All posts by dpatrickryan

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

Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles La Rulles Estivale – Belgian Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV

Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles La Rulles Estivale Belgian Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV ($10.50 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 750ml, best before 21-Sep-2015)

Pours slightly hazy pale gold with three fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and lacing. (5/5) Nose is floral and herbal, dusty funk, mild citrus and stone fruit. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, mild bitter, very mild tart. (8/10) Light body, moderate carbonation, dry crisp finish. (4/5)

I like this a lot – a very restrained BPA with elements of farmhouse saison, just enough sweetness to balance the mild floral and herbal hops, and a hint of dusty funk to make things interesting. A nice summery beer on a cold and windy winter’s day. I could drink a lot of this – too bad I’ve only got the one bottle. (But good thing it’s a big one!) (16/20)

My 139th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 132nd from the 2013 Edition, and 147th combining both editions.

8/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Jester King Brewery Das Wunderkind! – Blended Saison at 4.5% ABV

Jester King Brewery Das Wunderkind! Blended Saison at 4.5% ABV ($15.78 at Specs Main Branch, 750 ml, batch date August 5, 2014)

Pours hazy straw with one finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and lacing. (5/5) Nose is complex – wet hay and barnyard funk, woody oak, apples and pears, grapes, stone fruit, vinegar. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, mild bitter, mild tart. (6/10) Light to medium body, moderate carbonation, dry finish. (3/5)

Well, that’s different! Dunno how “saison” it is, but there’s loads of wild funk flavour there, along with some mild tartness and even a slight saltiness. Not to mention, oaky white wine and whiskey flavours. Bit of a kitchen sink, really, and takes some getting used to, but ultimately interesting and not at all unpleasant. A tad pricey for an interesting experiment, mind you… (12/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Smuttynose Brewing Company Cluster’s Last Stand – American IPA at 8.8% ABV

Smuttynose Brewing Company Cluster’s Last Stand American IPA at 8.8% ABV ($9.46 at Specs Main Branch, 650 ml, best before 5-Mar-2015)

Pours hazy pale amber with one finger of loose off-white head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is sweet citrus, mild pine, biscuity caramel malt, faint tropical fruit. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, building bitter finish. (3/5)

A little muddled. Not bad, but the malt seems a bit more pronounced than it should be, and the hops could be sharper. Nothing particularly thrilling, but certainly serviceable. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Anchor Brewing Company Anchor IPA – India Pale Ale (IPA) at 6.5% ABV

Anchor Brewing Company Anchor IPA India Pale Ale (IPA) at 6.5% ABV ($3.00 at Dominion Stavanger, 355 ml, best before 20-Nov-2016)

Pours clear pale to medium amber with a fat finger of loose ivory head, excellent retention and lacing. (5/5) Nose is pithy citrus, mild pine, light caramel malt. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild peppery spice. (7/10) Medium body and slightly slick texture, moderate carbonation, building bitter and lingering finish. (4/5)

Y’know, I went into this not expecting to like it. I mean, really – an IPA with a two-year shelf life? Pull the other one, right? Well, I dunno what it’ll be like after two years, but after a couple of months (assuming the best before to be “only” two years after bottling) it’s pretty decent. It’s initially somewhat malty if you’re expecting an American IPA, but if you give your head a shake and recall that this is brewed with two-row barley malt, the traditional English character becomes apparent. And on the finish, there’s a nice lingering and building bitterness with just a hint of peppery spice. This might well be the best IPA ever put on NLC shelves. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Anchor Brewing Company Anchor Steam – California Common at 4.8% ABV

Anchor Brewing Company Anchor Steam California Common at 4.8% ABV ($3.00 at Dominion Stavanger, 355ml, best before 20-Oct-2016)

Pours hazy pale amber with one finger of creamy ivory head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, spotty lacing. (4/5) Nose is caramel malt, grassy and herbal. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mildly bitter finish. (4/5)

Not bad for a malty beer. Decently well-balanced malt sweetness that doesn’t overwhelm and finishes reasonably dry and bitter. Pretty sessionable, I’d say. (12/20)

My 138th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 131st from the 2013 Edition, and 146th combining both editions.

6.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company Lukcy Basartd – American Strong Ale at 8.5% ABV

Stone Brewing Company Lukcy Basartd American Strong Ale at 8.5% ABV ($9.46 at Specs Main Branch, 650 ml, best before 1-Jan-2015)

Pours clear medium amber with one finger of loose ivory head, excellent retention and  lacing. (5/5) Nose is caramel malt, pine (spruce?) resin, woody oak, citrus. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate to strong bitter. (7/10) Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, lingering and building bitter boozy finish. (4/5)

There’s a lot going on in this complicated beast, and it’s probably feeling the effects of being a little past its best before, but still quite drinkable. Big presence, emphasized by an ABV that acts at least as big – and maybe a bit bigger – than it actually is. (17/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Saint Arnold Brewing Company Endeavour (Divine Reserve #11) – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.9% ABV

Saint Arnold Brewing Company Endeavour (Divine Reserve #11) American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.9% ABV ($6.31 at Specs Main Branch, 650 ml, bottle date 15-Dec-2014)

Pours clear pale amber with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is pithy citrus, tropical and stone fruits, mild pine, light caramel malt. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate to strong bitter. (7/10) Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, building bitter finish. (4/5)

Very pleasant, mild-mannered and well-behaved DIPA. The sweetness is definitely present, but balanced nicely without being overwhelming. The balance extends to the ABV, which is nearly completely absent despite being nearly into the double digits. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Jester King Brewery Le Petit Prince – Saison at 2.9% ABV

Jester King Brewery Le Petit Prince Saison at 2.9% ABV ($7.25 at Specs Main Branch, 750 ml, bottle date 27-Oct-2014)

Pours cloudy pale straw with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (3/5) Nose is lemon zest, brett funk, hay, apples and pears, very light crackery malt. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate tart, mild bitter. (7/10) Light body, prickly to moderate carbonation, crisp tart finish. (4/5)

Well, that’s unexpected – a restrained, funky, Franco-Belgian style farmhouse saison, from Texas. Cider and champagne characteristics, with a lovely light and crisply carbonated body. Quite refreshing, and yes, it would make an excellent table beer with a light meal. Really, my major complaint is that it’s, if anything, too mild. I don’t mean just the ridiculously low ABV (at under 3%, it’s barely “beer”, is it?) but the total package: the aroma, flavour, and body are all so well-behaved as to barely be present at all. I’d love to see this with its restraints removed, actually… (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com