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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!