Scarlet Red Rye Ale (Barley Wine) 2017 – Steamworks Brewing


From Steamworks Brewing in Burnaby BC comes their latest release the “Scarlet Red Rye Ale” a Rye Barley Wine that is part of their 2017 Barrel Aged series.  The beer pours a deep reddish colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of rye malts and rye whiskey, oak, red wine, dark fruits and some sweetness.  The flavour is of  rye malts and whiskey, oak, vanilla, dark fruits, red wine, sweetness, low bitterness and an alcohol note.  The alcohol content comes in at a healthy 9.5%.  This is probably the breweries most complex beer to date and I really enjoyed it.  This beer has some good aging potential also.

Commercial Description:  This robust Rye Barley Wine was carefully aged for months in Woodford Reserve rye barrels resulting in a vibrant red brew we fittingly named Scarlet. With rich flavours and a warming finish, it’s perfect for rainy days.

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Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter – Powell Street Craft Brewery


From Powell Street Craft Brewery in East Vancouver comes their “Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter”. The beer pours a deep black colour with red tinges when held up to the light and a small brown head that fades quickly. The aroma consists of roasted malts, dark fruits, cherry, sweet vanilla, some chocolate and whiskey. The flavour is of chocolate, cherry, dark fruits, brown sugar, roasted malts, vanilla, whiskey and some oak.  The alcohol content comes in at 6% with an IBU of 27.  I would have to say this is one great barrel aged porter and I hope it becomes an annual release!

Commercial Description:  We’ve aged a robust porter for six months in American whiskey barrels.  Notes of cherry and vanilla enhance the subtle dark fruit and coffee flavours of this limited edition beer.

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Russian Imperial Stout (Barrel Aged Series) 2013- Parallel 49 Brewing (Aged 2 years 11 Months)


From East Vancouver’s Parallel 49 Brewing comes the first beer in their Barrel Aged Series aged almost 3 years the “Russian Imperial Stout”.  This beer was aged over a number of months in Jack Daniel’s Barrels and was release in January 2013.  The beer poured a opaque black colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of dark fruits, toffee, chocolate and a sweet finish.  The flavour is of chocolate, toffee, caramel, sweet dark fruits, mild earthiness, oak, mild whiskey, anise and almost no booze notes.  The alcohol content of the brew is 10.9% with an IBU of 49.  I really enjoyed the beer fresh but after almost 3 years it is even better!

Commercial Description:  In the 18th century, this bold, strong stout was brewed in London for the long and treacherous trip to the Imperial courts of Russia. In keeping with this stoic tradition, this whiskey-barrel aged imperial stout is warm, full bodied and fit for a Czar.  Ingredients: Roasted Barley, Pale, Chocolate, Munich & Crystal Malts, Magnum & Fuggles Hops, Yeast.

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Darkness Russian Imperial Stout 2014 (Aged 1 Year) – Surly Brewing Co


From Brooklyn Center Minnesota’s Surly Brewing Co comes their “Darkness” Russian Imperial Stout 2014.  The 2014 edition was barrel aged in High West Rye Whiskey barrels for 4-6 months.  To acquire a bottle of this beer you have to either attend the breweries event Darkness Days or be lucky enough to trade for a bottle (and I have never been to Minnesota)!  The beer poured an opaque black colour with a brown head.  The aroma consisted of chocolate, caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, whiskey, sweetness and alcohol.  The flavour is of toffee, creamy milk chocolate, caramel, vanilla, burnt malts, earth, coffee, brown sugar, oak, whiskey with a boozy finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 10.3%.  The beer is worth the hype!  If I had the money and the time off I would have loved to go to Minnesota for the Darkness days this year on October 24th, 2015.  This is one huge beer in flavour and in alcohol content and I would love to drink it again if somehow possible.

Commercial Description:  The legendary Harpy tortured unwary travelers by stealing their precious food and drink.  This year’s cruel creature defends her cauldron of Darkness with razor claws and a dead stare of malevolence.  Don’t mess with her Darkness.  She’s hoarding this massively opaque barrel aged Stout screaming with notes of chocolate, coffee, dried tart cherries, vanilla, rye Whisky and raisins.  The thick body of this Russian Imperial Stout finishes sweet, with a piney resinous hop character.  Dar if you will to open this bottle and steal from the imagination of our 2014 Darkness artist, Erica Williams.

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Photo from Erica Williams website

Video From Surly Brewing on Darkness Days

Utopias 2013 (Aged 2 years) – Samuel Adams


Limited Edition
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.

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