Borg Brugghús / Cigar City Brewing Aycayia Nr. C4 – American IPA at 6.4% ABV

Borg Brugghús / Cigar City Brewing Aycayia Nr. C4 American IPA at 6.4% ABV (C$2.70 at Collective, 330 ml, packaged on 10-Jun-2018, acquired 15-Jan-2019, reviewed 15-Jan-2019)

Appearance: hazy straw with one fat finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: sweet vanilla, zesty citrus, tropical fruit, pale crackery malt, stone fruit, pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry slightly resinous bitter finish. (4/5)

Solid. Lots of fruit on the front end, with an almost milkshake-like lactose sweetness, smoothly transitioning to a slightly resiny pine in the finish. Citra and Mosaic in particular exhibit very well here. Despite being six months in the can, this is bright, fruity, and enjoyable.

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing Irish-ish Coffee – American Double / Imperial Stout at 10.3% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Irish-ish Coffee American Double / Imperial Stout at 10.3% ABV (C$10.67 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 4-Dec-2018, reviewed 13-Jan-2019)

Appearance: nearly opaque brown with amber-brown highlights, one fat finger of rocky tan head, excellent retention and moderate clingy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: coffee, vanilla, liquorice, whiskey, spices. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: full body, soft carbonation, off-dry lingering building bitter and warming finish. (4/5)

A much bigger and boozier example than the previous Evil Twin Stout I had tonight, but of course this is an Imperial, and every inch of that. It’s not particularly “Irish” in the sense of a strong whiskey presence – if anything it’s more coffee, than whiskey – but it’s definitely there, particularly in the finish. Seasonal spices, predominantly nutmeg, are also emphatically present throughout.

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing No Hero (Batch #005) – American Stout at 7% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing No Hero (Batch #005) American Stout at 7% ABV (C$5.36 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 4-Dec-2018, reviewed 13-Jan-2019)

Appearance: nearly opaque brown with minimal highlights, two fingers of rocky tan head, excellent retention and moderate clingy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: cocoa, molasses, anise, oats, smoky ash, red berries. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body tending slightly full, soft carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

A well-balanced Stout that benefits from the smoothness of oats. The roastiness is emphatic and verges on smokey, but is mediated by anise and red berries. Additional depth and complexity becomes evident as it warms, and an initial slight metallic thinness dissipates. Definitely one that shouldn’t be drunk too cold. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Anchor Brewing Company Merry Christmas & Happy New Year (Our Special Ale) (2018) – Christmas / Winter Specialty Spiced Beer at 6.9% ABV

Anchor Brewing Company Merry Christmas & Happy New Year (Our Special Ale) (2018) Christmas / Winter Specialty Spiced Beer at 6.9% ABV (C$2.50 at Okotoks Co-Op, 355 ml, best before 1-Jul-2021, acquired 7-Jan-2019, reviewed 8-Jan-2019)

Appearance: clear brown with ruby highlights, one finger of rocky tan head, good retention and moderate clingy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: resiny pine, dark chocolate, banana bread, spices. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering mildly spicy finish. (4/5)

Best vintage I’ve had to date, I think, by a fair margin. Unlike previous years, there’s a pungent resiny pine at the forefront, and it’s both less sweet and crisper than previous recipes. I deliberately started this one a bit on the cold side, sipping as it warmed up to explore the full gamut, and it’s pretty well-behaved through the full temperature range. Definitely more about pine and hops than previous incarnations, and much less an old-fashioned fruitcake in a glass. Given the amount hop character here (though, don’t get me wrong, it’s still malt forward) I wonder how well this one will age. Guess we’ll find out in a year or two… (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brauerei Fahr Fahr Out Pilsner – Pilsener at 5% ABV

Brauerei Fahr Fahr Out Pilsner Pilsener at 5% ABV (C$4.99 at Okotoks Co-Op, 500 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 7-Jan-2019, reviewed 7-Jan-2019)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one finger of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim and ring, moderate soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: bready malt, pome fruit, grass, hint of hydrocarbon/solvent. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light spice. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration spicy finish. (4/5)

I initially though this was under-carbed upon first decapping, but soon realized the anemic hiss was due to there being almost no head space. Oh, well, at least it didn’t explode in my car… or fridge… or hand! As far as the beer goes, it’s a fairly unremarkable example of a fairly unremarkable style. As usual, I feel like I’m doing a bit of a disservice to the review because I’m not sophisticated enough to appreciate anything other than big bombastic beers, but try as I might I can’t work up much enthusiasm for a Pils. This one is marred slightly by a hint of fuel-like hydrocarbon – fusels, I suppose – that isn’t uncommon in the style, but never overly welcome in my mind. OK, but certainly not one I’d seek out again. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Red Bison Brewery Flight Path – American Brown Ale at 5.2% ABV

Red Bison Brewery Flight Path American Brown Ale at 5.2% ABV (C$6.99 at Sobeys Liquor Okotoks, 650 ml, packaged on 21-Oct-2018, acquired 7-Jan-2019, reviewed 7-Jan-2019)

Appearance: clear brown with one finger of fine beige head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, cocoa, nuts. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (3/5)

If I were flying, this is exactly the kind of flight path I’d want: smooth and level, with no surprises. But, since I’m drinking, not flying, I wouldn’t mind a little turbulence. Pleasant, and certainly well made, but a bit unremarkable. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Red Bison Brewery Party Pants – American Pale Ale at 4.3% ABV

Red Bison Brewery Party Pants American Pale Ale at 4.3% ABV (C$6.99 at Sobeys Liquor Okotoks, 650 ml, packaged on 30-Aug-2019, acquired 7-Jan-2019, reviewed 7-Jan-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with one fat finger of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus juice & zest, tropical fruit, grainy malt, pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

“Party Pants” – hah! Everybody knows there ain’t no party like a no pants party! And, given the low ABV, you’d have to drink an awful lot of these for things to get to that point. So, well done, I guess? Generally, this drinks as a much bigger beer, with loads of juicy hop aroma and generally pleasant flavour. Although the body tends somewhat light, it doesn’t drop off to watery and tends to hold its own. There is a hint of astringency in the finish that betrays the light malt bill, but it’s pretty mild. All in all, a pleasant enough offering. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Jester King Brewery Funk Metal (Blend #9) – Sour Stout at 9.5% ABV

Jester King Brewery Funk Metal (Blend #9) Sour Stout at 9.5% ABV | 28 IBU (C$29.49 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 750 ml, packaged on 21-Mar-2018, acquired 7-Sep-2018, reviewed 6-Jan-2019)

Appearance: clear deep brown with ruby brown relief around the edges, one fat finger of rocky beige head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: red berries, chocolate, tobacco, wood, barnyard funk. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, moderate tart, light funk. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-high carbonation, lingering tart and mildly warming finish. (4/5)

Surprisingly high carbonation (at least, for a Stout – not so much for a Wild/Sour) make the body much lighter than the appearance might suggest. Not very Stout-like overall, actually, but unlike e.g. Tart of Darkness, there’s some roasted malt character present on the nose and the tongue. Overall I’d have to say the Sour and the Stout characters are pretty well blended, though the Wild/Sour is somewhat dominant, particularly on the front end. Very good, probably on par with ToD (and just as expensive, if not more so). (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company Wild Oats Series: Jänis – Sahti at 7% ABV | 17 IBU

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company Wild Oats Series: Jänis Sahti at 7% ABV | 17 IBU (C$6.23 at NLC Stavanger, 600 ml, packaged on 5-Nov-2018, acquired 31-Dec-2018, reviewed 5-Jan-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy deep gold with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: grainy caramel, berries, citrus, hint of smoke. (6/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter, mild spice. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly sticky medium duration mildly warming finish. (4/5)

Not a lot of juniper character to speak of – certainly not as much gin-like character as I was hoping for. There’s berry notes, but not clearly juniper. Fairly lager-like, actually, but with a more emphatic warming character that seems to be derived equal parts from alcohol and spice. I think this might be my first Sahti, so I don’t know how representative of the style it might be. Certainly it’s not terrible, and an interesting change, but not one I’d go back to. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company New Lang Syne (2018) – Tripel at 9% ABV

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company New Lang Syne (2018) Tripel at 9% ABV (C$17.28 at NLC Stavanger, 750 ml, packaged on 1-Sep-2018, acquired 31-Dec-2018, reviewed 5-Jan-2019)

Appearance: muddy deep gold with a fat fluffy white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: pale malt, white wine, pome & drupe, wood. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate-high carbonation, off-dry finish. (4/5)

The head’s better behaved than last year’s version, but the colour is not as clean, with a great deal of sediment giving a muddy appearance. Aroma and flavour seem to be pretty much identical to last year. Meant to have this as a champagne replacement for the NYE festivities but didn’t get around to it, so had it with our weekend after New Year’s feast instead. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com