All posts by dpatrickryan

Garrison Brewing Company Martello Stout – English Stout at 4.2% ABV

Garrison Brewing Company Martello Stout English Stout at 4.2% ABV ($2.50 at NLC Howley Estates, 341 ml, bottle date 5-Nov-2014)

Pours clear brown with one fat finger of loose tan head, good retention and spotty lacing. (3/5) Nose is muted, roasty malts, cocoa, oats, slight smoke. (6/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Medium body tending to watery, moderate to low carbonation, off dry bitter finish. (3/5)

Not terrible, but not great, either. The body could be a little fuller, and the smokiness comes across a little less “smoked malt” and a little more “cigarette butt in your beer”, and the finish tends a little to the astringent. Not their best. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Madrugada Obscura Dark Dawn Stout – American Double / Imperial Stout at 8.1% ABV

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Madrugada Obscura Dark Dawn Stout American Double / Imperial Stout at 8.1% ABV ($12.82 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 750 ml, bottle date 15-Jan-2014)

Pours clear dark brown (nearly black) with one fat finger of medium tan head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is complex, vinous dark fruit, coffee, chocolate, earthy funk. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate tart, faint bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, drying tart finish. (4/5)

Well, first and foremost: calling this a “stout” is pretty misleading. It’s most definitely a sour, albeit a dark one with coffee and chocolate tones. That’s not to say it’s aggressively sour, because it isn’t (although it does open up and get a little more emphatic as it warms). And it is goo-ood. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Royal Unibrew Faxe 10% – Strong Pale Lager at 10% ABV

Royal Unibrew Faxe 10% Strong Pale Lager at 10% ABV ($4.06 at Dominion Stavanger, 500 ml, packaged on 24-Sep-2014 best before 25-Dec-2015)

Pours clear straw with one finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is rotten apples, faint floral, solvent-like alcohol. (2/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter. (2/10) Light body, moderate carbonation, lingering (not in a good way) finish. (3/5)

Really quite amazingly vile. But it’s 10% ABV vile, and I’ve just done a 15 hour day on the job, so there’s that… And it really seriously is a very good-looking beer. That tastes like liquid hate. And fermented sweat socks. (3/20)

3/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Muskoka Brewery Mad Tom – India Pale Ale (IPA) at 6.4% ABV

Muskoka Brewery Mad Tom India Pale Ale (IPA) at 6.4% ABV ($2.72 at Dominion Stavanger, 355 ml, best before 25-Apr-2015)

Pours slightly hazy pale amber with one finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and lacing. (5/5) Nose is tropical fruit, pithy citrus, pine resin, caramel malt. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, strong bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering slightly sticky bitter finish. (4/5)

Solid IPA – lots of hop bitter, citrus, and tropical fruit (mango and pineapple), balanced and supported with just enough malt. Can’t say I’m noticing any difference with its “Now Unfiltered” designation, other than the colour now being slightly hazy – I’d be lying if I said I could smell or taste the difference. Then again, it has been almost exactly a year since I had a filtered one, so… And yes, I once rated this a 9/10 – consider this updated rating more accurate. I was young(er) and foolish then – now I’m old(er) and, well, still foolish. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Plzeňský Prazdroj Pilsner Urquell – Pilsener at 4.4% ABV

Plzeňský Prazdroj Pilsner Urquell Pilsener at 4.4% ABV ($4.06 at Dominion Stavanger, 500 ml, best before 26-Apr-2015)

Pours clear pale gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to nothing, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is pale malt, honey, grassy hops, bready yeast. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Medium to light body, moderate to low carbonation, off-dry crisp finish. (3/5)

I’m not a huge fan of pilseners in general, finding them to be boring at best. This is actually a pretty good example of the style, but still pretty darned boring. Better than I was expecting it to be, but still not something I’d necessarily go looking for. However, when considering “single cans in your local’s cooler”, you could do a lot worse. (12/20)

My 141st from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 134th from the 2013 Edition, and 149th combining both editions.

6/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mikkeller k:rlek Efterår / Vinter 2013 – American Pale Ale at 5.9% ABV

Mikkeller k:rlek Efterår / Vinter 2013 American Pale Ale at 5.9% ABV (Via trade, 330 ml, best before 25-Jun-2016)

Pours hazy deep gold with two fingers of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, spotty moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is pithy lemon and grapefruit, pale malt, pineapple, grassy/leafy hops. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter, very light peppery spice and tart. (8/10) Medium to slightly watery body, moderate to low carbonation, dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

Surprising that there’s so much juicy citrus in this thing at well over a year old. I was inclined to be a bit dismissive of the 2016 best before date, but apparently this really does have near-magical flavour retention. The actual pineapple in this plays well with the usual suspects starts-with-C hops, making for a wonderfully fruity citrus experience that is never too sweet, and finishes dry and bitter. My kind of APA. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

New Belgium Brewing Company Lips of Faith – Wild² Dubbel – Abbey Dubbel at 8% ABV

New Belgium Brewing Company Lips of Faith – Wild² Dubbel Abbey Dubbel at 8% ABV ($8.41 at Specs Main Branch, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear medium amber with one finger of beige head, excellent retention and lacing. (5/5) Nose is funky hay and brett, caramel malt, dark fruit, cinnamon. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild tart. (7/10) Medium slightly thin body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Smells great and tastes OK – but the taste is actually a bit of a disappointment, after the smell. It smells a bit like an oude bruin, with some vinegar tartness and wild yeast aroma, but then the taste falls a bit short and the body comes across a little thin. The black pepper spiciness on the finish is nice, though, so that’s good. All things considered, it’s pretty darned good – but it feels like it could’ve been so much more. (15/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brewery Ommegang Game of Thrones Valar Morghulis – Abbey Dubbel at 8% ABV

Brewery Ommegang Game of Thrones Valar Morghulis Abbey Dubbel at 8% ABV ($13.90 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 750 ml, bottle date 09/08/14 best before 09/2017)

Pours clear deep amber with one finger of beige head, great retention, spotty lacing. (4/5) Nose is boozy dark fruits, burned sugar and caramel, apples and pears. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Probably the best of the GoT branded beers so far – probably because an abbey dubbel is more in keeping with Ommegang’s normal fare than some of the other ones have been. Full flavour supported by a full body and a decently weighty ABV that doesn’t intrude, but warms while providing the appropriate gravitas. There was a very faint metallic tang at the outset, but that seems to have disappeared as the beer warmed up from its initial cellar temperature of about 5-6ºC (40ºF) to a more appropriate serving temperature of above 10ºC (50ºF). Can’t say I’d go seeking one out or anything, but it’s a solid Belgian-style dubbel. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste Bellegems Bruin – Sour Red/Brown at 5.5% ABV

Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste Bellegems Bruin Sour Red/Brown at 5.5% ABV ($10.52 at Specs Main Branch, 750 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear brown with one finger of beige head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, spotty lacing. (3/5) Nose is muted, dark fruits, vinegar, cherry, oak. (7/10) Taste is mild to moderate sweet, mild to moderate tart. (6/10) Light to medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild astringent finish. (4/5)

Pleasant mildly fruity and lightly sour oude bruin. Some vinous and woody notes add some depth and complexity, but not a whole lot. A little more intensity would be nice, but it’s pleasant as it is. (15/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company Stone Stochasticity Project Hibiscusicity – Belgian Ale at 7.4% ABV

Stone Brewing Company Stone Stochasticity Project Hibiscusicity Belgian Ale at 7.4% ABV ($9.46 at Specs Main Branch, 650 ml, bottle date 5-Sep-2014)

Pours clear red-tinged medium amber with one finger of off-white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is muted, floral, metallic, citrus, biscuity malt. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter, mild tart. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild astringent finish. (3/5)

Not all that interesting. Starts off smelling sort of like a kriek, except with a distinctly metallic tang that isn’t entirely appropriate. The taste suddenly falls flat, though, and never really delivers on the fruit flavours. Another Stochasticity that doesn’t really succeed in my book. (12/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com