Matt Brewing Co. Saranac Legacy IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 60 IBU

Matt Brewing Co. Saranac Legacy IPA American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 60 IBU (C$2.70 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, bottle date 27-Oct-2016, acquired 1-Apr-2017, reviewed 5-Apr-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, pineapple, pale malt, floral, light earth. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, moderate bitter slightly spicy finish. (3/5)

Middle-of-the-road older-style A/IPA – nothing remarkable one way or the other. If you like IPAs and there are no others you haven’t tried on the menu, have at it, I guess. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Matt Brewing Co. Saranac Adirondack Lager – Amber Lager/Vienna at 5.5% ABV | 20 IBU

Matt Brewing Co. Saranac Adirondack Lager Amber Lager/Vienna at 5.5% ABV | 20 IBU (C$2.70 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, bottle date 27-Oct-2016, acquired 1-Apr-2017, reviewed 5-Apr-2017)

Appearance: clear deep gold with one finger of fluffy off-white head, moderate retention and soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: sweet and crackery malt, grass. (5/10) Taste: moderate sweet, low bitter. (5/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, crisp off-dry mild bitter finish. (3/5)

Not a bad example of a German-style Amber Lager – which is to say, a blindingly boring beer overall. (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Matt Brewing Co. Saranac Gen 4 Session IPA – Session IPA at 4.5% ABV | 30 IBU

Matt Brewing Co. Saranac Gen 4 Session IPA Session IPA at 4.5% ABV | 30 IBU (C$2.70 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, bottle date 27-Oct-2016, acquired 1-Apr-2017, reviewed 5-Apr-2017)

Appearance: hazy medium gold with one fat finger of fluffy off-white head, moderate retention and lacing. (3/5) Aroma: pithy citrus, tropical fruit, pale malt. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body tending slightly watery, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Not as good as their APA, if I’m honest, possibly because it’s even more of a bandwagon beer? And unfortunately, like so many attempts at this style, it comes across as a watered-down IPA. Not only does the body tend slightly watery, the finish turns slightly astringent. Inoffensive, I suppose, but not very interesting. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Matt Brewing Co. Saranac American Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV | 32 IBU

Matt Brewing Co. Saranac American Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV | 32 IBU (C$2.70 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, bottle date 26-Oct-2016, acquired 1-Apr-2017, reviewed 5-Apr-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of fluffy off-white head, moderate retention and lacing. (3/5) Aroma: pithy citrus, crackery malt, pine, earth, grass. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (3/5)

Decent enough, if a little safe. The brewer’s decision to change this to an American Pale from an English Pale using a pretty standard starts-with-C hop selection feels like an attempt to catch up with a bandwagon that’s already fairly out of date. But, it’s fairly hop-forward yet well-balanced, drinks pretty easy, and has a fairly robust lingering bitterness in the finish, so it’ll do. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company Wild Oats Series Triceratops Tripel – Gruit at 9% ABV | 10 IBU

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company Wild Oats Series Triceratops Tripel Gruit at 9% ABV | 10 IBU (C$8.08 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 600 ml, bottle date 19-Jan-2017, acquired 1-Apr-2017, reviewed 5-Apr-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with one fat finger of fluffy white head finishing gradually to a thin skim, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: floral, medicinal, cereal grains, perfume, light citrus. (5/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, mild bitter. (5/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, medicinal mild bitter and warming finish. (3/5)

Yeah, not for me. I mean, it’s not badly done, as such, but the fact is I’m a hop fiend, so Gruits are very much a lost cause for me. (Even ones that cheat by actually having hops, like this one!) Bog myrtle, heather, and lavender just don’t have the punchiness of a nice NW or ANZ hop. Too sweet, too. On the other hand, the boozy big ABV passes by almost without notice, so…? (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company Wild Oats Series Strong Patrick – Irish Red Ale at 6.7% ABV | 24 IBU

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company Wild Oats Series Strong Patrick Irish Red Ale at 6.7% ABV | 24 IBU (C$8.08 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 600 ml, bottle date 6-Jan-2017, acquired 1-Apr-2017, reviewed 4-Apr-2017)

Appearance: clear deep amber with two fingers of fluffy ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: toffee and caramel, oak, whiskey, vanilla. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, malty mild bitter finish. (3/5)

Not bad, for the style. The whiskey barrel ageing adds some pleasant note to a style that I usually find to be fairly boring. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Powell Street Craft Brewery / Four Winds Brewing Co. American Farmhouse IPA – Belgian IPA at 6.8% ABV | 31 IBU

Powell Street Craft Brewery / Four Winds Brewing Co. American Farmhouse IPA Belgian IPA at 6.8% ABV | 31 IBU (C$4.49 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, bottle date 25-Feb-2017, acquired 1-Apr-2017, reviewed 3-Apr-2017)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fingers of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: dry funky yeast esters, tropical and stone fruit, citrus, light resin. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light spice. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, lively carbonation, dry lingering bitter and funky finish. (4/5)

Nothing wrong with this! Pleasant and balanced, decently complex without being overwhelming. The somewhat high ABV doesn’t come through at all, and this is very crushable. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Banksobystricky Pivovar Urpiner Premium 12º Pale Lager – Czech Pilsener at 5% ABV

Banksobystricky Pivovar Urpiner Premium 12º Pale Lager Czech Pilsener at 5% ABV (C$1.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 500 ml, best before 13-Oct-2017, acquired 1-Apr-2017, reviewed 3-Apr-2017)

Appearance: clear straw with two fingers of fine white head, good retention and patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: bready malt, grass, herbs. (4/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (5/10) Palate: medium-light body, lively carbonation, crisp lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

Uh oh – “Premium” on the label! But, actually, not terrible, with a surprisingly emphatic bitter in the finish. Good enough as a thirst quencher with lunch. (10/20)

5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Sound Brewery Humonkulous Oak Aged Triple IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 10.25% ABV | 100 IBU

Sound Brewery Humonkulous Oak Aged Triple IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 10.25% ABV | 100 IBU (C$2.15 at Crowfoot Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 23-Feb-2017, reviewed 1-Apr-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with a large ivory head, good retention and well-defined lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel and toffee, oak, tropical fruit, citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-full slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter and warming finish. (3/5)

But, that’s not how you spell… and there’s really no such thing as a… oh, never mind. No dating. Fresh? Faded? Who knows? Because they don’t… wait, hold on – did this really just cost me TWO BUCKS? OK, fine, I’ll double check my receipt, but barring data entry errors, y’know what, ignore everything else. (Found the receipt, confirmed the price.) From now on, we drink this. And nothing else. “But Dad, my bones are brittle!” Don’t care. We drink this from now on. Milk is for losers. Double digit ABV and triple digit IBU for two dollars? No brainer. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Bomber Brewing Company Choqlette Porter – American Porter at 5.5% ABV | 18 IBU

Bomber Brewing Company Choqlette Porter American Porter at 5.5% ABV | 18 IBU (C$6.05 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 1-Apr-2017, reviewed 1-Apr-2017)

Appearance: near opaque deep brown with some relief around the margins, two fingers of rocky beige head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: roasted malts, dry cocoa, coffee. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry moderate bitter finish. (3/5)

Quite understated: smells, and (for the most part) tastes like a standard, if decent, Dry Irish Stout. That’s not to say there’s no chocolate at all, but it’s really very restrained. Not at all what I was expecting, but I can’t really say I’m disappointed, because a decent, well-balanced Dy Irish Stout is pretty enjoyable in its own right. On the other hand, if you’re going to call your beer something that sounds like “chocolate”, is it unreasonable to expect that the dominant flavour might, be, ohh, I dunno… chocolate? Which it very much is not. Pleasant and more-ish? Yep. Chocolate? Nope. Govern yourselves accordingly. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com