Red Collar Brewing Co. Red Collar White IPA – Belgian IPA at 6.5% ABV

Red Collar Brewing Co. Red Collar White IPA Belgian IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$7.25 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 28-May-2016, reviewed 30-May-2016)

Appearance: cloudy pale gold with one fat finger of fluffy off-white head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: herbal/floral, diacetyl, citrus, caramel. (3/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate bitter. (3/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

Woof. Bit of a train wreck. Butter’s got no place in an IPA (or any beer, really). Starts out mediocre and gets worse from there. I was cautiously optimistic about these guys after trying their IPA, but this is just a mess. (8/20)

4/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Red Collar Brewing Co. Red Collar IPA – India Pale Ale (IPA) at 6.25% ABV

Red Collar Brewing Co. Red Collar IPA India Pale Ale (IPA) at 6.25% ABV (C$6.75 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 28-May-2016, reviewed 30-May-2016)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: caramel malt, tropical fruit, citrus, earth and grass. (6/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

Definitely an English-style IPA, but decently well done. Funny, it’s my second E/IPA with ANZ hops in two days – is this a thing, now? Because, really, it’s not that impressive a thing, so let’s go back to hop-forward pales, please and thank you, mmmmkay? You can keep the ANZ hops, those I like – just maybe be a little more generous with them? Keep the English ale yeast if you’re absolutely bound and determined to make it an E/IPA, but you could throw some Nelson Sauvin into the mix, maybe dry hop with ‘em. Does “English” really have to be synonymous with “boring”? (Silly question – of course it does.) (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Speakeasy Scarface – American Double / Imperial Stout at 9.5% ABV

Speakeasy Scarface American Double / Imperial Stout at 9.5% ABV (C$13.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 23-May-2016, reviewed 29-May-2016)

Appearance: nearly opaque black with brown around the margins, one fat finger of medium dense light beige head, excellent retention and chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: roasty malts, dry cocoa, liquorice, hint of bourbon barrel. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, soft carbonation, dry bitter warming finish. (3/5)

Yeah, I know it’s supposed to be spring, but I’ve got too many of these dark things on hand, gotta drink ‘em down. Not all that impressive an imperial stout – tends a bit to the thin side, and the barrel notes are muted, even after warming. On the up side, it’s not heavy, so it’s fairly easy drinking for a nearly double digit ABV. Pleasant enough. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Granville Island Brewing West Coast Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV

Granville Island Brewing West Coast Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV (C$7.99 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 29-May-2016, reviewed 29-May-2016)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with one fat finger of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel malt, mildly dank pine, faint citrus, earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (3/5)

This is a bit of a strange beast. Yeah, I get the “west coast” dank aspect, though that’s not what I expect from ANZ hops – those, I generally find to have a more vinous character, and I’m getting none of that here. Moreover, in terms of the hop/malt balance, this is more like an English pale, with caramel malt leading the way, and a distinctly earthy character to the hops. English malting, ANZ hops… it’s not a “West Coast Pale”, it’s a “Prison Ship Pale”! It’s not terrible, by any stretch – but it’s a long way from memorable. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Granville Island Brewing Campground Common – California Common at 5% ABV

Granville Island Brewing Campground Common California Common at 5% ABV (C$7.99 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 29-May-2016, reviewed 29-May-2016)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one finger of loose white diminishing rapidly to a thick cap, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: grassy hops, grainy malt, light citrus, mild fruit esters. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate biter. (6/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry crisp mild bitter finish. (3/5)

I’m not very familiar with this style – I think this might be my third ever – but I have had Anchor Steam, which is pretty much the originator of the style, so I’ve got at least some idea of how it should go. And this is pretty much on-spec for the style: basically a slightly deeper and fruitier lager. Which is hardly surprising, given that it’s done with lager yeast, but at higher temperatures. But, ultimately, it tastes an awful lot like a macro lager, albeit one done well. Not something I’m going to go looking for again. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Bavaria Brewery Grapefruit Radler – Radler at 2.0% ABV

Bavaria Brewery Grapefruit Radler Radler at 2.0% ABV (C$3.29 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 500 ml, best before 31-Dec-2016, acquired 29-May-2016, reviewed 29-May-2016)

Appearance: hazy dull pink with a short, short-lived pinkish head, no lacing. (2/5) Aroma: sweet grapefruit juice, faint grainy malt. (5/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate tart. (4/10) Light body, moderate carbonation, short duration sweet and tart finish. (2/5)

Well, it’s better than their lemon – but that’s not saying a lot. The grapefruit aromas don’t come across as being artificial, the way the lemon does, but it falls down on the tongue – and it’s still far too sweet. Basically a very slightly alcoholic soda pop, and I find soda far too sweet to drink, so I dunno why I’d want to drink this. (9/20)

4.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Bavaria Brewery Lemon Radler – Radler at 2.0% ABV

Bavaria Brewery Lemon Radler Radler at 2.0% ABV (C$3.29 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 500 ml, best before 30-Sep-2016, acquired 29-May-2016, reviewed 29-May-2016)

Appearance: hazy dull straw with a short, short-lived white head, no lacing. (2/5) Aroma: artificial lemon candy, faint grainy malt. (4/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate tart. (4/10) Light body, moderate carbonation, short duration sweet and tart finish. (2/5)

Well, that’s moderately horrible. Fake lemon and far too much sugar – it’s like drinking sweetened furniture polish, or cheap off-brand lemonade. Not much to recommend here. (8/20)

4/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Molson Coors Canada Rickard’s Radler – Radler at 3.2% ABV

Molson Coors Canada _Rickard’s Radler_ Radler at 3.2% ABV _(C$3.29 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 473 ml, bottle date 26-Feb-2016, acquired 29-May-2016, reviewed 29-May-2016)_

Appearance: nearly opaque straw with a short, short-lived white head, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: sweet grapefruit juice, faint grainy malt. (5/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate tart. (4/10) Light body, moderate carbonation, short duration sweet and tart finish. (2/5)

Well, I went into this with absolutely zero expectations, and it exceeded that, so… well done? It’s not terrible for what it is. In fact, I think it’s a bit better than the Rickard’s White it might be based upon, possibly for the same reason they usually serve the White with a slice of orange: the citrus fills in (masks?) the plain jane macro character. Really too sweet, though I guess if it weren’t you’d actually be able to taste the beer, and nobody wants that. (10/20)

5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks / Powell Street Craft Brewery Hikari Imperial Dry-Hopped Sourweiss – Sour / Wild Ale at 7.2% ABV

Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks / Powell Street Craft Brewery Hikari Imperial Dry-Hopped Sourweiss Sour / Wild Ale at 7.2% ABV (C$7.49 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 23-May-2016, reviewed 28-May-2016)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with a short white head, good retention and minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus zest, floral, lactic sour, wheat. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, moderate tart. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry tart finish. (3/5)

A fairly middle-of-the-road kettle sour. The lactic tartness is clean, but without much depth. Decent, but doesn’t excite. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Category 12 Brewing Critical Point Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.6% ABV

Category 12 Brewing Critical Point Ale American Pale Ale at 5.6% ABV (C$8.25 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, bottle date 22-Apr-2016, acquired 28-May-2016, reviewed 28-May-2016)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of loose ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: grapefruit, tropical fruit, pale malt, floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

Nice little APA, though once again I find myself wondering where you really draw the line between APAs and A/IPAs. In terms of aroma, flavour, body, and ABV, this could easily be characterised as an A/IPA, so what makes it an APA? On the other hand, I usually complain about APAs that are too light for the hop profile, so this is definitely one approach for solving that… Anyway, regardless of whether you call it a beefy APA, or a light-ish A/IPA, this is a decent pint. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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