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Beer reviews

Evil Twin Brewing Freudian Slip – Barleywine at 10.3% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Freudian Slip Barleywine at 10.3% ABV (C$4.55 via Beer Club Offering #15, 355 ml, bottle date 1-Dec-2014)

Pours clear deep amber with a short, short-lived head, minimal lacing. (4/5) Nose is burnt sugar, dark fruits, floral, faint oak. (7/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, mild bitter. (7/10) Medium body, prickly sustained carbonation, off-dry and boozy warm finish. (4/5)

Barleywines don’t tend to be my favourite style, but this one is quite pleasant. Not too heavy or sweet, with an understated ABV. Not quite a sessionable every day drinker, but not far off. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing Low Life – Pilsener at 5.5% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Low Life Pilsener at 5.5% ABV (C$3.32 via Beer Club Offering #15, 355 ml, bottle date 3-Dec-2014)

Pours slightly hazy pale gold with one finger of loose white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (3/5) Nose is herbal, grassy, pale bready malt, some citrus. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, mild bitter. (7/10) Light to medium body, prickly to moderate carbonation, off-dry and crisp finish. (4/5)

A non-traditional but pleasant pils. Definitely hoppier than a true pilsener, and with a heavier body – but those aren’t negatives as far as I’m concerned. I guess the truth is, I want every beer to taste like an IPA. This one tends to that flavouring, so it’s a win with me. (15/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing Molotov Cocktail – American Double / Imperial IPA at 13% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Molotov Cocktail American Double / Imperial IPA at 13% ABV (C$4.55 via Beer Club Offering #15, 355 ml, bottle date 6-Nov-2014)

Pours slightly hazy deep gold with one finger of medium ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (3/5) Nose is caramel malt, tropical fruit, pine, citrus. (7/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, strong bitter. (7/10) Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, slick slightly syrupy and warming finish. (4/5)

A big DIPA with a well-integrated double digit ABV that comes through as a pleasant boozy warmth in the finish. It’s definitely more sweet than I would prefer, but not overwhelmingly so – I’d prefer more hop-forwardness. Good without being great. (15/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Ninkasi Brewing Company Total Domination – American IPA at 6.7% ABV

Ninkasi Brewing Company Total Domination American IPA at 6.7% ABV (C$8.29 at Quarry Park Co-Op, 330 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear medium gold with two fingers of dense ivory head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is pithy grapefruit, pine, caramel malt. (7/10) Taste is low sweet, strong bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, dry slightly astringent and metallic finish. (4/5)

Pleasantly dry IPA with a well-integrated ABV and pronounced but not overwhelming bitterness. The slight metallic note in the finish is a bit of a negative, but overall a solid performer. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast – Oatmeal Stout at 7.5% ABV

Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Oatmeal Stout at 7.5% ABV (C$6.09 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, best before 20-May-2019)

Pours a solid inky black with two fingers of medium chocolate brown head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, café latte, mild liquorice and dark fruit. (9/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Full bodied, low sustained carbonation and a mild bitter finish. (4/5)

A very nice coffee and oatmeal stout, but not quite as smooth as the Brunch Weasel. There’s a little bitterness in the finish that I found completely absent in the Brunch Weasel, and fact is, on a dollar-per-ABV basis, the price is about the same. Comparing $10.49 for the 10.9% ABV Brunch Weasel, to $6.09 for the 7.5% ABV Breakfast, I’d go for the Brunch Weasel over this. (17/20)

My 144th from the 2010 Edition (138th from the 2013 edition), and 154th combining both editions.

8.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

To Øl Dangerously Close to Stupid – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.3% ABV

To Øl Dangerously Close to Stupid American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.3% ABV (C$7.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, best before 11-Mar-2016)

Pours cloudy pale gold with a fat finger of dense ivory head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is pithy citrus, pine, peaches, mango, caramel malt. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, strong bitter, mild peppery spice. (8/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly spicy finish. (4/5)

Lots of flavour and a very well-behaved ABV. And yeah, it’s a 100 IBU hop bomb, but it’s not overwhelming, because it’s fairly well-supported by the caramel malt. I like it. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Baird Brewing Company Brewer’s Nightmare Rye IPA – American IPA at 7.5% ABV

Baird Brewing Company Brewer’s Nightmare Rye IPA American IPA at 7.5% ABV (C$4.29 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, bottle date 12-Jun-2014)

Pours hazy deep gold with one finger of dense off-white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, moderately heavy lacing. (4/5) Nose is pithy citrus, pine, caramel malt, grassy rye. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderately strong bitter, moderate peppery spice. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly spicy finish. (3/5)

Went into it with pretty low expectations, given the swing-and-a-miss quality of the last two Baird Beers I tried. But actually, not bad at all. The rye is mild, giving just a little black pepper edge to a decently bitter underlying IPA. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Baird Brewing Company Asian Beauty Biwa Ale – Fruit Beer / Radler at 5.5% ABV

Baird Brewing Company Asian Beauty Biwa Ale Fruit Beer / Radler at 5.5% ABV (C$4.29 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, bottle date 7-Jul-2014)

Pours cloudy and particulate-laden pale amber with one finger of loose ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate lacing. (3/5) Nose is muted, stone fruit, prunes and plums, caramel malt, light peppery spice. (5/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter, slight tart. (5/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, quick finish. (3/5)

Meh. The fruit is too subtle to really consider this a radler, and it seems a little oxidized. Not all that thrilling. (10/20)

5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Baird Brewing Company Wabi Sabi Japan Pale Ale – Spice/Herb/Vegetable at 6% ABV

Baird Brewing Company Wabi Sabi Japan Pale Ale Spice/Herb/Vegetable at 6% ABV (C$4.29 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, bottle date 26-Jul-2014)

Pours cloudy and heavily particulate-laden deep gold with two fingers of loose ivory head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is wasabi, green tea, citrus, overripe fruit, faint sour lactic. (5/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter, mild tart. (5/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly spicy finish. (3/5)

Well, that’s weird. And not in a good way, either. The green tea isn’t bad, but there’s a distinct sour milk note that just isn’t working for me. I don’t think it’s the wasabi, but I’m not sure what it really is. Not doing it for me. (10/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mikkeller American Dream Gluten Free – Czech Pilsener at 4.6% ABV

Mikkeller American Dream Gluten Free Czech Pilsener at 4.6% ABV (C$5.09 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, best before 16-Oct-2015)

Pours hazy pale gold with two fingers of rocky ivory head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is citrus, pine, biscuity malt, some floral. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderately strong bitter. (8/10) Light to medium body, lively carbonation, texture somewhere between creamy and oily, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

That’s got to be the best gluten-free beer I’ve ever tried – not that the bar was set all that high in that regard. I’d like to try the regular one for comparison, just to see how much of a hit the gluten-free incurs. A little too bitter to call it a sessionable thirst-quencher style pilsener, but quite good despite that – nothing wrong with having a nice, flavourful beer with a low ABV. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com