All posts by dpatrickryan

Founders Brewing Company Barrel Runner – American Double / Imperial IPA at 11.1% ABV | 55 IBU

Founders Brewing Company Barrel Runner American Double / Imperial IPA at 11.1% ABV | 55 IBU (C$5.99 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, best before 29-May-2019, acquired 29-Sep-2018, reviewed 1-Nov-2018)

Appearance: clear pale amber with two fat fingers of rocky white head diminishing rapidly to a medium persistent cap, moderate soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: rum, vanilla, coconut, tropical fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, sweetish building and lingering bitter warming finish. (4/5)

Well, it’s different, I’ll give it that. Rum dominates the front end, quickly followed by vanilla and coconut (which I often find associated with barrel notes) and followed up with tropical fruit. In addition, it’s sweet and boozy. The overall effect, in fact, approaches something like a Piña Colada, or maybe a Painkiller. It’s not the most subtle thing I’ve ever had, but I wouldn’t say no to another. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company Enjoy By 10.31.18 – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.4% ABV | 90 IBU

Stone Brewing Company Enjoy By 10.31.18 American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.4% ABV | 90 IBU (US$2.99 at Brix Bottleshop, 355 ml, packaged on 24-Sep-2018, acquired 22-Oct-2018, reviewed 31-Oct-2018)

Appearance: clear deep gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a medium cap, moderate soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: stone & tropical fruits, citrus, dank pine. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry building bitter warming finish. (5/5)

Under the wire, if barely. And yes, the shine has been seriously off the apple for me with Stone for quite some time – but I’m always going to take an in-season EB off the shelf, no matter what. Yes, too, I railed against the use of the word “fresh” in labelling barely an hour ago – but Stone earns an exception to that objection because they build such a brutally short (37 days!) drop-dead freshness cutoff into the very name of the beer. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re gonna claim fresh, then own it – and Stone does. One has to give the devil (or the gargoyle) his due, after all. Aroma- and taste-wise, this is pretty much on-par with the brighter, less malty versions I’ve had in the past. Structurally, I was a bit surprised at the poor head development and retention, so I’ve marked it down a bit there. Overall. though, it remains pretty much the gold standard against which the A/DIPA is measured. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Lagunitas Brewing Company Super Cluster – American IPA at 8% ABV | 60 IBU

Lagunitas Brewing Company Super Cluster American IPA at 8% ABV | 60 IBU (US$1.99 at Brix Bottleshop, 355 ml, packaged on 1-Sep-2018, acquired 22-Oct-2018, reviewed 31-Oct-2018)

Appearance: clear deep gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a medium cap, moderate soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus, dank pine, tropical fruit, pale malt, herbal, hint of cattiness. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering and building bitter finish. (4/5)

Yes, OK, I know, they’re Heineken, and they’re on my shit list. And to be honest, I’ve stuck to that boycott for so long that I’d pretty much forgotten how good they were – and still are, if we’re honest. And this is really good: lots of bright citrus leads the way over some dank pine and tropical, almost floral herbal notes. There’s a hint of cattiness (or maybe green onion) towards the end, as it warms, but it’s neither unexpected for Citra hops, nor off-putting. I can see why they’re not calling this a DIPA despite the emphatic ABV, because it drinks like something from a much lower weight class. Worth maybe briefly bending your boycott. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Red Truck Beer Company Field Trip Northwest IPA – American IPA at 6.3% ABV

Red Truck Beer Company _Field Trip Northwest IPA_ American IPA at 6.3% ABV _(C$2.00 at Okotoks Co-Op, 355 ml, packaged on 12-Aug-2018, acquired 28-Oct-2018, reviewed 31-Oct-2018)_

Appearance: clear deep gold with one fat finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate clingy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: grainy malt, earthy pine, citrus. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (4/5)

A fairly unremarkable, and certainly not very “NW”, IPA. On the other hand, it’s fairly easy-drinking, and decently refreshing. Don’t get me wrong: I drank the six pack – but I can’t see making any special effort to get any more. I also think I now have a corollary to my observation about beers that have “premium” on the label: if a beer mentions “fresh” on the label, it’s because they have nothing else to say. (Don’t get me started on “cold”.) How can a beer claim to be fresher than any other, unless they’re exclusively serving it straight from the bright tank? Seriously, it’s an idiotic thing to put on the label. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Strange Fellows Brewing Talisman – American Pale Ale at 4% ABV | 29 IBU

Strange Fellows Brewing Talisman American Pale Ale at 4% ABV | 29 IBU (C$4.63 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 12-Sep-2018, acquired 19-Oct-2018, reviewed 29-Oct-2018)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap & ring, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: earthy pine, grainy malt, citrus, tropical fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (4/5)

I really liked their Wild, their Saison a little less so, and their P49 collab Saison a little less so again. As a result, I was optimistic here – although the “old world inspired” seemed a bit at odds with the “West Coast Pale Ale” above it. Unfortunately, it does seem to be more the former, than the latter, with earthy notes and malt dominating over mild citrus and tropical fruit. Decently balanced, but without the dank hoppiness I was hoping for. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Flathead Lake Brewing Co. The Centennial IPA – American IPA at 7.3% ABV | 53 IBU

Flathead Lake Brewing Co. _The Centennial IPA_ American IPA at 7.3% ABV | 53 IBU _(C$2.69 at Brix Bottleshop, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Oct-2018, reviewed 28-Oct-2018)_

Appearance: clear pale amber with one finger of thin pale ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap & ring, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus, earthy pine, caramel and buttery toffee, floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly sticky medium plus duration bitter finish. (3/5)

I always like local flavour, so I was pleased to see the name was in fact in honour of the 100th anniversary of Glacier National Park, and not a pretentious claim to being the authoritative interpretation of the hop. Which, let’s be honest, it isn’t. (Not that Centennial tops my list of favourite hops at the best of times, being distinctly floral and old-fashioned, verging on Noble in my opinion.) So, yeah – bonus points for a clever idea, but the base material prevented this from being an unqualified success, as did the structural issues. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Jeremiah Johnson Brewing Co. Citra IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 65 IBU

Jeremiah Johnson Brewing Co. Citra IPA American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 65 IBU (US$1.99 at Brix Bottleshop, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Oct-2018, reviewed 28-Oct-2018)

Appearance: clear medium gold with one finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel & biscuity malt, dank pine resin, citrus, tropical fruit. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry building and lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Love the can data – SRM, ABV, IBU, and FG – but no BO/BB dates? Seriously? Yet another one where I’m left hoping it’s fresh because it’s local to my point of purchase, but it’s hard to be sure. Especially because the other one I had by this brewer (on tap, and therefore presumably reasonably fresh) was a malt-heavy DIPA, that, though fine, was a long way from interesting. This is, well, about the same. There’s a nice lingering bitterness on the tongue, but the front end is pretty malty. I mean, I appreciate a nice back end as much as the next guy, but give me something to admire in the front as well, huh? (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Flathead Lake Brewing Co. Citrus SMaSH IPA – American IPA at 6.3% ABV | 68 IBU

Flathead Lake Brewing Co. Citrus SMaSH IPA American IPA at 6.3% ABV | 68 IBU (US$1.99 at Brix Bottleshop, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Oct-2018, reviewed 28-Oct-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with one finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and heavy clingy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: mild, pithy grapefruit, grass/herbal, dank pine resin. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body tending slightly light, moderate carbonation, off-dry building and lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

High expectations here based on my single prior experience, with their Sour Brown. This is also a case of no packaging or BB dates, but local to where I bought it, so I hoped it was reasonably fresh. (The single malt is Montana 2-row barley, and the single hop is “Equanot” [Ekuanot/Equinox].) And, well, I dunno. The aroma seems slightly mild, at least at the outset, but gradually pithy grapefruit starts to dominate – but is that hops, or the grapefruit adjunct? (And, I guess, does it really matter?) A little after that, some dankness starts to take hold. It seems like a lot of the experience is retronasal, with layers revealing as the pint progresses. Unfortunately, at the same time the bitterness seems to start to feel slightly unbalanced for the body, ending up just a little thin or astringent overall. All in all, it finishes quite a bit better than it starts, but never quite claws its way back up to the kind of territory I was hoping for. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Odell Brewing Co. Cloud Catcher – American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 47 IBU

Odell Brewing Co. Cloud Catcher American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 47 IBU (US$2.99 at Brix Bottleshop, 355 ml, best before 21-Dec-2018, acquired 22-Oct-2018, reviewed 27-Oct-2018)

Appearance: cloudy pale gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, moderate spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: cream, stone fruit, citrus, tropical fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration bitter finish. (4/5)

I often find Milkshake IPA’s to be excessively sweet, and the bitterness too blunted by the lactose. This one, however, is fairly restrained in its lactose sweetness, which is all to the good as far as I’m concerned. This is especially the case in the finish, which is neither sticky nor excessively smooth, but exhibits a moderate lingering bitterness. Not necessarily one I’d personally have as a go-to – hey, I’m lactose intolerant – but I could see how some might. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

The Great Northern Brewing Company Going to the Sun IPA – American IPA at 5.7% ABV | 51 IBU

The Great Northern Brewing Company _Going to the Sun IPA_ American IPA at 5.7% ABV | 51 IBU (US$1.99 at Brix Bottleshop, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Oct-2018, reviewed 27-Oct-2018)

Appearance: slightly chill-hazed pale amber with one finger of loose pale ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap and ring, moderate spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: bready malt, light citrus & mixed fruit. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration bitter finish. (3/5)

No packaging or BB dates, but considering it was brewed in Whitefish and I bought it in Kalispell, I was hoping it would be reasonably fresh. (I was actually thinking about taking the GttS on my route down, but it had just closed for the season.) Other than the fact that the hops are relatively muted, and the malt relatively high, I’m detecting no indications of age (and a quick check of online reviews suggests other reviewers are seeing the same characteristics) so I’m going to assume it’s supposed to be like this – which isn’t terrible, but isn’t great, either. As A/IPAs go, it’s distinctly old-fashioned and malt-dominant: despite containing Cascade, Columbus and Centennial hops, there’s not a whole lot of hop character. The malt dominance continues through into the finish, which, though pleasingly bitter, is slightly stickier than I prefer. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com