All posts by dpatrickryan

Ribstone Creek Brewery Prairie Pirate – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.8% ABV | 70 IBU

Ribstone Creek Brewery Prairie Pirate American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.8% ABV | 70 IBU (C$12.00 at The Brewer’s Apprentice, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Oct-2017, reviewed 16-Nov-2017)

Appearance: hazy deep gold with two fingers of rocky ivory head, good retention and well-defined lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus flesh and zest, pale malt, floral. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

This is one way DIPA’s should be done, in my ever-so-humble opinion: malt heavy, sure, but not malt dominant. (I say “one way” because pine and dank resin are missing here, and I always like those notes in a DIPA, but this doesn’t suffer unduly from their absence.) It’s also surprisingly easy-drinking for a pretty emphatic ABV. This is a “sort-of” collaboration, since the hops are locally sourced from Last Best. (Side note: I didn’t know Last Best was distributing hops now – good for them!)  I haven’t had many by Ribstone Creek, but the couple I have have been very well done indeed – I think I just slightly preferred their White IPA, but this is also definitely worth seeking out. Now I need to find their “base” IPA – strictly for comparison purposes, of course. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Theoretically Brewing Co. CFC Buster Habanero IPA – American IPA at 5.9% ABV

Theoretically Brewing Co. CFC Buster Habanero IPA American IPA at 5.9% ABV (C$3.00 at The Brewer’s Apprentice, 341 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Oct-2017, reviewed 16-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with a massive rocky ivory head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: habanero, citrus, caramel malt, floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, moderate-high spice. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mildly bitter and building spicy finish. (3/5)

No idea what the hell the discoverer of the environmental effects of CFCs has to do with IPAs, but this is pretty decent. Lots of fruit on the front end, and quite a respectable pepper burn on the back end. Critically, the peppers don’t come across as green and vegetal (as they so often do) but more earthy and, well, peppery. All right on its own, but I bet it’d go great with tacos. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Tatamagouche Brewing North Shore Lagered Ale – Kölsch at 4.7% ABV | 15 IBU

Tatamagouche Brewing North Shore Lagered Ale Kölsch at 4.7% ABV | 15 IBU (C$4.13 at Liquid Assets YHZ, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 12-Nov-2017, reviewed 15-Nov-2017)

Appearance: hazy straw with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pale malt, grass, apples, sulphur. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry crisp finish. (3/5)

“Lagered Ale”, huh? On the one hand, I want to say “If you mean it’s a Kölsch, call it a Kölsch.” On the other hand, I guess I have to acknowledge the fact that they’re respecting the protected appellation, even if PGI’s are technically only enforceable within the EU. Anyway. I initially thought the haze was chill haze, but no, it remains even after warming. The aroma is mild but generally within spec for the style. Overall, not bad, but it’s a hard style to get right, and an even harder one to make interesting. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Carlow Brewing Company O’Hara’s Irish Red – Irish Red Ale at 4.3% ABV | 25 IBU

Carlow Brewing Company O’Hara’s Irish Red Irish Red Ale at 4.3% ABV | 25 IBU (C$4.28 at NLC Howley Estates, 500 ml, packaged on 30-Jun-2017, best before 28-Aug-2018, acquired 8-Nov-2017, reviewed 15-Nov-2017)

Appearance: ruby-tinged deep amber with one fat finger of rocky ivory head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel malt, toasted bread, nuts. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry bitter finish. (3/5)

I generally find Irish Reds to be too sweet, but this one definitely isn’t. Malty, yes, but with very little associated sweetness. In fact, the finish is distinctly reminiscent of a Dry Irish Stout. Definitely one of the better examples of the style I’ve encountered. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

2 Crows Brewing Midnight Mood – American Porter at 6.6% ABV | 39 IBU

2 Crows Brewing Midnight Mood American Porter at 6.6% ABV | 39 IBU (C$3.91 at Liquid Assets YHZ, 473 ml, packaged on 3-May-2017, best before 31-Oct-2017, acquired 12-Nov-2017, reviewed 14-Nov-2017)

Appearance: nearly opaque black with minimal brown relief at the margins, two fat fingers of fluffy beige head, good retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: dark roasted coffee, pine, dank resin, dark fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light tart. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry bitter slightly tart finish. (4/5)

The label says “Roasty dank smooth bright” and dang if it ain’t all of those! I was particularly surprised to find that it really was brightly hoppy (well… fairly, anyway) on top of the dominant (but not oppressive) dark roasted coffee. Good fun. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

2 Crows Brewing Fantacity – Witbier at 5.1% ABV | 13 IBU

2 Crows Brewing Fantacity Witbier at 5.1% ABV | 13 IBU (C$3.91 at Liquid Assets YHZ, 473 ml, packaged on 3-Aug-2017, best before 31-Jan-2018, acquired 12-Nov-2017, reviewed 14-Nov-2017)

Appearance: hazy straw with a short, short-lived white head and minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: floral, citrus, wheat, coriander. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, light tart. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter slightly tart finish. (4/5)

A very interesting wit: the Citra dry-hopping comes through as a pleasant floral and citrus note, but underneath that is an oily orange peel base, along with a light coriander spice. Definite Saison character in there as well, but since I love Saisons, that’s only to the good. If I had to pick something to complain about, it’s the lack of a true “wit” appearance despite my swirling the can, as well as poor head retention and lacing. Still and all, definitely one I’d try again.(15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Marston’s Plc Wainwright – English Pale Ale at 4.1% ABV

Marston’s Plc Wainwright English Pale Ale at 4.1% ABV (C$3.44 at NLC Howley Estates, 500 ml, packaged on 23-Jun-2017, best before 30-Jun-2018, acquired 8-Nov-2017, reviewed 14-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear medium gold with a short, short-lived white head,  patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild, grassy, pale malt, light earth, faint citrus. (5/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (5/10) Palate: medium light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (3/5)

Pretty basic EPA with a mild aroma verging on lager-like. Moderately refreshing, I guess, but very much what you’d expect from a supermarket beer. Certainly not one worth seeking out. (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Jennings (Marstons) Cumberland – English Pale Ale at 4% ABV

Jennings (Marstons) Cumberland English Pale Ale at 4% ABV (C$3.44 at NLC Howley Estates, 500 ml, packaged on 4-Jul-2017, best before 31-Jul-2018, acquired 8-Nov-2017, reviewed 14-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and well-defined lacing. (5/5) Aroma: grainy caramel, earth, light citrus. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (3/5)

Surprisingly not terrible. Now, the fact that I was thirsty probably helped, but I found this to be pleasantly refreshing and thirst-quenching. I guess it didn’t hurt that I went into it with no expectations, but the fact is, for a supermarket beer, this isn’t bad at all. (And it’s pretty as all get-out!) (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Saltbox Brewing Holy Mackerel! – English Pale Ale at 5.7% ABV

Saltbox Brewing Holy Mackerel! English Pale Ale at 5.7% ABV (C$3.91 at Liquid Assets YHZ, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 12-Nov-2017, reviewed 13-Nov-2017)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with one finger of fluffy off-white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: caramel malt, melon rind, earth, pine, citrus. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Definitely an English-style Pale, with a hop profile that might charitably be described as “earthy”. (If one were feeling less charitable, one might describe it as being as muddy as the appearance.) There are definitely hints of pine and even citrus in the back end, but the front is dominated by caramel malt and melon rind. Nothing offensive, but nothing exciting, either. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Tatamagouche Brewing Deception Bay – American IPA at 6.2% ABV | 63 IBU

Tatamagouche Brewing Deception Bay American IPA at 6.2% ABV | 63 IBU (C$4.13 at Liquid Assets YHZ, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 12-Nov-2017, reviewed 13-Nov-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy deep gold with one finger of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a persistent cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, pine, pale malt, floral, tropical fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

Unexpectedly good, ticking all the boxes on appearance, aroma, flavour, and body. The hop blend is well done, with solid bittering coming from the Magnum, and an even-handed blend including Citra providing a pleasant mélange of citrus, pine, and assorted fruits. (And, hey, look at that, another example of my theory that the IBU should be ten times the ABV!) Malt is precisely where it should be, providing decent support without intruding. The body is a solid medium-weight elevated by slightly higher-than-moderate carbonation, and the finish the clean and dry. I have no reservations in recommending this one. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com