Goose Island Beer Company Bourbon County Brand Bramble Rye Stout (2018) – Imperial Stout at 12.7% ABV

Goose Island Beer Company Bourbon County Brand Bramble Rye Stout (2018) Imperial Stout at 12.7% ABV (US$23.00 shared tasting with Norm, 500 ml, packaged on 23-Aug-2019, acquired 27-Feb-2019, reviewed 27-Feb-2019)

Appearance: clear brown with a short beige head diminishing rapidly to a thin ring, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: blackberries and field berries, rye whiskey, vanilla, chocolate. (9/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter, moderate tart. (9/10) Palate: medium body tending thin and slightly slick, moderate carbonation, mildly tart warming finish. (4/5)

Pours surprisingly thin, with a very short-lived head – but that’s pretty much where the disappointment ends. Huge fruity notes on the nose become even more apparent upon warming, and that field berry flavour follows through on the tongue without excessive sweetness. It seems like the thinness of the body actually improves drinkability here given the higher-tending sweetness, stopping it from becoming cloying. Really interesting and lots of fun. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Tree House Brewing Company Hedonic Adaptation – Imperial Milk Stout at 9.1% ABV

Tree House Brewing Company Hedonic Adaptation Imperial Milk Stout at 9.1% ABV (US$5.75 shared tasting with Norm, 500 ml, packaged on 23-Nov-2018, acquired 27-Feb-2019, reviewed 27-Feb-2019)

Appearance: solid black with a short beige head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, moderate spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: espresso, milk chocolate, coconut. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (9/10) Palate: full body, moderate-soft carbonation, bitter warming mild coconut finish. (4/5)

I was hoping for a repeat performance on the Impermanence, except with coconut instead of maple. However, in this one the coconut never really takes hold hard, nor does that seem to change much upon warming. A solid performer, but it doesn’t quite go to the next level. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Tree House Brewing Company Impermanence – Imperial Milk Stout at 9% ABV

Tree House Brewing Company Impermanence Imperial Milk Stout at 9% ABV (US$5.75 shared tasting with Norm, 500 ml, packaged on 23-Nov-2018, acquired 27-Feb-2019, reviewed 27-Feb-2019)

Appearance: solid black with a short beige head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, moderate spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: café au lait, milk chocolate, dark maple syrup. (9/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (9/10) Palate: full body, moderate-soft carbonation, bitter warming sweet maple finish. (4/5)

Really interesting and layered, with dark maple that starts off mild but builds in the finish, and lingers long after the latest sip. When I think of Tree House, I think of IPA’s – specifically NEIPA’s, but this is a very well done change of pace. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Folding Mountain Brewing Mango Brut IPA – American IPA at 7% ABV

Folding Mountain Brewing Mango Brut IPA American IPA at 7% ABV (C$4.23 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 5-Feb-2019, acquired 22-Feb-2019, reviewed 27-Feb-2019)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one fat finger of creamy white head, good retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mango, tropical fruit, pale malt. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light funky tart. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter slightly astringent finish. (4/5)

Big authentic mango flavour here, without the negative bruised fruit or excessive sweetness I often get with mango adjuncts. I think the Brut approach works well with this, serving to reduce the overall sweetness and improve drinkability. Not quite as light and champagne-like as some examples of the style I’ve had, but enjoyable regardless. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Boombox Brewing Company Arcade Glow – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV

Boombox Brewing Company Arcade Glow American Pale Ale at 5% ABV (C$3.28 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 16-Nov-2018, acquired 22-Feb-2019, reviewed 26-Feb-2019)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one fat finger of creamy white head, good retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus zest and flesh, grainy malt, pine, petrichor. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter crisp finish. (4/5)

New (to me) contract brewer out of Parallel 49 in Vancouver. I like the way they went with this: highly attenuated so there’s lots of juice aroma but restrained sweetness, with an almost metallic minerality and crisp almost astringent finish. I could drink a lot of this. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Snake Lake Brewing Company Birthday Suit – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV | 50 IBU

Snake Lake Brewing Company Birthday Suit American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV | 50 IBU (C$2.83 at Collective, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Feb-2019, reviewed 25-Feb-2019)

Appearance: slightly muddy hazy pale amber with one finger of creamy ivory head, good retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild tropical fruit, citrus, grainy malt, light pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-full body, moderate-soft carbonation, off-dry medium bitter mildly warming finish. (4/5)

I’ve been quite impressed with these guys so far, but this one isn’t quite as good as some of the others I’ve had to date. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine – but it’s not quite as fine as Norglenwold or Sidewinder. More on a par with Taco IPA (except not as weird). Despite being hopped with Vic Secret, Azacca, and Ekuanot, this one just doesn’t have the zing in the aroma of their others. The higher ABV is fairly well managed, but I think overall the weight of the malt bill is dragging things down just a touch. In fact, I think I’d rather drink two of their NEIPAs, than one of this DNEIPA (NEDIPA?). (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Dog Island Brewing Saints & Sinners – American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 74 IBU

Dog Island Brewing Saints & Sinners American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 74 IBU (C$4.23 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Feb-2019, reviewed 25-Feb-2019)

Appearance: slightly muddy hazy pale amber with one fat finger of creamy ivory head, good retention and spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: zesty citrus, tropical fruit, caramel, resiny pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-full body, moderate-soft carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Decent enough, but there’s a bit of astringency on the tongue, both up front and in the finish, that makes me less than completely thrilled with this. As well, the body tends just a bit full, and is not lifted at all by the fairly low carbonation. Some folks might like their IPAs thick and chewy, and I’m not opposed in general, but this one just leaves me slightly underimpressed. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Twin Sails Brewing / Collective Arts Brewing Thunder Buddies – American Double / Imperial IPA at 7.8% ABV

Twin Sails Brewing / Collective Arts Brewing Thunder Buddies American Double / Imperial IPA at 7.8% ABV (C$6.21 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 1-Feb-2019, acquired 22-Feb-2019, reviewed 25-Feb-2019)

Appearance: near opaque pale gold with one fat finger of creamy white head, good retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy tropical fruit, citrus, oats, resiny pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation tending soft, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

I understand this is the second half of a collaborative effort, brewed at Twin Sails’ BC location, while the other was done at Collective Arts in Ontario. (I still haven’t seen the first one, though.) Vic Secret is one of my favourite hops, so no surprises how much I enjoy this. The flaked oats definitely contribute to a creaminess in the body, but I wonder if that’s why overall I find this just a touch too sweet for my preference. Fact is, it’s lots of fun, but the slightly sticky mouthfeel makes me think I wouldn’t want to drink more than one at a go. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Moody Ales Boss Juice – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.3% ABV | 80 IBU

Moody Ales Boss Juice American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.3% ABV | 80 IBU (C$4.27 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Feb-2019, reviewed 24-Feb-2019)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with one fat finger of loose ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: big juicy tropical fruit & citrus, bready caramel, mild pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Big time juice here, in appearance, aroma, and taste. Sort of a NEDIPA (DNEIPA?) except for the fairly big bitterness that comes to play and hangs around for a while. On the other hand, the big(gish) booze doesn’t factor at all. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Twin Sails Brewing Juice Plus Citra IPA – American IPA at 7.5% ABV | 40 IBU

Twin Sails Brewing Juice Plus Citra IPA American IPA at 7.5% ABV | 40 IBU (C$5.13 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 1-Feb-2019, acquired 22-Feb-2019, reviewed 24-Feb-2019)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one fat finger of creamy white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: big juicy citrus, tropical fruit, caramel, slight diacetyl. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (4/5)

Yeah, at this point with Twin Sails, it’s not am I going to like it, it’s how much am I going to like it? This one might not be at the very top of their game, but it’s close. More to the point, it’s truly impressive how very juicy they were able to make this with (despite the name) no adjuncts at all, and also without any hint of the cattiness that sometimes accompanies Citra hops. This is apparently an amped-up version of Dat Juice, and I have to give them props for addressing precisely the issue I had with that one: a lack of oomph. This one has oomph in spades, and it definitely kicks it up a notch. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com