I have been dutifully continuing with my plan to become a craft beer locavore by sampling another three beers brewed right here in beautiful British Columbia – I also put in some time at St. Augustine’s purely for research’s sake.
In terms of BC beer selection this time out I bought my brews from the provincial liquor store so I am not skewing my education by only shopping at the Central City Liquor Store.
So what’s on the agenda this time around? Deckhand Belgian Saison from Lighthouse Brewing Company in Victoria, Dark Star Oatmeal Stout by R&B Brewing Company from Vancouver and French Oaked Stiff Stout from Dead Frog Brewing in Aldergrove.
Deckhand Belgian Saison: Pours straw gold with a ton of white head that quickly dissipates. Beer label is a neat idea, Sailor Jerry tattoo style designed by a local artist, but the overall aesthetics are not my favourite. Requisite amount of cloudiness for the style. Strong sour yeast nose with an almost chalky mouthfeel on the first sip. Gives way to competing notes of bitter and pepper that generally work well in a saison but tend to overpower this beer since it is quite light bodied. All the flavour seems to some at you right away but no element lingers for an aftertaste. Mellowed out when it warmed easing up the sharp tastes.
Dark Star Oatmeal Stout: Pours a lovely dark chestnut/black, clear with a minimal amount of caramel coloured head. An okay bottle graphic nothing memorable. Very astringent on the nose, almost rubbing alcohol like, but thankfully this disperses as the beer sits out. Nose evolves into roasted coffee notes. Very light in body for a stout and not a lot of flavour in the mouthfeel besides coffee. Reminds me Mill St. Coffee Porter. Much like the first beer, Dark Star improves with a bit of warming giving the beer a bit of depth.
French Oaked Stiff Stout: Pours deepest black stout, clear with a rapidly disappearing head. Not a fan of the Dead Frog labels but to each their own. This oaked beer is part of their “Beer Master Series”. The Stiff Stout has an oaky, sweet nose and a sticky mouthfeel. A bit more depth in the body compared to the Dark Star. Complex flavours that warms well. There is nice sweet malt on the finish.
The Verdict – I give this round to Dead Frog’s French Oaked Stiff Stout.