Molson Coors Canada Rickard’s Red IPA – American IPA at 5.7% ABV

Molson Coors Canada Rickard’s Red IPA American IPA at 5.7% ABV (C$3.31 at NLC Stavanger, 473 ml, bottle date 26-Oct-2015, reviewed 24-Nov-2015)

Appearance: clear medium amber with two fingers of fluffy ivory head, excellent retention and patchy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pine and citrus, caramel and bready malt. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, sweet giving way to a bitter finish. (3/5)

Well, that was unexpected. An authentic (-ish) American IPA from Molson? I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s not great – but it’s not bad, either. It’s very malty for the style, both in smell and in taste, but that doesn’t make it a complete loss. It’s not about to become my go-to or anything, but it’s worth a try. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Grassroots Brewing (Hill Farmstead Brewery) / Anchorage Brewing Arctic Saison (Batch #2) – Saison at 6% ABV

Grassroots Brewing (Hill Farmstead Brewery) / Anchorage Brewing Arctic Saison (Batch #2) Saison at 6% ABV (C$27.75 at Sundance Wine Market, 750 ml, bottle date 1-Mar-2014)

Appearance: hazy straw with one finger of loose white head, excellent retention and chunky lacing. (5/5) Aroma: brett funk, lemon zest, stone fruit, oak, leather, tobacco, wet straw and bruised apples. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild funky tart. (8/10) Palate: light body, moderate-high carbonation, crisp slightly spicy and funky finish. (4/5)

Enjoyable farmhouse style saison, tartly flavoured with a definite but not overwhelming brett funk and a complex suite of organics. Really good, but probably not really worth the slightly eye-watering price. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Yukon Brewing Company Over The Moon – Milk Stout at 5.6% ABV

Yukon Brewing Company Over The Moon Milk Stout at 5.6% ABV (C$3.50 at South Trail Calgary Co-Op, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Appearance: nearly opaque brown-black with a short mocha head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild/muted, coffee, cocoa, roasty malt, lactic sweetness. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-full body, moderate carbonation, sweet giving way to astringent bitter finish. (3/5)

Initially smells a little unremarkable, with a slightly muted assortment of the usual suspects, and the taste initially follows suit. However, as the pint progresses, the lactic sweetness drops off as the dark roasted astringent bitterness moves forward, completely dominating the finish. The finish is slightly aggressive, and I’ve certainly had better, but it’s not bad at all. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Postmark Brewing Winter Red – American Amber / Red Ale at 5.5% ABV

Postmark Brewing Winter Red American Amber / Red Ale at 5.5% ABV (C$6.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Appearance: clear amber-brown with one fat finger of loose ivory head, OK retention and patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: caramel malt, herbal, stone fruit, cooked vegetables, light diacetyl. (5/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (5/10) Palate: medium-light body tending to watery, moderate carbonation, mildly bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Not a lot going on in a frankly boring style. I’m getting little to no spices, but there is a definite vegetal aroma, and even a hint of diacetyl. A bit of a surprising swing an a miss from a brewer whom I’ve found to be fairly solid. (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Black Market Brewing Co. The Tradecraft Series Sour Ale with Blackberries – Berliner Weisse at 3.8% ABV

Black Market Brewing Co. The Tradecraft Series Sour Ale with Blackberries Berliner Weisse at 3.8% ABV (C$9.75 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Appearance: clear purplish red with one finger of medium dense light purple head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: big sour blackberry/raspberry, very light funk. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderately strong tart, minimal bitter. (7/10) Palate: light body, moderate carbonation, clean tart finish. (4/5)

Quite pleasant jammy blackberry flavour with big tart. I think the big tartness limits how many of these one could realistically drink, so it could actually stand to be heavier in body and ABV. Pretty and fun, though, and the blackberry makes this an interesting alternative to their 1945 Berlinerweisse (which this is based on). (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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

Dageraad Brewing Wet-Hopped Blonde Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7.5% ABV (C$6.92 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Appearance: hazy straw with a huge unwieldy fluffy white head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: lemon zest, Belgian yeast funk, coriander and black pepper, pale grainy malt, earth. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate-high carbonation, dry and slightly funky finish. (4/5)

I think this might be the best Dageraad I’ve had yet. Lots of Belgian character on the nose and the tongue, with a pleasant dry finish. Champagne-like body and carbonation, with very little indication of the relatively high ABV. The massive unwieldy head is like a brett infection, and I was going to say it doesn’t otherwise seem like it, but upon reflection, there are some brett-like flavours. Reminiscent of a De Ranke XX Bitter or a Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Wild Rose Brewery Flanders Ave Red – Flanders Red at 5% ABV

Wild Rose Brewery Flanders Ave Red Flanders Red at 5% ABV (C$11.88 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 750 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Appearance: slightly hazy medium amber with one finger of dense light tan head, excellent retention and patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: sour red berries, vinous, oaky. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, mild bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry tart finish. (4/5)

I’m deeply impressed that Wild Rose decided to take on a sour. Mind you, they did do a couple of goses, so it’s not exactly without precedent. It’s a little aggressive, especially for only a 5%-er, but still fun. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Sierra Nevada tap takeover at Craft Beer Market Calgary (2015-11-16)

Sierra Nevada tap takeover at Craft Beer Market Calgary

Flight #1:
Vienna Lager – Toasted biscuity and caramel malt, grassy, honey. Light body, medium-low carbonation, low head, no retention or lacing. Clean short finish. 7/10

Kellerweis – Banana, cloves, and wheat. Moderate sweet, low bitter. Cloudy gold with low head, little retention, no lacing. Lightly tart finish. 7/10

Porter – Coffee and toasty malts, light smoke.Moderate-low sweet with surprisingly floral and hoppy moderate bitter. Medium body, short bitter finish. 8/10

Narwhal Imperial Stout – Cocoa, coffee, floral, pine. Moderate-high sweet, mild bitter. Medium-full slick body, low carb, good retention and lacing. Very drinkable. 8.5/10

Hop Hunter IPA – White head, good retention and lacing. Punchy hoppy aroma, pine, citrus and floral. Moderate sweet, moderately strong bitter. Very nice! 8/10

Flight#2:
Close Call Kölsch – Citrus and grass but catty dominant. Moderate sweet, light bitter. Light body, clean and crisp finish. 6/10

Nooner Pilsner – Light citrus, grassy, honey. Moderate sweet, light bitter. Light body, short finish. Pretty standard pils. 6/10

Brown Ale – Coffee and nutty, little or no hop character. Moderate sweet, low bitter. Medium-light body, quick drop-dead finish. Inoffensive but boring. 6/10

Outside Lands Saison – Appleas and pears, stone fruit, light funk. Moderate-high sweet, low bitter, light tart. Quite mild, to the point of being a little boring. 6.5/10

Barrel-Aged Bigfoot Barleywine Style (2015) – Big bourbon, vanilla, oak. Nose hair singing solventy ABV. Moderate strong sweet and not much else. Surprising easy drinking given the nose. 7.5/10

Torpedo Extra IPA – Citrus, resiny pine and grassy, catty. Moderate-strong sweet, moderate bitter. Moderate-low carbonation, short finish. A bit disappointing. 6/10

#ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Black Market Brewing Co. David Golden Ale – Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7.7% ABV

Black Market Brewing Co. David Golden Ale Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7.7% ABV (C$10.75 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Appearance: clear deep gold with one finger of dense white head, good retention and patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: banana, yeast, grassy, stone fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, mild bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, dry lightly tart finish. (4/5)

Decent BSPA from a solid brewer. Nothing thrilling – tends a bit to the watery, and aside from the banana there’s not a lot of depth of flavour – but it’s definitely worth drinking. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Gigantic Brewing Company White Light White Heat (#28) – Belgian IPA at 8.2% ABV

Gigantic Brewing Company White Light White Heat (#28) Belgian IPA at 8.2% ABV (C$8.92 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale amber with one fat finger of creamy dense ivory head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: resiny pine, tropical fruit, citrus peel, pale malt, floral, slightly funky. (7/10) Taste: moderate-strong sweet, strong bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-full slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter and warming finish. (4/5)

Yep, that’s white heat. Along with a kitchen sink of just about anything you can think of – lots of complexity, including Belgian yeast and just a hint of funk. It’s a hot mess, but it’s not without its merits. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com