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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Steve’s Beer Advent Calendar Day 4 – Blonde – Abdij Van St Martin


From Brasserie de Brunehaut for Abdij Van St Martin, Brunehaut, Belgium is their Blonde.

Pouring a cloudy, vibrant orange, there are noticeable suspended particles stationary in the beer though no visible carbonation. The head is thin, white with an orange tinge.

The nose is floral and vanilla with orange blossom. A little bit of grain at the end.

The flavours are effervescent and flit by quickly on the tongue while maintaining complexity. There is a base of lager-y, Molson-like “beer” flavour with a vanilla and honey sweetness to add balance and interest. There is a mineral bitterness to counter the sweet and the finish is of bitter orange.

Commercial description:

  • Look: A golden straw colour, with a strong foam once opened then the bubbles gently rise to the top and a good head remains.
  • Nose: Sharp, lively and nervous, fermentation with a touch reminiscent of a flowery cheese.
  • In the mouth: A round, balance and full flavour. In the mouth it is floral, elegant and direct, almost feminine. A great beer that perfectly suits cheeses with a hard crust or some fine Bries and Camemberts.
  • The aftertaste has a noble bitterness.

Cherry IPA – Strathcona Beer Company


From Strathcona Beer Company in Vancouver comes their “Cherry IPA” a Cascadian Dark Ale.  The beer pours a deep black with a brown head.  The aroma consists of mild roasted malts, cherry and floral hops.  The flavour is of roasted malts, ash, earth, cherries, sweetness and medium bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.3%.  I was surprised this was a Black IPA as it didn’t say it on the can but I enjoyed this one for sure.

Barrel Aged Belgain Tripel – Ravens Brewing Company


From Ravens Brewing Company in Abbotsford comes their “Barrel Aged Belgain Tripel” a beer released for the breweries second anniversary.  The beer pours a cloudy golden orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of wine, oak, candied sugar, tannin and sweetness.  The flavour is of wine, oak, sweetness, candied sugar, tannins, citrus rind, vanilla and a low bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 9% and shows up in the flavour a bit with an IBU of 25.  While a Tripel is not my favourite style the wine barrels brought the sweetness back a bit for me and made it more enjoyable than most in this style.  This style can be a bit cloying for me usually.

Primo Double IPA – Strathcona Beer Company


From Strathcona Beer Company in Vancouver comes their “Primo Double IPA” the one year anniversary beer for the brewery.  The beer pours a cloudy orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of mild tropical fruit, melon and floral hops.  The flavour is of melon, pineapple, mango, sweetness, toffee and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 8.2%.  This IPA is more malt forward than hop forward but does not fall into the English IPA.  This is worth stopping by the brewery to pick some up for sure!