Brouwerij Van Steenberge Vampire Pale Ale – Belgian Pale Ale at 7.0% ABV

Brouwerij Van Steenberge Vampire Pale Ale Belgian Pale Ale at 7.0% ABV (C$13.90 at Liquor Crossing Red Deer, 750 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours slightly hazy page gold with a three fingers of loose ivory head, good retention and lacing. (3/5) Nose is Belgian yeast, lemon, apples and pears, pale malt, light pepper. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering dry finish. (4/5)

A fairly middle-of-the-pack BPA. Decent fruitiness, but not entirely clean – there’s a little brown apple in there, but not bad overall. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij der Trappisten van Westmalle Westmalle Dubbel – Abbey Dubbel at 7% ABV

Brouwerij der Trappisten van Westmalle Westmalle Dubbel Abbey Dubbel at 7% ABV (C$5.29 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, best before 30-Apr-2016)

Pours opaque ruby brown with a short light tan head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, no lacing. (4/5) Nose is complex: toffee and caramel, brown sugar, dark slightly boozy stone fruit, mild cloves, banana and bubblegum. (9/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter, very slight tart. (9/10) Full slightly creamy body, soft carbonation, lingering dry finish. (5/5)

Really good. The sweetness is never cloying, and as it fades, there’s a very mild lingering bitter that you keep expecting to come forwards – but it doesn’t. The bitter stays in the background and never upsets the smooth fruity flavour or the lingering dry finish. There’s a very slight restrained acidity that keeps the mouth feel clean and almost crisp, and brings out the stone fruit flavour. I love hoppy and bitter beers, and this is pretty much the complete antithesis of that: it’s all about the dark malt fruitiness – and I like it a lot. There’s a reason this is considered a reference dubbel. (18/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Lagunitas Brewing Company Hairy Eyeball – American Strong Ale at 9.1% ABV

Lagunitas Brewing Company Hairy Eyeball American Strong Ale at 9.1% ABV (C$8.00 at Zyn,  650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear amber-brown with three fingers of light tan head, excellent retention and lacing. (5/5) Nose is toffee malt, brown sugar, dark slightly boozy stone fruit, mild pine resin. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild peppery spice. (7/10) Medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter and mild spicy finish. (4/5)

Surprisingly smooth and light for a beefy ABV. I keep thinking there’s rye in there because of the little spice kick, but it doesn’t appear that there is. An interesting deep and rich malty brew. I’m not generally a fan of malty, but this works pretty well. Not sure I’d shave my eyeballs for it, but… (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Rosée d’Hibiscus – Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer at 3.9% ABV

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Rosée d’Hibiscus Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer at 3.9% ABV (C$3.50 at Zyn, 341 ml, bottle date 1-May-2014)

Pours clear reddish pale amber with one finger of short-lived off-white head, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is berries, light wheat, floral, light yeast. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, low bitter, slight tart. (6/10) Medium body, moderate to low carbonation, quick finish. (3/5)

Not all that great: reminds me of some of Innis & Gunn’s better products – e.g. the Cherrywood. It’s sweet and fruity, but without a lot of depth to back it up. The hibiscus is less pronounced than I was hoping it would be, but I’m not sure more emphatic floral notes would help all that much. Not one of DDC’s best offerings. (12/20)

My 157th from the 2010 Edition (148th from the 2013 edition), and 167th combining both editions.

6/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Ninkasi Brewing Company Dawn of the Red – American IPA (India Red Ale) at 7.0% ABV

Ninkasi Brewing Company Dawn of the Red American IPA (India Red Ale) at 7.0% ABV (C$8.25 at Zyn,  650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale amber with one fat finger of loose ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderately heavy lacing. (4/5) Nose is pithy grapefruit, pine resin, caramel malt, pineapple, slight buttery diacetyl. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate to low carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Better than I was expecting, actually. I’ve gotten pretty jaded about reds in general, so my expectation for this was similar to what I’d expect for an IPL: sure, you can do it, but why bother? But, y’know, not bad at all. The initial taste is decently well-balanced hoppy bitter and malty sweetness, with a pleasant lingering bitterness once the sweetness fades. Decent overall, and pretty darned good for a red. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com