Coming from Salt Spring Island’s Saltspring Island Ales (Gulf Island Brewery) comes the “Dandy Hobo” a light golden rye ale that was brewed with fennel, cumin and caraway. This limited release was only available for tastings and growler fills at the brewery. The beer poured a light golden colour with a white head. The aroma consisted of sweet fruits, spices, mild malts, fennel, caraway and some rye. The flavour was of huge fruits up front with caraway, fennel, very mild spice from cumin, malts such as rye and a very mild tart finish. The alcohol content came in at 5%. This was a very refreshing ale and just as tasty as it was experimental! I hope that this beer some day sees the light of day in a bomber release.
I was lucky enough to head over to Campbell River for work recently and met up with Chris (@heavycf) of Leapbeer for lunch and a few beer. We headed to his base of operations for his blog Leapbeer the “Leapbeer Tasting Room” and talked beer. He was gracious enough to let me sample a beer I have not found on the Coast as of yet.
Coming from Salt Spring Island’s Saltspring Island Ales (Gulf Island Brewery) comes the “Heather Ale”. This is a Scotish style ale that uses heather to bitter their beer over hops. The heather used for this beer was grown at Butchart Gardens in Victoria. The beer pours a very nice amber colour with a small white head. The beer has a very pleasing aroma of heather, malts, honey and maybe a bit of yeast (Slight sour smell). The taste is just as pleasing as the smell with the same floral heather, mild honey and some bitterness but minimal either from the heather or the hint of hops dicribed on the bottle. If you find this bottle do yourself a favor and pick it up you will not be dissapointed. I am only disapointed that I do not have a full bottle or two at home!
From Saltspring Island one of the Gulf Islands near Vancouver comes the Saltspring Island Ales “Extra Special Bitter”. The beer pours a slightly cloudy amber colour with a large off white head. This beer has a very unique smell as it smells of pepper and butter. This ESB tastes of pepper and butter with almost no bitterness whatsoever. This beer has less bitterness Than an Alexander Keiths IPA which is alomst none. The beer is almost more malt than hops. Do not get me wrong I still enjoyed this beer quite a bit but it is not as advertised. I am not really sure what I would classify this beer as.
I have a feeling I purchased a bad bottle of this beer as I have now read a new review of this beer that completely disagrees with my review. Click Here to read Differing review
From Saltspring Island Ales out of Salt Springs Island BC comes the “casked Dry Hopped ESB”. This casked beer was tasted at the Summer Cask Festival 2012 at Central City Brewing in Surrey BC. This brew pours a deep cloudy amber colour. The beer has an interesting sweet hopy smell. When you taste the beer you will taste bitter hops and orange flavor. A very enjoyable beer is to be had here.