All posts by dpatrickryan

Cervejaria Colorado Vixnu – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.5% ABV

Cervejaria Colorado Vixnu American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.5% ABV (2014 Advent Calendar #20, 310ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours hazy pale amber with some particulate, three fingers of foamy medium beige head, good retention, moderate lacing. (3/5) Nose is caramel malt, grassy hops with some very distant citrus and pine. (6/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, moderate bitter. (5/10) Medium to full body, moderate to low carbonation, slightly sticky finish. (3/5)

Malt forward, with grassy hops somewhat to the background, so it’s already not my favourite type of DIPA. Add to that a somewhat off-putting aftertaste that I can’t identify, and it’s less than a winner in my book. Credit where credit is due, though: the ABV is pretty well-behaved. I’m guessing this is somewhat past its best before and would have been better had it been fresher. (That head is a little exaggerated, but the way – at first it was looking like no head would develop, so I got a bit overaggressive in the pour. Could have been poured with a decent fat finger of head, had I known what to expect.) Not bad, and probably worth a try, but not worth trying again. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mikkeller Hop Burn Low – American Double / Imperial Pilsner at 10% ABV

Mikkeller Hop Burn Low American Double / Imperial Pilsner at 10% ABV ($7.30 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 330ml, best before 16-Jul-2019)

Pours hazy pale amber with one finger of light tan head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is aggressive citrus and tropical fruit, mild caramel malt. (9/10) Taste is moderate caramel sweet, intensely bitter pine resin ahead of citrus and tropical fruit, building spice. (9/10) Medium body and slightly oily texture, low sustained carbonation, and a spicy, lingering bitter finish, with an immediate warming in the gut from the high ABV, the high IBUs, or both. (5/5)

This is very similar to its brother from another mother, the Hop Burn High (the major difference being that’s an ale instead of a lager like this one). Massive, ridiculous IBU’s – this is so massively bitter that the caramel malt is initially more apparent, because the bitter receptors just max out and give up. It actually gets more bitter as the initial malt flavour subsides. So, yeah – the Mikkeller Draft Bear that I earlier this evening said was the best Imperial Pilsner I ever had? Short reign. (18/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mikkeller Draft Bear – American Double / Imperial Pilsner at 8% ABV

Mikkeller Draft Bear American Double / Imperial Pilsner at 8% ABV ($5.40 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 330ml, best before 6-Apr-2017)

Pours slightly hazy pale amber with two fingers of light tan head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, minimal patchy lacing. (3/5) Nose is tropical fruit, citrus, caramel malt, grass and hay. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, strong bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate to low carbonation. (4/5)

So Mikkeller, unsatisfied with making the world’s best coffee stout and pale lager, has to challenge To Øl for the best pilsner? Using my Achilles heels, massive doses of starts-with-C hops and a high ABV? Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate those things – but still think the To Øl Raid is a better beer despite its much lower ABV. I guess I could call this the best IMPERIAL pilsner I’ve ever had, though. Now stop fighting, you’re making the kids cry. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Bam Bière – Saison at 4.5% ABV

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Bam Bière Saison at 4.5% ABV ($14.38 at Zyn, 750ml, bottle date 7-Jul-2013)

Pours cloudy straw with a huge three plus fingers of pillowy white head, great retention and heavy chunky lacing. (4/5) Nose is largely dominated by brett funk, with some stone fruit, lemon and grass, pale malt and pineapple. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, bitter, tart, and funk. (8/10) Light body, fizzy carbonation, dry funky finish. (4/5)

The brett developed in the bottle aging has added a nice complexity to a bright and citrusy saison (while making this thing almost impossible to pour!). Lots of horseblankety character on the nose, but the tongue is still dominated by a lemony tartness. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij de Molen Winterporter – Porter at 6.7% ABV

Brouwerij de Molen Winterporter Porter at 6.7% ABV (2014 Advent Calendar #19, 330ml, bottled 10/06/14 best before 10/06/19)

Pours opaque black with two fingers of foamy medium beige head, great retention, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is roasty malt, toffee, dark boozy fruit. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter, light sour. (7/10) Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, off dry slightly sour finish. (3/5)

I wish other brewers would label their beers like De Molen does. Front label has Degrees Plato, ABV, EBC (colour), and EBU (bitterness). Back label has bottling date and best before. IS THAT SO HARD??? Not to mention, they make a decent beer. I’ve never had a De Molen I didn’t like, and this is no exception – I was tickled pink when I pulled this out of the calendar. It might not have been quite as good as I was hoping, but still a solid port. I was pretty surprised by how boozy the flavour is, since it’s “only” 6.7% ABV – it feels like a bigger beer. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brewery Ommegang BPA (Belgian-style Pale Ale) – Belgian Pale Ale at 6.2% ABV

Brewery Ommegang BPA (Belgian-style Pale Ale) Belgian Pale Ale at 6.2% ABV ($10.71 at Zyn, 750ml, best before 21-Jun-2011)

Pours cloudy pale amber with a fat finger of dense pillowy light tan head, great retention and moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Nose is caramel malt, dark fruit, herbal hops and mild spice. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, and mild bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate to low carbonation. (3/5)

Well, it’s obviously way, way past its best before – the hops are way muted and altered, but it’s not actually off. Still surprisingly drinkable, but I’ll rate this again when I see a fresh one. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mikkeller Ris a la M’ale – Fruit Beer / Radler at 8% ABV

Mikkeller Ris a la M’ale Fruit Beer / Radler at 8% ABV ($8.70 at Sherbrooke Liquor  375ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours hazy medium amber with two fat fingers of light pinkish tan head, great retention and heavy lacing. (4/5) Nose is sour cherries, pale malt, nutty and yeasty. (7/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, medium tart and mild bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, tart finish. (3/5)

Kind of muddled. There’s an almond-like nuttiness – almost Amaretto or Frangelico – that doesn’t work entirely well with the dominant sour cherries. Not Mikkeller’s best. (12/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Huyghe Delirium Christmas (Noël) – Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 10% ABV

Brouwerij Huyghe Delirium Christmas (Noël) Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 10% ABV ($6.00 at South Trail Co-Op, 330ml, best before 09/17)

Pours hazy deep amber with two fat fingers of light tan head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (4/5) Nose is dark fruit, bready malt, Belgian yeast, spices. (8/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Medium body, lively to moderate carbonation, off-dry mildly boozy bitter finish. (4/5)

Now there’s noël in a bottle. Gushed a little on opening, but I was expecting that and caught it all in my Delirium goblet. (Finally using it for the beer it came with!) Opens up very nicely as it warms. There’s an initial urge to drink it down, but pacing yourself will yield a better result, both because the very well-integrated ABV will sneak up on you in a hurry, and because there’s some nice complexity there that deserves sipping and savouring. There’s a large malty sweetness at the front, along with boozy dark fruits, but it’s not unbalanced, and finishes nicely off-dry and bitter. Makes me wish I was back at Café Delirium in Brussels! (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brasserie Guyanaise Jeune Gueule Weïti – Witbier at 5% ABV

Brasserie Guyanaise Jeune Gueule Weïti Witbier at 5% ABV (2014 Advent Calendar #18, 330ml, best before 04/2015)

Pours hazy straw with one finger of foamy white head, good retention, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is yeast, citrus, floral, spices. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Light body, lively carbonation, off dry slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Looks, tastes, and smell fairly lemony, instead of the reported orange peel. There’s something in the nose that doesn’t exactly thrill me – not sure whether it’s a floral or spice note, but it almost smells like soap or detergent. It’s not overwhelming, though, and the beer as a whole is by no means terrible. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Ninkasi Brewing Company Tricerahops Double IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV

Ninkasi Brewing Company Tricerahops Double IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV ($8.79 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours slightly hazy pale amber with two fingers of light tan head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is zesty citrus and resiny pine, light caramel malt and some light floral. (4/10) Taste is moderate sweet, strong bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate to low carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Nice double IPA. Bright and citrusy, big hop bomb. Marginally hop forward, with decent caramel malt supporting. Hardly a memorable DIPA, but certainly passable. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com