Black Strap Boot Strapper Porter – Beau’s All Natural Brewing (Crannóg Ales)


From Beau’s All Natural Brewing in Vankleek Hill Ontario co-operatively brewed with Crannóg Ales of Sorrento BC comes their “Black Strap Boot Strapper Porter”.  The beer pours a deep chestnut colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of molasses, coffee, chocolate and a sweet finish.  The flavour is of molasses, chocolate, ash, roasted malts, plum, burnt coffee resin and mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.8% with an IBU of 30.  The body was a bit on the thin side but the flavour was right on point!

Commercial Description:  Blackstrap Bootstrapper is a classic British-style porter brewed with an addition of fairtrade organic blackstrap molasses. The recipe uses Challenger hops harvested from Left Fields, the certified organic farm on which Crannóg Ales stands, located in the sunny Shuswap region of BC.

Food pairing as per brewery:  Beef, oyster and porter pie (British traditional pie), bacon-wrapped scallops on the BBQ, dark chocolate pudding.

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Dark Tart Farmhouse Ale – Trading Post Brewing


From Trading Post Brewing in Langley comes their “Dark Tart Farmhouse Ale” a beer that is a blend of half a batch of and dark saison and a half batch of unhopped saison with brett and lacto.  The beer poured a deep copper colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of mild tartness and a sour cherry, plum, sweetness and some spice.  The flavour is of mild tartness, dark cherries, plum, lots of dark fruits, some spice and some bitterness to finish it off.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% with an IBU of 20.  This is an odd beer in some ways but it is a very refreshing take on a wild saison and I would drink this any time.

Commercial Description:  Light tartness and rich cherry, plum, and spice flavours come together to create a complex and rustic take on the farmhouse ale. This ale is made by blending two separate beers together in order to establish a balance between the flavours of tart cherry and spiced plum. The final product is a rich mahogany farmhouse ale that provides warm and fruit for the approaching autumn.

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En Rouge (Barley Wine) – Steel & Oak Brewing


From New Westminster’s Steel & Oak Brewing comes their “En Rouge (Barley Wine)” a Barley Wine aged in Cabernet Sauvignon Barrels.  The beer pours a deep chestnut brown colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of dark fruits, oak, dark cherry, red wine, roasted malts and some leather.  The flavour is of dark cherries, dark fruits, plum, red wine, oak, caramel, roasted malts, leather and alcohol.  The alcohol content comes in at 10% with an IBU of 15.  This Barley Wine tastes great with nice notes of red wine that do not overpower the essence of what a barley wine is.

Check out the En Blanc Barley Wine aged in Chardonnay Barrels.

Commercial Description: En Blanc and En Rouge are the same 10% abv barley wine fermented with wine yeast, and aged for a year in Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon barrels respectively. En Blanc is described as having notes of “vanilla, coconut, apricot, peach, molasses and fruitcake with a touch of citrus,” while En Rouge offers “black currant, dark cherry, leather, tobacco, plum and dates.”

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Kiwami Plum Sour – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks


From Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks in Richmond comes their “Kiwami Plum Sour” a small batch ale.  The beer pours a cloudy copper colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of plum, tartness and not much else.  The flavour was of full of plum, some citrus, tartness and an  overall sweetness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.3%.  To say this beer is one dimensional is correct but it is also one of the better kettle sours I have had recently.  Its one dimension just really works!

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La Trappe Trappist Oak Aged – Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven


From Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven inside the walls of the Koningshoeven Abbey in the Netherlands comes the Official Trappist Ale “La Trappe Quadrupel Oak Aged” from batch #21.  The beer pours a brown colour with a very light brown head.  The aroma consists of dark fruits, plums caramel, and bananas.  The flavour is of dark fruits, plums, banana, caramel, yeast, bubblegum, caramel, oak, vanilla, sweetness and some mild alcohol.  The alcohol content comes in at 11% with an IBU of 16.  This is a great fully flavoured quad and I am glad that I came into possession of a bottle.

Commercial Description:  This unique Trappist ale owes its balanced flavour and woody aroma to the aging on wooden barrels. The taste varies from batch to batch and depends on the type of barrel in which the ale has been matured.  This beer can be stored for many years, continues to ferment after bottling and is a real treat for the true beer lover.  Several different types of barriques are used for the oak-aging process, both new and used ones. New barrels impart the tannins that give the beer a flavour that is reminiscent of vanilla and almond. The use of different kinds of barrels leads to surprisingly interesting flavour combinations. These flavours depend on what drink these barriques contained before, such as port, whiskey, wine, cognac, or bourbon. And the type of oak also comes into it. This beer’s final taste therefore varies from one batch to another.

BATCH 21 (blended on 24 september 2015) was distributed as follows:

Cognac 80%
New Oak High Toast 10%
New Oak Medium Toast 5%
Acacia wood 5%

The Oak Aged Batch 21 has a dark brown mahogany colour and a beige brown head. The soft aroma immediately reminds you of walnuts. Accompanied by a slightly smoky aroma, you can detect oak, caramel malt, alcohol, vanilla and, of course, French brandy. The flavour, although balanced, is not particularly mellow. The brandy barrels have clearly left a lot of wood influences, which manifest themselves in vanilla and almond. Additionally, the Quadrupel has a caramel-like, slightly sweet flavour with a good, full body. The flavour ends with a slightly burnt tone and a hint of wood tannin. Due to the light tingling of the carbonic acid, combined with the wood flavour and sweetness of the beer, the sensation in the mouth is full and pleasant.

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