Wild Rose Brewery Cherry Porter – Porter at 6.5% ABV

Wild Rose Brewery Cherry Porter Porter at 6.5% ABV (C$13.99 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 1 l, no bottle date or best before, reviewed 20-Mar-2016)

Appearance: clear brown with amber-brown highlights, one finger of light beige head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: roasty malt, coffee, chocolate, light cherry. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light tart. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, mild bitter and light tart finish. (3/5)

A fairly well-balanced porter, with an appropriately light(ish) body. Not a lot of cherry coming through – really more of an undifferentiated tart fruit, and I’m not sure I’d’ve identified it as “cherry” without the label. Opens up slightly upon warming, but not dramatically so. Ultimately, it’s not bad, but it’s not great, either. (12/20)

My 221st from the 2010 Edition (210th from the 2013 edition), and 232nd combining both editions.

6/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Howe Sound Brewing Woolly Bugger (2014) – Barley Wine at 10.5% ABV

Howe Sound Brewing Woolly Bugger (2014) Barley Wine at 10.5% ABV (C$6.53 at Andrew Hilton Wine & Spirits, 375 ml, no bottle date or best before, reviewed 20-Mar-2016)

Appearance: hazy amber-brown with one finger of light beige head, excellent retention and lacing. (5/5) Aroma: sweet toffee, dark fruits, bready yeast, woody. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter, moderate alcohol. (7/10) Palate: full slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, malty warming finish. (3/5)

Alcohol definitely present on the tongue but not so much on the nose. Despite its 75 IBU, the bitterness takes a while to become apparent over the sweet toffee. Aggressive, verging on harsh, but not quite. Like drinking a puréed dark fruitcake. Definitely a big boy beer. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Microbrasserie Les Trois Mousquetaires Dixième – Sour / Wild Ale at 10% ABV

Microbrasserie Les Trois Mousquetaires Dixième Sour / Wild Ale at 10% ABV (C$15.82 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 750 ml, no bottle date or best before, reviewed 19-Mar-2016)

Appearance: hazy, nearly murky deep amber-brown with one finger of light beige head, excellent retention and patchy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: dark cherries, chocolate, woody, yeast, light vanilla. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate tart, light bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry tart finish. (4/5)

First time I’ve ever had a beer that called itself an “Imperial Kriek”. Reminiscent of Black Forest Cake, with a little funky wood in the finish. Alcohol is nearly non-existent, which is a little surprising given the double digit ABV. Another decent Belgian from Quebec. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brewsters Brewing Company Howitzer – Winter Warmer at 7% ABV

Brewsters Brewing Company Howitzer Winter Warmer at 7% ABV (C$6.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, reviewed 19-Mar-2016)

Appearance: clear amber-brown with one finger of light beige head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, patchy lacing. (3/5)  Aroma: caramel/toffee, malty, nutty, spices, mild dark fruit. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

OK for what it is – malt dominant, with some typical “winter” spices. Not all that well balanced, though, and slightly harsh on the finish. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Marston’s Plc Marston’s Oyster Stout – Stout at 4.5% ABV

Marston’s Plc Marston’s Oyster Stout Stout at 4.5% ABV (C$4.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 500 ml, best before 9-Sep-2016, reviewed 19-Mar-2016)

Appearance: near opaque black with brown highlights, one finger of light beige head settling fairly rapidly to a thin cap, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: coffee, toasted bready malt, caramel. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate-high carbonation, off-dry light bitter finish. (3/5)

Fairly light, somewhat sweet, and easy-drinking. Pretty simple and straightforward, albeit with a somewhat higher than normal carbonation for the style. As far as I can tell, it’s not actually an “oyster stout” (in the sense that it contains oysters or shells), but is intended to accompany oysters? Personally, I prefer a nice IPA with oysters, but hey, whatever floats your (oyster) boat… (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Speakeasy Butchertown India Black Ale – Black IPA at 8.2% ABV

Speakeasy Butchertown India Black Ale Black IPA at 8.2% ABV (C$9.78 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, reviewed 18-Mar-2016)

Appearance: clear brown with one fat finger of light beige head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pine, citrus, chocolate, liquorice, roasty slightly smoky malt, light mint? (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

Decent Black IPA. The hop character leads the way, but is balanced nicely by roasty malt. A good blend of hoppy IPA aspects and roasty stout character. This seemed to be a bit of a flash in the pan style, but this is a solid example of how it should be done. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Steel & Oak Brewing Co. Dry Hopped ESB – Premium Bitter / ESB at 4.6% ABV

Steel & Oak Brewing Co. Dry Hopped ESB Premium Bitter / ESB at 4.6% ABV (C$6.06 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, bottle date 28-Jan-2016, reviewed 18-Mar-2016)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of ivory head, excellent retention and patchy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: vegetal, catty, biscuity malt, pine. (4/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

Tastes quite a bit better than it smells. Actually, the smell settles down after a bit – but the very first whiff is vegetal, and though I don’t know what it’s dry-hopped with, there’s a cattiness suggesting Citra or Mosaic. Definitely not getting the “bright aroma of citrus and grapefruit” in the brewer’s product notes. Although it gets a little more palatable as it progresses, ultimately becoming somewhat drinkable, it’s not great. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Le Trou du Diable Mellifera Honey Beer – Saison at 5% ABV

Le Trou du Diable Mellifera Honey Beer Saison at 5% ABV (C$6.77 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 600 ml, no bottle date or best before, reviewed 18-Mar-2016)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with a short off-white head diminishing gradually to a medium cap, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: stone fruit, lemon, grainy toasty malt, honey, lactic sour, dry hay funk, white pepper. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, moderate funky tart, light pepper. (8/10) Palate: medium body, lively to moderate carbonation, drying tart and funky finish. (3/5)

An interesting take on the style, with some honey flavour coming through alongside lactic sour and dry funk. Somewhat sweet for the style, and not a lot of peppery spice. Despite being somewhat out of spec, it’s a pleasant, solid performer. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck Bacchus Vlaams Oud Bruin – Sour Brown Ale (Flanders Oud Bruin) at 4.5% ABV

Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck Bacchus Vlaams Oud Bruin Sour Brown Ale (Flanders Oud Bruin) at 4.5% ABV (C$5.65 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 375 ml, best before 7-Apr-2017, reviewed 18-Mar-2016)

Appearance: clear brown with amber-brown highlights, a short light beige head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: woody, red wine, vinegar, cherries and other dark fruit, caramel. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body tending to watery, lively carbonation, off-dry tart finish. (3/5)

Smells a bit better than it tastes. Disappoints just slightly on the tongue, and the body turns watery fairly rapidly despite the lively-ish carbonation. Not unpleasant, by any means, but there are certainly better examples of the style out there. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck St. Louis Premium Framboise – Fruit Lambic at 2.8% ABV

Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck St. Louis Premium Framboise Fruit Lambic at 2.8% ABV (C$3.31 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 250 ml, best before 1-Jun-2017, reviewed 18-Mar-2016)

Appearance: murky deep red with a short fluffy light purple head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: tart raspberry, candi sugar, light wood. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, lively carbonation, off-dry tart finish. (3/5)

Not a lot more to this than raspberry, albeit real-tasting and pleasantly jammy. I’m getting a little woodiness, but not really any of the wheat or elderberry the ingredients claim. Simple and authentic, sweet but not cloying. Reminds me of Brussels! (14/20)

7/10  #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com