All posts by dpatrickryan

Cervecería Cucapá Honey Amber Ale – Amber Ale at 4.5% ABV

Cervecería Cucapá Honey Amber Ale Amber Ale at 4.5% ABV (2014 Advent Calendar #9, 330ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale amber with one finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate patchy lacing. (3/5) Nose is muted, grainy pale malt, grassy hops, honey. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Light body, moderate carbonation, slightly sticky and mildly bitter. (3/5)

An unremarkable summer pale amber ale, if somewhat sweet. The honey does come through, and doesn’t taste artificial or cloying, eve though the mouthfeel does end up feeling sticky. Not quite sure how it figures into an Advent calendar, but I guess it’s hard to get 24 kinds of dark heavy beer…? That being said, it’s fairly easy-drinking, and the initial impression I had, of adjunct lager character, seems to be incorrect. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Tuatara Brewing Company Tuatara Nui – American Pale Ale at 7% ABV

Tuatara Brewing Company Tuatara Nui American Pale Ale at 7% ABV ($9.50 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 500ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale amber with one finger of tight light tan head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, excellent lacing. (4/5) Nose is pine, tropical fruit, pineapple, mild caramel malt. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, strong bitter. (8/10) Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, building bitter finish. (4/5)

Yeah, OK, I bought it for the bottle – come on, The Eye of Sauron on the cap, and a great alligator (dragon?) skin finish, how can’t you? I almost didn’t, because they DIDN’T DATE IT and I’ve been burned by a few ANZ beers – but, man, that’s a lot of hops! Although this bottle wasn’t dated, I think it has to be fairly fresh, because I’m getting all of the reported 80IBU. Very hop forward, with just enough caramel malt for support. (And how is it that I end up having not one, not two, but three ANZ APA/AIPA’s in the past 24 hours while located almost as far from Australasia as it’s possible to get?) (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Klosterbrauerei Weltenburg Weltenburger Kloster Anno 1050 – Märzen at 5.5% ABV

Klosterbrauerei Weltenburg Weltenburger Kloster Anno 1050 Märzen at 5.5% ABV (2014 Advent Calendar #8, 330ml, best before 17-06-2015)

Pours clear deep gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is grainy pale malt, grassy hops, faint fruit and smoke. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild peppery spice. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering and building bitter and spicy finish. (4/5)

Pleasant enough märzen even if the season for them is a little past us. Not too sweet, with a decent little peppery spice in the finish. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Croucher Brewing Co. Nuclear Free ANZUS IPA – American IPA at 7% ABV

Croucher Brewing Co. Nuclear Free ANZUS IPA American IPA at 7% ABV (2014 Advent Calendar #7, 330ml, best before 15-05-15)

Pours clear gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is citrus, pine, earthy, biscuity pale malt. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering and building bitter finish. (4/5)

Well – the Advent calendar seems to have anticipated my day 6 review and responded with a somewhat brighter “down under” IPA, complete with a best before date that’s well into 2015. And, yeah, it’s pretty much what I thought: the same tones are there, but the balance is different. In this one, the hops are more forward, and the malt less so. It’s not a perfect comparison, of course, because this brew is neither as malty nor as hoppy as the prior one, but it’s an interesting counterpoint regardless. An interesting and solid IPA. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Bridge Road Brewers Fat Man, Red Suit, Big Sack – India Red Ale at 7.5% ABV

Bridge Road Brewers Fat Man, Red Suit, Big Sack India Red Ale at 7.5% ABV (2014 Advent Calendar #6, 330ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours cloudy medium amber with three fingers of loose off-white head that just keeps growing, great retention, and heavy chunky lacing. (5/5) Nose is biscuity bready caramel malt, citrus, earthy, some tropical fruit and pine. (7/10) Taste is moderate to strong sweet, strong bitter. (7/10) Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, lingering and building bitter finish. (4/5)

No, I don’t have a red suit. Shut up. As far as the beer goes, I dunno what the hell an India Red Ale is supposed to be, but this feels like a malt-forward DIPA to me. More to the point, it feels like a DIPA that’s malt-forward because it’s getting on in age and the hops are fading fast. It reminds me of some of the really hoppy New Zealand beers I’ve had, probably not only because it’s using the same “down under” hop varietals, but because they too had apparently taken the slow boat before getting in my hands. That malt-forward character is not my preference, but I’d love to try it fresh. Anybody want to send me to Australia or New Zealand, for research purposes? (14/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Willow Park Wines & Spirits (2014-12-07)

My second haul today, from Willow Park Wines & Spirits:
8 Wired Brewing Company Saison Sauvin
Big Rock Brewery Barrel Aged Edition: Bourbon
Big Rock Brewery Barrel Aged Edition: Cognac
Big Rock Brewery Coloborador Español
Brasserie McAuslan St-Ambroise Special Reserve 2014
Brouwerij Dilewyns Winter 2012
Clown Shoes Beer Space Cake Double IPA
Fallentimber Meadery Hopped Mead
Phillips Brewing Company Polaris

#ryansbooze  ryansbooze.com

Birrificio Del Ducato Krampus – Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7.0% ABV

Birrificio Del Ducato Krampus Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7.0% ABV (2014 Advent Calendar #5, 330ml, bottle date 2014, best before 2020)

Pours muddy medium amber with one finger of loose off-white head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is sour cherries and lemons, faint yeast. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate sour. (8/10) Light body, prickly carbonation, lingering and building puckering sour finish. (4/5)

Wow! The Advent Calendar continues to deal out surprises! I would have sworn up and down there was no way they’d include a sour in the mix! I can see lots of bewildered lager drinkers dumping their calendar beers – which makes me sad. This is actually a fairly decent sour – not too aggressive and nicely balanced. I would definitely drink this again. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Sherbrooke Liquor, Edmonton (2014-12-07)

My first haul today – from Sherbrooke Liquor in Edmonton (where, I believe, they now claim to have well over a thousand types of beer):
Alley Kat Olde Deuteronomy (2015)
Anderson Valley Brewing Company Highway 128 Session Series: Blood Orange Gose
Anderson Valley Brewing Company Boont Amber Ale
Anderson Valley Brewing Company Heelch O’Hops
Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles La Rulles Blonde
Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles La Rulles Estivale
Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles La Rulles Triple
Brewery Ommegang Game of Thrones Valar Morghulis
Clown Shoes Beer Pecan Pie Porter
Evil Twin Brewing Hop Flood
Evil Twin Brewing Ron and the Beast Ryan
Le Trou du Diable La Grivoise de Noël
Mikkeller All Other Pales Pale
Mikkeller Draft Bear
Mikkeller Hop Burn Low
Mikkeller Øllen Om Bogen
Mikkeller Ris a la M’ale
Mikkeller Spontanpeach (2013)
Mikkeller / Brew Dog I Hardcore You
Mikkeller / Three Floyds Blå Spøg Else Blueberry Bluebic
Mikkeller / To Øl Betelgeuze
New Belgium Brewing Company / Perennial Artisan Ales Lips of Faith – Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout
Russell Brewing 19th Anniversary IP G’Day!
To Øl Raid Beer
Tuatara Brewing Company Tuatara Nui

#ryansbooze  ryansbooze.com

Granville Island Brewery Lions Winter Ale – Winter Warmer at 5.5% ABV

Granville Island Brewery Lions Winter Ale Winter Warmer at 5.5% ABV (Draft at 1ST RND West Edmonton)

Pours clear deep amber with one finger of tight light tan head, great retention, excellent lacing. (4/5) Nose is chocolate, caramel malt, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg. (6/10) Taste is moderate to strong sweet, mild bitter, mild spice. (6/10) Medium body, somewhat cloying, moderate carbonation, mildly bitter and moderately spicy finish. (3/5)

Not bad, but a little on the cloying side. I think it’s the chocolate in combination with the fairly high sweetness – neither the carbonation nor the spiciness lifts it enough to avoid the cloying description. The spice helps with the winter warmer character, but a little higher ABV might help it more. Pretty, sure, but ultimately a little disappointing. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Kiuchi Brewery Hitachino Nest – Witbier at 5.5% ABV

Kiuchi Brewery Hitachino Nest Witbier at 5.5% ABV ($9.00 at Japanese Village, 330ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours hazy straw with a short, short-lived white head, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is mild wheat, citrus, coriander. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, mild bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, mildly bitter finish. (4/5)

Fairly decent Belgian witbier. The orange presence is pleasant and works well with the soft carbonation. (15/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com