Evil Twin Brewing Every Day Once A Day Give Yourself an IPA (Batch #001) – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Every Day Once A Day Give Yourself an IPA (Batch #001) American Double / Imperial IPA at 9% ABV (C$6.99 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 30-May-2018)

Appearance: cloudy pale gold with one finger of rocky white head diminishing gradually to a persistent cap, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: sweet tropical fruit, grapefruit, milk, vanilla, pale malt, floral. (9/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-low bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter warming finish. (5/5)

I’m just gonna go ahead and take this name as a recommended minimum, instead of a maximum. Kinda like the MSRP on a new vehicle, if you will: a starting point for negotiations. I mean, yeah, obviously I’m OK with having an IPA every day, but presumably it doesn’t have to be only one, does it? Mind you, if you had given me this a year ago and called it an IPA, I’d’ve laughed at you. I’d’ve still drunk it – obviously – but I wouldn’t have considered it a “real” IPA. Now, though? Well, we live in interesting times, don’t we? And if a 9% ABV mangopassiongrapefruitvanillamilkshake doesn’t convince you that “IPA” has lost all meaning as a style, I’m not sure what will. And if you think that should be construed as a criticism? Don’t – I love this: they took everything I like about I Always Felt Closer to IPAs Than I Did to People (can we call it IAFCtITIDtP, or would that be too twee?), dialled it up to 11, and broke the knob off. Too bad it’s so fugly, or it would be flirting with a perfect score. (18/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing I Always Felt Closer to IPAs Than I Did to People (Batch #006) – American IPA at 7.5% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing I Always Felt Closer to IPAs Than I Did to People (Batch #006) American IPA at 7.5% ABV (C$6.99 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 30-May-2018)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy grapefruit, pine resin, grainy pale malt, tropical fruit, hint of vanilla. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

I dunno about feeling closer to IPAs than I do to people, but I probably prefer their company – which, I suppose, boils down to much the same thing… Fairly NEIPA in style, juicy even if it’s not quite opaque, with hops that present more on the nose than on the tongue. That mild(er) bitterness makes it easy drinking, even if I do also enjoy alpha acid levels that’ll take the enamel off your teeth. The juiciness and/or creamy body comes at a little bit of a price, though, in that the sweetness feels a bit high for my preference. I’ve no doubt it’s just as attenuated as a more typical IPA, but it doesn’t feel that way. I think I’d like it better if it were drier, but it’s pretty good as it is. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Omnipollo / Evil Twin Brewing Coffenade – American IPA at 7% ABV

Omnipollo / Evil Twin Brewing Coffenade American IPA at 7% ABV (C$6.99 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 30-May-2018)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with short, short-lived white head, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: coffee grounds, lemonade. (4/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high tart, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate tart finish. (3/5)

I was pretty leery of this – every time I hear “coffee” and “IPA”, all I can think of is that horribly bad Molto Bella by Tree Brewing. I’ve had more palatable attempts since, but that’s what sticks with me. (Funny how a single bad experience can ruin something forever, huh? Remind me to tell you my tequila story sometime…) And adding “lemonade” to the mix didn’t seem likely to be all that redemptive. And, to be brutally honest, it wasn’t. It smells like over-extracted coffee grounds, and tastes like lemonade mixed with coffee. No twist, no surprise outcome: does mixing coffee and lemonade sound good to you? Then you’ll like this. I didn’t, much. The best I can say is, it tastes better than it smells, and it got better as it progressed – but that’s not saying much in either case. I love Omnipollo and I love Evil Twin – and I almost sink poured this (but grimly held on to the end). If you’re a fan of these breweries, you might be tempted to try this, thinking it can’t be as bad as all that. I emphatically recommend you do not. (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Omnipollo / Evil Twin Brewing Rainbownade – American IPA at 7% ABV

Omnipollo / Evil Twin Brewing Rainbownade American IPA at 7% ABV (C$7.49 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 30-May-2018)

Appearance: muddy opaque pink-tinged pale amber with one finger of creamy light head, good retention and sticky soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: raspberry, blueberry, tropical fruits, citrus, light grainy malt. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter light tart finish. (4/5)

No idea what “pop culture symbol of female emancipation” the label is referring to – unless it’s the rainbow, but I thought that was LGBT? Anyhoo, this is… interesting. Surprisingly easy drinking for 7%, surprisingly refreshing for something that looks and smells like a field berry purée. Purely out of cantankerousness, though, I will complain that it doesn’t look, smell, or taste much like a beer, certainly much less an IPA, not even an NEIPA. That said, it’s fragrant, tasty, and refreshing, so I can’t exactly complain too bitterly, now can I? (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Rogue Ales Straight Outta Newport… Oregon – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.7% ABV | 73 IBU

Rogue Ales Straight Outta Newport… Oregon American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.7% ABV | 73 IBU (C$5.99 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, packaged on 7-Dec-2017, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 28-May-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy deep gold with one fat finger of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and sticky soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, tropical fruit, resiny pine, caramel, toasted bread. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering and building bitter finish. (4/5)

Knew I’d like this before I even tasted it, just from the aroma alone. Wish I’d gotten it fresher, but even at nearly six months old, it’s a straight-up old-school West Coast hop-covered-brick to the teeth. This is what, less than a point off the ABV of their XS? yet a quarter the price, and far better. I will definitely get this again if I see a newer can. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Wild Rose Brewery High Harvest Hemp SPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 55 IBU

Wild Rose Brewery High Harvest Hemp SPA American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 55 IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, packaged on 19-Apr-2018, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 28-May-2018)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fingers and growing of rocky white head, excellent retention and sticky soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: resiny pine, tropical fruit, pale malt, citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry building bitter finish. (4/5)

Totally different than when I reviewed this a year ago, because now it’s called “High Harvest Hemp SPA” instead of “High Harvest Hemp IPA”… oh! and the creepy anthropomorphic goat is new! (sigh) And yes, I’m still of the opinion that there’s not much more juvenile than the pot jokes surrounding hops. (Maybe next year, when pot is legal – assuming the Senate doesn’t block it till then – there’ll actually be a THC content?) And yes, I still think this really is a nicely dank West Coast style IPA. Pairs well with Doritos. (Yes, now I’m making lame pot jokes – but it’s actually true.) (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Half Pints Brewing Co. Little Scrapper IPA – American IPA at 6% ABV | 50 IBU

Half Pints Brewing Co. Little Scrapper IPA American IPA at 6% ABV | 50 IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 341 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 28-May-2018)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with a short rocky ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin persistent cap and ring, moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild, caramel, pine, grapefruit, floral. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering and building bitter finish. (4/5)

I actually had this on tap just over three years ago, but only did a brief Untappd review at the time, so I figured I’d do a detailed one. Unfortunately, it actually falls slightly short of my previously rating. I mean, it’s not bad, or anything, but I’m not getting a lot of the citrus hop aroma the label promises – certainly not enough to call it a “scrapper”. I guess it would be a perfectly serviceable English IPA, if that’s what you were going for (though the bitterness would be a bit out of spec there). Not the greatest thing I’ve had by this brewery, if I’m honest. Dunno – old bottle? (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Knee Deep Brewing Co. N/E Auburn – American Pale Ale at 4.5% ABV | 40 IBU

Knee Deep Brewing Co. N/E Auburn American Pale Ale at 4.5% ABV | 40 IBU (C$6.49 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 27-May-2018)

Appearance: clear straw with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: dank resiny pine, pale crackery malt, citrus zest, melon. (8/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body tending slightly thin, moderate carbonation, dry lingering bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

I was honestly expecting an auburn-coloured ale, so I was more than a little surprised by the colour. Not that I’m complaining about the colour – but the fact is, it’s consistent with the body, which tends slightly thin with a slightly astringent bite. That imbalance makes me think that magic 10:1 IBU:ABV relationship starts to break down at low ABVs. (I’m also not entirely sure what makes this “NE”, since it’s not juicy or hazy, but is quite bitter.) Decent, but lacking depth and roundness to make it great. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Hell’s Basement Brewing The Yard Strawberry Milkshake IPA – American IPA at 6.2% ABV

Hell’s Basement Brewing The Yard Strawberry Milkshake IPA American IPA at 6.2% ABV (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 27-May-2018)

Appearance: opaque particulate-laden medium gold with one finger of rocky ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild, strawberry jam, bready caramel, vanilla. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, low bitter, light tart. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate-low carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (4/5)

Just as chunky, but marginally less ugly than the last version of this I tried (the blackberry one). (Still no packaging or BB dates, but it’s semi-local and the shop’s pretty good about shelf turds, so again I’m forced to assume that this is the way the brewer intended it to be.) That said, it’s far better than its sister brew, and I’m not unhappy I ignored that little voice telling me not to buy it. Still wish they’d date their damn product, though. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Wild Rose Brewery Ponderosa Gose – Gose at 3.5% ABV

Wild Rose Brewery Ponderosa Gose Gose at 3.5% ABV (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, packaged on 18-Apr-2018, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 27-May-2018)

Appearance: cloudy pale gold with one finger of dense white head diminishing gradually to a persistent thick creamy cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, wheat, light brine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (8/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, dry tart lightly salty finish. (4/5)

Well, it’s absolutely what it says on the label: a tropical Gose. Tropical fruit (pineapple, specifically, though perhaps passionfruit or mango as well) leads the way on the nose, with nearly as much citrus (lemon-lime) before wheat malt and light brine. Tart, zesty, and refreshing, and very much a hot weather beer. I like this a whole lot more than I expected to! (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com