All posts by dpatrickryan

Sawback Brewing Co. India Dark – Black IPA at 6.2% ABV | 70 IBU

Sawback Brewing Co. India Dark – Black IPA at 6.2% ABV | 70 IBU (C$4.23 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 24-Jan-2020, reviewed 29-Jan-2020)

Appearance: clear ruby brown with one fat finger of rocky beige head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: roasty malt, resiny pine, grapefruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter, light tart. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Every now and then I encounter an example of this briefly-popular style that reminds me of why I liked them so much. This one does a particularly nice job on the aroma, balancing perfectly a roasty, almost smokey malt with resiny pine and grapefruit courtesy of the Simcoe and Chinook. It generally follows suit on the tongue, with no cattiness at all despite the emphatic bitterness, but the finish tends just slightly astringent. All in all, a good example of the style. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Born Colorado Brewing Born ________ Double Dry-Hopped NEIPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV | 10 IBU

Born Colorado Brewing Born ________ Double Dry-Hopped NEIPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV | 10 IBU (C$4.05 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 24-Jan-2020, reviewed 28-Jan-2020)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with one fat finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, mild dank pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, low bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, short duration clean finish. (4/5)

Hopped with Ella & Mosaic, giving lovely tropical and citrus aromas. A bit more emphasis there would would be nice but it’s pretty excellent as-is. It really shines on the tongue, with a very nice balance of fruit flavours and restrained sweetness, but the true kicker is the super sneaky 8.5% ABV, that makes no appearance whatsoever until a gradual warming halfway through the pint. Very nice indeed. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Anchorage Brewing Company Love Buzz – Saison at 8% ABV

Anchorage Brewing Company Love Buzz – Saison at 8% ABV (C$8.82 at Collective, 375 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 9-Jan-2020, reviewed 28-Jan-2020)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with a short, short-lived off-white head, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: tart berries, oak, white grape must, orange peel, rose water, peppercorn, dry hay funk. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, short duration tart finish. (4/5)

That’s an odd one, for sure: more like a Wild or Mixed Fermentation than a Saison. There’s very little Brett character present throughout, from the short, short-lived head to the near complete absence of dry funk. That’s not to put it down: if anything, I could have come up with about a dozen more aspects to the aroma, and I’m a sucker for complexity. An enjoyable slow sipper, even if it misses the mark on just about every metric for Saison. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Tool Shed Brewing Company Project Series: Toss the Tree – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.8% ABV

Tool Shed Brewing Company Project Series: Toss the Tree – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.8% ABV (C$4.72 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 24-Jan-2020, reviewed 27-Jan-2020)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of rocky pale ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: resiny pine, caramel, citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, lingering and building bitter finish. (3/5)

Wait, “Project” Series? Where have I seen that before? Oh, right! The beer I had right before this one, the series that Collective Arts has been doing for yonks. OK, fine, they’re raising money for charity, I’ll stop. No canning date, but it’s only been on tap at the brewery since the 23rd, so it’s gotta be brand-spankin’ new. (Which might have led to my suggesting it might be a bit late for tree tossing – except I noticed on my way to work this morning that my across-the-road-plus-two neighbour still has theirs up in their rec room…) A very old-school West Coast DIPA, dominated in equal parts by beefy big malt and resiny pine. I waffled a bit on scoring this one, because although there’s nothing really off as such, it’s just not all that interesting – a bit of “been there, done that”. And since it’s so new, it’s clearly not a matter of a fading hop profile being overtaken by malt, so I decided to split the difference and call it what it is: solidly-made, but not very interesting. (Except for the fact that it’ll get you cross-eyed in a hurry. And yes, that factored in scoring it higher rather than lower.) (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Collective Arts Brewing Collective Project/ IPA No. 12 – American IPA at 6.9% ABV

Collective Arts Brewing Collective Project/ IPA No. 12 – American IPA at 6.9% ABV (C$4.77 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 10-Dec-2020, acquired 24-Jan-2020, reviewed 27-Jan-2020)

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

I probably wouldn’t argue too bitterly if someone were to tell me the only beer I could ever drink from now on were Collective Project No series. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Valley Brewing, Inc. Prairie Icon – Saison at 5.2% ABV | 25 IBU

Valley Brewing, Inc. Prairie Icon – Saison at 5.2% ABV | 25 IBU (C$4.09 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 2-Oct-2019, acquired 24-Jan-2020, reviewed 27-Jan-2020)

Appearance: clear pale straw with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and heavy chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: lemongrass, clove, pale crackery malt, peppercorn, floral, honey. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate spice, moderate-low bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, lively carbonation, off-dry mild bitter spicy finish. (3/5)

Not bad, but slightly too much emphasis on the peppercorns. I like spicy as much as the next guy – hell, more than most! – but can be tricky to strike the right balance, especially when the style is one primarily intended to be a refreshing thirst quencher. In this case it starts off as just that, but as the pint progresses the spicy pepper character lingers and builds, eventually making it less refreshing. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Category 12 Brewing Variable Data – American IPA at 7.1% ABV | 25 IBU

Category 12 Brewing Variable Data – American IPA at 7.1% ABV | 25 IBU (C$3.46 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 21-Nov-2019, acquired 24-Jan-2020, reviewed 26-Jan-2020)

Appearance: opaque deep gold with two fingers of fluffy ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pineapple, stone fruit, citrus, caramel, mild dank pine resin. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, slight tart. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter lightly warming finish. (4/5)

This is presumably intended as a successor / alternative to Compressed Data, and as such is similar in a lot of ways. It’s no surprise that with nearly double the ABV it’s definitely a much bigger beer – but it’s not clearly better. An equally enjoyable variation on a theme, perhaps. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Boombox Brewing Company Synth Wave – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV

Boombox Brewing Company Synth Wave – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV (C$3.91 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 10-Dec-2020, acquired 24-Jan-2020, reviewed 25-Jan-2020)

Appearance: opaque deep gold gold with two fingers of fluffy ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy citrus, tropical fruit, oats, dank pine resin. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-full slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry building and lingering bitter and warming finish. (4/5)

Citra, Mosaic and Motueka hops, and 8.5%? Sign me up! Looks and smells like juice during the pour (maybe a mango nectar-orange blend) and drinks almost as thick. There’s little hint of the beefy ABV on the front end, but the finish is a combination of lingering bitterness (albeit somewhat short of the emphatic level one might normally expect for such a large beer – maybe 50-ish IBU instead of 80-ish?) and alcohol warming reminiscent of a Screwdriver. An enthusiastic juice bomb with restrained sweetness, and good fun all around. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Born Colorado Brewing Hyperopia – American IPA at 7% ABV

Born Colorado Brewing Hyperopia – American IPA at 7% ABV (C$10.00 at Collective, 946 ml, packaged on 24-Jan-2020, acquired 24-Jan-2020, reviewed 24-Jan-2020)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one fat finger of fluffy white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, dank pine resin, caramel, light grass. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry building and lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Well, it might not be the best IPA I’ve ever had (though it’s certainly a good one) but I’m pretty sure it’s the freshest: it was kegged off this morning, and this growler was the first fill from the keg (after the lines were cleared and a few taster samples poured). Nicely balanced citrus and pine on the nose, which stops just short of being “juicy” but is regardless quite pleasant. The bitterness tends high, but not in appropriately so, emphatically making the point that this is a West Coast variant and not an NEIPA despite the hazy appearance. All in all, a very nice pint. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Anchorage Brewing Company / Tired Hands Brewing Company Migrating Eyes (Batch #1) – Saison at 8% ABV

Anchorage Brewing Company / Tired Hands Brewing Company Migrating Eyes (Batch #1) – Saison at 8% ABV (C$9.72 at Collective, 375 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 9-Jan-2020, reviewed 21-Jan-2020)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with a short, short-lived loose white head, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: stone fruit, citrus, dry hay funk, cereal grains. (8/10) Taste: moderate tart, moderate-low sweet, moderate-low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, drying tart finish. (4/5)

Ugly as sin, but otherwise quite pleasant – not unlike the fish on the label, I guess. Stone fruit and citrus balance well on the nose, with a small but definite Brett funk coming to play. On the tongue, sweetness is restrained and the mouthfeel dry without becoming astringent, allowing the tartness to shine. Good stuff. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com