All posts by dpatrickryan

St. James’s Gate (Diageo) Guinness Hop House 13 – Euro Pale Lager at 5% ABV

St. James’s Gate (Diageo) Guinness Hop House 13 Euro Pale Lager at 5% ABV (C$3.65 at NLC Stavanger, 500 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 9-Nov-2017, reviewed 9-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear medium gold with one finger of medium head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: biscuity malt, caramel, floral, fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light spice. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (3/5)

Frankly, I was expecting this to be terrible… but it’s not. It’s not great, either, mind you, but it’s quite drinkable. Yeah, I know, “What’s Guinness doing making a lager?” but you could do a lot worse. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Cameron’s Brewing Company Motörhead Röad Crew – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV | 45 IBU

Cameron’s Brewing Company Motörhead Röad Crew American Pale Ale at 5% ABV | 45 IBU (C$2.76 at NLC Howley Estates, 330 ml, packaged on 5-May-2017, best before 30-Nov-2018, acquired 8-Nov-2017, reviewed 9-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear pale gold with a thin white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus, berries, pale malt, noble hops. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (3/5)

Yeah, if you went into his expecting an actual APA, you’d be bitterly disappointed (somewhat literally, as well as figuratively, given the biggish bitter). Then again, if after seeing that this was brewed by Cameron’s, you still expected an actual APA, you pretty much deserve what you get. There’s nothing actually wrong with this, but it’s a pretty typically English interpretation of an APA, and not very interesting. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg GmbH Max Glaner’s IPA – American IPA at 5.8% ABV | 45 IBU

Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg GmbH Max Glaner’s IPA American IPA at 5.8% ABV | 45 IBU (C$4.06 at NLC Stavanger, 330 ml, best before 4-Jan-2018, acquired 6-Nov-2017, reviewed 7-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderately heavy soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, pine, pale malt, tropical fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

Wow – look at Stiegl, upping their game yet again! I have to say, I really enjoyed this one. This is a nicely balanced American-style IPA, with a pleasant hop aroma and emphatic (but even-handed) bitterness, without sacrificing drinkability. There’s no question that this is the best thing I’ve ever had by Stiegl, and it’s quite impressive to see a large(r) commercial operation accomplish this kind of change. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg GmbH Columbus 1492 – American Pale Ale at 4.7% ABV | 25 IBU

Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg GmbH Columbus 1492 American Pale Ale at 4.7% ABV | 25 IBU (C$3.19 at NLC Stavanger, 330 ml, best before 10-May-2018, acquired 6-Nov-2017, reviewed 7-Nov-2017)

Appearance: slightly chill hazed pale gold with one finger of creamy white head that retains well, moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: grapefruit, tropical fruit, hint of onion/catty. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry short duration finish. (4/5)

This might be the best Stiegl beer I’ve had – fairly clean, easy-drinking, and refreshing. I’m assuming, given the name, that Columbus was the primary hop, but can’t find any confirmation that it’s a single-hop. Definite American-style hopping provides grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas, with a not-inappropriate hint of onion or cattiness that suggests something in addition to Columbus hops were used – maybe some Citra or Simcoe? Either way, definitely a decent interpretation of an American style by an Austrian brewery. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Garrison Brewing Company Borg Ale – American Strong Ale at 5.6% ABV | 25 IBU

Garrison Brewing Company Borg Ale American Strong Ale at 5.6% ABV | 25 IBU (C$6.01 at NLC Stavanger, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 6-Nov-2017, reviewed 6-Nov-2017)

Appearance: hazy brown with one finger of creamy beige head diminishing gradually to a thin ring, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: molasses, toasted malt, hint of dark fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-full body, moderate carbonation, sweetish medium duration finish. (3/5)

I continue to be fairly unimpressed by these Federation of Beers offerings, which (except for Red Shirt) have been at best forgettable, and at worst actively offensive (yes, I still harbour a seething hatred for 50th Anniversary Golden Ale). This one tends to the better end of the FoB spectrum, but that’s not exactly a high bar. Get it if your beer store has nothing else you haven’t tried, I guess, but don’t expect to be impressed. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg GmbH Max Glaner’s Wit – Witbier at 5% ABV | 16 IBU

Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg GmbH Max Glaner’s Wit Witbier at 5% ABV | 16 IBU (C$3.71 at NLC Stavanger, 330 ml, best before 2-Feb-2018, acquired 6-Nov-2017, reviewed 6-Nov-2017)

Appearance: opaque and slightly muddy pale gold with one finger of fizzy white head that retains poorly, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild, bready wheat, coriander, orange peel, light floral. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, light tart. (6/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry short duration finish. (4/5)

A decent little Witbier, but nothing too exciting or memorable. About what I’d expect from Stiegl, actually. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Oro de Calabaza – Belgian Strong Ale at 8% ABV | 30 IBU

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Oro de Calabaza Belgian Strong Ale at 8% ABV | 30 IBU (US$9.99 at Specs Main Houston, 750 ml, packaged on 22-Jun-2016, acquired 8-Mar-2017, reviewed 5-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear straw with one fat finger of rocky white head diminishing gradually to a persistent cap, moderate soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: vinous white wine & oak, apples & pears, yeasty funk, bready malt, white pepper, hints of stone fruit & floral. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, mild bitter, mild peppery spice. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, prickly carbonation, dry crisp tart mildly spicy lightly astringent warming finish. (4/5)

Regardless of whether you call this a Belgian Strong or a Bière de Garde, it’s very nice. The flavours deliver on precisely what the nose promises: a whole bunch of vinous and fruity notes without a lot of concomitant sweetness, while the finish is crisp, dry, and welcoming of the next sip. I’ve called it a warming finish, but truth be told one might as well attribute that to the mild spiciness as to the very well-masked ABV. My only complaint (if it is one) is the fact that the tartness does seem to turn just very slightly astringent in the finish. (16/20)

My 250th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die, 240th from the 2013 edition, and 264th combining both editions.

8/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Bruery Terreux Humulus Terreux – Sour / Wild Ale at 6.3% ABV

Bruery Terreux Humulus Terreux Sour / Wild Ale at 6.3% ABV (US$10.99 at Specs Main Houston, 750 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 8-Mar-2017, reviewed 4-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear pale gold with a fat rocky white head (hi, Brett) that retains well, patchy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: complex, funky Brett, lemon zest, coriander, tropical fruit, white pepper, earth. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, moderate funky tart. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate-high carbonation, dry mildly funky finish. (4/5)

They call this a Wild Ale, but it’s pretty Saison-ish, if you ask me. (Which is absolutely not a criticism, since Saison is one of my favourite styles.) Very Brett dominated, whether appearance (typical Brett head), aroma (big funky Brett), taste (funky tart) or finish (bone dry and mildly funky). There’s also citrus and tropical fruit, which I’m attributing to the Motueka hops. All in all, a very enjoyable brew. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout – Russian Imperial Stout at 9% ABV | 75 IBU

Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout Russian Imperial Stout at 9% ABV | 75 IBU (C$10.99 at Oak & Vine, 500 ml, packaged on 12-Jan-2016, best before 12-Jan-2020, acquired 31-Jul-2017, reviewed 3-Nov-2017)

Appearance: opaque black with no relief, a fat fluffy medium beige head diminishing gradually to a thin ring, no lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, roasted malt, chocolate, dark dried fruit, molasses, coffee, liquorice. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: full slick body, moderate-high carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter warming finish. (4/5)

I was quite surprised by how very mild the aroma was, despite my starting with a cellar cool bottle and allowing it to warm before opening. I was further surprised by the first sip, which revealed a relatively high carbonation for the style. That’s  not necessarily a bad thing, mind you, since it prevents this quite heavy brew from becoming cloying.  Overall, quite good, but just not as good as I was expecting/hoping. (15/20)

My 249th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die, 239th from the 2013 edition, and 263rd combining both editions.

7.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Avery Brewing Co. / Russian River Brewing Company Collaboration Not Litigation (Batch #9) – Belgian Strong Ale at 8.9% ABV | 55 IBU

Avery Brewing Co. / Russian River Brewing Company Collaboration Not Litigation (Batch #9) Belgian Strong Ale at 8.9% ABV | 55 IBU (US$9.99 at Specs Main Houston, 650 ml, packaged on 1-Jan-2016, acquired 8-Mar-2017, reviewed 2-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear medium amber with one fat finger of fluffy ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: honey, orchard fruit, citrus, bready yeast, coffee/cocoa, cloves. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter, light tart. (8/10) Palate: medium-full slightly slick body, moderate-high carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter warming finish. (4/5)

This is of course very nearly the poster child for feel-good craft beer stories, where two breweries with beers of the same name decide to collaborate instead of litigate. Except, if you ask me, this is kind of averaging elephants and avocados: Avery’s offering is a BSPA, while Russian River’s is a BSDA. “What’s the difference?” you may ask? Well, the difference between Pale and Dark, of course. And obviously, when you blend light and dark, you get something in-between – and that’s precariously close to “middle-of-the-road” for my taste. I’ve had RR’s version by itself, though not Avery’s, but based on a review of my notes and t’internet, it looks to me like Avery is dominating this: RR’s is a full-on Belgian Dark, and though there are elements of that here, they’re definitely far in the background. What I get in the foreground is honey, apples, and pears, none of which are present in the RR contribution.  (Kind of reminds me of Arrogant Bastard, actually, in that there’s a whole bunch going on, that isn’t necessarily all that thematically unified.) Still good fun, but I’m not sure a shared name is a good enough reason to try and make this work. (15/20)

My 248th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die, 238th from the 2013 edition, and 262nd combining both editions.

7.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com