All posts by dpatrickryan

Brouwerij de Molen Morellen – Berliner Weisse at 6% ABV | 15 IBU

Brouwerij de Molen Morellen Berliner Weisse at 6% ABV | 15 IBU (C$3.15 at The Brewer’s Apprentice, 330 ml, packaged on 22-Sep-2015, best before 22-Sep-2017, acquired 14-Mar-2018, reviewed 23-Apr-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale amber with some brown particulate, two fat fingers of loose slightly pinkish head, good retention and spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: red berries, brown apple, prunes, moderate funk. (5/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, minimal bitter. (5/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-high carbonation, medium duration tart and funky finish. (3/5)

Yeah… this might’ve been a bit of an error on my part. I figured, if it’s good for 24 months, it’s probably fine for 30 – but might’ve oxidized. That, or it’s just straight-up the worst De Molen beer I’ve ever had. Slightly spoiled fruit and slightly cheesy funk make this less than entirely pleasant. Not a particularly good Berliner Weisse. (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Cascade Brewing Sang Noir (2015) – Sour / Wild Ale at 9.9% ABV

Cascade Brewing Sang Noir (2015) Sour / Wild Ale at 9.9% ABV (C$27.66 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 750 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 23-Sep-2017, reviewed 22-Apr-2018)

Appearance: clear amber-brown with one finger of fluffy brown head diminishing rapidly and loudly to a thin skim and ring, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: dark cherries, oak, leather, red wine, acetic and lactic sour. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high tart, moderate sweet, minimal bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration tart and tannic finish. (4/5)

Complex on the nose and aggressive on the tongue, but never harsh. Despite the “Noir” appellation, it’s not particularly dark – at most, it’s a clear amber-brown. The most surprising thing about this, though, is probably the complete absence of any alcohol character despite it being within a hair of double-digit ABV territory. Overall it’s quite good, but probably not worth the price tag if I’m being honest – which is pretty much par for the course with this brewery. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

E9 Brewery Amour Aux Myrtilles (Batch No. 1) – Saison at 6.3% ABV

E9 Brewery _Amour Aux Myrtilles (Batch No. 1)_ Saison at 6.3% ABV _(C$11.23 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 375 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 23-Feb-2018, reviewed 21-Apr-2018)_

Appearance: clear light purple with one finger of dense violet head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, berry, oak, light funk. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, light bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate-high carbonation, short duration mildly tart finish. (4/5)

Quite pleasant vinous notes, mildly tart and lightly funky. Very much like a mild blueberry wine, in fact. Very nice. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Blindman Brewing Perepllut (Переплут) – Barley Wine at 9.5% ABV | 45 IBU

Blindman Brewing Perepllut (Переплут) Barley Wine at 9.5% ABV | 45 IBU (C$5.08 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 355 ml, packaged on 27-Feb-2018, acquired 17-Apr-2018, reviewed 20-Apr-2018)

Appearance: clear brown with one finger of loose beige head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild, dark fruit, caramel, berry tartness. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter, light spice. (7/10) Palate: medium-full body, moderate-low carbonation, boozy warming lingering finish. (4/5)

So, a brewery based in Red Deer, AB… is doing a Barleywine style… named after a Slavic god – of alcohol and rivers… whose translated name means either “rogue” or “blessed”… in cans? … sure, fuck it, why not? Why does anything need to make sense any more? (I’ll tell you one thing, though: I’m not ageing this. I might’ve come around to the idea of cans as a superior transport mechanism for light fastness and air tightness, but I’m not going to drink beer that’s spent an extended time exposed to BPA liners. I’ll drink ‘em fresh or not at all.) I spent a lot of time smelling this, both before and after letting it warm, and have to say, it’s surprisingly mild. The tase generally follows suit, but with a mild rye spiciness in the finish. Decent overall, sure, but for a brewery with their track record? A bit of a swing and a miss, pretty much at the bottom of their range. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Corsendonk Pater – Abbey Dubbel at 6.5% ABV

Brouwerij Corsendonk Pater Abbey Dubbel at 6.5% ABV (C$3.26 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, best before 30-Nov-2019, acquired 11-Apr-2018, reviewed 20-Apr-2018)

Appearance: clear ruby brown with two fingers of loose beige head diminishing gradually to a thick skim and ring, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: brown sugar, dried dark fruit, liquorice, mild spice. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mildly bitter finish. (4/5)

Bit confused by this: I thought Patersbiers were supposed to be Enkel / Singel? Yet, the BJCP style guidelines give this as a reference for the Dubbel style. Yes, I know, picky picky, but on such seemingly irrelevant minutiae are passions defined! Labels aside, it definitely tends to the light side for a Dubbel, so the “Pater” label makes more sense – although the light body and carbonation belie the respectable ABV. (It might seem odd to call such a forbidding-looking beer “light”, but there you go: and if you’d had its big brother Christmas Ale, you’d definitely understand where I’m coming from. Which reminds me, I’ve got five more of those bad boys to drink yet!) (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Category 12 Brewing Elemental Series Red Sour (#23) – Sour / Wild Ale at 5.4% ABV

Category 12 Brewing Elemental Series Red Sour (#23) Sour / Wild Ale at 5.4% ABV (C$10.14 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, packaged on 28-Feb-2018, acquired 17-Apr-2018, reviewed 20-Apr-2018)

Appearance: clear red-tinged medium amber with one finger of loose ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim and ring, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: caramel malt, field berries, herbal, vanilla, earth. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light tart. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry bitter and mildly tart finish. (4/5)

Unlike a lot of sours, this actually smells primarily like beer. Unfortunately, the beer it smells like is an Irish Red, or maybe an ESB. I think I get what they’re going for here, but it suffers by comparison to other more hoppy sours I’ve had. Ultimately it seems to me that sour works better with citrus and tropical fruit hops, than it does with caramel malt. Good, and an interesting change of pace, but ultimately not one I’d go back to. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Collective Arts Brewing Mash Up the Jam – Sour / Wild Ale at 5.2% ABV

Collective Arts Brewing Mash Up the Jam Sour / Wild Ale at 5.2% ABV (C$3.09 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 473 ml, packaged on 2-Mar-2018, acquired 11-Apr-2018, reviewed 20-Apr-2018)

Appearance: cloudy pale straw with one finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus flesh and zest, pine, lactic tart, crackery malt, white wine, light funk. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light tart. (8/10) Palate: light body, moderate carbonation, dry crisp tart finish. (4/5)

I was told this was the same as their Collective Project/ Dry Hop Sour but figured, what the heck, try it and see. Glad I didn’t listen, because it’s not the same: it’s hopped with Vic Secret, Citra and Mosaic, instead of Nelson Sauvin and Citra. The Mosaic seems to be slightly dominant here, causing slightly more pronounced Mosaic pine and fruit, and slightly less pronounced white wine character. Similar? Yes. Good? Oh my, yes. Another kettle sour done right: a whole bunch of hops providing much needed flavour and complexity over top of a clean lactic tart. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brasserie St-Feuillien / Friart Grand Cru Dry Hopping – Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 9.5% ABV

Brasserie St-Feuillien / Friart Grand Cru Dry Hopping Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 9.5% ABV (C$5.02 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, best before 8-May-2019, acquired 11-Apr-2018, reviewed 19-Apr-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy straw with three fingers of fluffy white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: honey, oak, grainy malt, oranges, Belgian yeast, apples. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter, light tart. (9/10) Medium-light body, moderate-lively carbonation, dry medium lightly tart mildly warming finish. (4/5)

Lovely. Almost like a slightly sweet Tripel, with honey and cereal malt more prevalent on the nose than the tongue, balanced against oak, fruit, and Belgian esters. Well-balanced and easy-drinking for a very high ABV. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Old Yale Brewing Co. / 2 Crows Brewing Oak Aged Braggot Collab – Braggot at 8% ABV

Old Yale Brewing Co. / 2 Crows Brewing Oak Aged Braggot Collab Braggot at 8% ABV (C$8.13 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 11-Apr-2018, reviewed 18-Apr-2018)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two fingers of fluffy white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: oak, vinous grape must, black pepper, honey, apple. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter, light funky tart. (8/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, dry medium duration lightly tart and funky finish. (4/5)

My major concern was that this was going to be too sweet, being derived from honey mead as it is. The only thing that pushed me over the edge to try it, in fact, was the presence of 2 Crows as a collaborator. I haven’t had a lot by them (four prior to this) but they’ve all been quite good, so I figured, what the heck. Not to mention, I think this is only the second Braggot I’ve ever had, so broadening horizons is good, right? And this is quite interesting, with a combination of oak and fruit that strongly suggests a white wine, but with pepper and dry funk like a Saison. Not to mention, there’s no hint at all of the 8% ABV. I like this. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Township 24 Brewery Meridian Black Lager – Schwarzbier at 5% ABV | 40 IBU

Township 24 Brewery Meridian Black Lager Schwarzbier at 5% ABV | 40 IBU (C$4.54 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, packaged on 29-Mar-2018, acquired 11-Apr-2018, reviewed 17-Apr-2018)

Appearance: deep brown with light relief around the margins, two fingers of dense beige head, excellent retention and chunky lacing. (5/5) Aroma: roasty malt, coffee, light smoke. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, dry slightly acrid lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

I have, I think, made abundantly clear my normal attitude towards lagers: bored stiff. A notable exception to that is the Black Lager: I do tend to like me a good Schwarzbier – and this is a good Schwarzbier. Actually, this is a really good Schwarzbier, with a nice emphasis on the roast malts and a slightly acrid smokey, almost ashy finish. I love a good dry finish, and this really invites the next sip. No “for a lager” or “for a new brewery” qualifications required here: just a really good beer. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com