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.

Holy Smoke Stout – Firehall Brewery

From Oliver BC’s Firehall Brewery comes their “Holy Smoke Stout” a smoked stout.  The beer pours an  opaque black colour with a brownish head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts and some smoke.  The flavour was 0f smoke, roasted malts, pete and some hops bitterness.  The alcohol content came in at  4.5% with an IBU of 24.  Being someone that does not enjoy smoked beer I will admit that I was a bit worried about trying this stout.  Luckily when I did try this beer I realized it was just enough smoke to add some flavour.  This was an amazing beer!

Commercial Description:  “Dry Stout” is an off-shoot of the “Porter” beer style. Porter was a mass produced beer style originating a couple hundred years ago in London, England, where the water was suited for dark barley malts, and hop flavour and bitterness was a growing trend. Porter was brewed to give sustenance, strength, and energy to London’s working class. The Porter style brewed in Dublin, Ireland by Arthur Guinness became darker and heartier, and focused less on hop flavour and more on the roasted flavours from the dark barley malts. Soon many breweries were brewing their own stout, and stout became historically prescribed as a healing tonic and health drink, especially for seniors and pregnant women. Our Holy Smoke Stout is stylistically unique: a marriage of the Dry Stout style and the German “rauchbier” style. For thousands of years all beers had a smoky flavour because the only way to dry barley malt was over a fire. Recent industrialization removed the smoke flavour from beer, except for a handful of German malting companies that still smoke their malt over a traditional beech wood fire.

YVRBlackbird-007ood fire.

Aphrodisiaque – Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

From Montreal Quebec’s Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel comes their “Aphrodisiaque” a strong stout.  The stout pours a deep opaque black with a brown head that dissipates quickly.  The aroma consists of smoke, roasted malts, chocolate and molasses.  The flavour is of tones of smoke, roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, molasses and hops bitterness.  This stout is a bit more smokey that I would usually go for but it worked really well.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5%.

Commercial Description:  Black ale with aromas and flavours of vanilla, dark chocolate, bourbon and roasted malt. The vanilla and cocoa marry nicely, without out-competing each other, to produce a surprisingly well balanced beer. This beer is mildly hoppy, but the cocoa introduces a touch of bitterness. Its colour may be intimidating, but it is a very smooth beer within reach of most beer drinkers. This highly appreciated dessert beer is brewed with organic fair-trade cocoa and first rate vanilla beans.

Check out my Build Your Own 6 Pack that this was a part of!


Whistler Brewing The Chief Chipotle Harvest Ale

From Whistler, BC, comes The Chief Chipotle Harvest Ale.

Just quickly: a chipotle is a smoke-dried jalapeño.

The beer has a beautiful red-gold with very few carbonation bubbles. The head is a fine off white.

The nose comes with a good aroma of clean hay.

Normally spicy flavour es beers start right away with the heat but this starts with a very nice mild hop bitterness mixed with sweet, smoky malt, almost like a lightly peated whiskey. A very light touch of jalapeño flavour rolls through on a light, round malt. Finally the heat gently settles on the tongue and slowly fades.

This is a wonderfully complex beer that I would love to have with Mexican or Thai food.


Black IPA – Brasserie Dunham (December 24, 2013)

Beer Advent Calendar 2013

From Dunham Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham comes their “Black IPA”.  This Black India Pale Ale pours a deep black with a huge billowing brown head.  It actually takes a while to pour a glass of this beer.  The aroma consists largely of roasted malts and smoke with come chocolate, toffee and lots of hops.  The flavour is of huge smoke and roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, pine and lots of hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.7% with an IBU of 95.  If you enjoy a highly smokey dark IPA then this will be your beer for sure.

Commercial Description:  Ruby-Black Ale American-inspired, combining the freshness of Americans Centennial and Chinook hops to the richness of English Marris Otter malt, Crystal, ambréset roasted. It is robust, round and dry at once. The best of both worlds (IPA and Stout).

Translated from french: “Ale rubis-noire d’inspiration américaine, qui allie la fraîcheur des houblons américans Centennial et Chinook à la richesse des malts anglais Marris Otter, Crystal, ambréset torréfiés. Elle est robuste, ronde et sèche à la fois. Le meilleur des deux mondes (IPA et Stout).”

Beer Advent Calendar 2013

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