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Archive for November, 2012

Phillips Super Krypton

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An imperial version of one of Phillips’ best beers? Why sure, I’ll have a go at that! Super Krypton is an amped up version of their regular Krypton Rye PA (Rye Ale/IPA), and it’s the latest in the seemingly never-ending string of Phillips speciality releases (side note: keep ’em coming guys!).

On pouring, this guy has a much lighter colour than I would have figured given the usual heavy malt profile of Rye Ales. The colour is a light amber, almost yellow. However, there’s a decent amount of cloudiness, meaning this beer hasn’t gone through a filter. That’s a good thing.

Nose is all hops–citra hops to be specific, but something’s missing here. I get the floral punch of citra, but the tropical fruitiness is absent. In fact, there’s not a lot here except the citrus florals. But screw the nose, there’s a party in my stomach, and Super Krypton’s invited (was that as bad as it sounded in my head? It was? Well screw you, go start your own blog, then!)

Huh. The body is thinner than I’d ideally like from a Rye Ale, and the mouthfeel is definitely trending towards watery. In fact, that unique rye punch to the body is barely perceptible. The hops are definitely there, but again they’re diluted by something… medicinal. I wonder what’s causing that… oh yeah, 8.5% ABV, and you taste every single point of that.

In the end, this is not a bad beer, but not one that I’d pick up again. The massive booziness detracts from, and thins out, what should be the focus: the thick creamy body of a big rye malt IPA. Ultimately, I kinda felt like I was stealing from my parent’s medicine cabinet while they were out of town. “It tastes sorta like cough syrup” really isn’t a flattering tasting note for any liquor, but especially beer.

Lastly, most Phillips beers suffer from a metallic tang on the palate from either piping or yeast, and this one is no exception. The only real issue here is that this tang only amplifies the booziness.

Coles notes:

Brewery Phillips
From Victoria, BC
Name Super Krypton
Style Imperial Rye IPA
SOA Now None awarded.
SOA Potential n/a. Not a cellaring beer.
Drink One.
Best use Getting amped up before a bar fight.
Availability Widely available at LRS
Cost $6.50-9.00 per 650ml bottle.
Similar Beers Phillips Amnesiac, CC Imperial IPA, HS Total Eclipse of the Hop
Chuck says Meh. Skip it. There are better options; yes I know all those are normal DIPAs, but this one wasn’t very rye-y.

Written by chuck

November 20th, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Posted in Beer and You

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Dead Frog Fearless IPA

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Dead Frog Brewing is perhaps best known for crafting horrible fruit/beer combinations that should never have existed outside of the mind of a madman–and a madman who can’t brew particularly good beer, at that. I’m talking about their Mandarin Orange Amber and Pepper Lime Lager, specifically, but there are plenty of other examples out there.

Or perhaps they’re better known for starring on The Big Decision, a Dragon’s Den spin-off that focuses on small businesses facing bankruptcy.

Either way, their reputation precedes them, and that reputation is not exactly stellar. But, could there be hope? I had completely written off this brewery, and wasn’t expecting much when I took a sample of their new IPA at the BC Beer Awards. Tasting that made me loudly proclaim “THEY’RE NOT DEAD YET!”

Is their most recently bottled IPA release as good as the massively hopped IPA I had at the BC Beer Awards? Nope. It’s better.

Fearless is a huge, Cascadian-style IPA. Massive hops and tropical fruit aromas dominate the nose, but a smoother malty body backs it up. It’s as well balanced as Cascadian IPAs get (aka so heavy to the Hops side of the scale the bottle almost falls over).

This beer is such a great IPA, in fact, that I am wondering how it would stack up against the reigning big boys of BC Hop Madness. How does it taste when Fat Tug, Red Racer and Switchback are all in the room? I’ll be doing a blinded IPA tasting in the near future, and will definitely inform y’all of the results.

Until then, go out and buy this great beer from Dead Frog. Please do it. They need the money.

Coles notes:

Brewery Dead Frog
From Aldergrove, BC
Name Fearless
Style Cascadian IPA
SOA Now Bronze
SOA Potential n/a. Not a cellaring beer.
Drink Now. Please.
Number of good beers they’d have to brew to make me forget Pepper Lime Around 200.
Availability Widely available at LDB and LRS
Cost $4.99-7.00 per 650ml bottle.
Similar Beers Driftwood Fat Tug, Central City Red Racer IPA, Lighthouse Switchback
Chuck says It goes down fast and good. If we buy enough maybe they’ll make more.


See? Breweries with bad track records CAN produce good beer.

Written by chuck

November 18th, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Posted in Beers

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Parallel 49 Ugly Sweater

with 2 comments

For those that need a primer, a Milk Stout is much like a regular stout, but in addition to fermenting all those lovely malt-derived sugars (maltose) we also get the lazy, good-for-nothing, cows to pitch in and contribute something for a change. That something is lactose, and yes, Milk Stout is effectively raw milk… but mixed with beer… okay, maybe I’m not adequately selling it here…

Believe it or not, all that milk really IS a good thing. Milk Stouts have the richest, creamiest body you could possibly imagine, and brewers exploit that to float very strong, heavy flavours on top of that creamy body. Southern Tier makes a fantastic Crème Brûlée Milk Stout, each sip of which requires solid concentration to consume, and a bottle of which is a solid winter’s evening project.

All of this creates a problem for Ugly Sweater. You see, if it’s in a six pack from Parallel 49 it’s meant to be a sessionable beer, aka something you can quaff 3 or 4 of without thinking twice. The choice of a Milk Stout as a session ale is confusing at best, and definitely worrisome.

But you know what? They pulled it off. Galldernit if those guys over on Triumph street are managing to not only not screw up unlikely beer combinations, but to actually make them delicious. Pumpkin in a Märzen? Golden. Caramel in a Scotch Ale? Solid. And a Milk Stout as a session beer? Done.

The trick is that this beer is not so much a stout as it is a solid porter, and rather than using the lactose to build a massive sweet chocolatey body on top of which to build a skyscraper of flavour, they’ve dialed it down to just a nice creamy mouthfeel with a hint of cocoa.

Serving temperature matters with this guy. You’re looking for about 50F (10C), which means leaving it outside in the day around now should be just about right. At that temperature, you should definitely pick out the chocolate, but also some coffee, toffee and definitely a little bitter bit from the hops. Before you know it, though, your glass will be empty and you’ll be reaching for another.

UPDATE: Dave Shea, who actually–you know–brews beer, corrects me: milk stouts just contain lactose, not fermented lactose. In fact, lactose is added specifically because it doesn’t ferment, which is the source of all that creamy goodness… mmm… creamy goodness… anyone else thirsty?

Coles notes:

Brewery Parallel 49
From Vancouver, BC
Name Ugly Sweater
Style Milk Stout
SOA Now Bronze
SOA Potential n/a. Not a cellaring beer.
Drink Now. In sixes.
Preferred attire for drinking Oddly enough, a smoking jacket.
Availability Widely available at LRS & some LDB
Cost $12.25-16.00 per 6x341ml bottle.
Similar Beers None in BC
Chuck says Buy a six pack. Drink it. Buy a six pack. Drink it. Buy a six pack…


I’m running out of Bronze medals.

Written by chuck

November 16th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Posted in Beers

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