Brouwerij Oud Beersel Bersalis Tripel Oak Aged – Tripel at 10.5% ABV

Brouwerij Oud Beersel Bersalis Tripel Oak Aged Tripel at 10.5% ABV (C$21.21 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 750 ml, bottle date 7-Nov-2014 best before 7-Nov-2017)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: vinous, tart citrus, funky brett and lactic, floral, woody. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, moderate sour. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry and moderate sour finish. (4/5)

Definitely more of a sour/wild than a tripel – which isn’t a criticism by any means, because if there’s anything I like more than tripels, it’s sours. Lots of lacto and brett character, without being over the top. The quite high ABV is also integrated surprisingly well, and doesn’t really make an appearance. Reminds me of Cantillon Gueuze – and that’s not a compliment I throw around lightly! (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Phillips Brewing Company Analogue 78 B Side Kolsch – Kölsch at 5% ABV

Phillips Brewing Company Analogue 78 B Side Kolsch Kölsch at 5% ABV (C$2.00 at South Trail Calgary Co-Op, 341 ml, best before 22-Aug-2015)

Appearance: clear pale straw with two fingers of rocky ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: biscuity malt, grassy, light citrus. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, mild pepper. (6/10) Palate: light body, soft carbonation, short duration mildly bitter finish. (3/5)

A pleasant enough example of the style – light, crisp, and easy-drinking. Hardly challenging, but that’s hardly expected for a kölsch. Definitely a summer beer. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mill Street Brew Pub Stargazer Summer Ale – English Bitter at 4% ABV

Mill Street Brew Pub Stargazer Summer Ale English Bitter at 4% ABV (On tap at Mill Street Brew Pub YYZ)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one finger of dense light tan head diminishing gradually to a thin ring, moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: muted, crackery malt, grassy, mild fruit. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Palate: light to medium body, moderate carbonation, short duration mildly bitter finish. (3/5)

Basic bitter, light and sessionable, but tending to the bland – if not outright boring. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Dageraad Brewing Blonde – Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7.5% ABV

Dageraad Brewing Blonde Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7.5% ABV (C$8.29 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Appearance: clear pale straw with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, grassy, crackery malt, floral, spices. (7/10) Taste: moderately strong sweet, mild bitter, mild peppery spice. (7/10) Palate: light to medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry peppery and mildly warming finish. (4/5)

Decent brew from a BC brewery I’ve encountered only once before, in the Parallel 49 Brews Brothers collaboration saison – which I went into with no expectations but quite enjoyed. Because of that, I wasn’t quite as expectation-free this time around, but I still quite like this. An authentic Belgian-style strong pale, with elements of witbier and Belgian IPA at play. And yeah, it pretty much delivers what the label promises – complex, medium-dry belgian, with spice. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Strubbe Ichtegem’s Oud Bruin – Sour Red/Brown at 5.5% ABV

Brouwerij Strubbe Ichtegem’s Oud Bruin Sour Red/Brown at 5.5% ABV (€2.00 at de Biertempel Brussels, 250 ml, best before 10-Dec-2016)

Appearance: slightly hazy deep amber with a short tan head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: muted, red berries, wood (oak), brown sugar. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, mild tart. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly tart finish. (3/5)

Extremely mild oud bruin, almost no sour at all. Pleasant and mild, but a bit of a letdown, if I’m honest – I was looking forward to face-puckering tartness, and that just isn’t here. (12/20)

My 193rd from the 2010 Edition (181st from the 2013 edition), and 203rd combining both editions.

6/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Bavik De Brabandere Petrus Oud Bruin – Sour Red/Brown at 5.5% ABV

Bavik De Brabandere Petrus Oud Bruin Sour Red/Brown at 5.5% ABV (€2.25 at de Biertempel Brussels, 330 ml, best before 4-Dec-2016)

Appearance: clear deep amber with a short tan head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: sour cherries, candi sugar, red berries, woody, vinegar. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, moderate tart. (7/10) Palate: medium body, lively to moderate carbonation, dry tart finish. (4/5)

Quite a mellow sour, but balanced and even-handed. The aroma has a distinct but not overwhelming vinegar, which follows through on the tongue as a mild and pleasant tang. I would definitely enjoy this more if it were more aggressive, but I can see the attraction of a mellow sour, too. (14/20)

My 194th from the 2010 Edition (182nd from the 2013 edition), and 204th combining both editions.

7/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Epic Brewing Exponential Series Sour Apple Saison – Saison at 8.1% ABV

Epic Brewing Exponential Series Sour Apple Saison Saison at 8.1% ABV (US$8.99 at Total Wines & More, Henderson NV, 650 ml, Release #26 Brew date 6/20/13 Pack Date 7/12/13)

Appearance: clear pale straw with one fat finger of loose fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: sweet apples, citrus, mild barnyard funk, spices. (7/10) Taste: moderately strong sweet, mild bitter, moderate tart. (7/10) Palate: light body, lively carbonation, off-dry slightly sweet cinnamon finish. (4/5)

Even more sweet and boozy for a saison than their Straight Up, but still quite drinkable. The apple presence is strong and sweet without being cloying, making this taste very much like a cider. Not as sour as I was hoping, but sufficient to temper the sweetness and still quite pleasant. The spice presence grows as the bottle progresses, with cinnamon eventually coming through loud and clear (though it doesn’t at the outset).The ABV is almost completely hidden, making this a bit of a dangerous brew. Slightly disappointing and inferior to their Straight Up – but only slightly. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Epic Brewing Exponential Series Straight Up Saison – Saison at 6.8% ABV

Epic Brewing Exponential Series Straight Up Saison Saison at 6.8% ABV (US$7.99 at Total Wines & More, Henderson NV, 650 ml, Release #11 Brew date 3/13/13 Pack Date 3/27/13)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fingers of loose fluffy white head, good retention and chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: barnyard funk, citrus, crackery malt, herbal, peppery spice. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild tart. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry and slightly warming finish. (4/5)

A bit sweet and boozy for a saison, but still quite good. I don’t generally appreciate gushers, but this one was quite low-speed, so I could manage it with zero spillage. I suspect that’s largely due to this thing being two years old, but the extra time in the cellar doesn’t appear to have done it any harm – there’s no runaway lactic or brett, for example, and the funkiness, though definite, is even-handed. Pretty much what it says on the label: a straight-up saison. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Laughing Dog Brewing Dogfather – American Double / Imperial Stout at 10.85% ABV

Laughing Dog Brewing Dogfather American Double / Imperial Stout at 10.85% ABV (C$11.50 at Zyn, 650 ml, bottle date 1-Dec-2014)

Appearance: clear deep brown with a fat finger of dense tan head, decent retention and minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: slightly harsh whiskey, dark fruit, dark chocolate, brown sugar. (7/10) Taste: moderately strong sweet, moderately strong bitter. (7/10) Palate: full body, low carbonation, lingering hot and bitter finish. (4/5)

Big and boozy, even for an imperial stout, and not perfectly done – yeah, I’m definitely getting the bourbon barrel, but it could be smoother. There’s an edge to the aroma that initially comes across as solvent… which, I guess, alcohol is. Not a complete washout, mind you – and it improves as it warms up… and as you warm up… (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com