Category Archives: Reviews

Beer reviews

Brauerei Aying Celebrator – Dopplebock at 6.7% ABV

Brauerei Aying Celebrator Dopplebock at 6.7% ABV ($4.42 at South Trail Co-Op, 330ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear deep brown with deep amber around the margins, one fat finger of light beige head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, minimal lacing. (4/5) Nose is dark fruits (raisins), chocolate and roasted malts. (9/10) Taste is moderate sweet and mild bitter. (9/10) Light to medium body, slightly oily texture, low sustained carbonation, lingering bitter, slightly smokey finish. (4/5)

Excellent traditional dopplebock. The ABV is very well-integrated, and is apparent in neither the nose or the taste, but only as a gentle warming toward the end of the glass. Surprisingly light body and texture given the appearance. Definitely appropriate as a winter warmer at whatever midwinter celebration you observe. (18/20)

My 120th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 113th by the 2013 Edition, and 123rd overall.

9/10 #1001beers   #ryansbooze  ryansbooze.com

Wychwood (Marstons plc) Black Wych – English Stout at 5% ABV

Wychwood (Marstons plc) Black Wych English Stout at 5% ABV ($3.99 at NLC Sobey’s Mount Pearl, 500ml, best before 20-Jul-2015)

Pours nearly black with hints of ruby around margins, two fingers of beige medium-density head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is muted, roasty malts and coffee, faint dark fruit. (6/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate lingering bitter. (7/10) Light to medium body, moderate to low sustained carbonation, decent bitter finish. (4/5)

Continuing with the Halloween theme for the evening. [Ed: Oversight on my part – not sure how/why this didn’t get posted 4 days ago when I wrote this, but here it is now.] And actually, not bad at all. A little confusion as to whether this is a porter or a stout – it seems like the description used to be a “Spellbinding Stout”, but now it’s “A Dark Mysterious Spellbinding Porter”. Well, either way, it’s a decently bitter dark beer with a little dark malt sweetness. Body is definitely thin for a stout, and actually on the thin side for a porter, but overall it’s fairly drinkable. (12/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Central City Brewing Red Racer Imperial IPA – Imperial/Double IPA at 9.0% ABV

Central City Brewing Red Racer Imperial IPA Imperial/Double IPA at 9.0% ABV ($8.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale amber with two fingers of off-white head, excellent retention, well-defined heavy lacing. (5/5) Nose is caramel malt, pithy citrus, pine resin. (8/10) Taste is moderate to strong sweet, moderate to strong bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, strongly bitter finish. (4/5)

Just a little too much emphasis on the malt for my taste. Not “malt forward”, as such, but a balanced malt/hop presence – and for a DIPA, that’s too much malt for my preference. And yes, perhaps I’m damning it with faint praise, because overall it’s very well done, and very dangerous – that 9% ABV doesn’t make any sort of appearance at all until well into the second glass – but it could’ve been so much better with just a little tweak of the grain bill. Mind you, that being said, I’m wondering if maybe it’s the Maris Otter that I’m not the biggest fan of… Regardless, this is an excellent DIPA, and hard to beat for the price. And damn, is it pretty. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

New Belgium Brewing Company Lips Of Faith Le Terroir – Sour/Wild Ale at 7.5% ABV

New Belgium Brewing Company Lips Of Faith – Le Terroir Sour/Wild Ale at 7.5% ABV ($19.49 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650ml, 2014 vintage)

Pours hazy deep gold with limited/no head, no lacing. (4/5) Nose is intense funk, strong sour cherries and lemons, some peaches and sweet fruit. (9/10) Taste is mildly sweet and intensely sour. (9/10) Medium body, low to still carbonation, dry tartly sour finish. (4/5)

Oh yeah – think I’m gonna get another two or three of these for cellaring. This is sort of similar to La Folie, but in the “family resemblance” sense, not “identical twins”. If La Folie were a red wine, Le Terroir would be a white. And yeah, that does mean that I prefer La Folie – but not by a whole lot. This is a really good Belgian-level sour that can pretty much hold its own against a Cantillon. (18/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Maine Beer Company Mo – American Pale Ale at 6.0% ABV

Maine Beer Company Mo American Pale Ale at 6.0% ABV ($8.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 500ml, bottle date October 14, 2014)

Pours hazy pale gold two fingers of off-white head, great retention, moderate to heavy lacing. (4/5) Nose is citrus, pine, tropical fruit, caramel malt. (9/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate to low sustained carbonation, dry medium bitter sudden finish. (4/5)

A very nice APA – juicy fruit flavours and an excellent appearance really promise a great experience… which doesn’t quite materialize. The taste, while decent, is slightly less interesting than what was promised by the nose. The soft carbonation ends up making this feel just a little on the flat side, and the finish dies a little abruptly. Now that I think about it, a little higher carbonation might well have solved all the issues. In any case, I wanted to like this more than I do – and that’s not to say I don’t like it, but I don’t love it as much as I thought I might. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Parallel 49 Brewing Company Lost Souls Chocolate Pumpkin Porter – American Porter at 6.5% ABV

Parallel 49 Brewing Company Lost Souls Chocolate Pumpkin Porter American Porter at 6.5% ABV ($5.49 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear ruby brown with amber-brown highlights, one finger of light beige head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, minimal lacing. (3/5) Nose is dark roasty malt, dark chocolate, light vanilla, faint spices and earthiness. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Light to medium body, soft carbonation, medium bitter finish with some acidity. (3/5)

Not getting much of the ginger and pumpkin that are claimed to be in here – but that doesn’t bother me too much, all things considered. Almost a vinous quality on the flavour, particularly as it warms, and some earthiness that might be pumpkin or just the Fuggles hops. Pretty much a straight-up porter with not a lot to distinguish or recommend it. Decent without being memorable or exciting. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mill St. Brewery Mill Street Pilsner – Pilsener at 5.2% ABV

Mill St. Brewery Mill Street Pilsner Pilsener at 5.2% ABV (On tap at Mill Street Brewpub Toronto International Airport)

Pours clear deep gold with one finger of white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, minimal lacing. (3/5) Nose is pale bready malt, light grassy hops. (6/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Light body, moderate carbonation, long bitter finish. (3/5)

Bottom of the barrel – last one here, on tap or in bottles, that I haven’t tried. A fairly authentic, German-tasting pilsener. Which is to say, fairly boring. Although it’s a little dark for the style, which is fine by me, that’s not really enough to rescue it from the doldrums of mediocrity. (10/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

MolsonCoors Molson Canadian Light – American Light Lager at 4.2% ABV

MolsonCoors Molson Canadian Light American Light Lager at 4.2% ABV (On tap at Maple Leaf Lounge)

Pours clear pale straw with a fluffy two finger white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, moderate lacing. (3/5) Nose is grainy corn and rice adjunct flavours, faint weedy grassy hops. (2/10) Taste is light sweet, minimal bitter. (2/10) Light watery body, fizzy to moderate carbonation, short dry finish. (2/5)

Not even “free” makes this drinkable. But, a tick is a tick. (5/20)

3/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Angry Orchard (Boston Beer Company) Strawman Farmhouse Hard Cider – Cider at 10% ABV

Angry Orchard (Boston Beer Company) Strawman Farmhouse Hard Cider Cider at 10% ABV ($14.95 at Dominion Stavanger, 750ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours cloudy straw with a short-lived white head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is sour apple and funky yeast, grapes and oak. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter, mild oaky vinous funk. (8/10) Medium body, fizzy carbonation, short dry finish. (4/5)

Quite a bit better than I was expecting, actually, given my last Angry Orchard cider – a “Crisp Apple” that really wasn’t. Crisp, I mean – it was apple, for sure. This, on the other hand, is crisp. And apple. And funky. And vinous. And oaky. And really a fair bit of fun. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Bellwoods Brewery Witchshark – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9% ABV

Bellwoods Brewery Witchshark American Double / Imperial IPA at 9% ABV (Price unknown, via trade, bottle date 10-Oct-2014)

Pours clear pale amber with two fingers of medium-dense off-white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, heavy chunky lacing. (4/5) Nose is pithy citrus and pine, caramel malt, mango and pineapple. (9/10) Taste is mild sweet and sharply bitter. (9/10) Medium body, low carbonation, lingering intensely bitter finish. (4/5)

Boy oh boy I’m liking the Bellwoods IPA’s. This is the Boogie Monster on steroids – heavier body, more intense hoppiness, and a higher ABV, but possibly a bit more polished. Intensely bitter and hoppy, but not harsh. Really quite excellent, if only slightly better than Boogie Monster and Roman Candle. (17/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com