Ninkasi Brewing Company Spring Reign – American Pale Ale at 6% ABV

Ninkasi Brewing Company Spring Reign American Pale Ale at 6% ABV (C$9.25 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 28-May-2016, reviewed 28-May-2016)

Appearance: clear medium gold with one fat finger of rocky off-white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: oranges and lemons, tropical fruit, pale malt, pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

Smells pretty good, doesn’t taste quite as good. It’s one of those APAs that doesn’t really have the body or malt profile to support the hops, so it comes across as a little sharp and thin. It’s still OK, but nowhere near as good as e.g. their Maiden the Shade, and at least it doesn’t suddenly drop off to a watery, thin finish the way some APAs do. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Phillips Brewing Company Solaris Peach White – American Pale Wheat Ale

Phillips Brewing Company Solaris Peach White American Pale Wheat Ale at 4.3% ABV (C$2.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 473 ml, best before 8-Oct-2016, acquired 28-May-2016, reviewed 28-May-2016)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one fat finger of fluffy white head, excellent retention and patchy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: lemon, stone fruit, wheat, light pepper, earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter, light tart. (7/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, short duration mild bitter finish. (3/5)

Easy drinking light wheat ale with restrained peach flavour. Beer Advocate calls this a “Fruit/Vegetable” style, while RateBeer says it’s an American Pale Ale. I, however, think Untappd is closest to being correct with “Pale Wheat Ale”: it’s more like a witbier than anything else. The peach flavour integrates well with the wheat character, and is sufficiently mild that you could probably be convinced it’s yeast-derived, rather than actual fruit. Well done for what it is, but what it is, is really light and inoffensive. Fine, but a bit boring. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Parallel 49 Jerkface 9000 – American Pale Wheat Ale at 5% ABV

Parallel 49 Jerkface 9000 American Pale Wheat Ale at 5% ABV (C$2.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 473 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 28-May-2016, reviewed 28-May-2016)

Appearance: slightly hazy straw with one fat finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thick cap, minimal patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus, floral, tropical fruit, light grainy wheat. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light tart. (6/10) Medium-light body tending to watery, moderate-soft carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (3/5)

Starts off pretty promising, with bright citrus and tropical hops on the nose. Those fade fairly rapidly, though, leaving behind the grainy and slightly tart wheat base. The carbonation fades a little rapidly as well, causing the already light body to feel a bit watery and thin in the finish. Decent enough thirst quencher with lunch. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Sundance Wine Market (2016-05-28)

Sundance Wine Market (2016-05-28)

Popped into Sundance Wine Market to see if they had anything new. Ummm… yes. Yes, they did. (And yes, I already had bunch of La Folie in my cellar, but this is the 2016 vintage, so obviously I had to buy two!)

Ballast Point Brewing Company Sea Monster
Breakside Brewery Salted Caramel Stout
Category 12 Brewing Critical Point Ale
Category 12 Brewing Simplicity Ale
Dageraad Brewing 10 Degrees (2016 Edition)
Dageraad Brewing Sri Lanka
Gigantic Brewing Company Kiss the Goat (#39)
Gigantic Brewing Company Slip Into Darkness (#36)
Gigantic Brewing Company Solid! (#30)
New Belgium Brewing Company Lips of Faith Series La Folie (2016)
Ninkasi Brewing Company Spring Reign
Old Abbey Ales Dry Hop Saison
Parallel 49 Jerkface 9000
Phillips Brewing Company Solaris Peach White
Red Collar Brewing Co. Red Collar IPA
Red Collar Brewing Co. Red Collar White IPA
Rough Draft Brewing Company Emboozlement

#ryansbooze  ryansbooze.com

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Central City Brewers + Distillers Sour I Sour Brown – Flanders Brown Ale / Oud Bruin at 9.2% ABV

Central City Brewers + Distillers Sour I Sour Brown Flanders Brown Ale / Oud Bruin at 9.2% ABV (C$25.49 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 750 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 23-May-2016, reviewed 27-May-2016)

Appearance: hazy medium amber with one finger of creamy light beige head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: red wine, woody, vinegar, dark stone fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, low bitter, moderate-high tart. (8/10) Medium body, moderate-soft carbonation, dry tart finish. (4/5)

Impressive right from the get-go – smells like a very traditional Flanders Brown. The ABV integration is phenomenal: there’s no indication of the heavy-duty content until you’re well into it. Really a lot like Duchesse, which is no mean feat, especially for a brewery new to the style. Well worth trying and damn, that is some shit. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Anchorage Brewing Company Mosaic Saison – Saison at 6.5% ABV

Anchorage Brewing Company Mosaic Saison Saison at 6.5% ABV (C$14.49 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 750 ml, bottle date 1-Aug-2015, acquired 23-May-2016, reviewed 27-May-2016)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale straw with one fat finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to nothing, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: funky brett, citrus, stone fruit, woody, light catty. (7/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate-low bitter, moderate funk. (7/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, dry funky finish. (4/5)

I don’t usually find Mosaic hops to have a catty element, but there’s a little of that here – nothing offensive, though. That being said, I had high hopes for this that didn’t quite materialise. Decent, without being all that memorable. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Fernie Brewing Company Old Barn Saison – Saison at 6% ABV

Fernie Brewing Company Old Barn Saison Saison at 6% ABV (C$6.29 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, best before 1-Sep-2016, acquired 23-May-2016, reviewed 27-May-2016)

Appearance: cloudy deep gold with two growing fingers of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and spotty chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: coriander, caramel, fruity esters, yeast. (6/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate-low bitter, light funk. (6/10) Medium body tending to watery, moderate carbonation, lightly funky and peppery finish. (3/5)

Starts off promising, but fades quickly. The medium body drops off rapidly, becoming thin and watery. The initial coriander aroma fades quickly as well, leaving behind mildly funky and yeasty traces. Nothing offensive, but a fairly unremarkable implementation of the style. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Parallel 49 / Axe & Barrel Brewing Company Paranoid – American Double / Imperial Pilsner at 8.5% ABV

Parallel 49 / Axe & Barrel Brewing Company _Paranoid_ American Double / Imperial Pilsner at 8.5% ABV _(C$2.29 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 341 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 16-Apr-2016, reviewed 27-May-2016)_

Appearance: clear pale straw with a short, short-lived white head, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: low/muted, lemon, woody, vinous, fruity esters, light funk. (6/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-low bitter, moderate tart. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, warming tart finish. (3/5)

A strange beer. There’s little or no pilsner character here, and the wild aspects dominate. However, I’m a bit surprised by how light the aromas are here: immediately upon decapping, the aromas are present, but they fade fairly rapidly along with the head, and do not return or grow upon warming. Given the pronounced ABV, more robust flavours and aromas would’ve been appropriate. If it sounds like I’m damning this with faint praise, it’s because to some extent I am. Although it’s not unpleasant, it is a bit muddled, and less interesting than it could have been. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Rogue Ales 8 Hop IPA – American IPA at 8.88% ABV

Rogue Ales 8 Hop IPA American IPA at 8.88% ABV (C$9.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 23-May-2016, reviewed 26-May-2016)

Appearance: clear pale to medium amber with two fingers of rocky light beige head, good retention and patchy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, caramel, pine, earthy. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, malty bitter finish. (3/5)

This comes perilously close to being a caramel malt-forward DIPA. Of course, I can’t tell how much of that is due to age, because – you guessed it! – Rogue doesn’t date their damn bottles. Sweet, hoppy, and fairly enjoyable – but I’d like to know how much more enjoyable it might have been when fresh… (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Bridge Brewing Company Elderflower Kettle Sour – Sour / Wild Ale at 4.9% ABV

Bridge Brewing Company Elderflower Kettle Sour Sour / Wild Ale at 4.9% ABV (C$6.79 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 23-May-2016, reviewed 26-May-2016)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of fine ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: floral, citrus, light leathery sour. (6/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate tart, mild bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, dry tart finish. (3/5)

Not bad, but not a lot of depth of flavour. I guess that’s a fairly typical issue with kettle soured beers: the lactic is about as complex as lemonade, unlike the layers of complexity I associate with true wild sours. You might consider this an “entry level” sour, almost like a radler, now that I come to think of it. OK, but that’s about it. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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