Annex Ale Project Imperial Progress IPA – American IPA at 7.1% ABV

Annex Ale Project Imperial Progress IPA American IPA at 7.1% ABV (C$10.25 at Collective, 946 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 13-Feb-2019, reviewed 14-Feb-2019)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one fat finger of dense white head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: juicy citrus, tropical fruit, bready caramel, light pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter finish. (4/5)

Nothing in particular stands out here, just a solid, well-made IPA. Bright and juicy citrus and tropical fruit over a clean malt base, with a hint of pine on the back end. Like an amped up version of Forward Progress – which is all to the good. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Born Colorado Brewing Punitive Damages – American IPA at 6.6% ABV

Born Colorado Brewing Punitive Damages American IPA at 6.6% ABV (C$10.25 at Collective, 946 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 13-Feb-2019, reviewed 13-Feb-2019)

Appearance: hazy near-opaque straw with one fat finger of dense white head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: juicy zesty citrus, tropical fruit, bready caramel, light pine, hint of cattiness. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

I suppose it would be unreasonably pedantic of me to point out that Canadian law doesn’t generally allow for punitive damages? An OK sophomore effort from yet another new Calgary brewery that isn’t without its issues – in particular, there’s a cattiness that I assume is related to Citra or another starts-with-C hop – but it’s all right, overall. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Eighty-Eight Brewing Cassette – Saison at 4.3% ABV

Eighty-Eight Brewing Cassette Saison at 4.3% ABV (C$2.47 at Collective, 330 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 13-Feb-2019, reviewed 13-Feb-2019)

Appearance: clear straw with one finger of fluffy white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: white pepper, lemon zest, pear, pale crackery malt, apple. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter, light funky tart. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry slightly peppery finish. (4/5)

It was a bit difficult to decide how to classify this one, and I initially thought it might be a Session IPA. (“Table Beer” is really more a tax classification than a style.) However, as soon as I smelled it I realized that wasn’t the case, and a little research on the brewer web site has me satisfied that this is best classified as a Saison – and a very traditional one at that, given the very low ABV. Clean malt and slightly funky Belgian yeast further add to the traditional farmhouse-style character. Nicely refreshing. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Ballast Point Brewing Company Peanut Butter Victory at Sea – Imperial Porter at 10% ABV

Ballast Point Brewing Company Peanut Butter Victory at Sea Imperial Porter at 10% ABV (Gift – thanks Beer Revolution!, 355 ml, packaged on 12-Oct-2018, acquired 4-Feb-2019, reviewed 12-Feb-2019)

Appearance: semi-opaque amber-brown with two fingers of loose tan head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, heavy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: peanut butter, milk chocolate, anise, mint, berries, metallic. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-full creamy body, moderate carbonation, slightly sticky astringent coffee warming finish. (4/5)

I’m a bit surprised to be saying this, but I don’t think the addition of peanut butter is helping much here. I understand there’s a chocolate and peanut butter version and I suspect that might work out better, but I actually consider this one to be inferior to the original. In particular, there’s a hard-to-identify fruit note that I’m calling mint or red berries, but in conjunction with a slight metallic edge (which I also detected in Sea Monster) it’s coming across as slightly medicinal. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Dandy Brewing Company In the Bleak Midwinter – Black IPA at 6.5% ABV

Dandy Brewing Company In the Bleak Midwinter Black IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$4.00 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 7-Jan-2019, acquired 31-Jan-2019, reviewed 9-Feb-2019)

Appearance: clear brown with two fingers of rocky beige head, excellent retention and heavy chunky lacing. (5/5) Aroma: pine, citrus, caramel, light ashy roasted coffee/cocoa. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

Definitely much more IPA character here than roasted malt, which is just fine by me. I know dark, malty beers are traditional for the season, but in fact citrusy piney hops are at least as likely to get me through the bleak midwinter. (Which, right now, it most certainly is. We’re in our second week of nearly -30ºC temperatures, with no end in sight.) Nicely balanced and easy drinking. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Granville Island Brewing Small Batch Brut IPL – India Pale Lager at 7.6% ABV | 50 IBU

Granville Island Brewing Small Batch Brut IPL India Pale Lager at 7.6% ABV | 50 IBU (C$8.39 at Okotoks Co-Op, 650 ml, packaged on 10-Jan-2019, acquired 6-Feb-2019, reviewed 8-Feb-2019)

Appearance: slightly unclean hazy pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and heavy chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pomes, drupes, grainy malt, citrus, faint pine & weeds. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, effervescent carbonation, dry crisp finish. (4/5)

First time I’ve seen the “Brut” designation applied to an IPL, but it’s not that far a stretch by comparison to an IPA. The body is light, the carbonation champagne-like, and the finish dry, consistent with that sub-style. Definite Lager characteristics on the nose, including some stone fruits and slightly browned apple. Decent, but not as good as some of the IPAs of the style I’ve had. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Maui Brewing Co. / Breakside Brewery Laulima Belgian IPA – Belgian IPA at 7.1% ABV

Maui Brewing Co. / Breakside Brewery Laulima Belgian IPA Belgian IPA at 7.1% ABV (C$3.91 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 13-Sep-2018, acquired 31-Jan-2019, reviewed 7-Feb-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with one finger of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, moderate spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: candi sugar, funky esters, stone fruit, floral, grassy hay, white pepper. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild funk. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter slightly funky finish. (4/5)

A mild, Belg-ish IPA that does a pretty good job of hiding its larger ABV. Nothing too exciting, but no real negatives either. (I wonder, though, how an OR-HI collaboration decided on “Belgian IPA” as the style. Seriously?) (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Snake Lake Brewing Company Taco IPA – American IPA at 6.6% ABV | 40 IBU

Snake Lake Brewing Company Taco IPA American IPA at 6.6% ABV | 40 IBU (C$2.70 at Collective, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 31-Jan-2019, reviewed 6-Feb-2019)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with one finger of fluffy ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, moderate spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy citrus, salty tortilla chips, grainy pale malt, lime zest, light pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild salt. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate-soft carbonation, off-dry mild bitter slightly briny finish. (4/5)

That’s… more than a little weird. (Which, don’t get me wrong, is not necessarily a bad thing.) I got quite a bit of salty tortilla chip aroma on the initial pour, but that diminished fairly rapidly – though it’s still certainly there in the finish. Not really “taco”, though, as much as “taco shell”. Decent enough overall, though I’d like to see brighter hops more dominant over the slightly gimmicky adjuncts. Also, credit where credit is due, I love the fact that they put ABV, IBU, SG, FG, and SRM on the label – but I’d forgo almost all of that in exchange for a packaging date. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Clown Shoes Beer Baked Goods – American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV

Clown Shoes Beer Baked Goods American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV (C$5.04 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 7-Nov-2011, acquired 31-Jan-2019, reviewed 5-Feb-2019)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one finger of fluffy ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, moderate spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: juicy citrus, tropical fruit, vanilla, caramel, dank pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter slightly resiny finish. (4/5)

Quite a bit better than their Bubble Farm IPA I had earlier, with much more flavour even though it’s got the much lighter ABV and malt bill you’d expect for an APA. This is more the speed I’d expect for Clown Shoes. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Clown Shoes Beer Bubble Farm – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Clown Shoes Beer Bubble Farm American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$4.00 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 21-Nov-2018, acquired 31-Jan-2019, reviewed 5-Feb-2019)

Appearance: hazy deep gold with one finger of fluffy ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, moderate spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: juicy citrus, biscuity caramel, grass. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

There’s nothing really wrong with this one, but it’s a bit of a disappointment from Clown Shoes. I mean, it’s sort of hazy, and sort of juicy, but doesn’t really break any new ground. If it were from a new brewery, I’d call it a fine effort, but I expect more from CS. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com