For Christmas, from my real-world boss, I received a beer advent calendar. So the idea is you drink one beer every day from Dec.1st to 24th to help prepare yourself for (if you’re anything like me) the booze-fueled, family-avoiding, lonely cryfest that is Christmas day.
Now…I fully realize it is 2017 and this is the 2014 case, but that’s how what happens when you write drunk and save the file to a weird place. Hemingway knew. So some references below may seem dated
One beer a day doesn’t sound that challenging considering I sleep-drink more than that on any given night. 24 beers in 24 hours sounds better, but still a little slow…so I am just gonna start drinking these and writing until I either throw up on my laptop or get bored and go to the bar to slay some dragons. I give either scenario a 50-50 chance.
The case-alendar is made by Philip’s Brewing Company, with whom I am not overly familiar with but I assume I will come across a familiar label once I start destroying this box. On a personal note, while my usual beer choices are eclectic (but not douchey), Hoegarrden tops the list as my go-to favourite but I’ll try anything twice. Conversely, I dislike hoppy beers and most IPA’s except for maybe Goose Island and some craft beers. I’m sure there will be one or two in here though, that seems unavoidable. Obviously reviews are subjective so: “grain of salt,” people.
Safety Disclaimer: it should be known that I am an extraordinary drinker and do not recommend trying this yourself (unless you want to be cool and make a bunch of friends…then lose them almost immediately).
Let’s get it on!
Beer 1 Electric Unicorn White IPA – 6.5%
Label: I am a well-known Unicorn lover so this is a win. I have become pretty fond of electricity too.
Label Blurb: ELECTRIC UNICORN IS A HOP-INFUSED WHITE ALE; BEST ENJOYED WHILE RIDING A MYSTICAL MONO-HORNED LASER BEAST, RACING THROUGH THE GALAXY TO THE SONIC BACKDROP OF SCREAMING METAL GUITARS.
First Impressions: It is a white IPA which may end up redeeming it. I wish they would have called it a Pale IPA as I find redundancy hilariously hilarious.
Taste: Not bad! Not overly hoppy but definitely can taste bitterness rolling off my tongue after a swig. The ONLY way to really enjoy this though, is to drink it out of my custom Das Horn drinking chalice!
Final Verdict: Like a Hoegarrden that a Victoria’s Secret model used as an ashtray: tastes kind of strange but you’d drink it anyway.
Beer 2 Old Pappy’s Smooth Sailin’ Amber Lager – 5.0%
Label: It’s a boat…I get it.
Label Blurb: OLD PAPPY’S SMOOTH SAILIN’ AMBER LAGER IS A BEER NAMED AFTER A VERY CLOSE FRIEND OF THE BREWERY WHOSE PERMANENT FORECAST FOR ‘SMOOTH SAILIN’ HAS SEEN US THROUGH MORE THAN A FEW ROUGH WAVES. THESE DAYS HE MAY HAVE MORE SEA SALT THAN PEPPER IN HIS BEARD, BUT HE’LL ALWAYS HAVE A GLINT IN HIS EYE AND A WORD OF WISDOM READY TO RAISE YOUR SPIRITS TO HIGH TIDE REGARDLESS OF THE WEATHER. CHEERS PAPPY!
First Impressions: I love lager and I love girls named Amber so this should be a alright.
Taste: Delicious, it really is smooth sailin’ straight down to my wilted liver! Yum!
Final Verdict: This is perfect for that recovering alcoholic looking to relapse.
Beer 3 Octofox India Pale Ale – 6.5%
Label: Not gonna be happy if 60% of these are hoppy turds. There’s a hop on the label or maybe it’s an interestingly textured butt plug.
Label Blurb: OCTOFOX WAS ONE OF THE EARLY SPECIMENS TO COME OUT OF THE AREA 52 PROGRAM, AND IT WAS SO GOOD WE’VE OPTED TO PUT IT OUT IN ITS OWN BOMBER! IT POURS A DEEP GOLDEN COLOUR WITH A SOFT MARSHMALLOW WHITE HEAD. FULL BODIED AND BRIGHT, FLAVOURS OF CITRUS ARE BALANCED AGAINST A PINE-BITTER HOP PROFILE THAT FINISHES DRY. OCTOFOX IS SELECTIVELY BREWED TO BE BROADLY ENJOYED.
First Impressions: I don’t wanna.
Taste: Blech! They must have got the name when 8 foxes broke into the brewery and urinated into the kegs. Actually after the initial Connery-style throat punch of bitter, there is a nice subtle flavour like the blurb says so it’s got some depth.
Final Verdict: Mehhhh I am biased against IPAs but I have had far worse. If they put a picture of 8 naked Megan Fox’s on the label that might make me try it again…or jerk-off in the store.
Beer 4 Ginger Beer – 5.0%
Label: I dunno, some kind of pelican fossil?
Label Blurb: WITH MORE GINGER THAN GILLIGAN COULD HANDLE, OUR GINGER BEER IS TRUE TO ITS NAME, BURSTING WITH BOLD GINGER FLAVOUR AND AROMA.
First Impressions: Me like ginger beer! I usually get it non-alcoholic though & then add alcohol, so bonus points for convenience.
Final Verdict: Enjoyable but lacks enough staying power or mystery to be ordered more than once. I’m glad the label text makes you extra aware there is ginger to be had.
Beer 5 Amnesiac Double IPA – 8.5%
Label: Yeah it’s an elephant with its face dick tied in a knot, and hops gowing out of it’s face.
Label Blurb: BEYOND THE CAVE OF HYPNOS AND UP THE RIVER OF FORGETFULNESS, YOU WILL FIND OUR ORIGINAL IPA’S BIG GNARLY BROTHER. THIS IS A BEER AFTER OUR OWN HOP-HEAVY HEARTS AND A BREWERY FAVOURITE EVER SINCE IT DEBUTED BACK IN 2005. POP THE TOP AND ENJOY THE HOP!
First Impressions: A god-dammed double IPA? Fuck me.
Taste: I guess “double” means that the Indian that helped make this stuck both his sweaty balls into the mix tank.
Final Verdict: I swear to fuck, if there is a Triple IPA this article is over.
Beer 6 Schottleweizen – 7.5%
Label: Some hipster with a rocket pack but is stupid, so is hiking instead of soaring among the eagles, It’s probably an Apple product and ran out of battery power.
Label Blurb: THIS IS A BEER THAT WAS DREAMT UP BY OUR RESEARCH BREWER WHO BROUGHT IN A HOMEBREWED VERSION THAT BLEW OUR SOCKS OFF! A HEALTHY AMOUNT OF WHEAT (‘WEIZEN’ IS THE GERMAN WORD FOR WHEAT) AND DARK ROASTED MALT ARE FERMENTED WITH SAISON YEAST, AN EXCITING STRAIN FAMOUS FOR ITS SLIGHTLY SPICY AND COMPLEX CHARACTERISTICS. IT’S SUCH A UNIQUE COMBINATION AND WE THOUGHT IT ONLY FAIR TO NAME OUR RELEASE AFTER THE MAN WHO DREAMT IT UP! THUS THE SCHOTTLEWEIZEN WAS BORN!
First Impressions: Mouth still ruined by the prevenient beerbortion so I am just happy to not have more hops, though the high percentage is concerning.
Taste: Surprisingly delicious! I was sure my palette was surely destroyed by the….I can’t remember what it was called but it sucked! Anyway, this is light and delicate and the perfect follow up to the tongue holocaust that preceded.
Final Verdict: Schottleweizen, you are my tastebud liberator. xoxoxo
Beer 7 Blue Buck – 5.0%
Label: Just noticed all the labels say “serve at 4°C.” Too bad I left my beer thermometer in my bedroom, they are cold though. I just consider myself lucky to not be drinking them out of a warm work boot like so many times before.
Label Blurb: BLUE BUCK IS A LEGENDARY BEAST AROUND THESE PARTS, AND HAS BEEN KNOWN TO GRANT THOSE WHO SEE HIM GOOD FORTUNE…OR AT LEAST A GREAT TASTING BEER. CONTRARY TO MOST LEGENDS, THE ‘BUCK’ WAS NOT ACTUALLY ONE OF OUR ORIGINAL BREWS, BUT WAS BREWED FOR THE VICTORIA FOLK FEST BACK IN 2007 TO KEEP FESTIVAL-GOERS COOL IN THE HOT AFTERNOON SUN. IT ALSO ORIGINALLY CHRISTENED UNDER A DIFFERENT NAME IN HONOUR OF THE OLD 1965 CHEVY MATT WOULD DELIVER BEER IN ALL SUMMER. UNFORTUNATELY NOT EVERYONE WAS THRILLED WITH THE MONIKER AND, SINCE WE PREFER FERMENTATION TO LITIGATION, WE OPTED TO EXCHANGE THE AUTO FOR SOME ANTLERS AND THE BLUE BUCK WAS BORN.
First Impressions: The buck must be blue cause Bambi is such a dick tease, am I right fellas?!
Taste: So far this is the most mainstream tasting one, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Sometimes simple is nice.
Final Verdict: I’d finish enough Blue Buck’s off that I’d end up white.
Beer 8 Dr. Funk Dunkel Bavarian Dark Lager – 5.0%
Label: I was hoping there would be some blatant racism too be had with this label but there is barely any! Whatever, Funk rhymes with drunk and that’s cool with me.
Label Blurb: Too blurry to read or notes were lost.
First Impressions: Well there definitely is some funk here, unfortunately it’s the smell of the beer.
Taste: This has a nose like a dogshit taco but the taste of the beer itself is quite pleasant, like a regular taco.
Final Verdict: Best for people with colds or allergy sufferers.
Beer 9 Hop Circle IPA – 6.5%
Label: UFO IPA? WTF?!
Label Blurb: WE REALLY LOVE OUR HOPS. LUCKY FOR US OUR BREWERY LOCATION IS IN A GREAT SPOT TO FEED OUR HOP ADDICTION, AS SOME OF THE BEST HOPS IN THE WORLD ARE GROWN JUST SOUTH OF US IN THE AMERICAN PACIFIC NORTHWEST. WITH SUCH A GREAT CROP AT OUR FINGERTIPS WE COULDN’T HELP BUT BREW UP A CRISP, BRIGHT IPA TO SHOWCASE THOSE BEAUTIFULLY FRESH CITRUS AND PINE FLAVOURS. OUR HOP CIRCLE IPA, FIRST SPOTTED IN 2005, IS A NOD TO THE VERY SPECIAL TERRIOR OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST AND THOSE LITTLE GREEN MEN THAT ALLOW ALL IPAS TO ABDUCT YOUR SENSES…WELL LITTLE GREEN WOMEN ACTUALLY; HOPS ARE THE FLOWERS HARVESTED FROM THE FEMALE PLANTS.
First Impressions: This can go back to planet hipster and take this hoppy asshole with it.
Taste: I am starting to doubt what the initials of IPA stand for…(Indian parts, assorted?)
Final Verdict: I BANISH THEE TO THE PHANTOM ZONE!
Beer 10 Slipstream Ale – 5.0%
Label: Very steampunk with more colour, reminds me of Bioshock Infinity.
Label Blurb: DARK AMBER IN COLOUR, THIS MALT-FORWARD ALE IS HIGHLIGHTED WITH HINTS OF BROWN SUGAR AND HAZELNUTS. THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE IS THROUGH A BOTTLENECK.
First Impressions: I like this especially since it is not hoppy and doesn’t stink like glory-hole breath.
Taste: Smooth and nutty, much like glory-hole breath but without the gagging.
Final Verdict: I’d love to meet and drink this ale at a truckstop bathroom.
Beer 11 Analogue 78 Kolsch – 5.0%
Label: Classy and retro, I like it very much. Not sure what kind of beer Kolsch is but I’ll find out.
Label Blurb: ANALOGUE 78 IS LIKE MUSIC TO YOUR BEERS. IT’S A CRISP, COLD-CONDITIONED ALE FEATURING A CLEAN MALT BODY THAT FINISHES DRY.
First Impressions: Wikipedia had a whole entry on Kolsch but I drank it before I could finish reading. It’s some sort of “beer.”
Taste: Different, but not in a bad way. I initially didn’t like it but I think that was just from the palate shock of switching so many beers types.
Final Verdict: Meh, not bad but kind of pedestrian.
Beer 12 Crazy 8’s Annu-Ale No. 8 – 8.0%
Label: Not sure why this wasn’t the 8th beer…Label is the back of a playing card from the cruelest deck known to man.
Label Blurb: EIGHT YEARS AGO, MATT PHILLIPS GAMBLED WITH A STACK OF CREDIT CARDS. HERE AND NOW, WE’RE CELEBRATING PHILLIPS EIGHTH ANNIVERSARY WITH THIS HOPPY ANNU-ALE, WE’RE THINKING OF THIS BREW AS A PRESENT TO OURSELVES, BUT WE CERTAINLY HOPE YOU’LL ENJOY THE HEFTY HELPING OF HOPS AS MUCH AS WE DO.
First Impressions: For an 8.0% beer this is surprising good, though it does kick like a molested mule.
Taste: A little hoppy but not to bad, or maybe my tastebuds just have Stockholm’s syndrome.
Final Verdict: A six pack of these would give you a nice glow and would make any 1-2 hour drive very interesting (as a passenger of course), so I approve.
Beer 13 Black Jackal Imperial Coffee Stout – 8.0%
Label: Another playing card, and another 8.0% emotional roller coaster.
Label Blurb: ANUBIS IS YOUR GUIDE THROUGH THE DARK DEPTHS OF THIS JAVA LADEN JOURNEY, FEATURING A DEEP BLACK COFFEE CREMA AND AN INTENSELY RICH & ROASTED CHARACTER. METHODICALLY CRAFTED WITH ONLY THE BEST ESPRESSO, THIS ONE-EYED JACKAL IS NO WILD CARD.
First Impressions: Holy shit, I love this!
Taste: Smooth and flavourful with a nice finish, I could see this being ordered instead of Guinness if they had it on tap at Chuck E. Cheese.
Final Verdict: I want this black bastard in me at all times.
Beer 14 Elsinore – 5.0%
Label: Kind of looks like a baseball jersey. Had to Google Elsinore for any significance…as far as I can tell it’s a shitty neighbourhood in Edmonton which doesn’t really narrow anything down.
Label Blurb: None.
First Impressions: Tastes like a Pilsner and goes down easy, just like you mama! #REKT
Taste: Dry but not overly so, with a smooth finish and no aftertaste.
Final Verdict: at 14 beers I don’t actually know anymore!
Beer 15 Oatmeal Stout – 5.0%
Label: An old man reaping some mature blonde wheat.
Label Blurb: STICK TO YOUR RIBS BREAKFAST NUTRITION. THE BEER THAT’S RICH, SMOOTH, AND FILLING, JUST LIKE MOM USED TO MAKE.
First Impressions: Stout! This is my jam, probably the opposite of an IPA which is why I hate them so much.
Taste: I like the Black Jackal more, but this is really good as well. And the oatmeal is for sure the star of the show.
Final Verdict: Delicious! I could knock these down all day and at 5.0% they won’t knock back!
Beer 16 Longboat Chocolate Porter – 5.2%
Label: A raven and some sort of long boat.
Label Blurb: CLASSIC PAIRINGS IN HISTORY: STEVIE WONDER & PAUL MCCARTNEY, SUPER DAVE OSBORNE & MR. FUJI, CHEDDAR CHEESE & PICKLES, BOB & DOUG MCKENZIE, MORK & MINDY, BONNIE & CLYDE, CHOCOLATE & BEER!!! WE’D SAY THAT LONGBOAT IS A CLASSIC CHOCOLATE PORTER, BUT LETS FACE IT, WHO’S EVER HEARD OF A CHOCOLATE PORTER? IT IS, HOWEVER, A RICH DARK ALE, WITH A DISTINCTIVE CHOCOLATE FINISH.
First Impressions: Lovin’ it, and not just because there are no more IPA’s in sight (knock on my wood).
Taste: Bold and beautiful just like the cross-dresser I catfished on Tinder earlier today.
Final Verdict: Philips is really nailing these dark beers, slow clap for them please.
Beer 17 Krypton RYE PA – 6.5%
Label: Green and radioactive like my poops after drinking too much blue Gatorade.
Label Blurb: BETTER TASTING THAN A SPEEDING BULLET, KRYPTON WILL BE HARD NOT TO DRINK IN A SINGLE GULP. SPICY RYE MALT AND BIG CITRUS HOP FLAVOURS MAKE KRYPTON THE PERFECT REFRESHMENT IN YOUR FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE.
First Impressions: Rye-PA?! You can’t fool me, I know this is just an IPA with rye in it! Although the deep citrus head notes leave me hopeful.
Taste: The citrus is like a refreshing punch in the dick, even if the hoppy aftertaste is still there to tickle your balls awkwardly.
Final Verdict: My least hated IPA so far!
Beer 18 Skookum Cascadian Brown Ale – 6.5%
Label: Some sort of tree or mushroom cloud.
Label Blurb: SKOOKUM [SKOOKUH M] (ADJECTIVE) FROM CHINOOK, WEST COAST NORTH AMERICA 1. A MONSTER INDIGENOUS TO THE CASCADE REGION. 2. STRONG, RELIABLE, AND/OR HARD-WORKING 3. BIG, BOLD HOP CHARACTERISTICS WITH A SMOOTH, RICH MALTINESS 4. THE UNOFFICIAL FUEL OF THE CASCADIAN REVOLUTION.
First Impressions: With the tree on the label I assume this will either be oaky or nutty, fingers crossed for the former.
Taste: Tastes like nuts alright.
Final Verdict: Like a dark IPA but just passes the bar enough so that I don’t have to invent a new word to describe my hatred.
Beer 19 Coulrophobia India Red Ale – 6.5%
Label: The John Wayne Gacy fan club. Interesting choice
Label Blurb: SCARED OF CLOWNS? US TOO, BUT IT’S TIME TO FACE OUR FEARS. COULROPHOBIA INDIA RED ALE JUGGLES FRESH PINE BITTERNESS WITH HINTS OF CITRUS FRUIT. POURING DEEP REDDISH-COPPER COLOUR WITH A MARSHMALLOW WHITE HEAD, ITS FRESH, FULL AROMA MAY JUST CHANGE YOUR MIND ABOUT BIG NOSES. DELICATELY BALANCED WITH A HEARTY MALT BASE, YOU’LL SMILE AT THE AMOUNT OF BODY WE SQUEEZED INTO THIS FLAVOUR VEHICLE; NO CREEPY FACE PAINT REQUIRED.
First Impressions: Well that makes more sense! They are aren’t child molesters (allegedly), just shitty clowns. Oh well, I am not scared of clowns, only of the word India in the title. Sounds like they are trying to slip me another secret IPA.
Taste: Blurghh, I hate clowns now. This beer gave me a headache, and it didn’t have anything to do with the previous 18.
Final Verdict: I’d like to shoot this out of a cannon into a clown’s colourful asshole, presumably while a slide whistle plays.
Beer 20 Trainwreck Barrel Aged Barley Wine – 10%
Label: Very Dick Tracy or maybe like a WWII propaganda poster…wait fucking 10%?! Ruh roh.
Label Blurb: ON THE ALE SIDE OF THE YEAST DIVIDE, THIS YEAR’S BARLEY WINE, TRAINWRECK, IS SET TO DERAIL YOUR HOLIDAYS IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE. PROVIDING A BOXCAR OF BIG MALTS AND RICH, CARAMEL AROMAS, TRAINWRECK WILL RUN YOU AROUND THE CORNER ON TWO WHEELS
First Impressions: I’m a little anxious but I’m also not a pussy so this is going in the horn while I smoke a cigar and eat some raw cougar meat.
Taste: Pours like a Guinness except it’s got more head than a Craigslist glory hole. Mmmm it’s so deep that your mom is blushing, I really like this, it dances across the tongue and a sweet aftertaste follows. I thought the high alcohol content would make this more of a novelty but no, this is a solid brew. Clap hands!
Final Verdict: Fucking love it, unfortunately it’s availability is limited.
Beer 21 Twisted Oak Stillage Barrel Reserve – 6.8%
Label: So much reading. It’s kind of surprising that I can still see let alone make out the letter-shaped numbers on the bottle. Starting to hate serif fonts.
Label Blurb: BORN AS A RICH, CREAMY STRONG ALE, THIS FULL-BODIED SCOTCH ALE IS ALLOWED TO REST IN SELECTED OAK WHISKEY BARRELS TO MATURE AND DEVELOP FLAVORS SLOWLY AND NATURALLY. THE NOSE COMBINES BOURBON, AMERICAN OAK, AND COTTON CANDY AROMAS. COMPLEX MALT FLAVORS FRAMED IN OAK, WITH HINTS OF VANILLA, TOBACCO, AND TOFFEE. THIS IS DEFINITELY A SIPPING BEER, BEST SERVED IN A BRANDY SNIFTER. THIS ALE PAIRS WELL WITH DARK CHOCOLATE AND STURDY CHEESES.
First Impressions: I like the barrel aged brews so far so this should be no different. Plus I love Scotch!
Taste: Tinnnnyyyy bubbbble make me happpyyyy. Nice and light carbonation make this go down faster than me on a sugar-coated Megan Fox, though I don’t get a very strong Scotchy taste and I wish for more.
Final Verdict: Easy-drinking and mellow, would be good paired with MORE SCOTCH!
Beer 22 Cherry Hieter Smoked Cheery Ale – 7.0%
Label: Cherries and what looks like the symbol for House Drunkenslob from Harry Potter.
Label Blurb: BUCKETS OF FRESH CHERRIES AND HOUSE-SMOKED MALTS HIGHLIGHT THIS FRUIT FORTIFIED SEASONAL. FLAVOURS OF SWEET CHERRIES ARE BALANCED BY A STRONG MALT BACKBONE AND FINISH WITH A WHISP OF SMOKE. THIS BREW IS RIPE FOR THE SIPPING.
First Impressions: I am excited, I love cherries and this smells spectacular.
Taste: Holy smokes….smokey smoke smoking smokers. It is very smokey is what I mean. It’s like drinking cherry Skoal, which is not to say it tastes bad but this is the rich flavour I would have expected from the Scotch beer. It’s still good but now I need a cigarette.
Final Verdict: Best paired with a menthol and regret.
Beer 23 Surly Blonde Big Belgian Triple – 9.1%
Label: Fuckin’ Cujo ready to chew your ballsack off. This beer is gonna be ruff! Get it?!
Label Blurb: THE SURLY BLONDE KEEPS WATCH OVER A BOTTLE CHOCK FULL OF FUNKY BELGIAN FLAVOURS AND LOTS OF ALCOHOL! WE BREW THIS WITH A HANDFUL OF HERBS TO GIVE A VERY DISTINCTIVE NOTE WHEN THE BEER IS YOUNG, AND LEAVE A BIT OF YEAST IN IT SO THAT IT IS ABLE TO MATURE OVER TIME, BUILDING COMPLEXITY FOR THE PROCRASTINATING (IE, PATIENT) AFICIONADO.
First Impressions: I don’t care what this is as long as the triple has nothing to do with being a triple IPA. But it does say Belgian, which host some of my fave wobbly pops.
Taste: Strong and masculine like the Thai girl I picked up the other day. I can see why they call it “surly” as I can see myself calling a whole lot of nice people a cunt whilst drinking this divine beverage.
Final Verdict: After a night of drinking these you may have a similar fate as Old Yeller.
Beer 24 Puzzler Barrel Aged Belgian Black IPA – 7.3%
Label: Perfect analogy: Puzzler. I love Belgian and barrel aged beer, but you know how I feel about IPAs unless you have drank more than myself and skipped to the end.
Label Blurb: CRAFTED IN COLLABORATION WITH OUR FRIENDS AT GREAT LAKES BREWING FROM TORONTO, BUCKETS OF BLACK MALT GIVE THIS BEER A DEEP EARTHY-BROWN COLOUR AND A HUGE BODY. GENEROUS PORTIONS OF BITTERING HOPS ADD BALANCE AND TIP THE FLAVOUR PROFILE DEFINITIVELY TO THE HOPPY SIDE OF THE SCALE, WHILE BELGIAN YEAST ENDOWS THE COLLABORATIVE BREW WITH A SLIGHTLY SPICY UNDERTONE.
First Impressions: It’s darker and blacker than Bill Cosby’s rape pistol. Although it smells a lot better.
Taste: Holy shit. I never thought the day would come….this is actually drinkable, nay, good! It’s creamy and full and god somehow just perfectly hoppy. God knows why they left this til the last one, must be a Christmas miracle!
Final Verdict: Happy holidays to me and what’s left of my liver!
I’m trying to get my hands on the 2017 version of this so I can complement this review. Looking forward to then, when I get to decipher another day on increasingly difficult beer tasting notes and shitty jokes while extremely hungover.