From Driftwood Brewing out of Victoria BC comes their “Mad Bruin Sour Brown Ale” the second release in their Birds of Pray series. I have cellared this bottle for just over 4 years. This beer was aged in oak barrels for 16 months. This beer pours a deep redish brown colour with a tan head. The aroma consists of dark fruits, cherry, oak yeast and sweetness. The flavour is of cherries, dark fruits, huge oak notes, tartness, vinegar notes, earth and some alcohol. The tartness seems to have really picked up over the 4 years this beer has been in my cellar. While I liked this beer when it was first released back in 2012 it has aged very well and has upped its game. I am sad this is the last bottle I had of this beer.
Commercial description: This Belgian style, Oud Bruin (Old Brown), was aged in oak barrels for 16 months and then blended with a young ale for a unique profile of delicate malt, acidity and oak ageing. Mad Bruin will continue to develop more complexity with cellaring.
From Brewsters Brewing Company out of Calgary, Alberta comes their “Mad Hops Double IPA” the 5th release from the Brewers Bomber series. The beer pours a copper colour with an off white head. The aroma is very fruity with grapefruit and lemon, caramel, pine and floral hops. The flavour is of tones of fruit including grapefruit, lemon and some tropical fruits, earth, resin, bitterness and some good caramel to balance it out. There is surprisingly little alcohol flavour in this beer. The alcohol content comes in at 8% with an IBU of 80. While not the most exciting Double IPA that I have had this was a well executed beer and I would not hesitate to pick up more next time I am in Alberta.
Commercial Description: Hopheads, the search is over. This year’s version blends ten of the boldest hop varieties into a big malty ale to create on crazy good double IPA for hop enthusiasts. Pacific Jade, Sorachi Ace, Chinook, Centennial, Citra, Australian Galaxy, Mandarina Bavaria, New Zealand Motuko , Waimea and Simco hops come together in this bitter but balanced concoction.
From Torchlight Brewing in Nelson BC comes their “Tripel Abbey Style Ale”. The beer pours a cloudy copper colour with a white head. The aroma consists of mango, melon, peaches, grapefruit candied sugar and sweetness. The flavour is of toffee, candied sugar, fruit, mango, melon, peaches, grapefruit, coriander, mild earth, vanilla and mild alcohol. The alcohol content comes in at 9% with an IBU of 38. Some Tripels are really overly sweet but this one is not. The flavour is great and I wish I could get more bottles.
Commercial Description: This Abbey style ale was made with Belgian Candy Sugar made right here at Torchlight Brewing. The result? A smooth, malty beer that hides its big ABV. Perfect celebration beer!
From Black Bridge Brewery in Swift Current Saskatchewan comes their “Saison Deux Fois La Taille”. This was a very special bottle conditioned release. From my understanding it was their first bottle release as they typically use cans. The beer pours a cloudy golden colour with a white head. The aroma consists of citrus, yeast, wheat and some floral hops. The flavour is of citrus, citrus rind, more fruit, yeast, wheat, pepper, vanilla and a mild alcohol finish. The alcohol content came in at 8.6%. This was a really well crafted imperial sasion and I am glad I was able to get my hands on it.
Commercial Description: Very dry, clove and rose flower aromas. Lightly spiced with a light pear taste. Unfiltered, bottle conditioned. High alcohol content. When possible please enjoy our beer from a glass to experience it fully. Recommended serving temperature: 45°F/ 7°C.
From Placentia California’s The Bruery comes the “Bois Anno 2013″ a Bourbon Barrel Aged that has been cellared for 2 years. The beer pours a very dark ruby red with a brownish head. The aroma consists of molasus, syrup, dark fruits, brown sugar, anise and some bourbon. The flavour is of brown sugar, molasus, dark fruits, anise, oak, bourbon and some alcohol. The alcohol content comes in at a whopping 15%! I had a sample of this beer fresh two years ago and saw potential but it was quite harsh. After two years this beer has seriously mellowed out and is tasting amazing!
Commercial Description: The traditional fifth anniversary gift is something made of wood, or “Bois” in French. Bois is our fifth anniversary ale, loosely brewed in the English-style Old Ale tradition using our house Belgian yeast strain and then blended using the solera method. A portion of each of our anniversary ales is saved in our barrels and blended in with the next year’s production, providing more complexity and depth of character that comes with age. Layered with complex flavors of dark fruit,vanilla, oak, and burnt sugar, Bois is a robust ale, surely the perfect beer to mark this major milestone.