Brouwerij Lindemans Faro – Faro Lambic at 4.2% ABV

Brouwerij Lindemans Faro Faro Lambic at 4.2% ABV

Pours a clear deep copper brown with two fingers of fluffy slightly off-white head compacting gradually to a persistent cap and heavy lacing. Nose is candi sugar, cherry, light funk and leather. Taste is sweet and fruity, with a little more sour cobwebby funk than is present in the nose, and some vinous oak. Mouth feel is medium-bodied with sustained moderate carbonation and an off-dry finish.

This is nice. Much sweeter and milder than a gueuze, very similar to a cherry lambic but with more brown sugar and less cherry. The sweetness makes smaller servings appropriate – this would be a very decent dessert beer.

8/10 #ryansbooze

Green Flash Brewing Co. Rayon Vert – Belgian Pale Ale at 7.0% ABV

Green Flash Brewing Co. Rayon Vert Belgian Pale Ale at 7.0% ABV

Pours a hazy orange with a huge frothy three finger white head diminishing gradually to a lumpy marshmallow-like cap and heavy lacing. Nose is strongly dominated by brett funk, with a little fruit and sweet malt in the background. Taste follows suit, but with more malt presence, as well as a little umami. Mouth feel is medium-bodied, with low carbonation and a gentle alcohol warming.

I see this compared to Orval, but I don’t think I agree – the brett is much more pronounced than Orval, and the fruit less so. This is more like Gato Negro, with its heavy-handed brett funk, albeit with a little more West Coast character. The brett settles down somewhat as the glass progresses and the beer warms.

7/10 #ryansbooze

8 Wired Brewing Co. Hopwired – American IPA at 7.3% ABV

8 Wired Brewing Co. Hopwired American IPA at 7.3% ABV

Pours a clear copper with one fat finger of persistent dense white head and moderate spotty lacing. Nose is tropical fruit, citrus and piney hops, balanced nicely with caramel malt. Taste is quite similar, with sweet caramel malt giving way to oranges, tropical fruit, and piney hops, finishing with a pleasant lingering bitterness. Mouth feel is medium-bodied and creamy, with persistent moderate carbonation and an off-dry finish.

Not bad at all. The hops and malt are decently balanced, though I rather suspect it’s been a long journey from New Zealand. There is a certain historicity to drinking an IPA that has undergone a long journey and the concomitant ageing and fading of the hop sharpness, as did the recipients of the first IPA’s, and the high-ish ABV is apparent only as a gentle warming. I would, however, like to try this fresh – possibly after an exhilarating drive up Ninety Mile Beach!

8/10 #ryansbooze

Unibroue Éphémère Cerise – Fruit Beer at 5.5% ABV

Unibroue Éphémère Cerise Fruit Beer at 5.5% ABV

Pours a clear orangish pink with three fingers of fluffy faintly pink head, gradually compacting to a short dense cap and no lacing. Nose is predominantly cherry, very faint sour funk and perhaps a hint of malt. Taste is much less intense than suggested by the nose, cherry flavour reminiscent of cough syrup, but with low sweetness, slight yeast and pepper. Mouth feel is light-bodied, with persistent effervescent carbonation.

Not very exciting. The sweetness level is not bad, but the intensity of the fruit flavour could be higher, as could the sourness. The carbonation is sustained without being aggressive, with a champagne character. Improves with the lees poured into the final tulip, amping up the yeast flavour. Not bad, but not thrilling.

7/10 #ryansbooze

Big Rock Brewery Dead Reckoning Royal IPA – American IPA at 7.5% ABV

Big Rock Brewery Dead Reckoning Royal IPA American IPA at 7.5% ABV

Pours a clear coppery amber with two fingers of foamy off-white head gradually diminishing to a thin skim and moderate lacing. Nose is biscuity toffee malt, citrus, and spicy, earthy hops. Taste is pretty similar. Mouth feel is medium-bodied, with medium to low carbonation and an off-dry finish.

Now this is a little more like it – not a bad little IPA, though a more aggressive hop profile wouldn’t hurt.

7/10 #ryansbooze

Boston Beer Company Samuel Adams Boston Lager – Vienna Lager at 4.9% ABV

Boston Beer Company Samuel Adams Boston Lager Vienna Lager at 4.9% ABV

Pours a clear medium amber with one finger of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate lacing. Nose is predominantly caramel lager malt, with faint floral hops. Taste is similar, sweet malt and mild hop bitterness. Mouth feel is light- to medium-bodied, with persistent moderate carbonation and a building bitter finish.

Not bad for a fairly large-market lager. At least it’s not sickly with adjunct flavours. I wasn’t the least interested in having another, but decent enough for a thirst quenching lager. And it’s another of the 1001 for me to check off the list!

6/10 #ryansbooze #1001beers

Gigantic Brewing Company Gigantic IPA – American IPA at 7.3% ABV

Gigantic Brewing Company Gigantic IPA American IPA at 7.3% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy light amber with a foamy white head, good retention, and moderate lacing. Nose is light pine and citrus hints balanced with light cereal malt. Taste leads out with sweet caramel and biscuit, becoming moderately bitter with pine and citrus notes. Medium body, slightly sticky and astringent, with a slightly tart, mildly warming finish.

A little maltier than I prefer my IPAs, but still nicely balanced and quite drinkable. Relatively light in both aroma and flavour, with no west coast funk.

8/10 #ryansbooze

Le Trou Du Diable Saison Du Tracteur – Saison / Farmhouse Ale at 7.0% ABV

Le Trou Du Diable Saison Du Tracteur Saison / Farmhouse Ale at 7.0% ABV

Pours a cloudy medium gold with a huge fluffy head, good retention, and minimal lacing. Nose is floral hops, citrus, yeast, and coriander, with a little barnyard funk. Taste is similar, with a peppery edge. Medium-bodied with prickly carbonation, mild warming, and a lingering bitter dry finish.

Very pleasant saison. Just enough funk to make it interesting, without making it challenging or aggressive. I like the little rye bite, as well. Lots of chunky yeast at the bottom of the bottle, but I don’t consider that a negative – you shouldn’t be able to see through your beer, anyway!

8.5/10 #ryansbooze

Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Sorachi Ace – Saison / Farmhouse Ale at 7.6% ABV

Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Sorachi Ace Saison / Farmhouse Ale at 7.6% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy pale golden with one finger of white head, good persistence and moderate spotty lacing. Nose is dusty funk and citrus with some malt. Taste is dusty and bitter, caramel malt, with a bitter and floral aftertaste. Medium body, moderate to low carbonation.

Not my cup of tea. I’ve had Sorachi hops before, and had the same reaction. Musty and dry, without much malt.

6/10 #ryansbooze