Category Archives: Reviews

Beer reviews

Great Lakes Brewery My Bitter Wife IPA – American IPA at 7.0% ABV

Great Lakes Brewery My Bitter Wife IPA American IPA at 7.0% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy pale amber with one finger of tight white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap and well-defined lacing. Nose is pine, citrus, tropical fruit, pale malt. Taste is hoppy bitter with just a little supporting malt sweetness. Medium to full body, moderate sustained carbonation, and a strongly bitter, dry finish.

A decent hop-forward A/IPA that comes quite close to being a DIPA. The malt is well-balanced, albeit to a lower malt / higher hop character. The higher ABV is quite well-integrated as well. The bitterness has a slight harshness, though, particularly on the finish, that prevents a higher score.

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Muskoka Brewery Muskoka Harvest Ale – American Pale Ale at 7.0% ABV

Muskoka Brewery Muskoka Harvest Ale American Pale Ale at 7.0% ABV

(2013 Vintage Re-reviewed after one year cellaring) Pours a clear medium to deep amber with two fingers of fine tan head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and moderate patchy lacing. Nose is caramel malt, grassy and earthy hops, slight pine. Taste leads out sweet, giving way to herbal and piney hop bitterness. Medium body, medium to light carbonation, and a sticky, bitter finish.

Interesting – I was a bit worried that I had killed this by cellaring it, particularly since there was some fluffy mould on the outside of the cork, but it’s still very drinkable. (I cleaned the mould with vinegar before opening the cork, and cleaned the neck before pouring.) There’s still quite a bit of hop character in the nose and on the tongue, and the aging may have mellowed the pine bitterness somewhat, but all in all, this might be something that one could age for a couple of years, just for fun. Might have to do that with the new vintage. (And yes, the new score is lower than the original – that’s a reflection of my own scoring recalibration, and not of this beer having gone downhill with time.)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Pabst Brewing Company Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) – American Adjunct Lager at 4.7% ABV

Pabst Brewing Company Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) American Adjunct Lager at 4.7% ABV

Pours a clear straw with one finger of foamy white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, no lacing. Nose is corn and grainy malt. Taste follows suit. Light body and watery mouth feel, with moderately high carbonation.

Foul. It doesn’t smell as if there’s something actually nasty going on in there, but it sure tastes that way. Cheap, horrible swill. Actual sink pour territory – I couldn’t finish it. Literally the only reason I tried this was to get the tick in my 1001 Beers list, and I regret it. No joke – do not waste your time by subjecting your taste buds to this. This makes Bud Light or Molson Canadian look like a top-shelf alternative.

My 108th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 102nd by the 2013 Edition, and 111th overall.

3/10 #1001beers   #ryansbooze  ryansbooze.com

Sawdust City Brewing Company Lone Pine IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Sawdust City Brewing Company Lone Pine IPA American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Pours a clear pale amber with an enthusiastic three fingers of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and moderate spotty lacing. Nose is bright and big, pine resin and citrus, with some pineapple and sweet caramel malt. Taste follows suit, with brief caramel sweetness followed immediately by tropical fruit and pine resin bitterness. Medium body, with moderate sustained carbonation and a lingering sticky bitterness on a dry finish.

Well, that’s a whole lot of fun! Big, bright hops on the nose, followed up by a whole lotta hops on the tongue. The flavour is nicely balanced between sweet malt and big hops at the outset, with the hops then growing by leaps and bounds. The sharpness gets a little aggressive on the finish, but not to the point of being unbalanced.

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Founders Brewing Company Centennial IPA – American IPA at 7.2% ABV

Founders Brewing Company Centennial IPA American IPA at 7.2% ABV

Pours a pale amber with a short ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, moderate lacing. Nose is bright grassy and floral hops, pineapple, grapefruit, bready caramel malt. Taste starts with light grassy hop, then sweet tropical fruit before the pine resin rounds it out. Medium body with moderate sustained carbonation with a sticky, lingering bitter resin finish.

Very pleasant, balanced IPA. Except for the lingering finish, where the bitter takes over (and I don’t mean that negatively), the malt sweetness integrates beautifully with the hop bitter, both in the nose and on the tongue. Neither are overwhelming, and this is hoppy without being a hop bomb. The moderately high ABV is also well-integrated, becoming apparent only most of the way through the pint, as a gentle warming. I’d consider this a highly sessionable ale.

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Nøgne Ø / Bridge Road India Saison – Saison at 7.5% ABV

Nøgne Ø / Bridge Road India Saison Saison at 7.5% ABV

Pours a cloudy pale gold with a short white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, light lacing. Nose is Belgian yeast, citrus and piney hops, light hay and barnyard funk. Taste is mildly sweet, bitter and slightly sour and spicy. Medium body and slightly creamy, with low carbonation and an intensely bitter lingering dry finish.

A sort of strange beer, that grew on me after an initial period of bafflement. Ultimately, though, it’s exactly what it says on the label, having characteristics of both IPA and saison. I think I want another one…

7.5/10  #ryansbooze  ryansbooze.com

Samuel Smith Old Brewery Taddy Porter – English Porter at 5.0% ABV

Samuel Smith Old Brewery Taddy Porter English Porter at 5.0% ABV

Pours a deep ruby brown with a short-lived tan head diminishing to a thin skim and no lacing. Nose is dark roasted (almost smoky) malt, coffee, chocolate, dark fruit. Taste follows suit completely. Medium body, soft carbonation, and a pleasant short bitter finish.

Decent, well-behaved porter. Malty without being too sweet, dark without being too bitter, and a light body – all in all, very drinkable.

My 108th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 102nd by the 2013 Edition, and 111th overall.

8/10  #1001beers   #ryansbooze  ryansbooze.com

Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery Shoulders of Giants – American Double/Imperial IPA at 10.0% ABV

Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery Shoulders of Giants American Double/Imperial IPA at 10.0% ABV

Pours a clear pale amber with a short off-white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, light lacing. Nose is intense pine resin, mango and grapefruit, caramel malt, and a little booziness as it warms. Taste is brief caramel malt before tropical fruit and citrus bitterness. Medium to heavy body, low carbonation, and a syrupy, sticky, spicy, bitter finish.

Big beer – really big beer. “BOTTLED FEB/03/14 RESPECT THE HOP” Seven months old and still lots of hop to respect! Aggressive nose and even more aggressive flavour, with a huge peppery finish. The 86 IBU’s are so busy pounding your taste buds into submission that the 10% ABV sneaks by nearly completely unnoticed. Oh! And the cap! “Without ME, it’s just AWESO.” Yes. Yes, it is. Thank you for noticing.

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe Indica – American IPA at 5.8% ABV

Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe Indica American IPA at 5.8% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy pale gold with one fat finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, light lacing. Nose is dank hops (yes, pot), grapefruit, and light malt. Taste leads out with light malt before a citrus rind bitterness. Medium body, low carbonation, and a lingering bitter finish.

No bottle date (come on, people!) so I can’t evaluate how bright the hops are supposed to be. This bottle is dominated by dank weedy hops, smelling very much like the marijuana it’s named after. If that’s the intent, well, mission accomplished – but I suspect there might once have been some lighter citrus in there that’s faded a bit. Not a bad IPA by any means, and not quite as much of a one-trick pony as some of the single-hop ales I’ve had, but still a little one-dimensional.

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

New Belgium Brewing Company Hop Kitchen #6 / Odell FOCOllaboration Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 6.7% ABV

New Belgium Brewing Company Hop Kitchen #6 / Odell FOCOllaboration Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 6.7% ABV

Pours a pale amber with one fat finger of pillowy off-white head, great retention and well-defined lacing. Nose is bright piney and citrusy hops, light malt. Taste is balanced sweet malt, floral and citrusy hops, tropical fruit. Medium body, smooth texture, low carbonation and a long bitter finish.

Really excellent APA! Beautiful bright hops balanced with just the right amount of light sweet malt. The beautiful dense head keeps the aromas and flavour from dissipating no matter how long you linger over the pint.

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com