklyn Monster Ale is a classic barley wine, a style of ale originally brewed by the butlers to the English and American aristocracy. It is brewed from three mashes of heirloom British malt and spiced with aromatic American Willamette, Cascade and Fuggle hops. After four months of aging, it has a magnificent burnished copper color, an aroma redolent of sherry, citrusy hops and fruit, a soft, warming, complex palate, a spiritous finish, and a strength of 10.3%. It is vivacious when young, but will age gracefully for many years, becoming more complex over time.

Food Pairing as per brewery:  Brooklyn Monster Ale is a fine accompaniment to a variety of cheeses (especially Gruyere, Stilton and aged cheddar), ice cream, flourless cakes, crème brulee and good cigars.

Here is my review of the same vintage from December 2012.