Parallel 49 Brewing Company Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale – American Amber Ale at 6% ABV

Parallel 49 Brewing Company Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale American Amber Ale at 6% ABV

(On tap) Pours a deep ruby with a fat finger of cream-coloured head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap and moderate lacing. Nose is pine resin and grassy hops, toasted malt and caramel. Taste is malt forward, sweet caramel, backed up by moderate hop bitterness. Medium body and low persistent carbonation.

A little too much malt and too little hops for my preference, but that’s par for the course for an amber ale. Not bad, but not all that interesting or challenging.

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brasserie d’Achouffe McChouffe – Belgian Strong Ale at 8.0% ABV

Brasserie d’Achouffe McChouffe Belgian Strong Ale at 8.0% ABV

Pours cola brown with a fat finger of medium dense tan head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and moderate lacing. Nose is dark stone fruit, raisins, dark malt, brown sugar. Taste leads out with dark malt, giving way to medium bitterness, with peppery spiciness. Mouth feel is surprisingly light, with sustained lively carbonation and mild warming.

Very similar to the La Chouffe in hop character, body, and carbonation, with the major difference being the dark malt, as opposed to the light malt of the La Chouffe. These two beers are pretty much identical otherwise, with the fundamental difference being the choice between light and dark malt.

My 79th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 75th by the 2013 Edition, or 81st overall.

7.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brasserie d’Achouffe La Chouffe – Belgian Strong Ale at 8.0% ABV

Brasserie d’Achouffe La Chouffe Belgian Strong Ale at 8.0% ABV

Pours a clear golden blonde with a fat two fingers of fluffy white head, great retention and heavy lacing. Nose is yeasty banana, stone fruit, sweet malt. Taste is hoppy bitter and balanced sweet biscuity malt. Mouth feel is lively with sustained carbonation, medium body but crisp, with an off-dry finish and a well-integrated mild warming.

Quite pleasant, if not quite as nice as the Houblon Chouffe (tripel). Nose and flavour are both a little coarser and heavier than the tripel even though the ABV is lower. However, that’s not to denigrate the beer overall: it suffers slightly by comparison, true, but overall is a very solid performer.

My 78th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 74th by the 2013 Edition, or 80th overall.

7.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Clown Shoes Muffin Top – Belgian IPA at 10.5% ABV

Clown Shoes Muffin Top Belgian IPA at 10.5% ABV

Pours a clear copper with two fingers of fluffy off-white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim with moderate spotty lacing. Nose is pine resiny hops, pineapple, orange, apricot, caramel malt. Taste starts moderately sweet, then fruity, finishing citrusy and bitter. Mouth feel is medium- to heavy-bodied and chewy, with moderate carbonation and warming.

Not a tripel style at all, more of an double/imperial IPA: when I think Belgian tripel, I think lighter hop varieties, floral, banana or bubblegum, clove phenols, peppery spice. This has pretty much none of those, and instead is pine resin, tropical fruit, and sweet malt. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fine DIPA, but I don’t see how it’s in any way a tripel. Malt is definitely present, but not overly emphatic, playing a nicely supporting role. A big beer, albeit not as heavy as might be expected from the ABV. But it’s not a tripel.

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

The Bruery Hottenroth Berliner Weisse – Berliner Weisse at 3.1% ABV

The Bruery Hottenroth Berliner Weisse Berliner Weisse at 3.1% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy lemony yellow with two fingers of fluffy white head diminishing moderately quickly to a thin skim and light lacing. Nose is muted citrus and honey, faint fruit. Taste is tart apple and citrus, slight bready yeast and malt. Light-bodied and crisp, with sustained carbonation and a dry, tart, and bitter finish.

One heck of a hot day on the patio kind of beer. Not sweet at all, tart and crisp, almost cider-like in character. The low ABV makes this something you could drink all day long. Now I want to try it with raspberry syrup!

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brasserie de la Senne Taras Boulba – Belgian Ale at 4.5% ABV

Brasserie de la Senne Taras Boulba Belgian Ale at 4.5% ABV

Pours a cloudy straw yellow with one finger of dense white head, excellent retention and no lacing. Nose is muted, citrus and grassy hops, slight malt. Taste is bitter grapefruit, slightly sour, faint malt. Light body, thin and slick, dry bitter finish.

Interesting. The grapefruit similarities in both the appearance and the flavour make this almost like a radler. Minimal to non-existent sweetness and a dry finish make this pretty drinkable. I’m not sure I’d call it “extra hoppy ale”, though, since the hops are fairly muted in the nose, albeit somewhat more present in the flavour.

My 78th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 73rd by the 2013 Edition, or 79th overall.

7/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Gigantic Brewing Company GINORMOUS – Imperial IPA at 8.8% ABV

Gigantic Brewing Company GINORMOUS Imperial IPA at 8.8% ABV

Pours a clear copper with two fingers of fluffy white head with good retention and heavy lacing. Nose is caramel malt and piney hops, pineapple, citrus. Taste is moderate sweet followed rapidly by moderately strong bitter. Medium to heavier body and a slightly chewy texture, long bitter sticky finish and moderate warming.

Decent enough DIPA, with a nice hop emphasis and just enough malt to balance it out. Almost getting into palate wrecker territory, but not quite. Bit of an edge on the hops in the nose and taste, but a damn fine looking beer if nothing else.

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Gigantic Brewing Company Volta – Saison at 8.4% ABV

Gigantic Brewing Company Volta Saison at 8.4% ABV

Pours a clear gold with two fingers of foamy white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, thick ropy lacing. Nose is Belgian yeast, floral and fruity, with a little spice. Flavour is well-balanced moderate sweet and bitter, slightly spicy. Light body, moderate sustained carbonation, and a mild warming.

Quite a nice beer that functions as a passable saison, but actually seems to bridge saison and tripel in terms of style, particularly in the ABV and the malt balance. I have to say, I like it. I’m starting to be fairly impressed by Gigantic.

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Le Trou Du Diable Les Quatres Surfeurs De L’Apocalypso – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Le Trou Du Diable Les Quatres Surfeurs De L’Apocalypso American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy straw with two fingers of light fluffy head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and moderate lacing. Nose is piney hops and a little tropical fruit, light malt. Taste is balanced, medium sweet and bitter. Medium to full body, slightly sticky, with a lingering bitter, slightly spicy and gently warming finish.

Well, that’s quite pleasant! Nice balance of the malt and the hops, with just enough fullness in the body to carry off the higher ABV. Sticky without being cloying, with a little bit of spicy pepper in the finish. Not quite a sunny day thirst quencher, but not a long way away from that, either. You could do a lot worse than this!

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com