Category Archives: Reviews

Beer reviews

Central City Brewers + Distillers / Torque Brewing Across the Nation Collaboration: Half Way IPA – White IPA at 6% ABV | 54 IBU

Central City Brewers + Distillers / Torque Brewing Across the Nation Collaboration: Half Way IPA White IPA at 6% ABV | 54 IBU (C$2.47 at NLC Stavanger, 355 ml, packaged on 11-Apr-2018, acquired 13-Jul-2018, reviewed 16-Jul-2018)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of loose off-white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: grainy wheat, citrus zest, pine, earth, spice. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter, light peppery spice. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry bitter slightly spicy finish. (4/5)

Not very “white”, but other than that, a solid enough offering. I’m not sure if there’s actually any spice in this, or whether the earthy, almost coriander-like spiciness is coming from the wheat. It works well with the bitterness, though, resulting a cleaner, more-ish mouth feel. I fly over Manitoba a lot, and never really had reason to stop there – but maybe checking out Torque Brewing might be sufficient justification? (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Central City Brewers + Distillers / Rebellion Brewing Co. Across the Nation Collaboration: Put A Cherry on Hop – American IPA at 6% ABV | 20 IBU

Central City Brewers + Distillers / Rebellion Brewing Co. _Across the Nation Collaboration: Put A Cherry on Hop_ American IPA at 6% ABV | 20 IBU _(C$2.47 at NLC Stavanger, 355 ml, packaged on 27-Mar-2018, acquired 13-Jul-2018, reviewed 15-Jul-2018)_

Appearance: clear pale amber with one finger of loose off-white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: cherry, caramel, lactose, vanilla, faint weedy hops. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate tart, light bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, sweetish mild tart slightly sticky finish. (3/5)

Lots of cherry, not much hop. (Or milkshake, for that matter, though there’s a bit of creamy lactose going on.) I tried three of Rebellion’s offerings on my last trip to SK, and found them to be solid, but somewhat short of great. We’re in similar territory here. I find the sweetness excessive, but freely admit that’s a personal preference, and that others might be OK with it. Other than that, my biggest complaint is the relative absence of hop character despite having it in the name. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Central City Brewers + Distillers / Trailway Brewing Co. Across the Nation Collaboration: Three Beasts – American IPA at 6.6% ABV | 52 IBU

Central City Brewers + Distillers / Trailway Brewing Co. Across the Nation Collaboration: Three Beasts American IPA at 6.6% ABV | 52 IBU (C$2.47 at NLC Stavanger, 355 ml, packaged on 10-Apr-2018, acquired 13-Jul-2018, reviewed 14-Jul-2018)

Appearance: clear deep gold with one finger of loose off-white head diminishing rapidly to a thin ring, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, caramel, pine, herbal. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-low carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

The label notes say the three beasts are the three hops used, but doesn’t specify the varietals. Based on the aroma, I’m guessing nothing too exciting, perhaps some usual suspects starts-with-C. “Nothing too exciting” describes the beer overall, actually: there’s nothing off here, and it’s solidly enough done, but it’s certainly not next-level stuff. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Central City Brewers + Distillers / Yukon Brewing Across the Nation Collaboration: Northern Nectar – American Pale Ale at 5.4% ABV | 27 IBU

Central City Brewers + Distillers / Yukon Brewing Across the Nation Collaboration: Northern Nectar American Pale Ale at 5.4% ABV | 27 IBU (C$2.47 at NLC Stavanger, 355 ml, packaged on 6-Apr-2018, acquired 13-Jul-2018, reviewed 14-Jul-2018)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one finger of loose off-white head diminishing rapidly to a thin ring, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: honey, bready malt, herbal, grass. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, light astringent. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-low carbonation, off-dry mild bitter astringent finish. (3/5)

Fairly disappointing, considering I generally quite like Central’s IPAs – though, truth be told, once you get outside that core competency, things tend to fall off a cliff. I guess factoring in my less-than-impressed history with Yukon, overall it makes sense that this would fail to wow me. I guess this is sort of what it claims on the label, with honey leading the way, but overall it’s just not very interesting, with a weedy, grassy edge that ends up being almost astringent, rather than bitter. It’s not terrible, but if anything I’m being generous with this score, which could be half a point or more lower on the overall. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Other Half Brewing Double Dry Hopped Dream In Green – American IPA at 6.2% ABV

Other Half Brewing Double Dry Hopped Dream In Green American IPA at 6.2% ABV (Trade – thanks, Norm!, 945 ml, packaged on 22-Mar-2018, acquired 12-Jul-2018, reviewed 12-Jul-2018)

Appearance: opaque deep gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim and ring, moderate well-defined soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: floral, tropical fruit, orange, pine, cream, oats. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-low carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Quite similar to the Forever Ever – hell, visually identical – but not quite simply a full-strength version of it. For one thing, the aroma is more floral, and the creamy lactic is somewhat less pronounced. Still a juicy milkshake, and maybe just a hair nicer overall, but only barely. I just checked, and this is hopped with Citra, Motueka, and Wai-Iti – so, pretty much my all-time favourite, plus two ANZ hops, which are perennial favourites of mine. No wonder I like this balance so much! (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Other Half Brewing Forever Ever – Session IPA at 4.7% ABV

Other Half Brewing Forever Ever Session IPA at 4.7% ABV (Trade – thanks, Norm!, 945 ml, packaged on 22-Mar-2018, acquired 12-Jul-2018, reviewed 12-Jul-2018)

Appearance: opaque deep gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim and ring, moderate well-defined soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: orange, tropical fruit, pine, cream. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-low carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Very nice NE-style Session IPA. Lots of tropical fruit and citrus on the nose, but restrained bitterness on the tongue. Definitely both juicy and easy-drinking, with a hint of lactic that makes it almost creamsicle-like. Really good stuff. Would probably be slightly better if the carbonation were at full strength, but I’ll take my growler fill and be happy with it! (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Fuller, Smith & Turner PBC Vintage Ale 2012 – Old Ale at 8.5% ABV

Fuller, Smith & Turner PBC Vintage Ale 2012 Old Ale at 8.5% ABV (C$9.00 via Trade – thanks, Allan Johnson!, 500 ml, best before 31-Dec-2022, acquired 18-Aug-2014, reviewed 10-Jul-2018)

Appearance: clear deep amber with one fat finger of fluffy ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap and persistent ring, good retention and moderate spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel, raisins, light toffee. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, moderate-high carbonation, sticky building bitter warming finish. (4/5)

I tired this immediately after finishing a two year younger version. Definitely some variations on the aroma, which is almost exclusively malt, with no hint of the citrus from the 2014, and milder, raisin-like dark fruit. Body is identical, with a slight slickness despite the uncharacteristically elevated carbonation, and the sticky, warming finish is basically identical as well. Not clearly preferable, but equally enjoyable as a slow sipper. (16/20)

My 260th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die, 250th from the 2013 edition, and 274th combining both editions.

8/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Fuller, Smith & Turner PBC Vintage Ale 2014 – Old Ale at 8.5% ABV

Fuller, Smith & Turner PBC Vintage Ale 2014 Old Ale at 8.5% ABV (C$9.49 at NLC Stavanger, 500 ml, best before 31-Dec-2024, acquired 3-Dec-2014, reviewed 10-Jul-2018)

Appearance: clear deep amber with one fat finger of fluffy ivory head, good retention and moderate spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel, dark fruit, light citrus, hint of toffee. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, moderate-high carbonation, sticky building bitter warming finish. (4/5)

I initially had this classified as an English Barleywine, but appear to be outvoted by the usual suspects. And yeah, I guess I could be convinced of that classification, thinking of Old Ale as “Barleywine Lite”. The body is somewhat lighter than typical for a Barleywine, and in particular the carbonation is surprisingly high for such an otherwise imposing offering. The sticky, warming finish, though, would be right at home with a Barleywine. I’m getting only hints of the purported American hopping in this one, which is hardly surprising considering it’s been in the bottle for more than four years now. Big and enjoyable, but a definite slow sipper. (16/20)

My 260th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die, 250th from the 2013 edition, and 274th combining both editions.

8/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brasserie D’Orval S.A. Orval – Belgian Pale Ale at 6.9% ABV | 36 IBU

Brasserie D’Orval S.A. Orval Belgian Pale Ale at 6.9% ABV | 36 IBU (C$7.79 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, packaged on 14-Oct-2014, best before 14-Oct-2019, acquired 16-Oct-2015, reviewed 9-Jul-2018)

Appearance: clear pale amber with two fat fingers of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: dry horseblankety funk, citrus, clove, caramel, floral. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild funk. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, dry mild bitter and funky finish. (4/5)

I cellared this one for nearly three years, mainly to see what would happen to the Brett – and, oh yeah, it came out to play in all aspects. Appearance-wise, the bottle nearly overflowed upon decapping, and the rocky ivory head continues to retain despite fairly loud effervescence. The aroma is dominated by a dry hay funk, and on the tongue it’s highly attenuated with a bone dry, slightly astringent funky finish. This is a masterful Trappist, excellent when fresh, but also well worth the effort of cellaring. (18/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij De Brabandere Petrus Blond – Belgian Blond Ale at 6.5% ABV | 24 IBU

Brouwerij De Brabandere Petrus Blond Belgian Blond Ale at 6.5% ABV | 24 IBU (C$3.60 at NLC Stavanger, 330 ml, best before 23-Aug-2019, acquired 4-Jul-2018, reviewed 8-Jul-2018)

Appearance: clear deep gold with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: bready malt, apple, floral, grass. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, light tart. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (3/5)

Hey, look at that – an ale that tastes like a lager. It’s not bad, actually, but I’m left wondering, why bother? (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com