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.

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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.

FIG JAM IPA – Burleigh Brewing


From Burleigh Brewing in Burleigh Heads in Australia comes their “FIG JAM IPA”. In Australia FIG JAM is an acronym for Fuck I’m Good, Just Ask Me. Gotta love a cocky brewery!  The Beer pours a copper colour with a white head. The aroma consists of stone fruit, caramel and floral hops. The flavour is of brown sugar, caramel, sweetness, citrus, lemon, pineapple, stone fruit and bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 7% with an IBU of 70.  I quite enjoyed this and I am happy I got the chance to try it. I am glad my friends and family buy me Beer on their travels.

Commercial Description:  Traditionally, India Pale Ales (IPAs) were brewed extra strong and hoppy to last the long journey by boat from England to India. These days, we brew ours that way because we love it.  And, you know, for history and nostalia… The incredible balance of Burleigh Brewing FIGJAM India Pale Ale belies its 7.0% abv and 70IBU IPA statistics. The fine balance of malt, hops and alcohol is deftly managed through five separate hopping phases, delivering the classic IPA characters of floral hop aromas and a distinctive hop character on the finish. All the ‘punch’ of an IPA, carefully delivered with Burleigh Brewing’s trademark balance.

A.E. Cross Barley Wine Barrel Aged – Last Best Brewing & Distilling


From Last Best Brewing & Distilling in Calgary Alberta comes their second ever bottled beer the “A.E. Cross Barley Wine Barrel Aged” the second of their Lineage Series.  For the second release they split the beer into two versions one unoaked and then this one that was barrel aged for 10 Months in Alberta Rye Whiskey Barrels.  The beer pours a deep amber colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of dark fruits, brown sugar, toffee and sweetness.  The flavour is of brown sugar, dark fruits, stone fruits, toffee, honey, oak, rye whiskey, sweetness, mild bitterness and some alcohol in the finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 11.8% with an IBU of 25.  Not having access to Last Best Brewing and having only tried their two barrel aged beers so far I have a very high opinion of this brewery so far.  This beer was very well crafted and amazingly full of flavour.

Commercial Description:  With our 2nd lineage release, we pay homage to a prairie legend with our riff on a classic style. The Alfred Ernest Goss Barley Wine uses locally sourced barley wheat, and rye as a fitting tribute to the founder of Calgary Brewing & Malting and the embodiment of the Last Best West.  We split this release into two: one unoaked and one aged for 10 months in 100% Alberta rye whiskey barrels Layered with subtle, integrated oak and a developing rye spiciness, this beer is characterized by its sweet caramel and barley malt base alcohol warmth, hints of dark fruit and a touch of light malted wheat Serve it at cellar temperature and age for years to come.