Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Weizen Bam – Sour / Wild Ale at 4.5% ABV

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Weizen Bam Sour / Wild Ale at 4.5% ABV (US$9.99 at Knightly Spirits Williamsburg, 750 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 1-May-2016, reviewed 5-May-2016)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale straw with two fat fingers of fluffy white head, good retention and chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tart citrus, banana, wheat, wood, barnyard funk. (9/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate-low bitter, moderate-high tart, light funk. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, mildly funky finish. (4/5)

Typical JP head that threatens to explode completely out of control unless poured ridiculously gently – which I did. I’m on to you, JP! A lovely tart saison/wild/sour/whatever, with nicely balanced tones of citrus, wheat, wood, and barnyard funk. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Terrapin Beer Co. Poivre Potion – Saison at 9.3% ABV

Terrapin Beer Co. Poivre Potion Saison at 9.3% ABV (US$8.99 at Knightly Spirits Williamsburg, 650 ml, best before 7-Dec-2016, acquired 1-May-2016, reviewed 5-May-2016)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, peppercorn, pale malt, floral, earthy. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild spice. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, mildly warming spicy and funky finish. (4/5)

Not a bad saison. A little hard to tell whether the warming is from the peppercorn or the fairly high ABV, but I guess that constitutes pretty good integration. Definitely one from the odder side of the spectrum, but pleasant nonetheless. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Dogfish Head Brewery Noble Rot – Fruit / Vegetable Beer at 9% ABV

Dogfish Head Brewery Noble Rot Fruit / Vegetable Beer at 9% ABV (US$12.99 at Knightly Spirits Williamsburg, 750 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 1-May-2016, reviewed 2-May-2016)

Appearance: clear pale gold with a short, short-lived white head, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: complex, grape must, stone fruit, oaky, gooseberry, and really pretty much any other bush/wild/field berry you can think of. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, moderate tart. (9/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mildly warming and funky finish. (4/5)

Wow. I went with “Fruit / Vegetable Beer” because to my knowledge there’s still no BJCP classification for “Weird Hybrid Grapey Thing”. This might be the first hybrid I’ve had that’s worth a damn. Rather than a hint of white wine (i.e. Nelson Sauvin hops, still my favourite, I love you Nelson Sauvin, don’t ever change) or an overwhelming cheap wine kit must (I’m looking at you, Phillips’ Sax in the Dark) this is a well-balanced integration of beer character with botrytis-infected Viognier (officially two of my favourite new words) grape must. Deep, lingering complexity on a light, crisp body. This shit will very politely fuck you up. God. Damn. I won’t actually recommend robbing your local liquor store, but anything short of that is fair game. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Dogfish Head Brewery Squall IPA (2016 Limited Release) American Double / Imperial IPA at 9% ABV

Dogfish Head Brewery Squall IPA (2016 Limited Release) American Double / Imperial IPA at 9% ABV (US$10.99 at Knightly Spirits Williamsburg, 750 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 1-May-2016, reviewed 2-May-2016)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of fluffy ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: initial piney resin and citrus, pale and caramel malt, then coffee, light floral, earth. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, moderate duration mildly warming bitter finish. (4/5)

Coffee? Why’m I getting coffee? Is it the Palisades? The Amarillo? I’m puzzled… Initially upon decapping, there is a pleasant room-filling aroma of piney resin and citrus, but that abates to, well, coffee. Everything else is quite nice: the body is on the pleasantly full side of medium with a slightly oily texture, carbonation is good, and the malt backing is clean and appropriate to the bitter. The ABV is sufficient for just a gentle warming but otherwise unobtrusive. I’d call this a very, very good DIPA, if I were only getting more sustained citrus/pine/floral on the nose. As it stands, there’s a lingering and inexplicable coffee, and it’s merely good. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Blue Moon Brewing Company White IPA – American IPA at 5.9% ABV

Blue Moon Brewing Company White IPA American IPA at 5.9% ABV (US$1.99 at Publix Super Market at Lake Cay Commons, 355 ml, best before 8-Aug-2016, acquired 30-Apr-2016, reviewed 2-May-2016)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with one fat finger of fluffy off-white head diminishing gradually to a loose cap, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus, wheat, light pine, earth, floral. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-low carbonation, short duration moderate bitter finish. (3/5)

Quite promising on uncapping, but the hops faded rapidly. It gradually becomes apparent that this is basically Blue Moon with less coriander and more hops. It’s not terrible, and it’s certainly better than Blue Moon, but it’s a long way from being great. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) Rebel Rouser Double IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.4% ABV

Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) Rebel Rouser Double IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.4% ABV (US$1.99 at Publix Super Market at Lake Cay Commons, 355 ml, best before 1-Jul-2016, acquired 30-Apr-2016, reviewed 30-Apr-2016)

Appearance: clear pale to medium amber with two fingers of rocky ivory head (on an aggressive pour), good retention and spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: dank pine, pithy grapefruit, caramel malt, earth and floral. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, lingering intense bitter finish. (4/5)

Y’know, I was going to say this is not bad for a fairly mass-market beer, but the fact is, I think I can drop the qualifier: this is flat-out not bad at all. It’s a bit on the malty side, but not malt-dominant the way some DIPA’s can be. Total hop bomb, with maybe a shade more malt than I’d like, but pretty well balanced overall. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com