Monday, 22 December 2014

Advent Beer Calendar, Day #16-21

So, due to craziness of wrapping up holiday work, I've fallen WAAAAY behind on updated this thing, so the quick and dirty update on all on the most recent beers!

Here's one the best I've had from the whole Calendar, Mill Stree Vanilla Porter! It was dark and delicious. Has just the right amount of sweet and vanilla to make this taste like a Guiness Icecream Float

I give the Mill Street Vanilla Porter a solid 9.5/10!

If you like dark beer, you gotta try this one!

 Next up, Hacker Pschorr Munich Gold

 For a little background, these guys have been making beer for 597 years. You can really taste the old!

 But seriously, it was alright. It's another blonde, but with was much more bitter. When I said "You can really taste the old" I meant it. It had a dusty flavour, like maybe something had made its way into the batch? I'm not sure, but whatever it was, it was a little offputting.

The Munich Gold gets a 5/10

Nest up!

Japanese Asahi Beer
 This is one of Japan's most popular beers apparently. According to their wikipedia page it "Transformed the modern beer industry in Japan."

My favourite thing about the can is that it claims to be Super "Dry." No idea what the quotations around "Dry" are about; I'll just chalk it up to it being weird Japanese stuff.
How was the "Dry" Asahi? Great! It's kind of like a white wine that dries out your tongue, so a full sized pint of this really needed some water or something sweet to go with it. The first half of the beer was good, but the latter half was a little too much to keep drinking.

The Asahi gets a 7.5/10, would drink again, but maybe in a smaller can or something.

And now the next unit, Innis and Gunn Lager

This is the 3rd Innis and Gunn I've had, and probably the best one of the trio.

I had no idea they made a lager, but I'm glad I had some! What can I say? It was a lager. Super duper delicous, would drink again anytime!


Alright, only two more to go:
Black Widow Dark Ale

I like dark ales, but this one was a little off. It just didn't have that full body and robust flavour I like in darks

Here's a good picture of what I mean, there was no head! Or rather, a serious lack of it anyway. It was okay, but just felt a little hollow going down.


Finally, the London Pride Ale.

This was ultra spectacular. It was malty, yet bitter, with a touch of hops. I can't think of any kind of beer drinking who might not enjoy this. It even had a nice clean finish so your tongue wasn't all bogged down afterwards. This was just a spectacular beer all around

9/10 - I'm taking points off because I drank this one days ago so it might be influenced by rose coloured glasses.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Jake Christmas Beer Advent Calendar - 15

Day 15's beer: Tatra Beer

This a Polish beer, presumably brewed in the Tatra mountain region of Poland. My favourite thing about this beer is that Indiana Jones is on the label. Seriously, look at that thing, that's definitely a rendering of Harrison Ford but with a different hat.

I was doing some research and apparently there's a "Tatra Beer Guy" who's some sort of mountain man character. It looks like there's been a recent rebranding in which the guy looks less like Indiana Jones, but any beer bold enough to put Harrison Ford on the logo is good enough for me!

Anyway, how did it taste?

Awesome! This was one of the best I've had of the entire Advent Beer Calendar bunch. It reminded of a smooth lager, but with a sweet hint here and there. Reminded me a lot of a Mexican
beer actually, which is another favourite type of beer for me. All-around decent!

I give it 8.5/10, definitely could have had one more of these right after.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Jake Christmas Advent Beer Calendar – Day 14

Alright, here’s the last one of the weekend…

Lone Wolf IPA

 This the 3rd Canadian Beer of the bunch, and by far the biggest. This one filled about 1 ¼ of the glass, so you’re getting bang for your buck here.

How was it?

Well, remember in the last entry how I mentioned hops can overwhelm the taste of a good beer? That’s what happened here. For beer drinkers with a more seasoned tongue than me, they’d probably be all over this. It definitely had all sorts neat flavours, but first you have to get past that tongue obliterating taste of hops.

The beer even smells like hops. Just a hint is enough for me, and this one is less of a hint, and more of a shouting match with your tastebuds.

I’d probably revisit this one in the future, but it begs for a palate cleanser or some salty snacks or something.


It was drinkable, but had major hops overload. Cool label; it gets points for that. Wouldn’t go for it again though.

Jakes Christmas Beer Advent Calendar - Day 13

Advent Beer #13 – Steamwhistle

Steamwhistle Pils, one of Canada’s more recently popularized Pilsners was Number 13 on the list.

Well, what can I say about it that you might not already know…

It’s a nice clean pilsner, all around decent. It also comes across bitter, but not in a soapy way like the Italian Peroni I had the day before.

A little bit hoppy, but just enough to taste. I have a hard time with hops sometimes as I find they can overwhelm a beer and there’s nothing left to taste. I hate to use this buzzword, but it’s “Well Balanced”

7.5/10 for delicious Steamwhistle

Would drink again. Is it my first choice? No. Would I drink it again? Heck yes!

Jake's Christmas Beer Advent Calendar - Day #12

Advent Beer #12 – Peroni Nastro Azzurro

This is my first ever Italian Beer, and let me tell you…It’s alright.
 I drank this one after a hockey game (Oilers lost to Anaheim 3-2) and I was a little hosed when I had it, so this may not be the most fair judging. But here’s the scoop!

It was quite bitter. Not in the hoppy sort of way, but more like soap. That lingering bitter aftertaste hung around and needed to be washed down with some water afterwards. But since I’d been drinking Czech pilsners and Molson Canadian that day, it didn’t seem that odd at the time. I’m not sure I’d have it again over other options I’ve had so far.

6/10 for the Peroni

It’s good, but not great. My palate just might not have been prepped for this one though since I was already half in the bag when I tried it.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Jake's Christmas Beer Advent Calendar - Day 11

Here’s day 11’s beer: Innis & Gunn Scotch Whiskey Porter

This is the second Innis & Gunn of the bunch, and let me tell you, it’s also just about the darkest one I’ve tried so far.

How did it taste? Well…like rye and coke to be honest, but less fizzy. It was just on the cusp of being waaay too sugary for my tastes and felt like I should have mixed it with something else.

But, that being said, sweetness aside, it was excellent. It almost seemed like I shouldn’t have drank it cold at all.

Anyway, I’ll give it a 7/10.

I liked the Rare Oak Pale Ale far better, mainly for the reason it was less sweet and bit more robust tasting. I’m not one for sweet usually though, so that’s to be expected. I’d drink it again, but I might pick other offerings from the Innis and Gunn batch first.

Jake's Christmas Beer Advent Calendar - Day 10

Here’s Beer #10, Schnieder Weisee Another German wheat ale that adheres amazing-sounding “German Purity Law.”

Anyway, as per usual, I’m not the biggest fan on wheat beers, they’re usually too sweet or citrusy for my taste. Kind of like drinking a cooler. This one however was a completely different experience.

It was darker in colour than usual, and it didn’t have that cloudy/yeasty appearance you see in a lot of wheats. How did it taste? Pretty good! Unfortunately, I’m late with writing about this one, so basically all I remember is that… “I like it!”

So we’ll give it a ball park and say it was a 7.5/10.

Good, but obviously not great if I can’t recall it all that well. Plus I’m really just mailing this one in.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Jake's Christmas Beer Advent Calendar - Day 09

Here's Advent Beer #09, Sapporo

Sapporo is probably no stranger to many people, and so far - except for maybe Innis & Gunn - is likely the most well-known of the beers I've drank so far. At least, it's the only one I can say I see on-tap regularily.

Despite its popularity I've never actually tried it! So how was it?

Pale, bright, and fresh tasting. This is something I could drink on a hot day or out on a boat non-stop. It wasn't heavy, and each sip was as good as the last.

Damn Japan, you make good beer!

How do I rate it?


I'm a lager guy, and that's a total bias that comes into play here. It's not the most complicated beer, but it's easy drinking and doesn't leave your mouth thirsty and dried-out afterwards like some lighter coloured lagers. Would drink again for sure!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Jake's Christmas Beer Advent Calendar - Day 08

Last night's Advent Beer, La Guillotine, a "Belgian Blonde."

I've seen this one the shelf before and was always transfixed by the packaging. It's a simple label wrapped around a bottle painted to look like a ceramic bottle.
Anyone who knows me will probably agree that I'm a sucker for unique and eye-catching packaging - a common affliction amongst ad-people. But I digress. On to the beer..

Right off the top, this one has a lot of head. Apparently that's normal.

Then out comes the chunks of "stuff." (See above) Apparently that's normal too. When you're used to fairly well-filtered beer and alcohol, pouring out chunks of "stuff" can be a little off-putting. I even went online to find out if this was normal.

In hindsight, maybe the bottle is coated so you can't see through it. I probably wouldn't have drank it otherwise.

How did it taste? Excellent. You do need to get past the texture at first because it's very similar to drinking the last of the milk in your cereal with small Cheerio chunks floating around in it.
Texture aside, it was warm, kind of like something you'd drink during the holiday season. It was a little nutmeggy, or possibly clove tasting. It smelled nice, and was bright and bubbly. The flavour didn't get flat or boring towards the bottom of the glass.

Overall, 7/10

It really was a strange tasting beer. As I've mentioned before, I'm no fancy-beer-dude with a refined pinky-in-air palate, so maybe I just don't "get" the texture. Flavour was good but it was tough to drink/chew. Glad I tried it, but I probably wouldn't buy it again

Monday, 8 December 2014

Jake's Christmas Beer Advent Calendar - Day 05, 06, 07

I'm pretty lazy during the weekends, so here's the run down of the past 3 days of advent beer!

Fridays was Maisel's Weisse, my 3rd German Beer of the bunch. 

I'll keep this quick as I don't have too much to cover on this. Maissel's is another wheat beer, but it tastes somewhat similar to a lager. It's pretty light on the tongue, and isn't over sweet or overly citrussy. Fairly mellow to describe it broadly. 

I give it a solid 7.5/10

So far, of all the Wheat beers I've had (and this is the 3rd) they just keep getting better!

Okay, now for Saturday, beer #06

Bavaria 8.6 Black

I have no idea why it's called 8.6 Black. I know the brand "8.6 Original" is 8.6%, but this one is only 7.9%. Just seems a little odd. Anyway, One thing I am sure of is that this beer was FANTASTIC.

Dear Germans/Bavarians, Keep doing what you're doing, because this was seriously awesome. Black, thick, strong tasting, good aroma, amazing dark flavour, creamy, just all around outstanding. If you see this on the shelf pick it up. Can't recommend it enough.

This one gets a 9/10. So far the best beer I've had. I know there's 18 beer left in the Advent Calendar, but this one will be hard to beat.

Finally, the Sunday beer of the bunch, #07

Innis & Gunn - Rare Oak Pale Ale

For something so "Pale" it's awfully dark! But seriously, It's good. I was enjoying this as I cleaned the oven and inhaled a few harsh chemicals, so I'm not sure if I can give it all that honest of a review

Good clean taste, and although it's fairly malty, it wasn't syrupy and overly sweet. It had a nice bitter aftertaste and left me wanting one or two more afterwards. Dear Innis & Gunn, make a bigger bottle!

This one gets an 8/10!

Get it while you can, because it's a seasonal!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Jake's Christmas Beer Advent Calendar - Day 04

Here's day number 4! Holsten Festbock.

A German Dark Beer that adheres to the super-ominous sounding “GERMAN PURITY LAW.”
Of course, as aggressive as that reads, it really means “Beer made with Water, Hops, and Barley.” Why? I don’t know, let’s just assume Germans took something super-serious for a change of pace. But like that would ever happen, amiright?

So... how was it? It was okay; Malty, with some heavy flavours. It smelled fantastic, and went down the pipe easy. As a 7% beer it definitely felt like something to enjoy on a cold night.
And on the spectrum of dark beers however, it’s not creamy or smooth at all, definitely lighter on the scale like a Newcastle type ale. For lack a of a better definition I’d say it was “Hollow.” Seemed like it needed a little extra something. But as ain't no fancy-pants beer guy, I’m at a loss as to say what exactly was missing.

In Summary, I give it a 7/10.

Although I could probably find something similar for cheaper I’d never turn down a free Holsten! Would drink again.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Jake's Christmas Beer Advent Calendar - Day 03

Here's last night's beer: Ayinger Brauweisse, a German Hefeweizen style beer.

It was darker than other wheat ales such as Rickard's White or Ankerbrau Nordlinger I've tried, and had a nice bubbly mouth feel and good orangey taste.

I'd also say despite it being quite cloudy it didn't have that grainy/yeasty taste you sometimes get with wheat beers. (Or at least that's how sometimes I feel they taste.)

Ayinger definitely calls for a nice slice of orange though; even still, I enjoyed it without. That extra citrus kick would certainly add to it. It's by far one the best Wheat Ales I've ever tried.

All said and done, I give this one a 7/10.

Wheat ales aren't my favourite beer, so I'll admit to some bias towards rating this one slightly lower. It was however good enough that I went back to Day 01 and bumped the score down on the Affligem Blonde. The Ayinger is less sweet than that one, and that adds point back on in my book.

A++, would drink again in springtime/summertime

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Jake's Christmas Beer Advent Calendar - Day 02

It's day two of my Christmas Beer advent calendar, and last night I delved in my favourite territory, Lagers! This is NHL Alumni beer "Top Shelf."

It's an award winner brewed in Ontario. According to their website it's been created suppourt retired NHLers who didn't exactly live up to their expectations of Gretzky money.

All that aside, let's get down to brass tacks. How did it taste?

Honestly? It tasted like beer. I won't even try to give this a pretentious, raised-pinky review because that's just not the type of beer it is. It's an easy drinking lager, Molson Canadian or PBR could have poured out of this can I probably wouldn't have been able to tell the difference.

Well... that's a lie - it's definitely better than those, but this wasn't mind-blowingly amazing. But it's not exhausting either. I didn't reach point at which I said "This is just too malty" or "This is just way too hoppy." It's a beer-drinkin' beer if you know what I mean.

I give it a solid 8/10, mainly because afterwards I said "I want more. One wasn't enough!" And frankly, sometimes that's exactly what I like in a beer.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Jake's Christmas Beer Advent Calendar - Day 01

Today is day one of my Christmas beer advent calendar! 24 days of tasty beers, and today was kicked off with:

Affligem Blonde from Belgium.

Tastes alright, it's a really good palate cleanser with no grody aftertaste. A little sweet as well, almost like a wheat beer. Kind of like drinking a bubbly white wine but with some malty flavour.

6/10; would drink again, but probably not until more summery weather.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Just Kicking Around Edmonton

I've been meaning to post pictures of Edmonton since I moved here at the end of March, but I've been incredibly tardy about it.

So here's a big picture dump and some stories about the places I've been and things I've been up to in Edmonton over the past 4 months...

My new apartment doesn't allow in-window air conditioners, so I bought a mobile one. Unfortunately, these things really don't fit windows with the crank-out, so I rednecked it to the inside using insulating shrink wrap and masking tape. It actually works really well!

Is it still red neck if it actually works?

Went down to the Alberta Legislature and discovered they had some cool infinity pools and fountains. There were some girls dressed up as anime characters taking pictures. I didn't take any photos of them though, as I felt creepy enough just being around them.

This really doesn't need an explanation 

I played my first game of Softball in 5 or 6 years just a few weeks ago. It was blast! We won like 36 to 4, and I didn't get sunburned! That's a win-win-win all around. 

We had grilled cheese day at the station, and I made Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese. It was amazing.

Just broil some jalapenos 'til they're black, then peel off the outer skin, slice it in half. Butter the inside of your bread with cream cheese, put the jalapeno on there, and put some cheddar on there, fry it up, and presto. You got a spicy samwich!
This is my sock puppet Pete Smallwood, he's a real live-wire around the office.
Here's a big crazy Caesar you can order from The Tavern on Whyte. 16 bucks gets you a triple, with a massive garnish including a grilled cheese, a pickled egg, a stuffed pepper, pickled garlic, a pickle, an olive, kimchi, horseradish, asparagus, and I'm sure some other stuff I'm forgetting.

Trust me. You only need one. And you don't need to order an appie.

This here is a restored train running at Fort Edmonton Park. It's pretty neat, and rides all around the MASSIVE park all day. If you like trains, this thing is definitely fun!  

Jen called this room at Fort Edmonton nightmarish. I thought it was cozy!

Also, apparently Akira loves farting at Fort Edmonton. 

And here's an old card game I wanted to steal for my dad. It seemed particularly relevant to his career.

I went to Olive Garden and Jen's drink had a strawberry nearly the size of her fist garnishing her Bellini. It was truly outrageous.

And on the topic of drinks, here's a beer brewed with yeast developed from the Brewmaster's beard. Yes, that is a real thing! Beard yeast sounds incredibly disgusting, but this beer is pretty good apparently. I was not brave enough to sample it...

I finally got around to framing my copy of a poster my older brother had commissioned a few years ago. This was the first artwork of any kind to go up on my new apartment's wall's, and it was really about time this thing got some recognition.
Finally, this is from my first weekend in Edmonton. After years of dodging opportunities I finally saw Trooper. I don't why I waited so long, I actually enjoy Trooper so this was a pretty good time!

I'm working on doing lots of fun things in Edmonton, so hopefully I can keep the pictures and goings-ons coming in!