4 Mile Brewing Co. Grapefruit IPA – American IPA at 6% ABV | 65 IBU

4 Mile Brewing Co. Grapefruit IPA American IPA at 6% ABV | 65 IBU (C$7.99 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 1-Jun-2018)

Appearance: clear deep gold with two fat fingers of fluffy pale ivory head, excellent retention and heavy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: grapefruit flesh and pith, pale malt, hint of pine and earth. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter slightly astringent finish. (4/5)

This is so heavy on the grapefruit that it’s almost like a Radler – if you were to make a Radler using a double-digit Imperial IPA, I mean. I waffled a bit on the scoring here, and could’ve gone half a point or so lower on the total by dropping both aroma and taste by a point, but ultimately let my love of grapefruit and Radlers carry the day. This isn’t particularly complex or interesting, but the more I think about it, the more I want to make a Radler with a double digit DIPA – and this’ll do till then. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Founders Brewing Company Azacca – American IPA at 7% ABV | 70 IBU

Founders Brewing Company Azacca American IPA at 7% ABV | 70 IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, best before 14-Oct-2018, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 1-Jun-2018)

Appearance: clear pale amber with two fat fingers of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and heavy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: mild, tropical fruit, citrus, stone fruit, caramel, pine, earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly oily body tending slightly thin in the finish, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering building bitter finish. (3/5)

Drops just slightly flat and thin in the finish. Not by a lot, but by enough to make rethink that Azacca has don’t entirely work in a single-hop implementation. That, coupled with the somewhat mild aroma, leaves me just slightly less than impressed. Not bad, but not among their best offerings. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Founders Brewing Company PC Pils – Pilsener at 5.5% ABV | 45 IBU

Founders Brewing Company PC Pils Pilsener at 5.5% ABV | 45 IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, best before 8-Jan-2019, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 1-Jun-2018)

Appearance: slightly chill-hazed straw with one finger of rocky white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pine, citrus, pale malt, floral, grass. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate-high carbonation, off-dry mild bitter lightly peppery finish. (4/5)

Not your typical Pilsener, which is all to the good as far as I’m concerned. (Yes, yes, I know: “So why did you buy that style then?” Because it was Founders, and because the label specifically said “American Hopped”, that’s why!) And it sure is, with pine and citrus from the usual starts-with-C suspects (Chinook, Cascade, Centennial), and backstopped by clean pale malt. Finishes nearly dry, with a pleasant minerality and light peppery bite. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Founders Brewing Company Rübæus – Fruit / Vegetable Beer at 5.7% ABV | 15 IBU

Founders Brewing Company Rübæus Fruit / Vegetable Beer at 5.7% ABV | 15 IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, packaged on 29-Apr-2018, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 1-Jun-2018)

Appearance: clear reddish amber with one fat finger of rocky pale pink head, excellent retention and well-defined lacing. (5/5) Aroma: sweet raspberry, wheat malt. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate tart, mild bitter. (7/10) Palate: light body, moderate-high carbonation, sweetish mildly tart finish. (3/5)

Pretty authentic raspberry on the nose and on the tongue, but I find it just a bit too sweet overall. Kind of like a Framboise, but a bit sweeter (although not as sweet as e.g. a Faro). Good, but too sweet to be really refreshing. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Founders Brewing Company KBS – American Double / Imperial Stout at 12.3% ABV | 70 IBU

Founders Brewing Company KBS American Double / Imperial Stout at 12.3% ABV | 70 IBU (C$8.25 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 355 ml, packaged on 13-Feb-2018, acquired 24-May-2018, reviewed 31-May-2018)

Appearance: opaque black with no relief, one fat finger of rocky beige head, excellent retention and well-defined lacing. (5/5) Aroma: bourbon, toasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, oak, dark fruit. (9/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (9/10) Palate: full body, soft carbonation, off-dry bitter warming finish. (4/5)

The perennial problem with landing a white whale: is it worth it? Well, I guess that depends on how seriously you took the hype, dunnit? Is it great? Hells yes. Awesome? You could make that argument. Perfect? … nahhh… Now, you have to understand, at this level, it’s not so much criticism, as picky little issues. To be specific: there’s just the very slightest hint of harshness in the bourbon aroma, the flavour on the tongue could stand to be just a hair smoother, and the finish is just a bit too sweet. Bottom line, this is a “flavored stout” that, well, feels flavoured – which is to say, not quite natural. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll sock one away and try it again in a year, but I don’t feel any particular urgency to make a priority out of a multi-year collection and vertical. (18/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Modern Times Beer City of the Dead Nitro Stout with Cocoa Nibs, Almonds, & Sea Salt – Foreign / Export Stout at 7.5% ABV | 30 IBU

Modern Times Beer City of the Dead Nitro Stout with Cocoa Nibs, Almonds, & Sea Salt Foreign / Export Stout at 7.5% ABV | 30 IBU (C$5.49 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, packaged on 28-Dec-2017, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 31-May-2018)

Appearance: opaque black with no relief, a short creamy beige head, excellent retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: coffee, toasted malts, dark chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla, nuts. (10/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter, light salt. (9/10) Palate: full body, soft carbonation, dry bitter finish. (5/5)

Not a lot of difference between the base version and this, as far as I can tell. A hint of nuttiness on the nose, and some slight saltiness in the finish, and that’s about it. Like the original, huge coffee notes dominate over dark chocolate and oaky bourbon, but neither come across as harsh or overwhelming. In fact, it’s incredibly smooth on the tongue, possibly assisted by the nitro. I’m a bit surprised that the head didn’t develop better, though – I guess without a Guinness-Style widget, you don’t get that nitro kick. I had high hopes for this (probably impossibly so) and they didn’t quite pan out. So, yeah, this is merely as great as the regular version – oh, well. (18/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing – American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 40 IBU

Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 40 IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, packaged on 9-Apr-2018, acquired 25-May-2018, reviewed 31-May-2018)

Appearance: cloudy opaque pale gold with one finger of rocky white head diminishing gradually to a persistent cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy citrus, tropical fruit, clean pale malt, light pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

Nicely implemented example of the style: fragrant citrus and tropical fruit on the nose, mild bitterness on the tongue, easy-drinking and refreshing. Both the aroma and the flavour are a bit on the mild side, and I’d probably like it better if it were a little more emphatic – but then it might not be quite so easy-drinking. I mean, seriously, I could down a sixer of this without even coming up for air. Mind you, the fact that I just came off yet another 12 hour work day might have something to do with that… (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com