All posts by dpatrickryan

Black Market Brewing Co. Liberation Imperial IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 6.5% ABV

Black Market Brewing Co. Liberation Imperial IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$10.25 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale amber with two fat fingers of fluffy off-white head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is grainy caramel, grapefruit, pine resin, some stone fruit and light floral. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderately strong bitter. (7/10) Medium to heavy body, moderate carbonation, slightly syrupy and oily texture, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Well, it’s maltier than I’d prefer, but I can’t really call it “malt-forward” like so many other DIPA’s tend to be. I’d call it balanced and even-handed… but I’d still prefer more hop-forward. Good, but short of great. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Bad Tattoo Brewing West Coast IPA – American IPA at 6.2% ABV

Bad Tattoo Brewing West Coast IPA American IPA at 6.2% ABV (C$5.95 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours cloudy muddy brown with two fingers of creamy light tan head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, moderate lacing. (3/5) Nose is caramel malt, toast, toffee, citrus and pine. (5/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (5/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, surprisingly boozy finish. (2/5)

Deeply unimpressive right from the start – I actually did a double-take as I started to pour, convinced I had picked up the wrong bottle. The colour is far too dark for a “pale ale”, and though muddiness like that might be acceptable in an Abt, it sure isn’t in an IPA. And there’s no chance I’d call this a “west coast” IPA – there is no dankness to speak of, and it’s malt-forward to the point of toffee flavours. You might call it an English IPA, but even then I’d quibble, since the 6.2% ABV, by no means astronomical, is actually pretty hot on the throat. Perhaps it’s simply old and oxidized, but I of course have no way of knowing since THERE’S NO BOTTLE DATE. Give this one a pass – way too many good IPA’s out there to waste your time with this. (10/20)

5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Black Market Brewing Co. Aftermath Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.8% ABV

Black Market Brewing Co. Aftermath Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5.8% ABV (C$8.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours slightly hazy pale amber with three fingers of fluffy off-white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Nose is pithy grapefruit, mango and tropical fruit, light pine, pale malt. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mildly bitter finish. (4/5)

Pleasant aroma with lots of the usual starts-with-C suspects, as well as some Mosaic and Amarillo: a blend that I tend to like quite a bit, and this is no exception. Dry hopped for lots of aroma, without huge bitterness on the tongue making this a more-ish and quite refreshing APA. (Though, truth be told, this could pass for an A/IPA just about anywhere.) Were it not for the >5% ABV, I’d suggest it’s even sessionable. Though I suppose that just means it would have to be a slightly shorter session? (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Heretic Brewing Company Evil Twin Red IPA – American Amber / Red Ale at 6.8% ABV

Heretic Brewing Company Evil Twin Red IPA American Amber / Red Ale at 6.8% ABV (C$8.25 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, bottle date 9-Feb-2015)

Pours clear red-tinged deep amber with two fat fingers of light tan head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, moderate patchy lacing. (4/5) Nose is grapefruit, caramel malt, pine, earthy and woody tones, hint of chocolate. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry and lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

“Evil Twin”? Seriously? I wonder how Jeppe feels about his brewery name being applied to a beer… Anyway, this is my first “red IPA”, so I’m not all that conversant in what it’s supposed to be. Comes across as a slightly dark, somewhat malty A/IPA, with a little red ale character. Certainly not as roasty/smokey as a black IPA, but the maltiness doesn’t come across as the malt-forward character I associate with an old IPA, or a badly-executed DIPA. I think I might prefer this style to the fast-becoming-ubiquitous black variety… And it’s a pretty beer, so there’s that. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Coronado Brewing Company / Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company Devil’s Tale American IPA at 7.5% ABV

Coronado Brewing Company / Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company Devil’s Tale American IPA at 7.5% ABV (C$8.69 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale gold with two fat fingers of off white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate patchy lacing. (4/5) Nose is pithy citrus, pine, light tropical fruit, dank, very mild onion. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderately strong bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate to low carbonation, off-dry and lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

I’m not entirely convinced by this collaboration, but it might simply be age. I can’t be sure, of course, because there’s NO DAMN DATE ON THE BOTTLE. What I can be sure of, is it isn’t quite as good as Frog’s Breath, or Sock Knocker, or Idiot, or… (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Driftwood Brewery White Bark Ale Witbier at 5% ABV

Driftwood Brewery White Bark Ale Witbier at 5% ABV (C$6.75 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, bottle date 24-Mar-2015)

Pours cloudy pale straw with a short white head diminishing gradually to a dense cap, moderate lacing. (3/5) Nose is orange peel, bready yeast, coriander, faint banana and clove. (6/10) Taste is mild sweet, mild bitter, very slight tart. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry finish. (4/5)

Not a bad traditional witbier, but a little unremarkable in flavour, and a touch heavy in body. I’d like this more if it were lighter, crisper, and tarter. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Driftwood Brewery New Growth Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV

Driftwood Brewery New Growth Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5% ABV (C$6.50 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, bottle date 26-Mar-2015)

Pours clear pale gold with one finger of soapy off-white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, moderate lacing. (3/5) Nose is bright juicy citrus, pine, light herbal, pale malt. (8/10) Taste is very low sweet, moderately strong bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate to low carbonation, crisp texture but with a lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Quite a nice APA, but I’m not sure I’d call it a “session” ale. Even though it’s “only” 5% ABV, it’s got presence: not boozy, as such, but certainly not light. The texture is crisp, but the emphatic bitterness lingers – perhaps not actively discouraging the next sip, but certainly not encouraging it in the way that a beer with a faster fall-off might. The very low initial sweetness might make it less approachable for non-hopheads, too. I know it might seem like I’m listing all negatives here, but they really aren’t. They are, however, reasons why some folks might not appreciate this beer. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Phillips Brewing Company Third Blind Mouse Triple IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 10.2% ABV

Phillips Brewing Company Third Blind Mouse Triple IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 10.2% ABV (C$5.81 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale gold (some particulate on the second pour) with three fingers of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate lacing. (3/5) Nose is big citrus,, light herbal and pale malt. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, strong bitter. (7/10) Medium to full body, moderate to low carbonation, oily texture, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Now, now Phillips, shame on you – you’re just making shit up now: there’s no such thing as a “Triple IPA”. That said, yes, this is a big, hugely bitter beast of a brew – but that’s already covered off by the “imperial” designation. What’s next? “Quadruple” IPA? “Quintuple”? Are IPA’s the brewing equivalent of Gillette razors these days – “more is better”? Gotta say, though, for a double digit ABV, this thing is pretty drinkable: the 100+ IBU completely masks any booziness one might expect, except for a little alcohol sweetness on the finish. It’s a little one-dimensional, but not bad overall. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Russell Brewing Punch Bowl India Pale Ale – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Russell Brewing Punch Bowl India Pale Ale American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$6.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, bottle date 25-Mar-2015)

Pours clear pale gold with two fingers of fluffy off-white head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is citrus, tropical fruit, mild pine, light caramel malt, mild green onion, faint catty. (7/10) Taste is mild to moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly oily texture, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Glory be! A brewer who didn’t used to date their bottles, now does! Good on you, Russell! And good on you for putting together a decently fruity IPA. I’d still like brighter, and I could do without the green onion, but not bad at all. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Gigantic Brewing Company Catch 23 – American Pale Ale at 5.6% ABV

Gigantic Brewing Company Catch 23 America Pale Ale at 5.6% ABV (C$6.76 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale gold with two fingers of fluffy light tan head, diminishing gradually to a thick cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is pineapple, mango, citrus and mild pine, light caramel malt. (7/10) Taste is mild to moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly oily texture, finishes crisp and bitter. (4/5)

So, as far as I can tell, Experimental Hop 527 is a Yakima Valley grown “more subtle cousin” of Azacca. It’s nice – fruit and citrus dominating, with a little pine and maybe just a hint of onion. A bit more complex than the clear bright fruitiness of e.g. Nelson Sauvin, but definitely an interesting hop to watch. Another solid performer from Gigantic. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com