Archive for April, 2012

Anchor Bock Beer

Anchor Bock Beer is a 5.5% ABV Dunkler Bock by style brewed at Anchor Brewing in San Francisco, California. A Dunkler Bock is a typically copper to dark brown lager with nutty and toasted flavors and typically no hop taste or aroma.

Pouring out a dark somewhat opaque brown with bright amber highlights in the body and a thick foamy beige head. The foam disperses quickly as steady carbonation cascades upwards in the body and rests as a thin bubbly cap. The nose has sweet caramel and toasty malts with nutty aromas. There is no hop present in the aroma, but I do notice light floral and yeast based fruit notes. An overall sweet and light aroma.

The first sip I took got mostly toasted malts, light chocolate and a hint of underlying sweetness. Not too much going on mid palate, but the finish has a caramel richness and a light floral yeast. Like in the aroma, I get no hop presence in the taste.The body is slick and has the perfect feeling of a German beer.

This is beer is a bit on the subtle side overall, but it is a well balanced session beer with big toasty malts and sweet caramel notes. Overall a good dark session beer.

Grade: B+


Half Pints Brewing Co. located in Winnipeg, Manitoba is a fantastic microbrewery best known for its Humulus Ludicrous Imperial IPA and Burleywine. Half Pints also has a fantastic range of session beers including Bulldog Amber, Sweet Nikki Brown, Stir Stick Stout and Little Scrapper IPA. Little Scrapper IPA is of particular note as Half Pints based the Cascadian Dark Ale Black Galaxy on Little Scrapper. Black Galaxy is a 6% ABV Cascadian Dark Ale (aka Black IPA) brewed with Australian Galaxy hops. Galaxy hops are of particular note for their high alpha acid content, big pine and grapefruit notes as well as passionfruit flavors.

Pouring out a purely opaque, dark as night black with a thick inch of foamy tan head and sticky lacing blotches. I can see a few really small carbonation bubbles rising to the surface as the head thins out to a thin cap of a dark frothy beige. The nose is fruity at first glance with sweet resins, grapefruit, floral hops, citrus zest and a subtle pine and earthy note. A deeper sniff and I get a dark roasted malt with a torrefaction coffee note, big pine needle notes and a hint of dark chocolate. Putting the glass down I get a big French espresso whiff off the top on the head. Smells utterly delicious with a nice blend of roasted notes and resinous hop aromas.

Sipping slowly, the middle has a sweet malt with chocolate milk and americano being evident with a hint of licorice. The roast and the hops take over and bring a not overly strong bitterness, but the hop carries on forever in the aftertaste. Mildly dry on the finish with a big roast and tangy grapefruit flavours playing some sort of complex harmony together. The body is a bit thin, but this is a remarkable and truly exceptional beer.  Later on I get a tangy and pine filled palate that lingers on for what seems like eternity. A really complex flavor profile with the big roasted malt backbone and the floral, fruity, piney and astringent hops. The body and mouth feel seem rather thin, but this is a smooth and slightly creamy beer. Overall, this is  a simply spectacular beer. I hope there’s more than just a ‘Half Pint’ to go around.

Grade: A+

Next Review: Gulden Draak

Paddock Wood Maibock

A Maibock is a German spring bock that is brewed as a Helles lagers brewed to Bock strength. Goats are typically found on the labels of Bock beers because “ein bock” in German translates to Billy Goat. Paddock Wood in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan has brewed this Maibock to 7.3% ABV.

This Maibock pour out a brilliant and bright dark amber with a few big bubbles rising upwards through the body. A thick, foamy and short lived yellow head sits atop the body. By all appearances, this looks to be a rather malty Maibock, which are typically in the light golden range of color. The nose is toasty and mildly sweet with big bready and toffee notes in the malty backbone. A subtle floral hop is barely noticable in the aroma, but lends a bit of citrus zest to the nose. Warm and strong alcohol is noticable in the aroma as well.

Sweet and malted well in the middle with some caramel and grainy backbone. Light floral and citrus notes at the finish with a mild atringency and dry prolonged aftertaste. Warm and hearty, this beer is quite rich and is a good beer for a rainy day. Well balanced with a big malt and a light hop, but a nice German authenticity.

Grade: B

Next Review: Alley Kat Sherbrooke KGB Russian Imperial Stout