All posts by dpatrickryan

Brewery Ommegang Ommegang Abbey Ale – Belgian Dubbel at 8.5% ABV

Brewery Ommegang Ommegang Abbey Ale Belgian Dubbel at 8.5% ABV (Zyn, 355ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear amber-brown with one finger of loose light tan head diminishing rapidly to nothing, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is boozy dark fruits – raisins, figs, dates – toffee malt, faint spice. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter, slight sour. (6/10) Medium body, prickly to moderate sustained carbonation, warming finish. (4/5)

I’m a little puzzled by this one – I was expecting something a little more polished. The alcohol, for example, is immediately apparent on the nose, and there’s a bit of sour in the finish that I’m not entirely sure should be there. The bottle looked a little chewed up, so it’s possible I ended up with an old or badly-handled one. I may need to re-review this later, possibly from a proper corked 750ml bottle. (11/20)

My 123rd from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 116th by the 2013 Edition, and 127th overall.

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij der Trappistenabdij De Achelse Kluis Trappist Achel 8° Bruin – Belgian Strong Ale at 8% ABV

Brouwerij der Trappistenabdij De Achelse Kluis Trappist Achel 8° Bruin Belgian Strong Ale at 8% ABV ($5.03 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330ml, best before 13-Jan-2016)

Pours clear amber-brown with one finger of rocky light tan head, excellent retention, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is mild dark stone fruit, brown sugar and toffee malt, faint spice. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter. (7/10) Medium to light body, moderate sustained carbonation, warming finish. (4/5)

Pleasantly mild trappist with a fairly light body and an immediate (but not unwelcome) warming. Lots of dark fruit and dark sugar, with just a hint of spice. My only complaint about this one is that, if anything, it’s too mild – to the point of being just a touch bland. The nose is fairly muted, and the taste and body are light. It’s impressive that such a high ABV beer can pull off such a mild appearance, sure, but it might have benefited from a bit more authority. (12/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Lindemans Pêche Lambic (Pêcheresse) – Lambic Style (Fruit) at 2.5% ABV

Brouwerij Lindemans Pêche Lambic (Pêcheresse) Lambic Style – Fruit at 2.5% ABV ($6.64 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 355ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours slightly hazy pale amber with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is moderate peach, definite wild yeast lambic funk. (8/10) Taste is moderate to strong sweet, strong tart sourness. (8/10) Medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, tart finish. (4/5)

Huh. I wasn’t expecting to like this one as much as the Framboise, but I think if anything I like it a little more. The peach flavour is definitely present, and both tastes like real fruit with no artificial overtones, and makes the sweetness palatable, but is not so strong as to max the funky lambic aromas. This one smells and tastes more like a straight lambic than the Framboise does, to good effect. The tart and funk make this a lovely little afternoon sipper, even with the low ABV. I’m liking this one a whole lot! (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Lindemans Framboise Lambic – Lambic Style (Fruit) at 2.5% ABV

Brouwerij Lindemans Framboise Lambic Lambic Style – Fruit at 2.5% ABV ($6.64 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 355ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear deep ruby red with one finger of rocky pink head, great retention, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is strong raspberry and other red berries, some wild yeast funk. (7/10) Taste is strong sweet, stronger tart sourness. (7/10) Medium body, high to moderate sustained carbonation, tart finish. (4/5)

Surprisingly good, given the high levels of sweetness – it’s so tart that the sweetness never becomes cloying, and the high to moderate carbonation keeps it from becoming too syrupy. Fairly simple flavours, all things considered, but quite pleasant and mouth-puckeringly tart. The intense raspberry flavour never comes across as artificial or medicinal. Quite enjoyable despite being a little unidimensional. Seems like it could be an interesting base or float for mixing something else, like a chocolate stout, perhaps? The low ABV makes this a perfect “anytime” drink, if you don’t mind the price tag. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company Cali-Belgique IPA – Belgian IPA at 6.9% ABV

Stone Brewing Company Cali-Belgique IPA Belgian IPA at 6.9% ABV ($7.79 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours slightly hazy pale amber with two fingers of tight off-white head and great retention, heavy lacing. (5/5) Nose is lemon, pine, clove, barnyard funk, hint of banana. (9/10) Taste is minimal sweet, strong bitter, moderate funk and pepper. (8/10) Medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, lingering bitter funky finish. (4/5)

Well, that’s a bit of all right! Very little malt presence at all, strong bitter in the mid body, and lingering, building peppery funky finish. The barnyard brett-like funk is distinctly Belg-ish in character, and unlike anything I’ve seen from Stone before – actually strongly reminds me of the De Ranke XX Bitter. Taste seems just a touch less emphatic than the nose would indicate, and the body tends a little to the light side for the style. Minor quibbles for a very good Belgian IPA. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Crew AleWerkstatt CREW Republic 7:45 Escalation – Imperial/Double IPA at 8.3% ABV

Crew AleWerkstatt CREW Republic 7:45 Escalation Imperial/Double IPA at 8.3% ABV (Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330ml, best before 29-Apr-2015)

Pours hazy pale amber with some particulate, two fingers of medium dense off-white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, moderate lacing. (3/5) Nose is citrus, caramel malt, pineapple and other tropical fruit, some floral or perfume notes. (7/10) Taste is moderate malty sweet, strong bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate to low sustained carbonation, bitter finish. (4/5)

Wow – an American DIPA from Germany, of all places? Not my favourite style of DIPA, true – it’s a bit more malt forward than I prefer, and there’s quite a bit of particulate (which is of course a common enough occurrence with this particular style). But, all things considered, it’s a decent enough interpretation. (12/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company Coffee Milk Stout – Sweet Stout at 4.2% ABV

Stone Brewing Company Coffee Milk Stout Sweet Stout at 4.2% ABV ($3.33 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 355ml, best before 11-Feb-2015)

Pours opaque deep brown with amber-brown highlights, two fingers of dense beige head diminishing rapidly to a thick cap, heavy lacing. (5/5) Nose is dark roasty malt, coffee, dark chocolate, cream, toffee, faint cattiness. (7/10) Taste is mild lactose sweet, moderate lingering bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, dry bitter finish. (4/5)

A mild and approachable milk stout, with less of the lactose sweetness the style often brings. That seems to result in a little less smoothness in the texture, and a little more coffee bitterness on the tongue, but not to the point of it being unbalanced or excessively acrid. Probably the most sessionable milk stout I’ve ever had – not just because of the low ABV, but also due to the light body and reasonably smooth texture. An interesting balance between big flavour and appearance, and light body and ABV. It’s no Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, but it’s also one-third the price! (Though, it’s also less than half the ABV, so all things considered I think I’d rather have one of the Weasel than three of this one…)(14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company Go to IPA – Session IPA at 4.5% ABV

Stone Brewing Company Go to IPA Session IPA at 4.5% ABV ($3.33 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 355ml, best before 13-Jan-2015)

Pours slightly hazy pale gold with a short white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, minimal lacing. (4/5) Nose is brightly hoppy, citrus and piney, tropical fruit, light malt. (9/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate lingering bitter. (7/10) Light body tending to watery, moderate to low sustained carbonation, dry, mildly bitter finish. (4/5)

A pretty well done ISA. The nose is stupendous – lots of bright, beautiful hops and just a hint of a supporting malt backbone. But the taste, while fine, falls a little short of the braggadocio of the nose, coming across a little thin, with a sudden finish. It’s probably fair to say Stone didn’t have a lot of choice but to jump on the session IPA bandwagon. And, it’s also fair to say that they did a pretty fine job of it. But, it might also be fair to say they’ve got better beers, and I’d probably rather take the ABV hit on a single bomber of one of their hop bombs, instead of drinking three or four of these. Usually. Unless you’re looking for a really well-done thirst quencher at a really good price – in which case, hells yeah this does the job! (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Dandy Brewing Company Dandy In the Underworld – Sweet Stout at 5% ABV

Dandy Brewing Company Dandy In the Underworld Sweet Stout at 5% ABV ($7.29 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours opaque deep brown with amber-brown highlights, short light beige head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, minimal lacing. (3/5) Nose is predominantly coffee, with some dark chocolate, biscuity malt, and maybe weak earthy hops. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate lingering bitter. (7/10) Medium body, low sustained carbonation, mildly bitter finish. (4/5)

(Had to have at least one stout on #InternationalStoutDay!) Not a bad sweet stout. Certainly not too sweet, which is good. What is there, is almost a lactose sweetness, giving it a café au lait feel. The finish is perhaps a bit too bitterly astringent and dry for the style, though. Could be a little smoother, and the head is disappointingly short – this might be a lot better on a nitro tap! All of that said, it’s a fairly impressive first attempt for a nano brewery. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com