Benton Brothers Fine Cheese – Cheesemongers Extraordinaire!

Wrangler Rating: (Outstanding)

I have not yet reviewed a place that does not sell beer, but I have been so impressed with every visit to the Cambie Street location in Vancouver that I felt I had to! The Benton Brothers consist of Jonah and Andrew and their three stores on Granville island, Cambie Village and Kerrisdale. They had been recommended to me by friends who know and understand my love of cheese (there’s more to me than just beer by the way…so much more…).and was impressed by the stellar reports that they had given me; I finally decided to . . . → Read More: Benton Brothers Fine Cheese – Cheesemongers Extraordinaire!

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Driftwood Singularity – 1 year on

Wrangler Rating: (Outstanding)

I went to some good friends’ house for dinner the other night and had been saving a bottle of Singularity stout from last years release to compare with a bottle of this years, that he had brought to the party. We opened them together and had them side by side to ‘test’ the effects of ageing.

The head on the 1 year-old was a little more restrained, but the aromas and flavours were full on! Dark mocha coffee bean, baked dried fruit, high cocoa content chocolate, rich sweet black molasses, a roasted warmness and a whisky like . . . → Read More: Driftwood Singularity – 1 year on

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Estrella Damm Inedit

Wrangler Rating: (Outstanding)

The Spanish term ‘Inedit’ which means ‘Never Been Done Before’ is the given name that graces the label of this delicious brew from Estrella Damm Brewery of Barcelona, Spain. A collaboration between the team at the critically acclaimed elBulli Restaurant and the Brewmasters at Estrella Damm, this beer claims to be the first crafted specifically to be served with food. A skillful blend of lager and wheat ale styles, it uses 100% natural ingredients with a combination of water, hops, wheat, and spices that has yielded a fantastically refreshing and drinkable beer.

The complex aroma with . . . → Read More: Estrella Damm Inedit

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Nogne O God Jul (Winter Ale)

Wrangler Rating: (Outstanding)

Nogne O is a craft brewery from Norway, and judging from my first experience of their beer, is going to take the craft brewing world by storm! Their Strong Winter Warmer is an absolute must for any fan of dark rich warming ales.

It pours a deep, dark mahogany amber, that needs to be held up to the light to appreciate its colour. The aromas that hit you are ones of spice, dates, madeira and caramel. As you drink this luxurious ale the tan head slowly dissipates, but the flavour does not. Notes of Christmas pudding . . . → Read More: Nogne O God Jul (Winter Ale)

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New Glarus Black Wheat

Wrangler Rating: (Outstanding)

New Glarus Brewing is to be found in Wisconsin in the U.S., and is owned by the Brewmaster Dan Carey, who has spent a lifetime perfecting his craft, and oversees a brewery that makes lots of limited release seasonal beers that keep their fans on their toes and interested with an ever-changing line-up.

Their version of the traditional German Dunkelweizen is simply called ‘Black Wheat’, but this beer is far from simple. The deep brown-black liquid, topped by a foamy caramel tan head is a delightfully complex beer, that exhibits lots of nuances, and never dominate one . . . → Read More: New Glarus Black Wheat

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Delirium Tremens

Wrangler Rating: (Outstanding)

Delirium Tremens is a strong golden ale that has a cult following amongst fans of Belgian beer, not only due to this powerful brew, but also the famous Delirium café in Brussels that keeps over 2000 beers for enthusiasts and tourists alike. It pours with a gloriously fluffy, tightly bubbled head, that sits atop a very pale golden liquid. The nose is full of the slightly medicinal aroma of pear drops and spicy hops. This beer manages to be light and full-bodied at the same time; if that sounds like an oxymoron, I apologise, but it . . . → Read More: Delirium Tremens

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Driftwood Brewery Sartori Harvest IPA

Wrangler Rating: (Outstanding)

Driftwood Brewery Sartori Harvest IPA is a huge triumph for this small craft producer based on Vancouver Island. It has a nice ruddy amber colour and pours with a large frothy head. The aroma has a good even spicy hop note with a definite malt character. This beer has a great mouthfeel, and for me, has achieved perfect balance of malt and hops for an India Pale Ale. They use ‘wet hopping’, which means that the local Chilliwack Centennial hops go into the brew fresh, without being dried, and it really gives great flavours of grapefruit . . . → Read More: Driftwood Brewery Sartori Harvest IPA

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Tasting Beer – by Randy Mosher

Wrangler Rating: (Outstanding)

‘Tasting Beer’ by Randy Mosher is tagged as ‘An insider’s guide to the world of beer’ and promises the reader to have a ‘portable beer expert’ at their fingertips. There is no doubt that Randy Mosher knows his stuff. As the author of the homebrewers’ favourite ‘Radical Brewing’ and ‘The Brewers Companion’, he comes from the angle of industry pro (he serves on the board of the Brewers Association) as well as enthusiastic consumer and homebrewer. Having previously worked in the wine industry, and studied for exams, I have always felt that there wasn’t a really . . . → Read More: Tasting Beer – by Randy Mosher

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Fuller’s ESB

Wrangler Rating: (Outstanding)

Fuller’s ESB lays claim to be the original Extra Special Bitter and its popularity across the world has made this one of Britain’s best known ales. It has a lovely medium amber colour with a loose head (typical for Southern English Bitters); the aroma is full of rich malt with some notes of yeasty bread flavours. The hops are far more noticeable on the palate, and are beautifully balanced with the strong maltiness that typifies the ESB style. They are present with a subtle spiciness that makes this a very drinkable and thirst-quenching beer. There are . . . → Read More: Fuller’s ESB

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Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron

Wrangler Rating: (Outstanding)

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is one of the leading exponents of extreme beer and craft brewing in the world, and its founder Sam Calagione is treated with deep respect by the micro-brewing community as a whole. In the Palo Santo Marron he has created a giant of a beer, that offers a wealth of complexity that rivals a good fortified wine. It is fantastically full-bodied with notes on the nose that remind me of a Malmsey Madeira. The palate is full of rich caramel and molasses with big hints of licorice, and deep undertones of vanilla. . . . → Read More: Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron

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Traquair Jacobite Ale

Wrangler Rating: (Outstanding)

Traquair Jacobite Ale is brewed in the historic Traquair House, one of the oldest inhabited houses in Britain. This beer descends from an 18th century recipe, and it has left us a very full-bodied Scotch Ale. The name ‘Jacobite’ comes from the followers of King James II of England, VII of Scotland who was deposed as King of Great Britain by the Dutch William of Orange. In 1745 there was a final failed attempt to oust the German King George II in favour of Charles Stuart ( the grandson of James II/VII) and this beer commemorates . . . → Read More: Traquair Jacobite Ale

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Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout

Wrangler Rating: (Outstanding)

Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout is an Imperial Russian Stout that weighs in at a mighty 10%, but the alcohol is well hidden by the monumentally full-bodied flavours that caress the palate. This stout’s colour is a deep inky black, and pours into the glass with a creamy caramel coloured head that slowly dissipates. You’d be fooled into thinking that there was real cocoa beans in the brew, but Garrett Oliver, the brewer, obtains that taste from malt alone! The dark bitter chocolate notes fill the mouth, but are balanced exquisitely by rich roasted sweet malt. . . . → Read More: Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout

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Crannóg Ales Back Hand of God Stout

Wrangler Rating: (Outstanding)

Crannóg Ales prides itself on making authentic Irish beers, and they do so with style! All their beers are certified organic, mostly made with hops and barley from their own farm. They are only available on draught, but are well worth searching out. This Irish style dry stout is a fabulously smooth brew. It has layers of coffee bean and dark cocoa flavours that linger on the palate. The richness fills your mouth, and dark roasted malty notes endow this beer with a very more-ish quality, which gives way to a classically dry but beautifully . . . → Read More: Crannóg Ales Back Hand of God Stout

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