December Beer Blog

  • @naltmank That Tostitos analogy is spot on! I knew it reminded me of something else! I definitely agree with @Billy. This is totally a beer for those who don't like beer. Makes me wonder how the person who brought this beer to the calendar is coping with what we've had so far. I hope they're experiencing some interesting new things. I fear they having a hard time handling a beer with a rich flavour profile

    I shockingly didn't get much metallic flavour, and although the lime tastes 'off' with no other flavours to support it, it didn't seem artificial. It's definitely not pleasant, but it's also not pleasant. It's practically nothing, and I guess that's what some people like.

  • Day Six

    Sleeman Cream Ale
    Sleeman Breweries Ltd. | Guelph, Ontario
    Cream Ale | 5.0% ABV

    Pours clear and gold with a small layer of white head which dissipated within a minute. Nothing particularly special, but not an awful looking beer by any means.
    The beer smells bready and sweet. Once again, not awful but boring.
    The beer tastes the same, but with a little hint of caramel. The taste is fairly strong, but - once again - it's boring. The finish is short and mild.
    The body is quite light, carbonation is a little heavy, and going down it feels not nearly as creamy as I should hope from a cream ale.

    First off, I apologise for this short, negative review. I've had a very very long day. In fact I've had several consecutive very long days and this beer just did nothing for me. It attempts absolutely nothing interesting, and it sit complacently in mediocrity. I don't get how this beer gets off calling itself a cream ale because there is nothing remotely creamy about it. I will not be drinking this again. Hell, for beer pong I'd choose Bud Light Lime over this! Sorry once again for the negativity. I have to imagine tomorrow will be better.


  • Day Seven

    Midnight Sun Espresso Stout
    Yukon Brewing | Whitehorse, Yukon
    American Stout | 6.2% ABV

    This is a favourite of mine. After yesterday's beer and finishing up a big project today, I could not be more excited!

    Midnight Sun pours as dark as a moonless night's sky. A thin layer of dark, almost-golden head rests atop this black sea with no sign of disappearing. This is the epitome of what I look for in a beer.
    The bold, unmistakable smell of espresso filled the room the moment the bottle was opened. Upon closer examination there is a sweetness peaking through the rich, bitter coffee aroma.
    The beer starts with a kick of earthy coffee flavour and shifts to a surprisingly intense toffee sweetness. It's a little bit sweeter than I would like, but it still has a very pleasant flavour profile and the beer isn't lost in the sweetness. The finish is pretty quick and light with a small amount of bitterness clinging onto my throat.
    The nice, full body of this espresso stout is beautifully creamy and soothes my sore throat.

    This is a beautiful beer! It's quite intense and a tad sweet, but it makes for a very nice sipping beer with a savoury meal, or even for dessert. I have to admit that this beer didn't quite live up to my memories, but I am still filled with joy as I drink it and savour it. If you're into stouts - especially coffee stouts - I definitely recommend Midnight Sun. It's not the most masterfully brewed, but it's delicious, I love it, and it's certainly worth the try!


  • @DeweyDecibel Love this beer!
    Also, I'm living vicariously through this blog as I take my extended break from drinking, so keep it up!

  • Day Eight

    Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion
    Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery | Barrie, Ontario, Canada, Earth, Milky Way, the Universe, Infinity
    Almost Pale Ale | 5% ABV

    Full disclosure: This is a tipsy beer review as I finished class for the term and had a couple of celebratory beers beforehand! Also, look at that snowman face on the wrapped beer! It's amazing!

    Pours a dark amber with two fingers of off-white head which is in no hurry to go away. This er looks like it's going to kick my ass and I welcome it!
    Smells very hoppy! At least compared to the rest of the beers I've had so far this month. A nice mix of citrus and floral aromas fill my nose until I get a little too excited and inadvertently snort some head. It burns for a little bit but I quickly recover and am ready to go in for a taste!
    This is a beer that I remember from my earliest days of drinking hoppy beers and I remember being disgusted. Not anymore. Hoptical illusion starts with a strong hop profile with plenty of floral flavours with a nice touch of citrus. Bread and honey follows making for a moderately long, beautifully balanced finish.
    Despite the harsh front, this beer still goes down so smooth! It coats my mouth and fills it with flavour all over.

    I'll admit that this beer may be getting some unfair praise for being the only "IPA" I've had a quite a while, but I love it. It's so much better crafted than I would expect from a beer that has such a silly name and attitude, but it is simply excellent! I don't know what else to say. Do not underestimate this beer. It is great. It is hoppy and malty and it is just so much more flavourful than every other shitty beer I've had tonight and it's great!


  • Day Nine

    Molson Canadian
    Molson Coors Canada | Etobicoke, Ontario
    American Adjunct Lager | 5% ABV

    The pour is slow as I try to handle the copious amounts of frothy white head that wants to spill over the top of the glass. Carbonation vigorously rises through the beer.
    Canadian smells so faint that I smell the metal of the can above anything else. There's a little bit of cerealy sweetness underneath that is actually quite pleasant!
    The metal is definitely still there in the taste, but not nearly as bad as the smell led me to believe, and honestly, there's something about that metallic Canadian taste that brings me back to simpler times. It's quite a sweet beer, with a mild bready flavour and practically nothing else going on. Finishes pretty quickly, leaving a little bit of sweetness on my tongue.
    The body is very light, carbonation is fairly excessive, and it's a little watery going down. None of that is surprising and non of it is that awful.

    I have quite a few good memories associated with Canadian and so having one to drink has actually been quite nice. That said, I can already feel the sweetness getting to me, there's absolutely no hop profile and the carbonation would surely have me feeling bloated after a couple. It's not a good beer at all, but you could still do worse.


  • Day Ten

    Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc
    Brasseries Kronenbourg | Strasbourg, France
    Witbier | 5% ABV

    1664 is a cloudy golden beer with two fingers of thick white head.
    Very faint smell. Just like orange juice with a hint of grain.
    Very sweet and citrusy. There's some nice cereal flavour there too. Very short finish. Extremely pleasant.
    Light body. Quite a bit of carbonation but not overpowering, making a for a nice refreshing feel.

    Overall a very nice refreshing beer. I can almost believe it's summer despite the -30C weather outside. Will be drinking a lot more of this next summer.


  • Global Moderator

    @DeweyDecibel that is a beautiful beer! Kronenbourg in general make good pints and the Blanc is no different! :D

  • Day Eleven

    Maple Shack Cream Ale
    Granville Island Brewery | Vancouver, BC
    Cream Ale | 5% ABV

    The colour is somewhere between copper and amber. Lots of white head which doesn't stay long.
    Pretty faint smell. Smells of caramel with a bit of maple which smells kinda artificial.
    Pretty sweet, but not terribly balanced. Lots of toffee flavour with a nice amount of spice. However there's something chemically about it. I can find a little bit of maple too, but it's a little off.
    A little over-carbonated but still manages to feel nice and creamy.

    I am not into this beer at all. The flavour just seems wrong to me. I've definitely had worse, but I had high hopes for this one and am definitely disappointed. You're not doing a bad thing drinking this beer, but I'd probably skip it.


  • Day Twelve

    Chestnut Ale
    Whitsler Brewing Co | Whistler, BC
    Dark Ale | 5% ABV

    This beer soured something awful. I could tell the moment I opened it that it is undrinkable (and I love sours), which saddens me so much because I've never tried this one before and it sounds incredible. Hell even the finish on the little sip I dared to have had some of the most amazing nutty flavours I've ever tasted. I'm not going to be writing any sort of review for this beer. That's not fair. But I will be seeking this one out again because I really really want to see what it's all about. I just hope everyone else's is okay.

  • @DeweyDecibel That's brutal, man. I feel like a chestnut beer could be incredible.

  • Global Moderator

    @DeweyDecibel a moment of silence for this missed out experience! I would LOVE to try that beer! seems like something wonderful to drink!

  • Day Thirteen

    Red Stripe
    Desnoes & Geddes | Kingston, Jamaica
    Jamaican Lager | 4.7% ABV

    Pours a very nice gold with a half-finger width of white head.
    Smells very lightly of toffee. Basically no hop smell. Quite a well balanced aroma. Mild but pleasant.
    Very nice, surprising toffee flavour. Some nice bready flavours as well. Pretty simple flavour profile, but quite nice. Finishes quick, and a little sweet.
    Red Stripe has a very light body with very playful carbonation.

    I've had Red Stripe a few times, and always just remembered it like any other lager, but that is not the case. There is more flavour and nice toffee flavour than in any other "lager" I can think of. It's not a spectacular beer, but it's a solid example of the style and will probably be seeing some summer drinking this year.


  • @DeweyDecibel I spent a summer drinking a whole bunch of Red Stripe. No regrets!

  • @DeweyDecibel I drank a lot of Red Stripe during my honeymoon in Jamaica. It was an all-inclusive resort, and they always kept the fridge in my room stocked with it. Pretty good stuff.

  • Red-Stripe is perfectly solid. I don't go out of my way to drink it, especially since it was always so marked up in my neighborhood back home, but I still like it well enough.

  • Day Fourteen

    Deadman Creek Cranberry Wheat Ale
    Yukon Brewing | Whitehorse, Yukon
    Pale Wheat Ale | 4.7% ABV

    I've never had this one before, but I like the brewer so I am very excited to try it. Last time I got excited for a beer did not turn out so well (never forget Whistler Brewing Co. Chestnut Ale), but I'm certain this one will go much better. So let's go!

    The first thing I notice is the very unusual colour of Deadman Creek. To describe it plainly you would call it amber, but that doesn't really do it justice. It's like a straw that is blushing, the wheat ale and cranberries together and separate at the same time. I am perplexed by it and more curious to try the beer than ever. The second thing I notice is a beautiful cloud of yeast spiraling in the wake of the pour. Very happy to see an unfiltered wheat ale in this calendar. We are off to a sublime start!
    Very faint aroma. I can just barely pick up the cranberry among light grain sweetness. I'm definitely disappointed by the lack of aroma and I honestly have no clue what this is going to taste like.
    Sweet grain flavours meet sour cranberries as it hits my tongue, followed by an unexpected amount of spice, which tries its best to bring these fighting flavours back to earth. Unfortunately it doesn't quite succeed and I'm now confused in a less whimsical way than before. The appearance told me way more than I thought; the wheat and the cranberries are somehow together and separate at the same time, fighting but never really coming to any sort of culmination. It finishes fairly lightly, leaving a bitterness on my tongue.
    Quite a light body. Has a puckering effect going down, and a little heavy on the carbonation for my taste.

    This beer has some really neat ideas, but unfortunately they were not executed all that well. The flavours fight with each other instead of balancing each other out, so somehow we ended up with a beer that is too sweet, too sour, too bitter, and too carbonated all at the same time. I don't quite understand how this is possible, but it is my conclusion nonetheless. Regardless, I'm happy this beer exists because the effort to make something special is clearly there and I had a lot of fun reviewing it. And honestly, it's not really all that bad. Definitely worth the try, but I won't be going out of my way for this one again.


  • Note: Sorry, I fell super behind on posting here. Will try and catch up today or tomorrow!

    Day Fifteen

    WinterGlow Madarin IPA
    Stanley Park Brewery | Vancouver, BC
    IPA | 6.4% ABV

    Another one I've never had. I don't drink nearly enough IPAs and this one looks pretty interesting, so I'm excited! Interesting to see a west coast style IPA marketed as a winter beer. I'm expecting a warming feeling from the high ABV and a lot of citrus and pine flavours.

    Pours somewhere between gold and amber with a finger of white froth.
    WinterGlow definitely has a strong hop aroma. Citrus and evergreen. Nice amount of sweetness working it way through the bitter hoppiness.
    Wow, that's a lot of hops. A lot of citrus in both the hops and the orange flavour. A nice amount of spiciness too. Finishes bitter. Definitely too hoppy for me, but I can definitely see hop lovers really enjoying this beer.
    Very nicely carbonated. Perhaps a little astringent, but also provides a nice little warming sensation.

    This is not for me, but I still enjoyed it and I think it's a fair IPA. I have IPAs I like more than this so I probably won't be drinking it again, but I'd still try it if you like west coast IPAs.


  • Day Sixteen

    Citradelic IPA
    Big Rock Brewery | Calgary, Alberta
    IPA | 6% ABV

    Alright, another IPA. I'm feeling about ready for a nice stout, but let's give this one a fair chance!

    Pours a nice amber with quite a thick head which leaves lots of lacing.
    Much fainter aroma than the Stanley Park. Just the citrusy hope scent we were promised and not a whole lot else.
    The hops hit, but not overwhelmingly so. The citrus flavour is definitely there but they're balanced quite nicely by strong toffee flavours. This is shockingly pleasant and easy to drink. Finishes with a touch of bitterness clinging to my throat, but the toffee is still there keeping it under control.
    A nice medium-heavy body with a light, but still noticeable amount of carbonation. Coats the mouth quite nicely and warms me throughout.

    I was not super excited to have enough IPA but this one was more enjoyable than I had anticipated. Much more balance hop to malt profile than yesterday's, which is greatly appreciated. This isn't I beer I'm going to be looking for again but I really enjoyed drinking it and I think it has something in it that almost anyone could enjoy.


  • Day Seventeen

    Big Rock Brewery | Calgary, Alberta
    Kristalweizen | 5% ABV

    Clear straw colour with almost no head. Some aggressive carbonation going on here.
    Light and sweet aroma. Just sweet grain and nothing else that I can pick up.
    Just light sweet bready flavours off the nose. A bitterness that I assume comes from hops but doesn't offer much else in terms of flavour complexity. Just bitter. Actually I take this back. I'm getting some citrus flavour now. I'm a bad reviewer. Finishes quick, mild, and actually well balanced.
    Very light body. Quite slick. A little too much carbonation for me.

    Totally competent summer beer. Nicely balanced but not special at all. I'll drink it again but that's mostly because it's safe and widely available.