Gigantic Brewing Company Kiss the Goat (#39) – Doppelbock at 8% ABV

Gigantic Brewing Company Kiss the Goat (#39) Doppelbock at 8% ABV (C$12.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, best before 28-Jan-2017, acquired 28-May-2016, reviewed 3-Jun-2016)

Appearance: translucent amber-brown with deep amber margins, one finger of fizzy light beige head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: roasty grains, dry cocoa, caramel, liquorice, vinous red fruits. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium-light body, lively carbonation, off-dry bitter coffee finish. (4/5)

Uncaps with an emphatic pop but no subsequent foamy overflow, though lively carbonation remains throughout. Y’know, I seem to have gotten into the habit of automatically trying every new brew that Gigantic releases – and I see no reason to change that behaviour based on this one. Dopplebocks are not a style that I’ve tried a lot of – though I have had Ayinger Celebrator, and I think I actually got a Pauline Salvator at a gas station in Germany, years and years ago before I started this particular (and peculiar) habit of tracking what I drink. This… well, it isn’t them. For one thing, it’s much darker, although that’s a bit of a red (black?) herring, since that darkness doesn’t seem to translate through all that much into the aromas, taste, or body – it’s just dark, though there is a mild almost smoky roastiness that is slightly atypical for the style. Overall, though, this is a surprisingly light malty beer that finishes with a pleasant coffee-like bitterness. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Parallel 49 / Category 12 Brewing Comfortably Numb – Old Ale at 9% ABV

Parallel 49 / Category 12 Brewing Comfortably Numb Old Ale at 9% ABV (C$2.29 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 341 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 16-Apr-2016, reviewed 2-Jun-2016)

Appearance: clear medium to deep amber with one finger of fluffy beige head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: vinous, dark and stone fruit, toffee, earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Medium-full body, moderate carbonation, boozy bitter slightly astringent and spicy finish. (4/5)

What’s the difference between an Old Ale and a Traditional Ale, anyway? Because this is an awful lot like Traditionals I’ve had. Regardless, it’s an interesting beer, and drinks surprisingly easy for 9%. The booze is there, certainly, but it’s polite and well-behaved, manifesting more as a warming than anything else. Of course, it may be that you simply don’t notice it, between the spicy rye and the astringent Brettanomyces assaulting your palate. Finishes a tad harsh, with a slightly astringent quality to the bitterness, but otherwise a decent sipper. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Category 12 Brewing Simplicity Ale – Saison at 5% ABV

Category 12 Brewing Simplicity Ale Saison at 5% ABV (C$8.25 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 28-May-2016, reviewed 1-Jun-2016)

Appearance: hazy pale straw with one finger of short-lived loose white head, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: grassy, yeast, lemon, coriander, floral, citrus, slight catty. (6/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate bitter, light peppery spice. (6/10) Light body, moderate carbonation, dry bitter and mildly spicy finish. (3/5)

Easy drinking but fairly unremarkable. Although there’s not a lot of depth of flavour, it finishes clean and dry, making it a reasonably effective example of the original style, albeit still somewhat high in ABV for something farmhands would drink five litres of per day. I wouldn’t say no to another, but I wouldn’t go looking for one, either. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Old Abbey Ales Dry Hop Saison – Saison at 6.5% ABV

Old Abbey Ales Dry Hop Saison Saison at 6.5% ABV (C$7.75 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 28-May-2016, reviewed 1-Jun-2016)

Appearance: hazy deep gold with one finger of dense white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: floral, coriander, citrus, yeast, stone fruit, white pepper. (6/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate bitter, light peppery funk. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration bitter and spicy finish. (3/5)

It’s OK, but nothing thrilling. I’m not getting much, if any, of the alleged dry hopping. The label doesn’t specify what hops were used, though it does say “noble hops” – and I can’t say I think much of the choice of noble hops for dry hopping. A bit muddled and a bit unbalanced, but reasonably refreshing. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Brouwerij de Molen / Hair of the Dog Adam – Traditional Ale at 10% ABV

Brouwerij de Molen / Hair of the Dog Adam Traditional Ale at 10% ABV (C$7.49 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, bottle date 21-Jul-2015, best before 21-Jul-2020, acquired 16-Apr-2016, reviewed 31-May-2016)

Appearance: translucent amber-brown with deep amber margins, one finger of rocky beige head, excellent retention and well-defined lacing. (4/5) Aroma: rich dark fruit, toffee, figs, leather, nutty, light pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium-full body, moderate carbonation, boozy bitter finish. (4/5)

Another oddball style description. What’s this “Old World Ale” the label refers to, anyway? This thing is big, boozy, and dark – I’d be inclined to call it an Abt, had I not previously encountered the Traditional Ale style (which is not, as far as I can tell, a BJCP-recognized style – hey, you try searching the BJCP style guide for “traditional” and see how far you get!). Regardless of what you call this, it’s fun – big, boozy fun. It’s similar to, but I think even better than, Traquair Jacobite (which BJCP uses as an example for Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer, I might add), my previous best-ever Traditional. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Gigantic Brewing Company Slip Into Darkness (#36) – Schwarzbier at 6.4% ABV

Gigantic Brewing Company Slip Into Darkness (#36) Schwarzbier at 6.4% ABV (C$10.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 28-May-2016, reviewed 31-May-2016)

Appearance: nearly opaque black with just a hint of brown around the margins, one finger of rocky beige head, excellent retention and well-defined lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pine, roasty malts, citrus and grassy, light herbal. (7/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Quite a pleasant schwarzbier, with a surprisingly light and easy-drinking character despite its forbidding appearance (and frankly alarming label art). Looks like it should be smoky, and I keep waiting for the ashtray finish, but it never comes. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Gigantic Brewing Company Solid! (#30) – American Pale Wheat Ale at 6% ABV

Gigantic Brewing Company Solid! (#30) American Pale Wheat Ale at 6% ABV (C$10.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, best before 3-Mar-2016, acquired 28-May-2016, reviewed 31-May-2016)

Appearance: hazy deep gold with one fat finger of medium-dense off-white head, excellent retention and good lacing. (4/5) Aroma: papaya and other tropical fruit, citrus, wheat and pale malt. (7/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

I like the best before language on this one: “Not as awesome after 03/03/16”. Well, that might be true, but it still lives up to its name almost three months after that: solid. Wish I had gotten it fresh – maybe then it would’ve been Solid!, or even awesome. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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