Friday, 28 September 2012

Swan's Brewpub, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Unfortunately my time in Alaska has come to an end.  My ship is now repositioning to the Caribbean… not sure how much good craft beer I am going to find there!  But for now I will continue to tell you about my last few stops just outside of Alaska – did I mention my run took me to Canada as well?

Our stop in Canada took us to Victoria in British Columbia.  Here we discovered a brewpub called Swan’s that was the home to beer brewed at Buckerfields Brewery.  We went back here a couple of times so we could try the whole selection!  Conveniently you could choose flights in four or six glasses or try each beer in taster size individually…. I got flights of six almost every time !

Here are my tasting notes from Swan’s:

Old Towne Lager
Pale, watery gold in colour with not much head to speak of, this lager is solventy with a maltiness that gives it body.  Not my favourite from here but a pretty good lager overall

Pandora Pale Ale
Warm gold with a low head this brew has a sweet aroma with a malty base.  It has a sweet taste with a very subtle fruitiness overwhelmed by a malt finish.

Extra IPA
Orange gold with a low white head, this IPA has a good combination of hops, nettle and grapefruit on the nose.  It starts of bitter with a nettle taste that lingers followed by subtle fruit in the background.

Buckerfield’s ESB
This Extra Special Bitter is amber with a quickly dissipating head.  It has a malty aroma with an underlying sweetness.  To taste it begins bitter with a sweet maltiness lingering on the tongue.  A very good example of this style in my opinion.

Appleton Brown Ale
Brown with a low head, this ale smells smoky and malty almost with a coffee background.  This tastes like a watery stout with a combination of grain, malt and roastiness. 

Berry Ale
This is a more subtle fruit beer, being amber with a red tinge and a low head.  It strongly smells of berries and tastes bitter to begin with a raspberry shot then a lingering grainy taste left behind.

Honey Lager
This brew tastes like an IPA with a sweet background.  Golden straw in colour with minimal head is has a hoppy, lightly sweet aroma.  Bitter to begin with a background taste of sweetness from the honey this lager finishes with light nettle and hoppiness.

Arctic Ale
Gold straw in colour with a low head there is minimal aroma to this brew, possibly slightly malty.  The taste was also minimal to me, a touch grainy and biscuity.  I like my beers a little stronger than this but my Bud Lite drinking friend adored it.

Coconut Porter
Not being a fan of coconut, I didn’t think I was going to like this one but along with the berry ale and ESB it is actually one of my favourites.  Dark brown but red in the light with a low tan head this brew has a strong coconut aroma accompanied by a light roastiness.  In tasting it is smooth and creamy with slight coconut and a good amount of roasty aftertaste.

Riley’s Scotch Ale
For a high alcohol content ale I found this surprisingly easy to drink and very smooth.  Brown with red highlights and a low head this scotch ale has a dark, fruit cake aroma.  It is oily in the mouth but not in a bad way and is fruity and grainy.

Oatmeal Stout
Black with red highlights and a low almost nonexistent head, this stout had a good burnt aroma with a background sweetness.  As with the Scotch Ale it was very smooth tasting of coffee with a lingering sweet, burnt aftertaste.

Phew!  That was a good run of beers there!  I have a couple more installment from my times in Alaska/Canada, next we will look at some more commercial beers and then the beers I like from Canada… then we will move on to new pastures!

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