Monday, December 7, 2009

New seasonals from Phillips!

It's back -- and in full bottles, too!
Phillips Instigator's 2009 edition has just been released, to fill that yawning gap in the Phillips release schedule between the Dirty Squirrel and the Hammer Imperial Stout. 8.5% alcohol and stiff enough that you can stand a straw up in it, Instigator is just the thing for the cold snap we're going through right now -- curl up in front of the fire with one while you wait for BC hydro to come and get your heat up and running again!

For the even more adventurous, there's Phillips Deadhead Barley Wine -- an ale with 10% alcohol, and in their words, "as gentle as a log to the bow."

Both of these fine products will be available for only a short time, so don't hesitate -- the weather may turn warm again!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Blackstone Porter is back!

It's been almost a year since we've carried this great offering from Victoria's Driftwood Brewery -- and they've been 11 tough months! This time, Driftwood has sworn on a stack of Brewer's Guardian that this time they're going to keep it on our shelves a little longer; maybe for the entire winter season. For more details than you'll ever need to know, take a peek here! Otherwise, take a peek on our shelves just about any time after Nov. 6th!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Hermannator is Back!

It must be that time of year again! Vancouver Island Breweries has entrusted us with about a hundred and fifty precious six-packs of their staggeringly good (snicker!) once-a-year ice bock!

This year's version meets the potent standards set by last year's brew -- full-bodied and complex, with a whopping 9.5% alcohol seamlessly integrated into the mix -- the one beer to have when you're having only one!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Easter Seals Drop Zone -- Still time to donate!

* Not exactly as illustrated

Spiritmerchants' Heroic Duo -- Caitlynn Crawford and Maria Natalia Perri -- will rappel down the face of Victoria's CIBC building to raise donations for Easter Seals on September 17th! It's never too late to donate! Come in to Spiritmerchants at Vic West, goggle at the Courageous Two, and make a donation!

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's Here: Phillips Crazy 8's!

You think you're crazy? Phillips Brewing Company is celebrating it's eighth anniversary in business with with "annu-ale" (their phrase, not mine) number eight: Phillips Crazy 8s -- 8% alcohol and 100% fabulous.

The idea is that with each passing year, they'll bring out a celebratory beer that's 1% higher in alcohol than the beer from the year before. Style will evolve with alcohol content; pretty soon it's going to be a fortified malt product! Stick around for the 50th anniversary and we'll all learn something!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

10% Off Craft Beer Products with Beerfest Spinnakers Coupon!

Save that Beerfest program! On the back of it you'll find coupons for a host of Spinnakers products -- including as the jewel in the crown, a coupon worth 10% off any craft beers purchased before October 31st at either our James Bay or Vic West Spiritmerchants stores!

Last Chance for Phillips Gentleman Jim's!

Our already-limited supply of this glorious Phillips one-shot is getting down to the bendin' end -- we've got only about 5 cases left and they're fading fast! Here's what the brewery had to say about it:

This copper ale will hit you with a few flavourful jabs of ginger before walloping you with the full spectrum of taste. This new seasonal is named after legendary prizefighter Gentleman Jim Corbett who changed boxing from a primitive pursuit into the scientific sport it is today. Like Gentleman Jim, this fiery ale is not a heavy puncher, however it can still put you down for the count, but will graciously shake your hand when you come to.

Who am I to argue with eloquence like that? Gome and get it before it's gone!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Gone out; back soon....

Stay tuned -- We'll be back up with a host of new products in a day or two!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Coming to Spiritmerchants: Phillips Double Barrel!

Mark Tuesday the 28th of April with a big X on your calendar, because that's when Phillips delivers its first few dozen boxes of their newest to Spirit-merchants: Phillips Double Barrel!

Innis and Gunn fanciers take note---this is another case of Phillips doing what they do best: taking a great idea and running with it. Double Barrel is just that, a beer aged first in bourbon barrels; then in wine barrels from the Okanagan.

We're looking forward to our first bottle; we know you will be too!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

April 3: Jacob's Creek tasting at Spiritmerchants Vic West!

(Not exactly as illustrated.)

Spiritmerchants presents an encounter with the many and varied wines of Australia's Jacobs Creek winery!

We'll be pouring between 3:30 and 7:30 PM on April 3rd---see you then!

Joie and Bliss!

The first of this years release from JoieFarm Wines arrives at Spiritmerchants this week! Need we say more?

Well, we will---whether we need to or not! Joie's are among the most popular whites and ros├ęs we've ever carried at Spiritmerchants, and we're bringing in a full complement this year. Their Noble Blend and Reisling especially stand out this vintage, although there's not a weak link in the Joie chain We're just blissed-out to have them back in the store---for as long as they last!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 12, 13 and 17th Tastings at Spiritmerchants Vic West!

March 12th from 3:30 to 6:30 PM, the hop-heads from Russell Brewing will get their product poured for the multitudes at Vic West. Russell produces Russell Cream Ale, Pale Ale, Honey Blonde Ale, Extra Special Lager, Lemon Wheat Ale, Winter Porter and Lions Lager---and anyone just off the train from Winnipeg will immediately recognize Russell as the sister operation of their renowned Fort Garry Brewery.
March 13th, it'll be Tinhorn Creek's turn in the spotlight---we'll be pouring an exhaustive (and exhausting) selection of their wares between 3:00 and 6:00 PM

St Patrick's Day, March 17th, sees a four hour marathon pouring of Jameson's Irish Whiskey at Vic West! Better than Single Malt? We'll let you decide!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Marley Farm Kiwi Solera ---Fruit Wine was Never Like This!

We'd never tasted anything like Marley Farm's Kiwi Solera before and neither will you! Made in a solera fashion like sherry (that is, with bits of previous years' vintages finding their way into the final mix), Marley's Kiwi has been going from strength to strength with each passing year, but this year they've reached a new plateau! Wonderful fruit backbone; crisp, perfectly balanced (and we mean perfect) acidity; (16.8%) alcohol in the sherry range... this is the perfect desert wine! (Its maker recommends it with spicy asian food and we agree---only provided you don't mind too much of a great thing!)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Burrowing Owl is Back!

Finally, it's here again!

We've just received our allocation of Burrowing Owl 2006 Chardonnay and 2005 Meritage, and it's already flying off the shelves! Here's what its maker had to say about the Chard:
This wine displays classic stone-fruit aromas of white peach and white nectarine along with hints of orange blossom and rich toasted oak. The flavours continue onto the palate with the stonefruit and oak melding to transform the wine into a complex expression of Okanagan Chardonnay. Texturally, the wine is big and round in the mouth with a soft, viscous mouthfeel and a nutty, warm finish. Drink now through 2010.

And the Meritage:
Aromas of heady, smoky, mixtures of violets, cassis, blackberry, plums, vanilla, cloves, and toasty oak. On the palate, the wine is firm yet subtle, offering big, rich flavours, seamless texture and tremendous persistence of flavours.

Come and get yours while the gettin's good!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kermode's fabulous fruit wines!

They've won medals at the All-Canadian Wine Championships, but their website has about as much information on it as a tombstone. Somebody has to start promoting Dewdney, BC's Kermode Fruit Wines---so it might as well be me!

Kermode's Fritz and Bob Spreiszl are either content to let their wines speak for themselves, or are so busy expanding their portfolio and collecting their prizes they haven't time to let the world know how fabulous their product is.

All-Canadian Wine Championship winners:
  • Glacier Bear Apple Dry
  • Himilalayan Blackberry Port
  • Alpine Blueberry

Spiritmerchants carries a respectable whack of Kermode's ever-expanding line of products (Fritz and Bob have said in the past that they have ambitions to try and make wine from all 40 or so of BC's native wild berries, so we may have to buy some more shelving) and our patrons pay them the kind of compliment we take to heart: When they try them, they come back for more!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New from Driftwood Brewery!

Two new beers from Victoria's Driftwood Brewery turned up on our doorstep this week!

Brewmeisters Jason Meyer and Kevin Hearsum have this to say about their new Blackstone Porter:
"With just enough dark malt to be black this Porter leans toward the dry side in its malt profile. The addition of a partial sour mash (not uncommon in pre-Industrial Revolution Porters) lends a subtle tartness to the bittersweet chocolate flavour that dominates."
Jason and Kevin recommend pairing it with oysters, smoked foods, cheese and chocolate; we'd suggest pairing it with a couch and a TV set playing either NFL playoffs or a good movie.

Old Cellar Dweller is made of even sterner stuff: At 12% alcohol, it's more of a barley wine than a mere Ale:
"Three times the malt bill and five times the hops of a normal strength beer, this Barleywine tests the limits of our brewhouse and our backs! But the real struggle is in getting this massive brew to completely ferment, a true test of our skill and the vigor of our yeast. Consisting of 98% Pale Malt (with a bag CaraMunch thrown in for color) and just one hop variety, Columbus, this beer showcases these two basic ingredients in their most concentrated state."
Jason and Kevin recommend pairing it with blue cheeses and nuts.

We say, treat it reverently!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back from Phillips Brewery!

Spring? Who needs it?

Rated an 'A' by The Beer Advocate, Phillips Hammer Imperial Stout is back at Spiritmerchants again for another limited run! Here's what one of the BA critics had to say about the last batch:

This is a world class RIS that ages gracefully. Dark and thick, this is pure sexy chocolate and roasted coffee malts. I have had bigger and even better impys but this has to be one of the best BC beers ever. The case for Matt Philips as one of the best BC brewers can be made from this beer alone.

Who cares if it's raining outside, when you've got something like this in the fridge?