Moody Ales from Port Moody, BC and Ridge Brewing Company from Maple Ridge, BC have collaborated to create their 1880 Export Stout as part of the Moody Ales Small Batch Series.
The eye almost slides off this beer it is a dark, murky brown that almost seems like an absence of colour, it is kind of fun to stare at it and try to really see through it. The head is a creamy light tan with bubbles that look almost nitrogenated. I normally don’t go on about how beers look but I really love staring at this one.
The nose is so rich, leading with a little bit of alcohol heat and coffee, almost like a Spanish Coffee for after dinner. There is a touch of prune underneath. A roasty malt aroma rolls up on the heels of the coffee.
The mouthfeel is luxuriously smooth, almost creamy and glides across the tongue. The carbonation is very mild, just a whisper of a tingle just as you swallow. The flavours are amazing, dark chocolate with a hint of coffee and a little alcohol warmth but not heavy and chewy, just smooth.
This is exactly the beer I want sitting in front of a fire on a cold night.
From Toronto Ontario’s Mill Street Brewery comes their 2012 Vintage of their “Barley Wine” a beer I have had in my cellar for 2 Years and 5 Months give or take a few days. The beer pours a cloudy ruby red with a light brown head. The aroma consists of deep dark fruits, sweetness and caramel. The flavour is of earth, dark fruits, sweetness, anise, toffee, malts and mild bitterness. This beer has tons of body and is impossibly smooth. The alcohol content comes in at 11.5%. The alcohol content is so well hidden that little to no warming is present. This was a very good beer fresh but it has really upped its game with some aged. If you have a bottle in your cellar this is a good time to crack it open!
Commercial Description: Barley Wines are traditional winter brews that originate from England. These robust ales are long-aged and can be enjoyed for years to come. English and Canadian malts, aromatic hops and careful ageing in whiskey barrels make our Barley Wine a complex and multi-facetted gem.
From Granville Island Brewing located in Vancouver BC comes their Winter seasonal “Barley Wine 2012” the breweries first Barleywine that I have cellared for a full two years. The beer pours a deep cloudy brown with a tan head. With most cellared beer you will find sediment and this is no exception with lots of it. The aroma consists of very malts, dark fruits and mild hops bitterness. The flavour is of chocolate, caramel, dark fruits, oak, vanilla, bourbon and very mild hops bitterness. There is very little alcohol warmth present and everything has really smoothed out. To say this is a great barley wine would be an understatement now! The alcohol content of this beer is 11.5% with an IBU of 60.
Commercial Description: The typical barley wine may find its origins in English ale, but there’s nothing typical about this special brew. Aged in Bourbon barrels, you’ll find strong caramel malt character, vanilla and oak flavours with a healthy dose of pacific northwest hops. Cellar the beer and enjoy for up to five years, but if that’s too long, you can always try it tonight.
Portland Oregon’s Basecamp Brewing brings us the Ripstop Rye Pils.
I don’t normally talk about the bottom but this is a nice bottle. First off, it’s an aluminum bottle, which offers better protection from light, it is easier to put in a backpack for a day outside. Plus it allows the design to go all over the bottle, which is pretty cool.
The beer itself is a pleasant yellow with amber highlights with a fizzy white head that lasts moderately long.
There are pleasant floral hops on the nose with a nice malt grain undertone.
The flavours are deliciously clean. A smooth, round citrus leads off hints of spice. There is a touch of malt hiding under everything. A clean, refreshing take on a pilsner.
From Fort Collins Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing comes their “Pluot (Alew Brewed With Pluot Juice)” a sour Tripel ale brewed as part of the breweries Lips Of Faith Series. The Tripel pours a straw yellow colour with a white head. The aroma consists of fruit and lots of it including plum, apricot, tart apples, pinapple and some other fruits hiding in behind. The flavour is of tart apples and white wine, plums, apricot, pinapple and again some other fruits burried in behind. The alcohol content of this beer comes in at 10% with and IBU of 5. This fruity concoction is an amazingly smooth and drinkable brew that is not overly sweet at all as it leans to the tart side. It is also amazing how easy it goes down as it has an alcohol content that is so high!
Commercial Description: Hook up a plum with an apricot and they’ll make you a pluot. This sweet hybrid fruit is as refreshing as it is strange, and it’s the perfect starting point for our new Lips of Faith beer. Pluot Ale pours a bright, light golden. The aroma is full of fruit tones and distinct esters from blending the funky brettanomyces and our house Belgian ale yeast. The flavor carries the same weight, adding a spicy, vinous subtlety to stand up against the malt backbone. To build a beer around this worldly fruit is purely Belgian in imagination. Pour some Pluot and enjoy!
Food Pairing as per brewery: Spicy Tarragon Yogurt Chicken, Thick cut pork chops with a spicy Pluot glaze and goat cheese crumbles