Category Archives: Reviews

Beer reviews

Anchorage Brewing Company Bitter Monk Belgian-Style Double IPA (Batch #5) – Belgian IPA at 9% ABV | 100 IBU

Anchorage Brewing Company Bitter Monk Belgian-Style Double IPA (Batch #5) Belgian IPA at 9% ABV | 100 IBU (C$14.76 at Collective, 750 ml, packaged on 1-Nov-2016, acquired 17-Nov-2018, reviewed 17-Dec-2018)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one fat finger of rocky ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: powerful & complex, wild funk, chardonnay, citrus zest, stone & tropical fruit. (9/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet & tart, high bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium body, lively carbonation, tart massively bitter funky finish. (4/5)

I savoured the aroma for quite a while, fully expecting the complexity to be reflected on the tongue – but holy crap, that first sip is a serious kick in the teeth! Big citrusy tart and vinous notes lead the way but are rapidly replaced by a massive lingering bitterness and wild funk. Given the significant Brett character in the aroma and flavour, I’m quite surprised at the relatively weak head retention and lacing, which is the only real flaw (though admittedly a relatively minor one) in this otherwise impressive beast of a beer. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

2 Crows Brewing Dare to Dream – Saison at 5.4% ABV | 21 IBU

2 Crows Brewing Dare to Dream Saison at 5.4% ABV | 21 IBU (C$5.27 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 28-Sep-2018, acquired 4-Dec-2018, reviewed 17-Dec-2018)

Appearance: slightly murky brown with one fat finger of rocky ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap, moderate stringy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: lime leaves, coriander, doughy wheat, citrus, coffee. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mildly tart finish. (4/5)

Not your typical Saison, and the darkness and spice load certainly make it less refreshing than I would look for in the prototypical style. However, for a closing-in-on-Christmas brew, it works reasonably well. A solid offering from 2 Crows, if not quite at the top of their range. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Zero Issue Brewing Shackleton Space Saison (Issue 9) – Saison at 5.2% ABV

Zero Issue Brewing Shackleton Space Saison (Issue 9) Saison at 5.2% ABV (C$3.47 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 27-Aug-2018, acquired 4-Dec-2018, reviewed 17-Dec-2018)

Appearance: opaque pale straw with one fat finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: coriander, bright citrus, banana. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate-high carbonation, off-dry slightly funky finish. (4/5)

“Space Saison”, huh? OK, sure, why not? Not a lot to report here, but there doesn’t really need to be: it’s just a solidly well-done Saison, refreshing and flavourful without being too sweet or boozy. Mostly clean, but with jut a hint of farmhouse funk. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Spearhead Brewing Company Moroccan Brown – American Brown Ale at 6% ABV | 35 IBU

Spearhead Brewing Company Moroccan Brown American Brown Ale at 6% ABV | 35 IBU (2018 Craft Beer Advent Calendar #17, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 30-Nov-2018, reviewed 17-Dec-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy medium amber with two fingers of pillowy ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: toffee & brown sugar, dark dried fruits, cinnamon, light metallic. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body tending slightly thin, moderate carbonation, medium duration lightly spicy finish. (3/5)

A light metallic note mars an otherwise interesting aroma profile reminiscent of much heavier styles. It largely pulls off punching above its weight despite the relatively light ABV, with the exception of the aforementioned metallic note in both the aroma and finish. Not a bad beer overall, but I can’t help thinking it would be better off in a bottle than a can. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Persephone Brewing Company Double IPA -American Double / Imperial IPA at 9% ABV | 85 IBU

Persephone Brewing Company Double IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 9% ABV | 85 IBU (C$13.10 at Collective, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 4-Dec-2018, reviewed 16-Dec-2018)

Appearance: hazy deep gold with two fingers of rocky ivory head, good retention and moderate stringy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, tropical fruit, pine, grainy caramel, floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, slightly sticky lingering bitter mildly warming finish. (4/5)

Traditional West Coast-ish old school DIPA. Big malt is nonetheless barely sufficient to support even bigger hops, making for beefy good fun. The aromas and flavours aren’t particularly bright, which might be age but it’s hard to tell because, you guessed it, no bottle date. Still and all, I’d have it again. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Village Brewery Neighbour Canadian Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.1% ABV | 26 IBU

Village Brewery Neighbour Canadian Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5.1% ABV | 26 IBU (2018 Craft Beer Advent Calendar #16, 473 ml, packaged on 31-Jul-2018, acquired 30-Nov-2018, reviewed 16-Dec-2018)

Appearance: clear medium gold with two fingers of rocky off-white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: caramel, pine, herbal, citrus pith. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (4/5)

I’ve classified this as an American Pale Ale, but I guess if you take their (non-existent) classification of “Canadian Pale Ale” at face value, it should perhaps be considered a hybrid of American and English. Certainly it’s more English than American, with malt dominating over woody herbal hops and relatively little citrus. It’s all right, but not exactly exciting. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Big Rig Brewery Big Rig Premium Pilsner – Pilsener at 5.2% ABV

Big Rig Brewery Big Rig Premium Pilsner Pilsener at 5.2% ABV (2018 Craft Beer Advent Calendar #15, 473 ml, packaged on 30-Jul-2018, acquired 30-Nov-2018, reviewed 15-Dec-2018)

Appearance: clear straw with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: mild, grainy pale malt, grass, hint of honey/corn syrup. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, low bitter. (7/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, clean crisp finish. (4/5)

Wait, what? It’s a Pilsener, and it says “Premium” on the can – and it’s good? I mean, yeah, I just spent 3 hours driving with two kids and a dog, but still – this is solid. I would actually drink this again. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Canmore Brewing Company Chocolate Maple Porter – American Porter at 5.3% ABV

Canmore Brewing Company Chocolate Maple Porter American Porter at 5.3% ABV (2018 Craft Beer Advent Calendar #14, 473 ml, packaged on 31-Jul-2018, acquired 30-Nov-2018, reviewed 14-Dec-2018)

Appearance: clear ruby brown with two fingers of rocky beige head diminishing fairly rapidly to a thin cap, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: chocolate, roasty malts, smoke, light maple sugar & metallic. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, sticky moderate bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

On the up side, at least it’s more seasonal than the majority of the calendar offerings so far. In my opinion, though, the body is really too thin for the high sweetness and roasted/ashy notes. Despite elevated sweetness that’s presumably attributable to the maple, there’s very little maple in the aroma, which is dominated by roasted malt verging on burnt. There’s also a slight metallic that’s not entirely welcome. It’s OK, but I wouldn’t go looking for it again. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Prince Edward Island Brewing Company Rogue’s Roost IPA – English IPA at 6% ABV

Prince Edward Island Brewing Company Rogue’s Roost IPA English IPA at 6% ABV (2018 Craft Beer Advent Calendar #13, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 30-Nov-2018, reviewed 13-Dec-2018)

Appearance: hazy and particulate-laden pale amber with two fat fingers of fluffy growing ivory head, excellent retention and well-defined lacing. (4/5) Aroma: grainy caramel malt, grassy, floral, citrus, brown sugar, light pine, light cheese/butyric. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

I’m officially pizened with the calendar. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Odin Brewing Company Baldr the Brut – American IPA at 8.1% ABV | 28 [?] IBU

Odin Brewing Company Baldr the Brut American IPA at 8.1% ABV | 28 [?] IBU (C$8.42 at Collective, 650 ml, packaged on 24-Aug-2018, acquired 4-Dec-2018, reviewed 12-Dec-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with three fingers of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: mild, citrus, floral/herbal, grainy caramel, pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry moderate bitter mildly warming finish. (4/5)

Hey, I’m bald(e)r and a bit of a brut(e), so this is my beer! This might be the beefiest Brut I’ve tried so far (well, excluding a couple of European Bières de Champagne, but I don’t think they use enzymes to achieve their higher attenuation) and it definitely shows, with the boozy finish the bottle promises. I’m going to blame the choice of Motueka and Lemondrop hops for the mild aroma here: the one’s an ANZ hop but more like a Super Saaz than anything, and I’ve yet to find an implementation of Lemondrop that actually had big citrus flavour. Pleasant enough, I suppose, but not really next-level. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com