Alexander Keith’s Celeia Hop

Name: Alexander Keith’s Celiea Hop
Style: Single Hop Ale
From: Halifax, NS

The beer pours a deep amber with a thick, off-white head.

The nose is entirely lemon, well lemon with a bit of spice (pepper and coriander). Super citrus though!

It’s medium bodied with a little astringency on the finish. It starts off a bit malty and a little sweet with some of the lemon and citrus coming through followed by a finish of peppery  spices that lingers.

This is probably my favourite of all the hop series beers so far, it’s from a hop that I haven’t (knowingly) had before, and I was pretty impressed with its flavours!


Tao Tea New Style Lapsang

Name: Tao Tea Leaf New Style Lapsang Souchong
Style: Smoked Black Tea
From: WuYiShan, Fujian Province, China

Brewed: 3g, for 2 minutes at 98C

The tea brews a dark brown with a reddish tint and a bit yellow a the edges.

There’s a definite smoke note on the nose, as long with a very earthy note and sugarcane. The smoke isn’t overwhelming as it can be in other Lapsang’s though.

The tea is full bodied, without any astringency. The start of the sip is a bit of light smoke, midway through, there’s a nice honeyed sugar and maltiness that comes through before fading back into smoke.

Overall this is a very tasty tea, and a more subtle version of a traditional version of Lapsang Souchong. It’s super drinkable and not like licking an ashtray – which is nice.

Buy: Tao Tea Leaf

What they say:
This lapsang souchong is a much sweeter and less smoky take on a classic tea. The leaves contain a higher ratio of buds to leaves than the original. The leaves and buds are also picked earlier in the harvesting season. This means that the tea is much sweeter. This full bodied tea is perfect for those who would are new to the world of lapsang souchong or those who enjoy a more subtle and subdued smoked flavour.


Ye Sheng, Autumn 2013

Name: Yunnan Sourcing Ye Sheng, Autumn 2013
Style: Raw Pu-ehr
From: Yunnan, China

1 tsp, 95°C Water, 1 min + Rinse

This brews a light orange colour with a slight tinge of pink in the centre.

This is a smokey one! There’s a bit of the leafy earth in here, with some honey and maybe a touch of floral hiding way off in the background.

Tastes like a campfire, smokey with a lot more leaf/earth/dirt than on the nose, there’s a bit of peach flavour that comes in as well. The honey and floral notes are still there in the background.

This one has a very interesting smokiness to it that I didn’t expect from a pu-ehr. I find this one is rather light and easy for a pu-ehr, and even with that smokiness I could easily drink this often.

Xue Ju Shu Pu, 2013

Name: Yunnan Sourcing Xue Ju Shu Pu, 2013
Style: Ripe Pu-ehr with Crysanthenum
From: Yunnan, China

1 tsp, 95°C Water, 1 min + Rinse

This tea brews a deep brown with a slight tinge of red to it.

On the nose there’s a lot of earth, with some dried berries and rich crysanthemum notes.

This tea had a bit of astringency to it the first couple steeps. The flavours were pretty much identical to the nose, crysanthemum, berry and earth.

This snow crystanthemum pu-ehr is so different from the other one, with a lot less of the dirty, leafy earth and more fruit flavours present. The florality (that’s a real word, right?) of the tea is a lot more subtle, but there.

Tao Tea Ginseng Oolong

Name: Tao Tea Leaf Ginseng Oolong
Style: Flavoured Oolong
From: Taiwan

1tsp, 95°C Water, 2 min

This brews a pale yellow with sightly darker, golden centre.

The nose hits you first with honey and floral before moving into a creamy herbal/grassy note.

The tea is very thick and mouthcoating, it gives a nice tactile sensation in the mouth (Ok, that’s very strange sounding when I write it down). Flavourwise it’s similar to the aroma, the ginseng notes of earthy, grassy herbs reach you first, with honeyed, floral notes taking over after. The tea has a nice cooling finish, not so much a flavour as a feeling.

The tea is nicely balanced between flavours from the oolong and ginseng, I’ve had one in the past which was a ginseng bomb and it wasn’t very appealing. Maybe it’s just me today but this tea has some… oomph to it that brings more that just flavour and aroma when I’m drinking it. It’s hard to explain, I’m probably a bit crazy, it’s ok.

Tao Tea Coconut Oolong

Name: Tao Tea Leaf Coconut Oolong
Style: Flavoured Oolong
From: Taiwan

1tsp, 95°C Water, 2 min

This brews a pale gold with a grey rim to it.

The nose on the tea is strongly coconut cream, with a touch of floral to it. It smells a touch sun tan lotiony, in a good way.

It’s a bit thin compared to some other Oolongs I’ve had. The Oolong flavours of honey and flowers come through a lot stronger on the palate with the coconut coming through on the finish.

It tastes like Oolong and coconut put together. There’s nothign overwhelming, it doesn’t taste like suntan lotion either. Definitely a winner for flavoured teas. It also makes a fantastic cold brewed iced tea.

2013 Domaine Saint Paul Viognier

This was in one of the vintages releases in July, and I’ve been on a white wine kick recently (mostly Savvy’s and Viogniers) and for the price ($14) I couldn’t pass it up. I opened it up today to A) Drink and B) add a splash to my peach frozen yogurt.

Name: Domaine Saint Paul Viognier, 2013
From: Midi, France
Varietal: Viognier
ABV: 13%

The wine is a nice pale yellow colour with a thin, clear rim. It has some quick running legs that run down the glass nicely.

On the nose the wine is very floral with a bit of peach and orange zest. It smells exactly like I think a viognier should.

The wine’s dry with a medium acidity level. On the palate the peach takes over, a grapefruit zest comes in mid way through and there’s a long finish with the peaches making a comeback, although this time there’s a hint of bitterness. You could say it’s peach pit, you could say grapefruit pith… Either way.

Overall the wine is fantastic, balanced nicely and is pretty much everything I want in a white wine. I’ve got nice floral, fruit, citrus layered in there. It’s refreshing and certainly not boring.

Spirit Tree Dry Hop Cider

This was one I picked up at Christmas time and it took a few months to drink it. I really hope that some of the other cideries start releasing hopped ciders (because a bunch make them) in format or another.

Name: Spirit Tree Dry Hop Cider
Style: Flavoured Cider
From: Caledon, On
ABV: 6.9%

This pours up a pale yellow with a slight greenish tinge, and some big bubbles.

The nose brings up a whole bunch of fruit notes from the hops: stone fruit, tangerine, melon, lots of floral notes. There’s a little touch of pine in the background too.

The cider is nice and dry, very tart and crisp. The flavour is primarily fresh apple, a lot of lemon, orange and tangerine flavours coming through as well. Mid palate brings some earthiness and peach with a touch of minton the finish.

This had been sitting in my fridge for about 3 months, and who knows how long on the shelf, so I’m sure it lost some of the hop character. It was still fantastic and was drinking great. Very refreshing and a nice flavour twist from a plain cider.

Spirit Tree Draught Cider

I was so happy when this hit the stores in cans instead of the (waaaaay too expensive) bottles. It’s been a staple in my fridge since then.

Name: Spirit Tree Draught Cider
Style: Dry Cider
From: Caledon, On
ABV: 6%

This pours a pale yellow colour with a greenish tint to it and lots of big bubbles.

The aroma has a lot of apple character to it, obviously, which really dominates. Behind that there’s a touch of honey and some lemon zest.

This cider is dry and crisp, with a touch of tartness on the finish. The first thing you taste are unsurprisingly crisp, ripe apples with a little bit of floral coming it. There’s some nutmeg and spice in the background there too. The finish tastes more like green apple because of that tartness.

This is pretty much my standard cider since it showed up on the LCBO shelves earlier this summer. There isn’t anything special about it, nothing really stands out about it, but it’s just a delicious, well made, dry cider.

Tao Tea Leaf Ginger Green Tea

Disclaimer: Free sample from Tao Tea Leaf

This one is a bit tough to talk about because it’s about as subtle as a brick to the face. I’ve had some ginger greens before that were a bit light/disappointing on the ginger. This is not one of them.

Name: Tao Tea Leaf Ginger Green
Style: Flavoured green

5g,  85°C Water, 1 min

It brews a dull greenish yellow colour, pretty consistent through the cup.

The aroma is almost entirely ginger, I had a hard time even picking up any sort of green tea aromas in the background.

The tea is pretty thick and mouth coating. There’s a lot of ginger up front, it definitely dominates the tea. You get a little cut grass and melon on the finish, enough to remind you that it has some tea to it!

Pretty basic with a lot of ginger. It doesn’t disappoint there and tastes like it should. I can see myself buying a little of this just to have for when my stomach wants a ginger tea. I didn’t try, but I think this would resteep well too.