New Belgium Brewing Company Tartastic Lemon Ginger Sour – Sour / Wild Ale at 4.5% ABV | 3 IBU

New Belgium Brewing Company Tartastic Lemon Ginger Sour Sour / Wild Ale at 4.5% ABV | 3 IBU (C$3.49 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, best before 28-Jan-2018, acquired 27-Mar-2017, reviewed 28-Mar-2017)

Appearance: hazy pale straw with a short white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, no lacing. (2/5) Aroma: lemon, sulphur, ginger, bready yeast. (6/10) Taste: moderate tart, moderate-low sweet, low bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry crisp tart and mildly spicy finish. (3/5)

Meh. It’s a mildly alcoholic, vaguely beer-flavoured lemonade. No more, no less. Fine as a thirst quencher, definitely OK for a sunny patio on a hot day, and utterly forgettable. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks Ryegar Rye IPA – Rye IPA at 6.8% ABV | 68 IBU

Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks Ryegar Rye IPA Rye IPA at 6.8% ABV | 68 IBU (C$8.49 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 11-Mar-2017, reviewed 27-Mar-2017)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two fingers of fluffy white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: spicy rye, grapefruit, dank pine, tropical fruit, earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high bitter, moderate sweet & sour, mild spice. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter and moderate spicy finish. (3/5)

Decent example of a style I particularly enjoy. Pithy citrus and tropical fruits slug it out with spicy rye, giving an all-out assault on the senses. Big bitter, marginally less big sweet and sour, big fun. Subtle as a brick, but I’m OK with that. The 2015 BJCP guidelines suggest I shouldn’t put it under “American IPA”, but instead “Rye IPA” – yet RateBeer doesn’t (yet) acknowledge that as a style. Heck with it, I’m going with it as a style. And a darned fun one, at that. (And now do I have to go back through my records and retroactively apply that style? Gah! This makes my OCD itch!) (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Gigantic Brewing Company High Voltage Winter IPA (#47) – American IPA at 5.8% ABV | 65 IBU

Gigantic Brewing Company High Voltage Winter IPA (#47) American IPA at 5.8% ABV | 65 IBU (C$9.99 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 27-Mar-2017, reviewed 27-Mar-2017)

Appearance: clear deep amber with two fingers of fluffy ivory head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pine, caramel & toffee, toasted bread, citrus, hint of coffee. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

Yeah, I’m just gonna go ahead and think about this as an “END of Winter IPA” if it’s all the same to you – because I’m about ready to open a fucking vein if it means not having to live through another goddamned Canadian winter. (Remember, kids, it’s up the highway, not across the street!) Beautiful looking beer, if extremely dark for any IPA (other than a Black/CDA), and having less than perfect definition in the lacing. And it’s not really all that much like an IPA, unless there’s a “Brown IPA” style that’s slipped under my personal radar. I really like the whole “scan the code/container and listen to music” idea, but I have to say, Collective Arts did it better with their Blippar integration. I mean, think about it: you put a QR code on the bottle, so folks are gonna scan it with their iPhones, right? So, what do you think you should link it to? Here’s a hint: a ZIP file probably isn’t the best solution. Any guesses what it links to? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

New Belgium Brewing Company Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9% ABV | 70 IBU

New Belgium Brewing Company Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 9% ABV | 70 IBU (C$3.49 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, best before 24-Dec-2017, acquired 27-Mar-2017, reviewed 27-Mar-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one finger of fluffy ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: resiny pine, caramel, citrus, tropical fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-full oily body, moderate carbonation, lingering and building bitter finish. (4/5)

Finishing up the Voodoo Ranger siblings with the biggest one, and the family resemblance continues. It’s not radically different than the APA or IPA, but it’s obviously bigger, thicker, and stronger. (I don’t see any jokes there at all. Nope. not a single one.) I think I prefer this one, marginally, over the others (nope, still no jokes here) but it’s by a pretty slim margin. I’m just gonna rate all three equally, because they really are like three versions of pretty much the same beer. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

New Belgium Brewing Company Voodoo Ranger IPA – American IPA at 7% ABV | 50 IBU

New Belgium Brewing Company Voodoo Ranger IPA American IPA at 7% ABV | 50 IBU (C$3.49 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, best before 21-Jan-2018, acquired 27-Mar-2017, reviewed 27-Mar-2017)

Appearance: clear pale gold with a short loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pine, citrus, tropical fruit, caramel. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, medium duration building bitter finish. (4/5)

Not as pretty as the 8 Hop Pale Ale, nor are the hop aromas as full-spectrum, and the higher ABV is definitely reflected in the heavier body and malt presence. However, there are clearer citrus notes and, especially in the finish, a pleasant tropical fruit presence. Still not exactly bright, perhaps, but verging on juicy for sure. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

New Belgium Brewing Company Voodoo Ranger 8 Hop Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV | 35 IBU

New Belgium Brewing Company Voodoo Ranger 8 Hop Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV | 35 IBU (C$3.49 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, best before 31-Dec-2017, acquired 27-Mar-2017, reviewed 27-Mar-2017)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one fat finger of fluffy white head, excellent retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: pine, citrus, tropical fruit, caramel, floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Nice. I always find using multiple hop varieties to be a bit of a double-edged sword: on the one hand, having multiple flavour profiles mean you get decent complexity and fullness of flavour, without feeling sharp – but on the other hand, you tend to lose brightness and get a slightly muddled effect. That’s what seems to be happening here. There’s nothing wrong with it, as such, but it’s not bright. Definitely a good beer, though, and easy-drinking. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Destihl Brewery Wild Sour Series Plum Sour Stout – Sour / Wild Ale at 5.6% ABV | 37 IBU

Destihl Brewery Wild Sour Series Plum Sour Stout Sour / Wild Ale at 5.6% ABV | 37 IBU (C$4.44 at Specs Main Houston, 355 ml, bottle date 9-Nov-2016, acquired 8-Mar-2017, reviewed 26-Mar-2017)

Appearance: near solid black with only the mere set hint of relief at the margins, two fingers of fluffy beige head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: lacto tart, dark stone fruit, roasted malt, hint of coffee. (6/10) Taste: moderate-high tart, moderate-low sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, dry highly tart finish. (3/5)

A little more interesting than the typical kettle sour. They say “plums” but if anything it’s more like Damsons to me – or maybe pickle juice. Huge tart overwhelms almost everything else, though there is a hint of roasted malt and coffee in the finish. Surprisingly light body given the forbidding appearance, and an intensely dry and tart finish make it a bit more drinkable than a thicker body and greater sweetness might. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Bomber Brewing Company Park Life Passion Fruit Ale – Fruit / Vegetable Beer at 4.5% ABV | 15 IBU

Bomber Brewing Company Park Life Passion Fruit Ale Fruit / Vegetable Beer at 4.5% ABV | 15 IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 11-Mar-2017, reviewed 26-Mar-2017)

Appearance: cloudy/opaque deep gold with one finger of fluffy off-white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: tropical fruit/passionfruit, peach/stone fruit, citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration mild tart finish. (3/5)

Very much dominated by fruit, to the point where I really can’t resolve much else. That’s not to say it’s unpleasant – far from it – but it’s not very beer-like. Definitely a good one for a hot day on a sunny patio. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Hell’s Basement Brewing Black Wolf Cascadian Dark Ale – Black IPA at 6% ABV | 55 IBU

Hell’s Basement Brewing Black Wolf Cascadian Dark Ale Black IPA at 6% ABV | 55 IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 11-Mar-2017, reviewed 25-Mar-2017)

Appearance: near black with clear brown margins, one fat finger of fluffy beige head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: roasted malts, coffee, dry cacao, earth, hint of pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, drying medium duration moderate bitter finish. (3/5)

I must admit to a little trepidation in trying this one, having just experienced a near sink pour on their Session IPA – which, I think most folks would agree is an easier style to get right than a Black IPA / CDA. But this is actually all right. Unlike the S/IPA, this isn’t marred by doughy or adjunct notes, and the hop bitterness works well with the dry, almost astringent roasted malts. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Hell’s Basement Brewing Chinook Wind Session Ale – Session IPA at 4.3% ABV | 25 IBU

Hell’s Basement Brewing Chinook Wind Session Ale Session IPA at 4.3% ABV | 25 IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 11-Mar-2017, reviewed 25-Mar-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy straw with one fat finger of fluffy white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: doughy yeast, grainy adjunct, brown apple, hint of citrus. (4/10) Taste: moderate sweet, medium-low bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration mild bitter finish. (3/5)

Disappointing. Structurally a fairly pretty beer, and the taste isn’t terrible- but the aroma is quite off-putting. Not sink pour territory, but not far off. The label notes say “Paradoxically, there are no Chinook hops in this beauty.” Yeah, well, not very paradoxically, some Chinook hops – or, indeed, any hops – might’ve helped. (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com