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After a five-week hiatus in which my favourite liquor purveyor fell into the clutches of Sobey's Inc. (Tuscany Metro Liquor is now Thrifty Foods Liquor), I have returned at last with yet another tasty review!

From Portland, Oregon, Breakside Brewery's India Golden Ale - a double IPA - is a potent, very hoppy sip.  Not near as bitter as the Double IPA designation infers, this is a highly citrus-forward sip with a heavy grapefruit presence, and hints of rosehip - if you like Red Zinger tea, this should prove satisfying.  Don't add a Hop Drop to this unless you are totally hop-crazy!  Pours to a pale golden yellow with a generous head that dissipates quickly.

8.1%abv, about $10 in the 650ml bomber shown here.  Nearly as good as my reference IPA, Fat Tug, but considerably more expensive.  My rating: 9/10 - excellent!

Close up of the maker details

A rare selfie, but I enjoyed this double IPA so much I had to smile!


What I'm drinking tonight: from Portland, Oregon, Gigantic Brewing Company's "Superbad" Imperial Coffee Stout

What drew me to this sip was, of course, the bottle art.  The label's image of a character with a more-than-passing resemblance to Samuel L. Jackson's character in "Pulp Fiction" naturally tore at my Gen-X heartstrings.  But I did take on this Coffee Stout (which feels much more like a porter than a stout) with some trepidation, as I have had many poor experiences with caffeinated beers before.

Fortunately, Superbad is not super bad after all!  In fact it's quite drinkable, especially if you like Kahlua.  It's thick and sweet and has just enough Kahlua feel without actually being the famous coffee liqueur, and after a few sips I perversely wondered what it would be like in milk!  It's probably for the best that I elected not to actually explore that concept.  There's a bit of nutty maltiness behind the Kahlua too, but there's no question which flavour element is in charge here.

As a sweet, powerful (9% abv) hi-test, Superbad is definitely meant for dessert at home, or somewhere that you won't have to drive home from any time soon.  Sip it, prolong the experience, and respect the wallop it packs. 

Pours opaque black, with a thin, chocolate head that disappears very quickly.  This specialty import cost a little over $10 for the 650ml bomber shown, although its price point is likely more down to earth closer to home, in Portland.

My rating: 8/10.  Some will really love this, but it's definitely not for everyone, or for every occasion.

Give Trump a term in the White House and this is what you'll get.


All the way from Jamaica, it's Royal Jamaican Alcoholic Ginger Beer!

I've been a big fan of ginger beer since I was a boy, but as an adult I have found very few opportunities to enjoy the kind of ginger beer you have to get from the liquor store.  And on those few occasions, I have been rather disappointed, until now.

You can't evaluate ginger beer as beer, even if it really is beer as this product is.  Ginger beer is a whole different animal.  None of the flavour notes I look for in lagers, ales, porters, stouts, pilsners and IPAs are present here, or if they are, they are buried under the avalanche of sweet, spicy ginger!  After a few sips, you can just start to make out a faint malty hint of lager.  The rest is pure spicy hot goodness!

Like most ginger beers, it pours with no head at all to a pale yellow, almost white.  But the spectacle is on the your tongue, not in the glass, and that, friends, is where the fireworks happen!

If you don't like ginger beer, or spicy or sweet drinks, you will hate this, and you're nothing like me =)  I enjoyed it but it is very over-the-top, and I would find it difficult to continue enjoying it if I were to, say, attempt a 6-pack at once.  As a rare treat, it truly is a treat but this is no one's nightly go-to sip, that is for sure!  Pairings?  Perhaps a tour of Willy Wonka's factory.  I can't think of an appropriate food for this.

4.4%abv, about $4 in the 355ml bottle shown.  My rating: 7/10.  With the low alcohol level, I never caught a buzz.

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