Sierra Nevada Otra Vez – Gose at 4.5% ABV

Sierra Nevada Otra Vez Gose at 4.5% ABV (C$3.42 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 355 ml, bottle date 16-Mar-2016, acquired 26-Jun-2016, reviewed 27-Jun-2016)

Appearance: clear pale straw with one finger of medium dense white head, good retention and minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: lemon zest, floral, tropical fruit, wheaty yeast, light funk. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high tart, moderate sweet, mild bitter, light salt. (7/10) Light body, moderate carbonation, crisp lingering tart and lightly salty finish. (3/5)

Nice little gose. Light, tart, crisp, and easy-drinking – definitely not a “stodgy summer sipper”. On the other hand, I’d hardly call it “vicious,” either: there’s tartness, sure, and it finishes with an almost astringent green melon rind note (prickly pear cactus?), but nothing aggressive. And I guess that’s by design, but it’s also sort of its downfall. Easy to drink, easy to forget and move on. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Black Market Brewing Co. Enemy Within IPA – American IPA at 7% ABV

Black Market Brewing Co. Enemy Within IPA American IPA at 7% ABV (C$10.50 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 26-Jun-2016, reviewed 26-Jun-2016)

Appearance: clear purple-tinged pale amber with two fat fingers of rocky ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: green berry and melon rind, caramel malt, citrus and tropical fruit. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

Y’know, I kinda like the fact that the world of IPAs has gone completely insane. I mean, at this point, the designation “IPA” is almost completely meaningless. (Especially “American IPA”. “English IPA” still sort of means something specific, but A/IPA? All bets are off.) It’s kind of the anti-Reinheitsgebot at this point – adulterate away. So, yeah: dragonfruit. Why? Well, why not? It’s not completely insane – the flavours are hop-complementary, sweet and tart, so sure, that should work. Except, it doesn’t, not really. Yeah, I get the fruit, and yeah, I can see where they were going with it – but they didn’t quite make it there. I mean, dragonfruit, despite its exotic appearance and butch-sounding name, tastes basically like a milder version of kiwi. Mull that over for a second: kiwi, but less so. Kiwi, for people who find kiwi a bit overwhelming. It ends up being a bit thin, and a bit astringent, and worst of all, a bit… well… boring. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA – American IPA at 7.2% ABV

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA American IPA at 7.2% ABV (C$8.29 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 710 ml, bottle date 14-Apr-2016, acquired 26-Jun-2016, reviewed 26-Jun-2016)

Appearance: clear pale to medium amber with two fat fingers of growing rocky ivory head, excellent retention and chunky lacing. (5/5) Aroma: caramel malt, resiny pine, citrus and floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Medium slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

I was probably a bit harsh on this when I rated this last November, as part of a flight – though, it really is slightly disappointing, in a sense. The thing is, it’s a very traditional-style A/IPA (don’t ask me why it’s not considered a DIPA!) in that the fairly heavy bitterness is very much supported by an equally heavy (if not more so) caramel maltiness. I mean, this thing is only two months old, but the malt is already dominating. It’s fine for what it is, and I have little doubt it was among the best that 2009 had to offer, but there are far more interesting implementations of the style out there now. (14/20)

My 230th from the 2010 Edition (220th from the 2013 edition), and 242nd combining both editions.

7/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Willow Park Wine & Spirits and Sundance Wine Market (2016-06-26)

Medium-sized haul. From Willow Park:

8 Wired Brewing Company Wireless Black IPA
New Belgium Brewing Company / Hof Ten Dormaal Lips of Faith Series Golden Ale
Sierra Nevada Otra Vez
Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA
Unibroue Éphémère Bleuet
Wild Rose Brewery Peach-Apricot Berliner Weisse

And from Sundance:

Black Market Brewing Co. Enemy Within IPA
Cannery Brewing Company The Muse & The Golden Promise
Category 12 Brewing Insubordination
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks Raiden Black IPA
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks Super 8 Bit IPA (2016)
Gigantic Brewing Company Pipewrench Gin Barrel Aged IPA (#24)
Phillips Brewing Company Stump Coastal Forest Botanical Ale
Tofino Brewing Co. Spruce Tree Ale
Wild Rose Brewery Rare Farmhouse White
8 Wired Brewing Company Le Fût (2013)

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#ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mill Street Brewery Belgian Cassis – Fruit Beer at 4.8% ABV

Mill Street Brewery Belgian Cassis Fruit Beer at 4.8% ABV (On tap at Mill Street Brewpub YYZ, reviewed 26-Jun-2016)

Appearance: opaque purplish pink with one finger of creamy light pink head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, good lacing. (3/5) Aroma: red berries, bready wheat, black currants, light vanilla. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild tart, very light bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-light slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, medium duration tart finish. (3/5)

OK, but excessively mild in my opinion. The aroma is gentle, if not muted, and although the fruit tartness builds, it never really clearly comes through as black currant / cassis. It grew on me somewhat, but overall I’m not sure I’d recommend going to any particular effort to locate one. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Mill Street Brewery Belgian Pale Ale – Belgian Ale at 5% ABV

Mill Street Brewery Belgian Pale Ale Belgian Ale at 5% ABV (On tap at Mill Street Brewpub YYZ, reviewed 26-Jun-2016)

Appearance: opaque straw with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: lemon, biscuity wheat, stone fruit, yeast. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, very light tart. (6/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, short duration bitter finish. (3/5)

A fairly pleasant Belg-ish pale, with elements of hefe or witbier. It smells a little more interesting than it tastes, and the body tends a little to the watery, particularly in the finish, where it seems to drop off fairly quickly. Overall, it’s decent enough to recommend. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Garrison Brewing Company Star Trek 50th Anniversary Golden Ale – Golden Ale at 5% ABV

Garrison Brewing Company Star Trek 50th Anniversary Golden Ale Golden Ale at 5% ABV (C$2.35 at NLC Stavanger, 341 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 19-Jun-2016, reviewed 22-Jun-2016)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: burnt rubber, pale malt, weedy and grassy. (3/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter. (3/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry finish. (3/5)

Complete shit – even the labels are crap. Basically a macro lager, except as an ale, and with an added frisson of burnt rubber. This is a horrible homage to pretty much my favourite franchise of all time, and it hurts me deep in my nerdy, geeky soul: even their Klingon Warnog Roggen would have been about a million times more appropriate. Don’t waste your time. Seriously. (7/20)

3.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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New Belgium Brewing Company Lips of Faith Series Blackberry Barley Wine Ale – American Barleywine at 10% ABV

New Belgium Brewing Company Lips of Faith Series Blackberry Barley Wine Ale American Barleywine at 10% ABV (US$8.41 at Specs Main Houston, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 23-Jan-2016, reviewed 22-Jun-2016)

Appearance: clear ruby-tinged amber-brown with one finger of creamy light beige head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: muted, caramel, grassy, mild dark fruit. (6/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter, mild tart. (7/10) Medium slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, off-dry slightly sticky warming finish. (4/5)

Decently smooth and surprisingly easy-drinking for a double-digit ABV. Tastes slightly better than the fairly muted aroma: there is a little field berry tartness on the tongue, but in all honesty I don’t get a lot of that on the nose. Fairly sweet, but between the pleasant carbonation and the lingering mild berry tart it never gets cloying. Good, but not even close to my favourite in the Lips of Faith Series. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Cascade Brewing Blackcap Raspberry (2015 Project) – Lambic / Fruit at 7.63% ABV

Cascade Brewing Blackcap Raspberry (2015 Project) Lambic – Fruit at 7.63% ABV (C$30.20 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 750 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 11-Dec-2015, reviewed 21-Jun-2016)

Appearance: hazy deep purple, brief fizzy head diminishing immediately to nothing, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: intense raspberry, oak, vinegar. (8/10) Taste: high tart, low sweet, low bitter. (8/10) Medium-light body, lively sustained carbonation, dry tart finish. (4/5)

Wow… this stuff is like the Platonic ideal of raspberry, unencumbered by sweetness or other such frippery. Intensely, almost brutally tart, with a bone dry finish. I would’ve said it’s right up there with the true Belgian lambics, if there were some more funk. There is a little, but it’s faint and pretty much entirely in the finish, after the dry and tart finish fades. Damn pricey, but damn nice. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Milk and citrus liqueur

I made a thing!

http://gizmodo.com/5869688/how-to-make-milk-thatll-get-you-hammered/

It was marinated for about 10 days. The first pass was through cheesecloth, and the milk solids that squeezed out looked like vanilla pudding. Quite edible, too, though very strong.

The liquid was still pretty thick at that point, so I did two passes through coffee filters to polish it up. Made a huge difference to the appearance, though really not a lot to the taste or texture.

So, now I’ve got a golden-coloured milk and citrus liqueur. And, in the immortal words of Homer Jay, “It passed the first test: I didn’t go blind.”

#ryansbooze

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