Amsterdam Brewery Boneshaker – American IPA at at 7.1% ABV

Amsterdam Brewery Boneshaker American IPA at at 7.1% ABV (C$3.00 at Liquor Depot McKenzie Town, 355 ml, bottle date 3-Dec-2014)

Pours hazy medium amber with three fingers of rocky light beige head, excellent retention and lacing. (5/5) Nose is pithy grapefruit, orange peel, pine resin, mild tropical fruit, caramel malt. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderately strong bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry bitter finish. (4/5)

Nice full-bodied IPA. A little on the malty side, but not overly so. Decent body, slightly chewy. Well-integated ABV that doesn’t intrude. Would kinda like to see brighter hops, though. Pretty darn good overall. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brewsters Brewing Company Brewsters Brooding Soldier Tripel – Abbey Tripel at at 8.5% ABV

Brewsters Brewing Company Brewsters Brooding Soldier Tripel Abbey Tripel at at 8.5% ABV ($5.29 at South Trail Co-Op, 355 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours hazy pale gold with one finger of dense white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, heavy lacing. (4/5) Nose is overripe apples and pears, doughy yeast, caramel malt, floral and grassy. (6/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, boozy sweet finish. (3/5)

Not a bad tripel, but certainly not up to the standard of true Belgians. Or even Quebec Belg-ish. The high ABV is fairly well-integrated, though, and it’s not without its charms. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Half Pints Brewing Co. HoppenHeimer – Wheat Ale at at 4.8% ABV

Half Pints Brewing Co. HoppenHeimer Wheat Ale at at 4.8% ABV ($6.75 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no can date or best before)

Pours hazy pale gold with an explosive three fingers plus of white head, great retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is tropical fruit, wheat, banana, pine resin. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, strong bitter, slight sour. (7/10) Light to medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering dry and bitter finish. (4/5)

What the hell is that? It’s like the bastard love child of a Belgian IPA and a wheat beer. With a hefty dose of saison and brett. It’s not entirely a success: the nose is actually a little muted, and the astringency of the brett tones pushes the bitterness a little out of balance with the malt. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Steam Whistle Brewing Steam Whistle Pilsner – Pilsener at at 5% ABV

Steam Whistle Brewing Steam Whistle Pilsner Pilsener at at 5% ABV ($3.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 500 ml, no can date or best before)

Pours clear straw with one finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, patchy lacing. (3/5) Nose is crackery pale malt, grassy hops. (6/10) Taste is mild sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Light body, prickly to moderate carbonation, crisp finish. (3/5)

Meh. It’s pretty decent, as pilseners go, but that’s not exactly an emphatic endorsement, is it? Don’t get me wrong, I’d take this over Canadian or Stella any day of the week – but I also wouldn’t actually buy either one of those, either. Decent enough as a thirst quencher with a meal. If I was having lunch somewhere that had only macro lagers on tap, and this was an option, I’d have it. Barring that set of circumstances, I’ll probably never have this again. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Russell Brewing Company Peaks and Valleys – American Pale Ale at at 5.1% ABV

Russell Brewing Company Peaks and Valleys American Pale Ale at at 5.1% ABV ($7.25 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale amber with a fat finger of pillowy white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is citrus (juicy orange and pithy grapefruit), herbal, some tropical fruit, slight pine resin, some caramel malt. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Light to medium body, moderate carbonation, with a crisp finish. (3/5)

Pleasant APA with lots of juicy citrus flavour, while the crisp finish and lower ABV make it quite sessionable. That said, the Centennial hops are nice, but perhaps a little sharp on their own. Not harsh, per se, but a bit on the sharp side. Good, without being great. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mikkeller Amass B&W – American IPA at at 6.5% ABV

Mikkeller Amass B&W American IPA at at 6.5% ABV ($5.09 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, best before 15-Jul-2016)

Pours hazy pale amber with two fingers of pillowy white head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is tropical fruits, juicy citrus, pine resin, mild pale malt. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderately strong bitter. (7/10) Medium body tending to the light, moderate carbonation, with a dry bitter finish. (3/5)

Another Mikkeller IPA with a truly stupid shelf life. What black magic does this guy weave, anyway, that a beer so heavily reliant on a bright hop character can keep so long? Not his best, though – there’s some thinness in the body, which tends a bit to the watery, and the hop bittering feels a little unbalanced. Yes, I usually prefer hop forward, particularly for this style, but this feels like a little more malt sweetness would balance out the juicy citrus tones a little more. As it stands, this starts off feeling a little harsh – though that diminishes as the bottle progresses, and it finishes strong. There’s also not much of the dank character I associate with a west coast style IPA – it’s really more pine, and that’s overshadowed by the citrus. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Corne du Diable – American IPA at at 6.5% ABV

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Corne du Diable American IPA at at 6.5% ABV ($3.08 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 341 ml, bottle date 2-Nov-2014)

Pours clear medium amber with one finger of light beige head diminishing gradually to a thick cap and chunky lacing. (4/5) Nose is caramel and toffee, citrus, pine resin. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, strong bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, with an off-dry building bitter finish. (3/5)

Decent beer that sort of splits the difference between an IPA and a DIPA. Not as good as their Moralité or Disco Soleil, though – there’s a little harshness in the bittering, and the malt has a little heavy emphasis on the caramel. Good, without being great. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Quarry Park Co-Op (2015-02-24):

Today’s second haul – Quarry Park Co-Op:
Alley Kat Dragon Series Red Dragon
East African Breweries – Diageo Tusker Lager
Ninkasi Brewing Company Total Domination
Old Yale Brewing Co. Sasquatch Stout
Parallel 49 Salty Scot
Rogue Ales Voodoo Doughnut Lemon Chiffon Crueller Ale
Stone Brewing Company Enjoy By 02.14.15
Unibroue Grande Réserve 17 (2014)

#ryansbooze

Green Flash Brewing Co. Road Warrior – Imperial / Double IPA at at 9.0% ABV

Green Flash Brewing Co. Road Warrior Imperial / Double IPA at at 9.0% ABV ($9.09 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear medium amber with three fingers of light beige head diminishing gradually to a thick cap and chunky lacing. (4/5) Nose is caramel malt, rye, mild citrus, black pepper. (6/10) Taste is mild sweet, strong bitter, mild peppery spice. (8/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, with an off-dry building bitter finish. (3/5)

I do like me a rye IPA – the sharpness of the rye malt tends to play well with the traditional IPA hop bitterness. And I usually enjoy Green Flash’s offerings. That’s not to say I don’t like this one – I do – but it’s just a little on the aggressive side when it comes to the bittering. Good, but not their best. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company Enjoy By 02.14.15 – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.4% ABV

Stone Brewing Company Enjoy By 02.14.15 American Double / Imperial IPA at  9.4% ABV ($10.49 at Quarry Park Co-Op, 650 ml, best before 14-Feb-2015 )

Pours clear pale gold with two fingers of white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim and spotty lacing. (4/5) Nose is mango, pine resin, grapefruit, pale and caramel malt. (5/5) Taste is moderate sweet and moderate to strong bitter. (5/5) Medium body and decent sustained carbonation, with an off-dry building bitter finish and a gentle warming. (5/5)

Don’t tell me how to live my life, bottle! Even though this is ten days past the best by date, this is probably the the best Enjoy By I’ve tried so far. This is pretty much the perfect DIPA – the flavours are a wonderfully balanced combination of all the best hop characteristics, with just enough sweetness to balance out the huge bitterness that comes out on the finish. And like prior vintages, the high ABV is hidden to a truly impressive degree. Literally the only thing in this brew that could be improved is the head retention and lacing, which is a pretty minor aesthetic consideration. (19/20)

10/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com