Phillips Brewing Company Short Wave West Coast Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV

Phillips Brewing Company Short Wave West Coast Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV (C$2.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, best before 7-Nov-2015)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two fingers of white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pale malt, light citrus and pine. (6/10) Taste: mild to moderate sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Palate: light body, moderate carbonation, short duration clean finish. (3/5)

Not an unpleasant APA, but it tends a bit to the watery – which puts it in some pretty awkward territory. I mean, APA is already a pretty questionable style: it’s got most of the IPA characteristics, but should be lighter in flavour, and arguably more sessionable. Well, at 5.2%, this thing is hardly light or sessionable (For most people. Yes, I can session 5.2, that’s neither here nor there.) yet it’s got a watery body and a mild flavour. Why would I not drink a full-on IPA, with a fuller body and fuller flavour, at the same ABV? Don’t get me wrong, this is a pleasant pint, but that’s all it is. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company Enjoy By 07.04.15 – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.4% ABV

Stone Brewing Company Enjoy By 07.04.15 American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.4% ABV (C$14.75 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, best before 4-Jul-2015)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two fingers of white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mango, pine resin, grapefruit, pale and caramel malt. (10/10) Taste: moderate sweet and moderately strong bitter. (10/10) Palate: medium body and moderate carbonation, with an off-dry building bitter finish and a gentle warming. (5/5)

Kind of splits the difference between the last two of these (02.14.15 and 04.20.15) – hoppier and slightly less malty than the April, but not quite as bright as the February. Still one helluva beer and incredibly easy-drinking for such a high ABV. (19/20)

9.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Big Rock Brewery / Last Best Brewing and Distilling Collaboration #1 – American IPA at 5.9% ABV

Big Rock Brewery / Last Best Brewing and Distilling Collaboration #1 American IPA at 5.9% ABV (C$2.85 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 473 ml, packaging date 29-Jun-2015)

Appearance: cloudy pale amber with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus, pine, pale/caramel malt, mild tropical fruit, some grassy. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderately strong bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, short duration moderately bitter finish. (4/5)

Well, I’d like to know what’s in this, but it doesn’t exist at any of the usual reference locations, and Big Rock’s web site is just doing their “we want the beer to speak for itself” plain white page approach. I’m guessing it’s hopped with something like Mosaic, at around 75 IBU, but in any case, it’s surprisingly good. And I don’t mean any disrespect to Big Rock by that – I’ve been drinking their products for a long time, and appreciate them for what they are. (And what they are, is a nearly macro-sized brewery that doesn’t really do “craft,” as much as “local.”) Much of their limited release experimental stuff has been less than overwhelming – I’ve done detailed reviews of more than a dozen, and only two have been better than 7/10, and they’ve been recent ones: Abandoned Abbey (8/10) and Coloborador (7.5/10). So, Big Rock’s recent trend of collaboration and experimentation seems to be gaining strength. Keep it up! (And it probably doesn’t hurt that I got this A/IPA extremely fresh – it’s only four days since it was canned.) (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Solstice d’été aux Framboises – Berliner Weisse at 5.9% ABV

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Solstice d’été aux Framboises Berliner Weisse at 5.9% ABV (C$2.85 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 341 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Appearance: cloudy red with a short, short-lived pink head, no lacing. (4/5) Aroma: huge tart raspberry, suggestions of sour cherry, wheat. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, minimal bitter, strong tart. (9/10) Palate: light body, moderate to low carbonation, short duration intensely tart finish. (4/5)

Well, damn. I was NOT expecting this sensory assault. Right off the hop, cracking it open releases room-filling aromas of tart raspberry. And pouring it is a blood-red torrent, topped by a delicate and short-lived frothy pink head. But, the taste? Oh, my, the taste. Intensely sour, like little I’ve ever had before. If you appreciate sours at all, you need to try this. (18/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Fernie Brewing Company Lone Wolf IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Fernie Brewing Company Lone Wolf IPA American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$7.05 at Solo Liquor Okotoks, 650 ml, best before 1-Nov-2015)

Appearance: clear pale amber with three fingers of rocky ivory head, good retention and moderate patchy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pine, citrus, caramel malt. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, moderate duration bitter finish. (3/5)

Fairly standard A/IPA – it’s not bad, but the hops could stand to be brighter. I’d like to try this fresh on tap some time, but in bottles there are better options at similar pricing. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Fernie Brewing Company Hot Saw India Brown Ale – American Brown Ale at 7% ABV

Fernie Brewing Company Hot Saw India Brown Ale American Brown Ale at 7% ABV (C$7.05 at Solo Liquor Okotoks, 650 ml, best before 1-Aug-2015)

Appearance: clear brown with one finger of rocky tan head, excellent retention and moderate patchy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: roasty malt, nutty, citrus, pine, molasses. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, moderate duration bitter finish. (3/5)

I’m not generally a fan of brown ales – because they’re generally pretty boring. Dry-hopping the hell out of them makes them marginally more interesting.The flavours are a little less pronounced than the aromas, and I’d like some more depth and complexity in both, but it’s not bad. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Willow Park Wine & Spirits (2015-07-03)

Visited my buddy Dave at Willow Park:

Alameda Brewing Co. Rose City Red
Alley Kat Brewing Co. Lemon Hefeweizen
Big Rock Brewery / Last Best Brewing and Distilling Collaboration #1
Brash Brewing Company Smoglifter Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Solstice d’été
Brouwerij Oud Beersel Bersalis Tripel Oak Aged
Lagunitas Brewing Company Equinox
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales Kili Wit
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales Seizoen
Nøgne Ø (Hansa Borg) Asian Pale Ale
Nøgne Ø (Hansa Borg) Vic Secret IPA
Nøgne Ø / Kissmeyer Naked Kiss
Nøgne Ø / Mikkeller / BrewDog Horizon Tokyo Black
Parallel 49 Apricotopus Sour Apricot Saison
Wild Rose Brewery Hef Nelson

#ryansbooze  ryansbooze.com

Lost Coast Brewery Tangerine Wheat – Fruit / Vegetable Beer at 5.5% ABV

Lost Coast Brewery Tangerine Wheat Fruit / Vegetable Beer at 5.5% ABV (C$6.57 at Solo Liquor Okotoks, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Appearance: clear pale gold with a short white head diminishing rapidly to nothing, no lacing. (2/5) Aroma: tangerine, wheat, pale malt. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate to low carbonation, short duration finish. (3/5)

A bit unidimensional. Yes, the tangerine is pleasant enough, and doesn’t come across as fake, but that’s about all there is to this. Ultimately, it’s orange juice in a bland IPA. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Cannery Brewing Company I.P.A. – American IPA at 6% ABV

Cannery Brewing Company I.P.A. American IPA at 6% ABV (C$5.90 at Solo Liquor Okotoks, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Appearance: clear medium gold with two fingers of rocky light tan head, good retention and moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: pine, tropical fruit, mild citrus, caramel malt, mild earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, strong bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

Not bad, but not great. Can’t really put my finger on where it falls down – ultimately it just feels like the hops could be brighter. It doesn’t really smell or taste like the high 85 IBU. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com