Spindrift Brewing Co. Wheel House Radler – Radler at 4% ABV | 8 IBU

Spindrift Brewing Co. Wheel House Radler Radler at 4% ABV | 8 IBU (C$3.57 at NLC Stavanger, 473 ml, packaged on 29-May-2018, acquired 4-Jul-2018, reviewed 5-Jul-2018)

Appearance: hazy medium gold with a short-lived fizzy head, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: orange soda, hint of bandaid. (5/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-light body, lively carbonation, sugary mildly tart finish. (3/5)

The label doesn’t specify what juice is used here, but I’m guessing based on the artwork that their “exotic citrus” is pink grapefruit, orange, and lemon. Looks like orange soda, tastes like orange soda, and smells like orange soda – with a bandaid in it. I like a Radler as much as the next guy, and probably more than most, but this is pretty lacklustre overall, and too sweet to boot. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Garrison Brewing Company Wicked Good Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV | 30 IBU

Garrison Brewing Company Wicked Good Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5% ABV | 30 IBU (C$3.66 at NLC Stavanger, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 4-Jul-2018, reviewed 4-Jul-2018)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with two fingers of loose ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin skim and ring, moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, pear, melon, floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Ooo, careful Garrison, you might offend people with your “un-friggin-filtered” label. If, y’know, fellow Haligonians Greg Nash and Andrew Murphy hadn’t already beaten you to it (and then some) with http://unfuckingfiltered.com/ – and better beer, too. (Yes, I know you’re working the whole Bahstahn thing, with it being an NE/APA. Still damn close to ripping off Unfiltered.) However, momentarily putting my righteous indignation aside, this is not a bad beer at all. Lighter in the body and the ABV, but still flavourful and refreshing, it ranks up there among the best by this brewery. I’m still offended though! (Well, maybe not all that much. And less so as the pint progresses. Such is life.) (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Spindrift Brewing Co. Hurricane IPA – American IPA at 6.2% ABV | 60 IBU

Spindrift Brewing Co. Hurricane IPA American IPA at 6.2% ABV | 60 IBU (C$3.39 at NLC Stavanger, 473 ml, packaged on 22-May-2018, acquired 4-Jul-2018, reviewed 4-Jul-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale amber with two fingers of loose off-white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim and ring, spotty soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, resiny pine, caramel, grass, stone fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, off-dry building bitter finish. (4/5)

Solid if not exciting A/IPA, with West Coast tendencies. Certainly there’s nothing objectionable about it, and it gets the job done after a day working construction. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Fifty Fifty Brewing Co. Eclipse Imperial Stout (Four Roses) – Russian Imperial Stout at 11.9% ABV

Fifty Fifty Brewing Co. Eclipse Imperial Stout (Four Roses) Russian Imperial Stout at 11.9% ABV (C$28.34 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 28-Aug-2015, reviewed 3-Jul-2018)

Appearance: clear ruby brown with one fat finger of dense beige head, good retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: bourbon, wood, coconut, chocolate. (9/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium-full slick body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter warming finish. (4/5)

I figured this was likely to have a pretty emphatic edge when young, so I decided to give it some time in the cellar. It might not have actually needed an additional three years, but that’s what it got. (I don’t think I’ll give the other one I have another three.) I was a little surprised at how light the body and carbonation were – not in absolute terms, obviously, but for a big BA stout, this is positively effervescent. Overall, super smooth and drinkable, with surprisingly little bourbon edge (or alcohol presence overall) though the bourbon flavour is very clear. The coconut presence might be surprising, except for the fact that this isn’t my first BA stout where it’s come up – it very much seems to be a thing with big boozy barrel bastards. Good fun, especially if you take your time and sip it. (18/20)

My 259th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die, 249th from the 2013 edition, and 273rd combining both editions.

9/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company Old Guardian (2013) – American Barleywine at 11.6% ABV | 80 IBU

Stone Brewing Company Old Guardian (2013) American Barleywine at 11.6% ABV | 80 IBU (US$6.99 at Total Wines & More, Henderson NV, 650 ml, packaged on 25-Jan-2013, acquired 5-Jun-2014, reviewed 1-Jul-2018)

Appearance: clear deep amber with one fat finger of creamy ivory head, good retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel & toffee, oak, nuts, toasted bread. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium slick body, moderate-high carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter warming finish. (4/5)

Honestly, I can’t discern any difference at between this one and the 2015 I had yesterday. There may be a hint of astringency in the finish, but other than that, this is pretty much the same beast at five years old, as at three. I guess that boils down to, there appears to be no good reason to cellar this for an extended period. Although this one isn’t oxidized, that’s always a risk with extended cellaring, and it doesn’t appear to accomplish much, if anything. I say, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company Odd Old Guardian Extra Hoppy (2015) – American Barleywine at 11% ABV | 80 IBU

Stone Brewing Company Odd Old Guardian Extra Hoppy (2015) American Barleywine at 11% ABV | 80 IBU (C$10.25 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, packaged on 11-Feb-2015, acquired 21-Apr-2015, reviewed 1-Jul-2018)

Appearance: clear deep amber with one fat finger of creamy ivory head, good retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel & toffee, oak, stone & tropical fruit, nuts, leafy greens, toasted bread. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium slick body, moderate-high carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter warming finish. (4/5)

At three years in the cellar, I expected this “extra hoppy” to be pretty much identical to its non-odd classic sibling. But, fact is, there’s a little hoppy kick still remaining. This isn’t clearly preferable to the “normal” version, but it’s certainly a viable alternative. (Assuming, y’know, you’ve got multiple three year old one-offs just jostling about in your cellar and vying for your attention. Which, yeah, I do. If you don’t, too bad, so sad, sux 2 B U.) (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company Old Guardian (2015) – American Barleywine at 11.2% ABV | 80 IBU

Stone Brewing Company Old Guardian (2015) American Barleywine at 11.2% ABV | 80 IBU (C$10.25 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, packaged on 7-Feb-2015, acquired 21-Apr-2015, reviewed 1-Jul-2018)

Appearance: clear deep amber with one fat finger of creamy ivory head, good retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel & toffee, oak, nuts, toasted bread. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium slick body, moderate-high carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter warming finish. (4/5)

Super smooth despite the high bitterness. Three years’ cellaring has not harmed this at all – just the opposite, it would seem. There is of course not a lot of hop character left, but I wouldn’t have expected that to be a major factor even when it was young. Given the style, I’m a little surprised by the lively carbonation, but it’s not a negative. It certainly seems to be continuing the trend that, the longer I let these OGs cellar, the better they get. Gonna be interesting to try my last, now five-year-old one, maybe tomorrow. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Oud Beersel Bzart Kriekenlambiek Millésime (2012) – Lambic Fruit at 7.6% ABV

Brouwerij Oud Beersel Bzart Kriekenlambiek Millésime (2012) Lambic – Fruit at 7.6% ABV (C$34.60 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 750 ml, packaged on 1-Nov-2014, best before 30-Nov-2020, acquired 31-Jul-2015, reviewed 1-Jul-2018)

Appearance: clear deep red with two fingers of loose pale purple head diminishing gradually to a thin ring, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tart cherry, stone fruit, field berries, wood, earthy funk. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium-light body, prickly carbonation, dry mild tart finish. (4/5)

Probably somewhat less complex than its Gueuze counterpart, but of course that’s because the emphatic cherry overwhelms everything else. I don’t mean that in a negative way, because it’s authentic cherry, flavourful and rich, with no hint of cough syrup character. I can’t say I generally prefer one over the other, but depending on what I was in the mood for, I might lean more towards this or that. Another excellent example of its style. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Oud Beersel Bzart Lambiek Millésime (2012) – Lambic Gueuze at 7.4% ABV

Brouwerij Oud Beersel Bzart Lambiek Millésime (2012) Lambic – Gueuze at 7.4% ABV (C$33.71 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 750 ml, packaged on 1-Nov-2014, best before 30-Nov-2020, acquired 31-Jul-2015, reviewed 30-Jun-2018)

Appearance: clear pale amber with two fingers of loose white head diminishing gradually to a persistent cap, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: cherry, stone fruit, lemon zest, wood, grainy malt, earthy funk. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium-light body, prickly carbonation, dry mild tart finish. (4/5)

Complex and interesting, with loads of fruit flavour and funk. The cherry flavour, in particular, makes it hard to believe there’s no fruit added to this. An excellent example of the style, champagne-like and lively. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com