Phillips Brewing Company 6IX – American IPA at 6% ABV | 69 IBU

Phillips Brewing Company 6IX American IPA at 6% ABV | 69 IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, best before 2-Sep-2018, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 26-May-2018)

Appearance: hazy particulate-laden pale gold with a short-lived loose off-white head, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: dank resiny pine, caramel, tropical fruit, citrus. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Medium slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering and building bitter finish. (4/5)

Total palate-wrecker hop bomb, even exceeding that magic 10:1 IBU:ABV ratio. (Apparently – I can’t find confirmation on the brewer web site that that IBU rating is correct, but it certainly feels right to me.) So much lupulin that there’s free-floating chunks and the head can’t retain. In other words, my kind of beer! (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Phillips Brewing Company Tiger Shark Citra Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 4.7% ABV

Phillips Brewing Company Tiger Shark Citra Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 4.7% ABV (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, best before 30-Sep-2018, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 26-May-2018)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two fingers of loose white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, tropical fruit, pale malt, pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Medium-light body tending slightly watery, moderate carbonation, off-dry slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Not bad – it manages to extract tropical fruit and citrus without getting the pissy edge that Citra sometimes delivers – but it’s also got that sort of watery and astringent feel that APA’s sometimes do. Appearance and aroma are pretty good, but it goes downhill a little on the tongue and in the finish. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Phillips Brewing Company Raspberry Wheat – American Pale Wheat Ale at 5% ABV

Phillips Brewing Company Raspberry Wheat American Pale Wheat Ale at 5% ABV (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, best before 17-Sep-2018, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 26-May-2018)

Appearance: clear ruby-tinged pale amber with one fat finger of rocky pale purple head, excellent retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tart sweet raspberry, wheat, light funk. (7/10) Taste: moderate tart, moderate-low sweet, minimal bitter. (7/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lightly tart finish. (4/5)

I last had this a couple of years ago, and was less than impressed. This time around, it’s much better both structurally (much better retention and lacing) and flavour-wise (no unpleasant edge to the funk). I think that might be attributable to it being newer, because the last time I had it was late October, and this one has a BB date a month earlier. For whatever reason, it’s better this time ‘round. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Wild Rose Brewery Jefe Street Dog – American Pale Ale at 4.2% ABV

Wild Rose Brewery Jefe Street Dog American Pale Ale at 4.2% ABV (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, packaged on 20-Apr-2018, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 26-May-2018)

Appearance: clear coppery medium amber with two fingers of loose ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, moderate soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: resiny pine, caramel, melon, tropical fruit, weeds. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, lively carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter mildly peppery finish. (4/5)

I was sort of expecting an American Pale, but once I started pouring it figured it must be an English style. Then I smelled it, and got confused, and tasted it, and got more so. This thing combines aspects of both styles (and arguably other styles as well) making it a bit hard to pin down stylistically, so I guess “Pale Ale” is as good a title as any. I can totally see its appropriateness as a beer brewed for a Mexican restaurant, being slightly sweet with a hint of black pepper in the finish. I could go for a few of these with a plate of tacos. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Parallel 49 Wild Ride 2018 Edition – Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 9% ABV

Parallel 49 Wild Ride 2018 Edition Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 9% ABV (C$7.49 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 25-May-2018)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two fingers of fluffy white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, syrupy fruit, pale malt, pineapple, floral, light earthy funk. (6/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter, light funky tart. (6/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, moderate-lively carbonation, sweetish mildly warming finish. (3/5)

Not exactly what I’d call a wild ride, personally (but I tend to subscribe to the “licking a horse blanket” school of Brett brewing). At the outset, there’s very little Brett character at all, and although it grows slightly as the pint progresses, it never really gets “wild”. “Slightly high spirited” perhaps, but never “wild” – or even “rambunctious”. On the other hand, while we’re on the topic of high spirits, the high ABV is impressively well-integrated, and manifests only as a mild warming. Decently well done and somewhat reminiscent of a sweeter-style Tripel. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mikkeller Stick in the Ear – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Mikkeller Stick in the Ear American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$5.40 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 330 ml, best before 10-Oct-2018, acquired 25-Apr-2018, reviewed 24-May-2018)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of fluffy pale ivory head, excellent retention and heavy chunky lacing. (5/5) Aroma: resiny pine, tropical fruit, caramel, citrus. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering building bitter finish. (4/5)

Well, that’s better than a poke in the eye (or ear, or for that matter any other orifice) with a sharp stick, that’s for sure. This is where Mikkeller shines: bitter hoppy beers, this time a lightly dank resiny West Coast IPA, done right. It’s not even all that big, actually, but it certainly plays that way. I’d love to see this done as a double, but it’s pretty damned good as it stands. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Gigantic Brewing Company PiñaCOOLada Hazy IPA (#63) – American IPA at 6% ABV

Gigantic Brewing Company PiñaCOOLada Hazy IPA (#63) American IPA at 6% ABV (C$8.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 500 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 24-May-2018, reviewed 24-May-2018)

Appearance: cloudy pale gold with two fat fingers of fluffy pale ivory head, excellent retention and heavy chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, caramel, lime, coconut. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body tending slightly watery, moderate-soft carbonation, off-dry mildly bitter finish. (3/5)

I had high hopes for this. Bit of a bandwagon, sure, but it’s Gigantic, and I do love the hazy/NE style (and Piña Coladas). And yet… I guess my major beef is, it’s too mild. Yes, there’s all of the flavours you’d expect from a Piña Colada, but they’re all pretty muted. And not in the “mild so as not to overwhelm the base beer” sense, either – because that’s pretty muted too. The body’s a bit disappointing too, tending slightly flat and watery. All in all, itt’s not bad, but it’s not great. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Annex Ale Project Paradise Found – Berliner Weisse at 6% ABV

Annex Ale Project Paradise Found Berliner Weisse at 6% ABV (C$7.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, packaged on 23-May-2018, acquired 24-May-2018, reviewed 24-May-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale straw with one finger of fluffy white head, good retention moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: ginger, grainy pale malt, light botanicals. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: light body, moderate-lively carbonation, off-dry slightly spicy tart finish. (4/5)

Nice. Lots of authentic ginger on the front end, but restrained sweetness – sort of like a real ginger beer, but not quite as spicy as those typically are. There’s a hint of maltiness, as well as some herbal botanicals that work well with the ginger. It’s not your typical Berliner Weisse, but it’s an interesting (and, in my opinion, philosophically consistent, if not typical) interpretation of the style. Right up there among the best offerings I’ve seen from this brewery. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mikkeller Help – American Pale Ale at 4.6% ABV

Mikkeller Help American Pale Ale at 4.6% ABV (C$5.30 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 330 ml, best before 21-Sep-2018, acquired 25-Apr-2018, reviewed 24-May-2018)

Appearance: hazy medium gold with one finger of pale ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin persistent cap, stringy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus, pale malt, light resiny pine, floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry slightly astringent lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Not the most thrilling Mikkeller I’ve ever had… but then again, it’s not the least. Actually, it’s not even the most thrilling Mikkeller APA I’ve had. Nor, again, is it the least. I think “unremarkable” is what I’m going for here. It support charity, though, so there’s that. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mikkeller SpontanDryHop Centennial – Sour / Wild Ale at 5.5% ABV

Mikkeller SpontanDryHop Centennial Sour / Wild Ale at 5.5% ABV (C$7.90 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 330 ml, best before 2-Mar-2021, acquired 25-Apr-2018, reviewed 23-May-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy medium gold with one finger of pale ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild funk, pine resin, citrus, grainy pale malt. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry tart lightly funky finish. (4/5)

I was expecting this to be virtually identical to the Simcoe version, but it actually exhibits differences structurally and flavour-wise: the head retains much better while developing some lacing, and the more robust aroma of pine and citrus works well with the mildly barnyardy funk. All in all, I like this one a lot more. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com