From Regina Saskachewan’s Rebellion Brewing comes their “Triple IPA” a beer I was able to acquire in trade in a 1L growler. The beer pours an amber colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of citrus, sweetness and alcohol. The flavour is of earth, pine, resin, bitterness, citrus, mild caramel and alcohol warmth. The alcohol content comes in at a huge 11% alcohol with a theoretical IBU of 171.7 (calculated IBU from hops additions but actual IBU may be lower)! There is no getting around this is a huge beer! This will not appeal to the fair weather beer drinker but to the seasoned IPA drinker that likes to take a chance with high alcohol beer. Luckily for me I just happen to be one of those people and really enjoy what this beer brings to the table!
Bottle 6,561 of less than 15,000
From Samuel Adams out of Boston Massachusetts comes the Holy Grail of most beer nerds “Utopias” 2013 Vintage (also the most expensive beer to date). This beer destroys your perception of what a beer is as not only is it uncarbonated but it is also 28% alcohol and is a blend of beers some of which have been aged in barrels for up to or more than 20 years! This years edition has been aged in Bourbon barrels, 8 year old port barrels and rum barrels and the finished product is blended together with a small amount of their beer the Komsic Mother Funk. Before you pour this beer understand it is not meant to be refrigerated and should be served at room temperature in one or two once pours. The beer pours a deep brown colour with absolutely no head which makes sense as this is uncarbonated. The aroma consists of maple syrup, cognac, whiskey, booze, vanilla and some dark fruits. The flavour is of maple syrup, dark fruits, vanilla, cognac, whiskey, alcohol warmth, chocolate, cherry, earth, brown sugar, rum, butterscotch, toffee, honey and plums. This is a huge beer at 28% and there is no doubt when you drink it. I still really enjoyed this beer although I have to say that there has not been a huge change over the last year since I tried this last.
Commercial Description: Utopias is brewed using traditional methods. The brewers begin with a blend of two-row Caramel and Munich malts that impart a rich, deep amber color. Noble hops – Hallertau Mittelfrueh, Spalt Spalter and Tettnang Tettnanger – are also added to lend complexity and balance. During fermentation, several yeast strains are used, including one normally reserved for champagne. The beer is then blended with a variety of different brews, some of which have been aged in different wood barrels for more than 20 years. As a result of the blending and aging, Utopias invokes the flavors of a rich vintage Port, fine Cognac, or aged Sherry while feeling surprisingly light on the palate.
Central City Brewers & Distillers out of Surrey have taken on a different kind of challenge with The Hobbit series of beers. These beer are not their own creations but a brewing and distribution deal through MGM and (from my own understanding) Fish Brewing (USA Version) and BevLink LLC. Three beer have been released as part of this series including the “Bolg Belgian Style Tripel”. The beer pours an orange colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of fruits, melons and some yeast. The flavour is of Belgian yeast, melon, citrus, citrus rind, mild hops bitterness and an alcohol warmth. The alcohol content comes in at 9.5% with an IBU of 35. It may not be the typical Belgian Tripel but it was well worth the purchase. This beer was again much better than the movie.
Commercial Desciption: An Orc chieftain who ruled for 150 years, Bolg seems like the kind who would drink his grog of choice and no one would tell him otherwise; however, this flavorful strong BelgianTripel(8% alc./vol) may be too refined for this otherwise gruesome character.
Central City Brewers & Distillers out of Surrey have taken on a different kind of challenge with The Hobbit series of beers. These beer are not their own creations but a brewing and distribution deal through MGM and (from my own understanding) Fish Brewing (USA Version) and BevLink LLC. Three beer have been released as part of this series including the “The Smaug Stout” a Russian Imperial Stout. The beer pours a n opaque black colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, coffee and some mild chocolate. The flavour is of roasted malts, chocolate, toffee, burnt coffee, sweetness, hint of fruit and a mild warmth from habanero chillies. The alcohol content comes in at 8.5% with an IBU of 65. This is a big beer and the chillies do add a kick to the beer but I found it to be quite refreshing. This beer may be a huge surprise to non craft drinkers trying to ride the Hobbit bandwagon but the series is big just like the beer.
Commercial Description: is styled after a classic Russian Imperial Stout, but with a subtle hint of Habanero chilies to remind you of the fire and danger awaiting Bilbo and to the Company of Dwarves in their journey to The Lonely Mountain. Pronounced notes of coffee and chocolate balanced with Northwest Hops and a touch of heat produce an exceptional imperial stout, a worthy reward for your hard-fought journey.
From Persephone Brewing Company out of Gibsons BC comes their”Barley Wine” a 2014 Vintage ale and their first attempt at this style. The beer pours a deep cloudy brown with a brown head. The aroma consists of roasty malts, rasins, dark fruit and an overall sweetness. The flavour is of dark fruits, rasins, sweetness, roasted malts, hops bitterness, and lots of alcohol warmth. The alcohol content comes in at 11.9%. Like most barley wines this beer needs some age still. Very few breweries age theirs to make it more smooth due to lack of space. If nothing else pick up a few bottles of this and age them for at least a year. This will be great in a year!