All posts by dpatrickryan

Brauerei Fahr Hopfendunkel – Dunkelweizen at 5.3% ABV

Brauerei Fahr Hopfendunkel Dunkelweizen at 5.3% ABV (C$3.99 at Okotoks Co-Op, 500 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-Sep-2018, reviewed 25-Sep-2018)

Appearance: slightly muddy brown with a massive creamy light beige head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: banana bread, chocolate, grassy weeds. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration slightly spicy finish. (4/5)

I think this is my first “Hopfendunkel”. Clearly it’s a riff on the “Hopfenweisse” style, so I was pretty much expecting a hoppy Dunkel. And, yeah, it sort of is, but only in context – as in, you have to remember that Fahr is super traditional German. His Fahr-Fetched Hefe, for example, was a similarly mild variation on the Hefe theme – certainly nowhere near as aggressively hopped as other Hopfenweisse’s I’ve had – and this pretty much keeps with that theme. Yes, there’s a slight Noble Hop spiciness in the finish, but other than that it’s a fairly straightforward Dunkel, dominated by banana bread and chocolate – which aren’t bad things by any means. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing Breaking the Waves – American Double / Imperial IPA at 10% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Breaking the Waves American Double / Imperial IPA at 10% ABV (C$8.82 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 11-Sep-2018, reviewed 23-Sep-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy straw with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and well-defined heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: citrus juice and zest, tropical fruit, bready pale malt, light pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter mildly warming finish. (4/5)

Double dry hopped… Imperial… with lactose. Sure, why not? Well, actually, I’ve got a pretty good idea why not: because this thing will put you on your ass in record time. It drinks like a slightly sweet NEIPA, with what bitterness there is, thoroughly moderated by the smooth lactose. More dangerously, there’s only a mild warming in the finish to warn you of the double digit ABV. Super tasty and easy to drink, and super dangerous. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Russell Brewing Company Hazy ISA – Session IPA at 4.3% ABV | 36 IBU

Russell Brewing Company Hazy ISA Session IPA at 4.3% ABV | 36 IBU (C$2.63 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 355 ml, packaged on 23-Aug-2018, acquired 19-Sep-2018, reviewed 22-Sep-2018)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and well-defined heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: grapefruit / citrus, stone fruit, oats, hint of melon. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry short duration finish. (4/5)

A very impressive intersection of the NEIPA and ISA styles – probably the best hazy ISA I’ve ever had, and one of the best by Russell I’ve ever had. Unlike so many ISA’s, this doesn’t come across as thin or astringent, but rather has juicy and robust aromas and flavours, with a clean, more-ish finish. This is a Session you would actually want to session! (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing Soul Made – American IPA at 7% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Soul Made American IPA at 7% ABV (C$8.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 19-Sep-2018, reviewed 21-Sep-2018)

Appearance: opaque medium gold with a shot, short-lived pale ivory head, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: grapefruit / citrus, wheat, hint of dank pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Medium slightly creamy body, moderate-soft carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

Very puzzling that this is a sister to Lost Souls, apparently differing only in the hops section (Citra instead of Galaxy), but with completely different head and retention behaviour. Still super juicy and fruity, though, with the same moderate bitterness becoming noticeable only in the finish, and again zero warming for a fairly beefy ABV. Not quite as good as the original, but still a decent pint. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing Lost Souls – American IPA at 7% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Lost Souls American IPA at 7% ABV (C$8.69 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 19-Sep-2018, reviewed 20-Sep-2018)

Appearance: opaque medium gold with one fat finger of loose pale ivory head, good retention and moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: grapefruit & mixed citrus, stone & tropical fruits, wheat, hint of dank pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Medium slightly creamy body, moderate-soft carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

Super juicy and fruity, with moderate bitterness becoming noticeable only in the finish, and zero warming for a fairly beefy ABV. Considering it’s brewed at Dorchester Brewing in Boston, I guess it’s pretty authentically an NEIPA, the moderately bitter finish notwithstanding. Doesn’t hurt that it’s made with Galaxy, one of my favourite ANZ hops. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Category 12 Brewing Hiatus – Saison at 5% ABV | 16 IBU

Category 12 Brewing Hiatus Saison at 5% ABV | 16 IBU (C$4.37 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 25-May-2018, acquired 11-Sep-2018, reviewed 20-Sep-2018)

Appearance: hazy pale straw with one fat finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and heavy stringy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: cucumber, lemon zest, grainy pale malt, weed and grass. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, low bitter. (8/10) Medium-light body, moderate-high carbonation, dry short duration lightly bitter finish. (4/5)

Pretty much exactly what it says on the label: cucumber and lemon zest on a lightly funky Saison background make this pleasantly light and refreshing. I don’t understand why this is ranked so low on the usual suspect sites, other than people have a hate on for cucumber, or just plain don’t know what the hell they’re talking about: this is an excellent beer that is perfectly in keeping with the philosophy of the style. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

High River Brewing Co. Diving Fox – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

High River Brewing Co. Diving Fox (Batch 18-005) American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$12.00 at High River Brewing Co., 946 ml, packaged on 15-Sep-2018, acquired 15-Sep-2018, reviewed 19-Sep-2018)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with two fingers of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel, citrus, tropical fruit, pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate-low carbonation, off-dry lingering building bitter finish. (3/5)

A somewhat old-fashioned A/IPA, verging on a DIPA, that is malty and emphatically bitter. There are no off notes here, although I do find the bitterness to be a bit blunt, particularly in the finish. It’s reasonably well done for what it is, but what it is, is lagging the development curve just a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say no to another, and it’s too bitter to accuse of being boring, per se, but there are IPA sub-styles or implementations that I prefer. This is my second one from a new local brewery, and certainly good enough for me to look for more of their product in future. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Banded Peak Brewery Chinook Saison – Saison at 4.5% ABV | 25 IBU

Banded Peak Brewery Chinook Saison Saison at 4.5% ABV | 25 IBU (C$3.60 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 25-Jun-2018, acquired 11-Sep-2018, reviewed 19-Sep-2018)

Appearance: clear bright straw with one finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: grainy pale malt, earth, stone and pome fruit, hint of white pepper. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter, light tart. (7/10) Medium-light body, lively carbonation, dry short duration lightly tart and spicy finish. (4/5)

This is a pretty solidly-done Saison, that hits every characteristic of the style: light body, lively carbonation, slightly funky, and refreshing, with a low ABV. The aroma and flavour are pleasantly complex, though the particular set of characteristics might not be to everybody’s liking. My biggest disappointment overall is that there isn’t more Chinook character. I’m not sure why I gave this a much lower score the first time I tried it, two years ago at the Alberta Craft Beer Charity Festival, but I’m definitely correcting that now. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

BrewDog Elvis Juice – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 40 IBU

BrewDog Elvis Juice American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 40 IBU (C$2.52 at Collective, 330 ml, best before 25-Jun-2019, acquired 11-Sep-2018, reviewed 17-Sep-2018)

Appearance: clear pale amber gold with one finger of fluffy pale ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thick persistent cap, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel, pithy grapefruit & mixed citrus flesh, tropical fruit, light pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Medium slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter warming finish. (4/5)

I’m a bit puzzled by the relationship between a grapefruit-infused IPA brewed in Scotland, and Elvis (Presley or Costello, though I suppose the latter is geographically closer than the former), but I guess it’s getting increasingly hard to come up with cute names that haven’t been used yet, so whatever…  This is a bit malty for my preference, but it’s followed up by a decent citrus punch, finishing with a pleasantly emphatic bitter – and the price is certainly right. All in all, I could be convinced to pick up a few more of these for occasional consumption. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

High River Brewing Co. Floating Barn Pale Ale (Batch 18-006) – American Pale Ale at 4.5% ABV

High River Brewing Co. Floating Barn Pale Ale (Batch 18-006) American Pale Ale at 4.5% ABV (C$12.00 at High River Brewing Co., 946 ml, packaged on 15-Sep-2018, acquired 15-Sep-2018, reviewed 16-Sep-2018)

Appearance: clear medium gold with one finger of fluffy white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, grainy pale malt, citrus, pine, floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Medium-light body, moderate-low carbonation, off-dry short slightly watery finish. (3/5)

First time for me with this brewer, another new local startup who were flogging their wares at the Millarville Farmer’s Market yesterday. A touch pricey, but that’s par for the course for that market, and I like to support the local guy, so I grabbed a couple of crowlers. (I got this Pale and their IPA. They have a Brown and a Stout as well, but I don’t care if it is freezing outside, I’m still pretending it’s summer. I’ll get those two if they’re at the market next time I go, probably for the xmas weekend in November.) No idea what the story is with the name – I assume some local thing, possibly in conjunction with the massive flood a few years back? Anyway, I like the fact that this is brewed with local malt, so there’s that in its favour. Unfortunately, it’s also very mild in aroma and flavour, malt dominant, and drops off relatively rapidly to a watery finish. There’s nothing offensive here, if that floats your boat (barn?) but it doesn’t so much mine. Solid (except for that watery finish) but fairly unremarkable. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com