Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks The Last Strawberry – Witbier at 4.9% ABV | 8 IBU

Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks The Last Strawberry Witbier at 4.9% ABV | 8 IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Aug-2017, reviewed 30-Aug-2017)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with heavy particulate, one finger of creamy white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, minimal patchy lacing. (2/5) Aroma: strawberries, cream, wheat. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, minimal bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, medium duration tart finish. (4/5)

Doesn’t really look “white” – with all that particulate, it looks more like when your cream is on the edge of going bad and separates in your tea. The aroma is nice though, reminiscent of strawberries and cream. The taste follows through, with restrained sweetness and real fruit flavour. Too bad it’s so ugly… (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Postmark Brewing Raspberry – Fruit / Vegetable Beer at 4.7% ABV | 17 IBU

Postmark Brewing Raspberry Fruit / Vegetable Beer at 4.7% ABV | 17 IBU (C$2.26 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 355 ml, packaged on 15-May-2017, acquired 25-Aug-2017, reviewed 30-Aug-2017)

Appearance: hazy red-tinged medium amber with one finger of fizzy off-white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: raspberries, bready pale malt, floral/leafy. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, minimal bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, lively carbonation, off-dry mild tart finish. (4/5)

Pretty decent, actually. Dominated by raspberry, but it smells like real fruit. Somewhat surprisingly, the sweetness is quite restrained, so this succeeds in bringing emphatic fruit flavour, without too much accompanying sweetness. A pleasant patio beer. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

New Belgium Brewing Company French Oak Saison – Saison at 7.5% ABV

New Belgium Brewing Company French Oak Saison Saison at 7.5% ABV (C$16.20 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, packaged on 4-Mar-2016, acquired 25-Aug-2017, reviewed 29-Aug-2017)

Appearance: hazy straw with one fat finger of fluffy white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tart red berries, cloves, leather, oak, apples, peppercorns. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, mild bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild tart finish. (4/5)

Well, that’s an improvement over the last couple, anyway, though the tartness (although not unwelcome) is definitely out of spec for the style. A pleasant combination of tart berries and barrel notes, but again fairly distant from specification for the style. Heavier than I prefer to see for the style, but good fun, and pleasingly refreshing. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Worthy Brewing Farm Out Saison – Saison at 7.3% ABV | 25 IBU

Worthy Brewing Farm Out Saison Saison at 7.3% ABV | 25 IBU (C$7.63 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-Aug-2017, reviewed 29-Aug-2017)

Appearance: hazy straw with one fat finger of fluffy white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: floral, banana & bubblegum, coriander, grainy pale malt, peppercorn, grass. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, light musty funk. (6/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, sweetish lightly funky finish. (3/5)

Definitely on the heavy side for a Saison, with a sweet and slightly slick feel that I’m attributing to the higher ABV. I dunno, maybe I’ve just had some really good Saisons lately, but tonight I’m just less than impressed by what I was hoping would be a quality lineup – and I’m really hoping the next one I have queued up breaks this trend. This is OK, but certainly less than impressive, and doesn’t even come close to their Coeur de la Pêche. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Postmark Brewing Saison – Saison at 4.7% ABV | 21 IBU

Postmark Brewing Saison Saison at 4.7% ABV | 21 IBU (C$7.49 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Aug-2017, reviewed 29-Aug-2017)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one fat finger of rocky white head diminishing gradually to a dense persistent cap, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: peppercorn & clove, wheat, floral, light bubblegum & dry hay funk. (6/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry short lightly funky finish. (3/5)

I have to give credit where credit is due: I respect a brewery naming their beer after the style and leaving it at that, especially given the amount of effort folks put into cute names (usually puns, and usually hop-related). On the other hand, it reminds me of grocery store cans of “Beer” beer, and the associated implications of mediocrity. And while this isn’t mediocre, as such, I wouldn’t call it much more than serviceable. I’d be hard-pressed to point to an actual failure here, but it’s just not very interesting. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Hoyne Brewing Co. Summer Haze Honey Hefe – Hefeweizen at 5.1% ABV

Hoyne Brewing Co. Summer Haze Honey Hefe Hefeweizen at 5.1% ABV (C$7.90 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Aug-2017, reviewed 29-Aug-2017)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fat fingers of rocky off-white head diminishing gradually to a creamy persistent cap, moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: wheat, honey, pepper, light band-aid. (6/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry short finish. (3/5)

I had high hopes for this, but they didn’t exactly pan out. There’s the honey promised by the label, sure, but it doesn’t really come across as a true Hefe. Overall it’s slightly too sweet to really be refreshing, and as it warms, there’s a faint note of plastic or band-aid. I guess if you find yourself confronted by one of these, drink it fast before it warms. And no, I can’t really recommend making an effort to find it. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Crooked Stave Serenata Notturna – Belgian Golden Strong Ale at 12% ABV

Crooked Stave Serenata Notturna Belgian Golden Strong Ale at 12% ABV (US$8.99 at Knightly Spirits Orange Blossom Trail, 375 ml, packaged on 1-Dec-2015, acquired 15-May-2017, reviewed 28-Aug-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy reddish-tinted pale amber with a short white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: red wine, oak, caramel, blueberry, stone fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high tart, light bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry lingering tart mildly warming finish. (4/5)

This is a mixed fermentation Golden Strong, but it’s utterly dominated by red wine barrel notes imparted by the sherry casks. This dominance doesn’t really relax as it warms, but further complexity does unveil, including a surprisingly emphatic caramel malt note, as well as blueberries and peaches. That caramel is pretty much the only indication of the fairly huge gravity, which otherwise manifests only as a mild warming in the finish – at least, until it’s mostly gone, and the room starts to get a little fuzzy around the edges. So, remind me again why should I spend 50% more (actually, 55.6% more, but who’s counting?) on their peach Surette, than this, when this has near-on twice the ABV and much more complex flavour? Oh, right, never drink the same beer twice. Might need to add an exception for this one… (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Crooked Stave Surette Reserva Prunus Persica – Sour / Wild Ale at 7.0% ABV

Crooked Stave Surette Reserva Prunus Persica Sour / Wild Ale at 7.0% ABV (US$13.99 at Knightly Spirits Orange Blossom Trail, 375 ml, packaged on 1-Sep-2015, acquired 15-May-2017, reviewed 28-Aug-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy medium gold with a short white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: puréed peaches, baker’s yeast, light oak, gooseberries, hint of dry hay funk. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high tart, light bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry lingering tart finish. (4/5)

I guess when you’re charging that kind of premium, you can’t just call it “peach”, huh? Well, two can play that game: these puréed _Prunus Persica_ possess the fragrance of infant sustenance. OK, OK, so the first whiff is baby food – moving on. Beyond the overwhelming peach, delicate aromas and flavours develop, of wood, berries, and funk. In fact, the longer it warms and the more you think about it, the more complexity becomes apparent: I could’ve added apples, lemons, melon, and any number of other qualifiers. Let’s just stick with “it’s good” and leave it at that. (But I still think the name is pretentious.) (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales / Maui Brewing Sobrehumano Palena’ole – American Wild Ale at 6.0% ABV

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales / Maui Brewing Sobrehumano Palena’ole American Wild Ale at 6.0% ABV | 22 IBU (C$20.99 at Oak & Vine, 750 ml, packaged on 21-Dec-2016, acquired 22-Aug-2017, reviewed 28-Aug-2017)

Appearance: clear slightly red-tinged medium amber with one finger of rocky light ivory head diminishing gradually to a dense creamy cap, moderate stringy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tart cherries, tropical fruit, leather, tobacco, oak, barnyard funk. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high tart, light bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-high carbonation, dry lingering tart finish. (4/5)

Pretty similar to other Jolly Pumpkin ales I’ve had, which is only to the good! (One of the biggest departures might be that the head didn’t explode out of control, as certain others of theirs have been known to.) Utterly dominated by tart cherries, with some tropical fruit gradually making itself known among the pleasant barrel and funk notes. Relatively high carbonation provides an appropriate precursor to a high but balanced tart finish. I’ve gotten into the fairly bad habit of squirrelling away beers like this (including four more of theirs!) while waiting for the right time to drink them. Well, I think it might be time to stop that, or at least reassess my criteria for “the right time”.  So, yeah, it’s Monday: right time for a JP beer! (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing Sanguinem Auriantico (Batch #002) – American Wild Ale at 3.25% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Sanguinem Auriantico (Batch #002) American Wild Ale at 3.25% ABV (C$4.27 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-Aug-2017, reviewed 28-Aug-2017)

Appearance: hazy straw with a short, short-lived white head, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: lacto sour, grass, citrus, band-aid. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild tart, light bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, short tart finish. (4/5)

Not one of my favourites by Jeppe, not by a long shot – in fact, it doesn’t even make it into the top ten. The aroma is really where things break down, with a fairly uninspired plain lacto sour in front of mild grass and citrus (the blood orange claimed by the label really doesn’t manifest much on the nose at all) but worst of all is the plastic-y hint of band-aid. Flavour-wise, it’s quite a bit better, with restrained sweetness and a nicely balanced tartness. It’s also got a decently clean tart finish that makes it pretty refreshing. It’s actually fairly pleasant overall, so… I dunno… hold your nose while you drink it? (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com