Clayburn Smoked Scotch Ale – Ravens Brewing Company


From Ravens Brewing Company in Abbotsford comes their “Clayburn Smoked Scotch Ale”.  The beer pours a deep reddish colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of smoke, peat and caramel.  The flavour is of caramel, toffee, peat smoke, roasted malts, maple, bitterness and sweetness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.5%.  While I am not a massive fan of smoked beers this one is well made and very enjoyable.

Commercial Description:  Smouldering smoke rises over dark caramel and a rich malty backbone, leaving you with a smooth and decadent finish.

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Barrel Aged Maple Porter – Fernie Brewing


From Fernie BC’s Fernie Brewing comes the “Barrel Aged Maple Porter”.  This beer was aged for 12 months in Pinot Noir Barrels.  The beer pours a very deep brown with a brown head.  The aroma consists of red wine, chocolate, earth, roasted malts, caramel and maple.  The flavour is of red wine, chocolate, caramel, toffee, maple, roasted malts and ash.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.4% with an IBU of 35.  I was really happy to find this beer at a local liquor store in Vancouver as it is really complex and tasty.

Commercial Description:  Our Award-Winning Maple flavored Porter. Aged for one year in oak barrels which previously held Pinot Noir from Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery. Expect strong notes of berries and dried fruit, combined with our dark, robust Porter.

Maple Cream Ale – Fort Garry Brewing Co


From Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Fort Garry Brewing Co (Owned by Russell Brewing Co in Surrey BC) comes their “Maple Cream Ale”. This beer pours a cloudy golden colour with a white head. The aroma consists of big malt notes, maple, caramel, sweetness and some citrus. The flavour is of maple, caramel, toffee, earth, citrus and an overall sweet finish. The alcohol content comes in at 5% with an IBU of 20. Not being a fan of maple in general I am always a little hesitant to try these beer but it was pretty good.

Commercial Description: Our Maple Cream Ale pours a rich amber colour and offers a sweet maple aroma. It’s smooth clean and refreshing with a hint of maple, it’s a delicious addition to your summer.

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Maple Shack Cream Ale – Granville Island Brewing


From Granville Island Brewing out of Vancouver comes their new “Maple Shack Cream Ale” the last in their new Under the Bridge Series.  Like all of their small bottle beers this one is produced by their parent company. The beer pours a deep amber colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of malts, toffee and maybe some maple.  The flavour is of malts, caramel, earth, maple with little to no hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5% with an IBU of 19.  This beer is by no means ground breaking but for an entry level craft beer its well worth a pick up.

Commercial Description:  This malty, smooth maple cream ale has a hint of maple syrup, with a mild hop bitterness. It’s a tribute to both Quebec’s legendary sugar shacks, and the tin roofs that littered this island back in the day. Big saps welcome. Get Under the Bridge.

Food pairing as per brewery:  It’s roasted. Caramel malt flavours go well with all kinds of roasted meat flavours. Perfect pairings: Roast beef or BBQ ribs.

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Utopias 2013 (Aged 2 years) – Samuel Adams


Limited Edition
Bottle 6,561 of less than 15,000

From Samuel Adams out of Boston Massachusetts comes the Holy Grail of most beer nerds “Utopias” 2013 Vintage (also the most expensive beer to date).  This beer destroys your perception of what a beer is as not only is it uncarbonated but it is also 28% alcohol and is a blend of beers some of which have been aged in barrels for up to or more than 20 years!  This years edition has been aged in Bourbon barrels, 8 year old port barrels and rum barrels and the finished product is blended together with a small amount of their beer the Komsic Mother Funk.  Before you pour this beer understand it is not meant to be refrigerated and should be served at room temperature in one or two once pours.  The beer pours a deep brown colour with absolutely no head which makes sense as this is uncarbonated. The aroma consists of maple syrup, cognac, whiskey, booze, vanilla and some dark fruits.  The flavour is of maple syrup, dark fruits, vanilla, cognac, whiskey, alcohol warmth, chocolate, cherry, earth, brown sugar, rum, butterscotch, toffee, honey and plums.  This is a huge beer at 28% and there is no doubt when you drink it.  I still really enjoyed this beer although I have to say that there has not been a huge change over the last year since I tried this last.

Commercial Description:  Utopias is brewed using traditional methods. The brewers begin with a blend of two-row Caramel and Munich malts that impart a rich, deep amber color. Noble hops – Hallertau Mittelfrueh, Spalt Spalter and Tettnang Tettnanger – are also added to lend complexity and balance. During fermentation, several yeast strains are used, including one normally reserved for champagne. The beer is then blended with a variety of different brews, some of which have been aged in different wood barrels for more than 20 years. As a result of the blending and aging, Utopias invokes the flavors of a rich vintage Port, fine Cognac, or aged Sherry while feeling surprisingly light on the palate.

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