All posts by dpatrickryan

Anderson Valley Brewing Company Highway 128 Session Series: Blood Orange Gose – Gose at 4.2% ABV

Anderson Valley Brewing Company Highway 128 Session Series: Blood Orange Gose Gose at 4.2% ABV ($3.70 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 355ml, can date 5-Nov-2014)

Pours hazy deep gold with a short-lived white head diminishing rapidly to nothing, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is bright orange soda, slight bready yeast and salt. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, strong tart, moderate salt. (8/10) Light to medium body, moderate carbonation, crisp tangy finish. (4/5)

Wow – that’s really nice. Looks and smells like cheap orange soda, tastes tart, tangy and mildly salty. This would be an awesome summertime thirst quencher, very sessionable with its low ABV. This could well be something that I need to keep a case of in the fridge!(16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Willow Park Wines & Spirits (2014-12-13)

“Probably” my last haul before xmas. There’s a couple of #1001beers  in there, and three complete flyers (the Grizzly sours).

Brouwerij Van Steenberge Gulden Draak
Ninkasi Brewing Company Tricerahops Double IPA
Rogue Ales Santa’s Private Reserve
Stift Engelszell Trappistenbier-Brauerei Gregorius Trappistenbier
Stone Brewing Company Rick And Robbie’s Spröcket Bier
The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company Sour Beer Barley Wine
The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company Sour Beer Big Head Nut Brown
The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company Sour Beer IPA

#ryansbooze  ryansbooze.com

Privatbrauerei Loncium Imperial Schwarze Gams – Doppelbock at 7.0% ABV

Privatbrauerei Loncium Imperial Schwarze Gams Doppelbock at 7.0% ABV (2014 Advent Calendar #14, 330ml, best before 25-Jun-2015)

Pours clear brown with a short loose light tan head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is mild smoke, herbal, liquorice, coffee. (6/10) Taste is moderately sweet, mild bitter and smoke. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, smokey bitter finish. (3/5)

Interesting and not unpleasant. Definitely an appropriate choice for an Advent theme and probably best appreciated by a crackling fire on a cold winter’s night. The body may be just a little on the thin side for a high gravity dopple, but still quite drinkable. The ABV is very well behaved and only becomes apparent as a gentle warming towards the end of the glass. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brew Dog / Mikkeller I Hardcore You – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.5% ABV

Brew Dog / Mikkeller I Hardcore You American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.5% ABV ($6.50 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 330ml, best before 25-Jul-2015)

Pours clear pale amber with two fingers of loose off-white head diminishing rapidly to a thin ring, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is pine resin, pithy citrus, tropical fruit, caramel malt. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderately strong bitter. (8/10) Medium to full body, low carbonation, moderately strong bitter finish. (4/5)

Aww… Mikkel… I hardcore you too, buddy, but I’m not nearly drunk enough for that. Nice beer. Definitely better than Brew Dog’s Hardcore, but I can’t comment on how it compares to Mikkeller’s I Beat You since I haven’t tried that one. Lots of fun – plenty of dry hopping, backed up by a well-behaved caramel malt backbone. The lost-count-of-how-many-times dry hopping gives it a nice presence on the nose, but overall it’s not an aggressive palate wrecking hop bomb. I could go for another of these. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing Hop Flood – American Amber / Red Ale at 7% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Hop Flood American Amber / Red Ale at 7% ABV ($4.50 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 355ml, bottle date 19-Jul-2014)

Pours hazy medium to deep amber with one finger of dense tan head diminishing gradually to a medium cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is pine resin, pithy citrus, caramel malt, earthy fruit. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderately strong bitter. (8/10) Medium to full body, soft carbonation, strong bitter finish. (4/5)

So in the past couple of days I’ve seen Mikkel redefine pale lager, two students of his redefine pilsner, and now Jeppe is redefining amber ale. I might as well just throw out the damn dictionary. Basically, this is an amber that smells and tastes like a DIPA. I can live with that. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Anderson Valley Brewing Company Heelch O’Hops – Imperial/Double IPA at 8.7% ABV

Anderson Valley Brewing Company Heelch O’Hops Imperial/Double IPA at 8.7% ABV ($4.20 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 355ml, no bottle date or bets before)

Pours clear medium to deep gold with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is pine resin, pithy citrus, caramel malt, tropical fruit. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, strong bitter, some peppery spice. (7/10) Medium to full body, soft carbonation, strong bitter finish. (4/5)

Well, that’s a Heelch of a lotta hops, all right. Not bad at all, if a little malty despite the starts-with-C-hop heavy handedness. Somewhat lacking in subtlety, shall we say? A fairly standard DIPA without a whole lot to distinguish it. Not as good as their Hop Ottin’, but still pretty drinkable. Pretty, too. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

The Inveralmond Brewery Ltd. Blackfriar – Scotch Ale at 7.0% ABV

The Inveralmond Brewery Ltd. Blackfriar Scotch Ale at 7.0% ABV (2014 Advent Calendar #13, 330ml, best before April 2016)

Pours clear deep amber with one finger of loose light tan head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, minimal patchy lacing. (4/5) Nose is dark boozy fruit, brown sugar, possible diacetyl, slight smoke. (7/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Medium to full body, moderate to low carbonation, boozy and dry sharply bitter astringent finish. (3/5)

I found it difficult to rate this one, since I’m not a fan of the style in general, but I tried to keep the rating fair to the style. However, there are some characteristics of this one that I’m fairly sure are not indicated, like the faint buttery diacetyl. The BJCP guidelines say hops and bitterness should be low to medium-low, but I’m tasting a strong astringency that, while it may not be a hop bitterness, is certainly bitter. I’m finding this to be unbalanced and generally not my cup of tea. (10/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Granville Island Brewery Cocoa Loco – American Double / Imperial Stout at 8.7% ABV

Granville Island Brewery Cocoa Loco American Double / Imperial Stout at 8.7% ABV ($7.59 at South Trail Co-Op, 650ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear brown with amber-brown highlights, one finger of dense tan head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is dark chocolate, dark roasty malt, slight booziness, faint vanilla. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderately strong bitter. (5/10) Medium to full body, soft carbonation, moderately strong, slightly harsh bitter finish. (3/5)

To be clear: this is neither black, nor opaque, unless you’re not paying attention. It’s no more black than Coca-Cola, which is a clear deep red. (Lazy reviewers annoy me.) As far as the beer itself goes, this isn’t a great Imperial Stout. It’s OK, but the finish in particular has an edge tending to the harsh. Passable, without being particularly memorable. Too many other solid candidates out there at this price point to give this an unqualified recommendation. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Clown Shoes Beer Space Cake Double IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9% ABV

Clown Shoes Beer Space Cake Double IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 9% ABV ($10.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650ml, bottle date 20-Oct-2014)

Pours slightly hazy pale amber with two fingers of loose off-white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Nose is pithy citrus, pine, caramel malt. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderately strong bitter. (8/10) Medium body, soft carbonation, moderately strong bitter finish. (4/5)

Lots of hops, without being a palate wrecker – presumably more in the way of dry hopping, than wet. Can’t find the IBU rating anywhere, but I’d guess it’s somewhere around 50. A decent balance of malt and hops that I find nicely palatable even though I usually prefer a more hop-forward character. A solid, pleasant DIPA. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

To Øl Raid Beer – Czech Pilsener at 5.2% ABV

To Øl Raid Beer Czech Pilsener at 5.2% ABV ($6.50 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 330ml, best before 19-Mar-2016)

Pours hazy pale amber with one finger of pillowy dense off-white head, excellent retention and heavy, chunky lacing. (4/5) Nose is citrus, piney dank resin, musk, caramel malt. (9/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Medium body, soft carbonation, mild bitter finish. (4/5)

So, what did you do tonight? Oh, just had the BEST PILSNER EVER. Lovely hoppy lager – in this case, a pilsner – that has about as much relationship to fizzy yellow adjunct garbage as chalk to cheese. Getting more of the Centennial and Citra citrus, and Simcoe west coast dank, than the Nelson Sauvin (my new favourite hop!) vinous character, but very nice regardless. Decently complex and layered, with lots of character. (Gee, hard to tell that these guys are old brewing buddies and students of Mikkeller’s, huh?) But, unlike his Øllen Om Bogen, this isn’t a hop bomb at all. I keep expecting the hops to blow up and storm my taste buds in an all-out assault, but they’re actually extremely polite as they completely redefine what a lager can be. The label says “Sometimes when you’re drunk you can see better” – I could drink enough of these to see better, for sure. (18/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com