Maine Beer Company Peeper Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV

Maine Beer Company Peeper Ale American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy golden straw with a fat finger of fluffy, soapy head with great retention and spotty, chunky lacing. Nose is mild grassy and herbal hops, citrus and light bready malt. Taste is similar, with light hoppy citrus and biscuit malt. Body is light and smooth, with soft carbonation and a medium dry bitter finish.

A solid APA, crisp and refreshing. Restrained ABV and a light body make this an excellent summer beer.

8.5/10 #ryansbooze

Brouwerij Liefmans Cuvee-Brut – Kriek / Flemish Red at 6.0% ABV

Brouwerij Liefmans Cuvee-Brut Kriek / Flemish Red at 6.0% ABV

Pours a deep ruby with an enthusiastic three finger light mauve head diminishing gradually to a half finger cap and moderate sticky lacing. Nose is cherry and malt vinegar with woody and slight funky notes. Taste is well-balanced medium sweet and sour, with little bitterness. Medium body, medium to low carbonation, with a lingering dry finish.

Lots of cherry without being overwhelming, and no cough syrup character. Just enough sweetness to temper the moderate sourness makes this a very pleasant and approachable sour. In fact, I think this is the beer that led me down the path to the true sours. Very good, but a little too middle of the road to be ranked as great.

8.5/10 #ryansbooze #1001beers

Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA – American IPA at 6.0% ABV

Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA American IPA at 6.0% ABV

Pours a crystal clear copper amber with two fingers of persistent fluffy head and moderate sticky lacing. Nose is grapefruit and floral hops, caramel malt. Taste leads out with caramel malt giving way to piney hops. Body is medium, with sustained carbonation and a bitter dry finish.

Surprisingly decent IPA for a pseudo-craft label like Sam Adams. The finish is a little on the harsh side, with a little saccharine sweetness, but fairly serviceable should you find yourself facing limited options.

(The label? Beats me – it was a gift/trade. I assume it spent some time in an ice bucket.)

6/10 #ryansbooze

Okanagan Spring Brewery Apricot Summer Weizen – Wheat Ale / Fruit Beer at 5.0% ABV

Okanagan Spring Brewery Apricot Summer Weizen Wheat Ale / Fruit Beer at 5.0% ABV

Pours a hazy gold with a two finger creamy off-white cap, decent retention and moderate lacing. Nose is artificial and overwhelming apricot, with additional fruit, sugary malt, and perfume. Taste is dominated by apricot, with little or no wheat presence. Light body, moderate carbonation, semi-sweet saccharine finish.

Blah. Regardless of whether it’s actually fake or not, it tastes fake. And when I say “perfume”, I don’t mean “hot chick on the elevator” perfume, I mean “grandma in the nursing home, vain attempt to mask the ever-pervasive odour of urine” perfume. It’s not quite as bad as a macro lager, but let’s face it, what is? I honestly can’t see a scenario in which I ever have another one of these, that doesn’t also involve ice-pick lobotomies.

5/10 #ryansbooze

Micro-brasserie Le Trou Du Diable La Morsure – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Micro-brasserie Le Trou Du Diable La Morsure American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Pours a cloudy straw with an enthusiastic persistent fluffy head and moderate sticky lacing. Nose is complex – citrus, pineapple, pine, biscuity malt, earthy herbal tones. Taste is similar, with grapefruit bitterness and pine resin, crackers, a slight herbal pepperiness, and an off-dry finish. Medium- to light-bodied, with low residual carbonation and a lingering bitterness.

“Compulsive Strong Ale” indeed. It’s only 6.5%, so it’s hardly heavy-duty, but la morsure (“the bite”) comes from hops, not ABV – which is just the way I like it. Interestingly enough, the quote on the back of the bottle reads «Le bonheur est dans l’amertume» (“Happiness is in bitterness”) which I think sums it up nicely. Got fairly thick with sediment towards the end of the bottle, but that’s hardly a negative for a bottle-conditioned ale. Pleasant and worth trying.

8.5/10 #ryansbooze

Micro-brasserie Le Trou Du Diable Shawinigan Handshake – Weizen Bock at 6.5% ABV

Micro-brasserie Le Trou Du Diable Shawinigan Handshake Weizen Bock at 6.5% ABV

Pours a cloudy straw with a foamy two finger white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim and moderate spotty lacing. Nose is very Belgian – lots of bananas, cloves, and bubblegum, with just a hint of cinnamon and spruce. Taste follows suit, with a distinct peppery bite. Medium bodied, with decent carbonation and a lingering off-dry finish.

This bottle had quite a bit of residue around the neck and cap, but it appeared to be just yeast, with no off flavours in the nose or taste. Definitely a characteristic weizenbock, with a strong clove character. Just as a little aside of Canadiana, the dude on the label looks nothing like the skater hippie who Chrétien actually throttled (the “Shawinigan handshake”), and actually bears a strong resemblance to Don Cherry.

8.5/10 #ryansbooze

Goose Island Beer Co. Honker’s Ale – English Bitter at 4.3% ABV

Goose Island Beer Co. Honker’s Ale English Bitter at 4.3% ABV

(On tap) Pours a clear copper with one finger of fluffy head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, heavy lacing. Nose is predominantly biscuity english malt, faint pine and citrus hops. Taste follows suit, with a mellow caramel sweetness followed by a mild bitter finish. Mouth feel is medium-bodied, with low carbonation and and off-dry bitter finish.

Not my favourite style, I admit. But as it goes, not bad. The malt isn’t overwhelming, and is decently balanced against the mild bittering. It’ll do, I guess, but I won’t have a second.

7/10 #ryansbooze

Goose Island Beer Co. India Pale Ale – IPA at 5.9% ABV

Goose Island Beer Co. India Pale Ale IPA at 5.9% ABV

(On tap) Pours a clear light gold with one finger of fluffy head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate lacing. Nose is bright pine and citrus hops against toasty biscuit malt. Taste follows suit, with grapefruit hops followed by mild malt and finishing with a lingering bitterness. Mouth feel is light- to medium-bodied, with low carbonation and an off-dry bitter finish.

Not bad at all. A fairly straightforward IPA, but not at all unpleasant. Easy drinking, with a pleasantly crisp texture and a decent hop profile.

7.5/10 #ryansbooze #1001beers

Left Coast Brewing Co. Hop Juice – Double India Pale Ale at 9.7% ABV

Left Coast Brewing Co. Hop Juice Double India Pale Ale at 9.7% ABV

Pours a murky orange amber with a short off-white head diminishing to a thin skim and patchy lacing. Nose is caramel malt, pine and citrus hoppiness. Taste is caramel malt followed by pine resin and mango. Mouth feel is medium-bodied with low carbonation and a slippery, buttery texture.

Too sweet for my taste – a DIPA (especially one called Hop Juice!) should be dominated by hops, not malt – yet I find that malt dominates in both the nose and the taste. No date code on the bottle, but I wonder if this one is past its prime?

6/10 #ryansbooze

Boston Beer Company Samuel Adams Rebel IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Boston Beer Company Samuel Adams Rebel IPA American IPA at 6.5% ABV

(On tap) Pours a clear gold with a fluffy white two finger head diminishing gradually to a thin skim and spotty lacing. Nose is pleasantly hoppy, pine and citrus, with a mild malt background. Taste is similar, with decently balanced piney hops and biscuity malt, with a pleasantly peppery aftertaste. Mouth feel is medium-bodied, with mild persistent carbonation and a lingering bitter finish.

This is a pretty decent A/IPA. Restrained hoppiness, but also not too malt-forward. Nothing earth-shaking, but a very drinkable IPA.

7.5/10 #ryansbooze

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