Blindman Brewing New England-Style Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV | 35 IBU

Blindman Brewing New England-Style Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV | 35 IBU (C$3.98 at Liquor Crossing Red Deer, 473 ml, best before 11-Aug-2017, acquired 27-May-2017, reviewed 27-May-2017)

Appearance: opaque deep gold with two fingers of rocky ivory head diminishing gradually to a loose cap, moderate patchy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy citrus, tropical fruit, oats and wheat malt, hint of pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, soft to moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Oh hell yes. I keep wanting to say there’s a creamy lactose sweetness in there because it looks like a creamsicle, but I don’t think there actually is – it’s probably actually the oats. Either way, this thing is juicy and fresh, refreshing and easy drinking. I’ll have another 3 or 4 of these, please. Hell, just keep bringing them every 10 minutes or so till I’m under the table… then keep bringing them every 20 minutes or so… (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Cannery Brewing Company Hop Chowdah New England IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 45 IBU

Cannery Brewing Company Hop Chowdah New England IPA American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 45 IBU (C$3.19 at Thumbprint Craft Beer Market, 355 ml, bottle date 28-Apr-2017, acquired 27-May-2017, reviewed 27-May-2017)

Appearance: cloudy medium gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, with decent retention, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: juicy citrus, tropical fruit, pale malt, hint of pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, soft to moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Man, I love this style – and this is a decent example of the style. Sadly, although huge bright hops leap out upon first opening the can, they do diminish somewhat fairly rapidly. There’s still plenty of fun left, but don’t linger, because this actually fades pretty quickly. The juicy citrus notes on the nose translate through onto the tongue, so that the front end feels and tastes an awful lot like orange juice, or maybe a mimosa. Hops are dominant but never become thin or astringent, well-balanced by a lean pale malt body. And bonus points for the Simpsons reference because Simpsons, duh. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Troubled Monk Brewery Oblation (2016) – Barley Wine at 11.76% ABV

Troubled Monk Brewery Oblation (2016) Barley Wine at 11.76% ABV (C$12.50 at Troubled Monk Brewery, 500 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 26-May-2017, reviewed 26-May-2017)

Appearance: clear deep amber with one finger of creamy beige head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, with decent retention, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: toffee, boozy dark fruit, bourbon, oak. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, slightly prickly carbonation, sweet boozy slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Not bad at all. Pleasantly boozy dark malt and fruit, with hints of bourbon and wood. It’s sweet to the point of stickiness, but not really out of spec for the style. The finish leaves a little to be desired, though: once the sweetness fades, there’s a slight lingering astringency. Pretty drinkable overall, though, which is no mean feat for a challenging style. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Due South Brewing Co. Category 5 IPA – American Double/Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV | 96 IBU

Due South Brewing Co. Category 5 IPA American Double/Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV | 96 IBU (US$2.99 at Knightly Spirits Orange Blossom Trail, 355 ml, bottle date 16-Feb-2017, acquired 15-May-2017, reviewed 25-May-2017)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with one fat finger of loose ivory head with decent retention, moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel and toffee, resiny pine, citrus, floral. (6/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter oily finish. (3/5)

Well, it didn’t deliver what I was hoping, that’s for sure. Very much an old-style D/IPA, heavy on the malt and blunt with the bitter. I’m not opposed to big bitter, but I prefer it to have an edge, and not be obscured by heavy malt sweetness. At least it’s got some dankness, so it’s got that going on – but it doesn’t do enough to recommend it. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Due South Brewing Co. Category 3 IPA – American IPA at 6.1% ABV | 63 IBU

Due South Brewing Co. Category 3 IPA American IPA at 6.1% ABV | 63 IBU (US$2.49 at Knightly Spirits Orange Blossom Trail, 355 ml, bottle date 8-Feb-2017, acquired 15-May-2017, reviewed 25-May-2017)

Appearance: hazy medium gold with two fat fingers of rocky ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: pine, citrus, caramel, floral. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter oily finish. (3/5)

A bit muddled and unbalanced. The hop aromas aren’t bright, and struggle to rise above the caramel mail backbone, but as the malt fades on the tongue, a lingering bitterness remains, verging on harsh. I’m hoping their Category 5 ups the ante with better hop definition. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Cigar City Brewing Guayabera Citra Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV | 42 IBU

Cigar City Brewing Guayabera Citra Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV | 42 IBU (US$2.49 at Knightly Spirits Orange Blossom Trail, 355 ml, bottle date 23-Mar-2017, acquired 15-May-2017, reviewed 25-May-2017)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one fat finger of fluffy ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: bright citrus, crackery pale malt, tropical fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Yep, that’s Citra all right – and loads of it. Not overly complex, by any means, but you can’t go wrong with lots of bright Citra. Well, you can, of course, but they haven’t. This is nice and clean, with no cattiness at all. Bright citrus leads the way over a clean crackery malt, with just a hint of tropical fruitiness bringing up behind. Bright, clean, and refreshing. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Cigar City Brewing Maduro Brown Ale – American Brown Ale at 5.5% ABV | 25 IBU

Cigar City Brewing Maduro Brown Ale American Brown Ale at 5.5% ABV | 25 IBU (US$2.09 at Knightly Spirits Orange Blossom Trail, 355 ml, bottle date 4-Apr-2017, acquired 15-May-2017, reviewed 25-May-2017)

Appearance: clear amber-brown with one finger of light beige head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: cocoa, oat bread, nutty, toffee & caramel, hint of leather. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, soft to moderate carbonation, dry medium finish. (4/5)

Pleasant chocolate and toasted oat character combine with a smooth body to make this easy-drinking and mellow. Nothing too exciting, but a solid (if somewhat middle-of-the-road) example of a not-very-exciting style. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Boulevard Brewing Co. Tropical Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.9% ABV | 45 IBU

Boulevard Brewing Co. Tropical Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5.9% ABV | 45 IBU (US$2.49 at Knightly Spirits Orange Blossom Trail, 355 ml, bottle date 16-Sep-2016, best before 14-Jan-2017, acquired 15-May-2017, reviewed 25-May-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of rocky ivory head diminishing gradually to a loose cap, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild, citrus, caramel, tropical fruit. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry short finish. (4/5)

Definitely past its BB, but instead of going off or becoming caramelly (is that a word?), this appears to have simply faded. Not quite bland, but not far off. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Terrapin Beer Co. Luau Krunkles – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 72 IBU

Terrapin Beer Co. Luau Krunkles American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 72 IBU (US$3.33 at Knightly Spirits Orange Blossom Trail, 355 ml, bottle date 1-Mar-2017, best before 17-Aug-2017, acquired 15-May-2017, reviewed 24-May-2017)

Appearance: hazy medium gold with one fat finger of rocky white head diminishing gradually to a persistent cap, patchy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: resin, passionfruit, zesty citrus, pineapple, pale crackery malt. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter slightly spicy finish. (4/5)

Damn, that is some serious shit. Simultaneously dank and bright, with resin and passionfruit leading the way over citrus and pineapple. Malt is way, way towards the back for this one, pale and clean and just barely sufficient to support the hops. Taste is similarly fun, with sweet, almost syrupy fruit juice leading the way before fading to reveal the big hop iron fist inside the velvet glove. Gotta say, I could drink a whole lot of this. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Terrapin Beer Co. RecreationAle Session IPA – Session IPA at 4.7% ABV | 42 IBU

Terrapin Beer Co. RecreationAle Session IPA Session IPA at 4.7% ABV | 42 IBU (US$3.33 at Knightly Spirits Orange Blossom Trail, 355 ml, bottle date 28-Jan-2017, best before 20-Aug-2017, acquired 15-May-2017, reviewed 24-May-2017)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one fat finger of rocky white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: grapefruit, pine, biscuity pale malt, earth, garlic, hint of coffee. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: light body, moderate carbonation, crisp lightly bitter finish. (3/5)

“RecreationAle,” huh? What d’ya get when you move up to a stronger brew, “ProfessionAle” or MedicinAle”?. This… is odd. It starts off brightly hoppy, with lots of citrus and pine, but that fades rapidly, leaving behind earth, onion and garlic, and most puzzling of all, a hint of coffee. I first rated the aroma as an 8, but by the time I was done, it was a 4 or 5 – so, split the difference and call it a 6. Everything else was more consistent. It’s not bad, it’s just very, very strange how the hop character changes (dissipates, I guess) so rapidly. This continues to be a slightly tricky style to get right. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com