Category Archives: Reviews

Beer reviews

Brouwerij De Ranke Père Noël – Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7% ABV

Brouwerij De Ranke Père Noël Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7% ABV ($9.99 from South Trail Co-Op, 750ml, best before 08/2018)

Pours clear to cloudy pale amber with two fingers of rocky white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, patchy lacing. (4/5) Nose is fruity Belgian yeast, caramel malt, slight spice. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter. (9/10) Medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, slightly sticky and off-dry bitter finish. (4/5)

Nice departure from the more normal dark and heavily-spiced Christmas beers. Lots of Belgian character with a pleasant festive dessert feel. Lingering bitter finish and an almost-but-not-quite funky horseblankety tang. I like this a lot. (18/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Quidi Vidi Brewing Company Mummer’s Brew (2014) – American Amber / Red Ale at 5% ABV

Quidi Vidi Brewing Company Mummer’s Brew (2014) American Amber / Red Ale at 5% ABV ($2.63 from NLC Kelsey Drive, 341ml, bottle date 13-Nov-2014)

Pours clear medium amber with a short finger of off-white head diminishing rapidly to nothing, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is mild caramel malt, some roasted tones, minimal hops. (5/10) Taste is mild sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Light to medium body, moderate to low sustained carbonation, fairly rapid mildly bitter finish. (4/5)

Despite the name (a reference to an old Newfoundland Christmas tradition of visiting neighbours and performing while in disguise) this doesn’t have any of the traditional “winter warmer” characteristics or spices. Pretty standard amber ale – nothing offensive, and nothing special. (10/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Route des Épices – Spice/Herb/Vegetable at 8% ABV

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Route des Épices Spice/Herb/Vegetable at 8% ABV ($2.95 via Beer Club Offering #14, 341ml, bottle date 17-Nov-2014)

Pours clear medium amber with a short finger of off-white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (3/5) Nose is muted, spicy peppercorns, rye, pale malt. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter, moderate pepper. (7/10) Medium body, low sustained carbonation, mildly peppery finish. (4/5)

A little odd but quite drinkable – certainly better than some of the chile beers I’ve tried. The spiciness comes across as mild peppercorns, giving a gentle heat in combination with the rye sharpness and hop bitter. Not a beer for everyone, certainly, but I enjoyed it. Perhaps a little better than the sum of its parts. (16/20)

My 128th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 122nd by the 2013 Edition, and 134th combining both editions.

7.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Clown Shoes Beer Pecan Pie Porter – American Porter at 8% ABV

Clown Shoes Beer Pecan Pie Porter American Porter at 8% ABV ($12.20 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 650ml, bottle date 1-Oct-2014)

Pours opaque brown/black with one finger of tan head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, excellent lacing. (4/5) Nose is dark chocolate, coffee, roasty dark malts, bourbon, faint nuttiness. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter. (8/10) Full body, low sustained carbonation, sticky boozy and mildly bitter finish. (4/5)

A bit disappointing in that I’m not getting a lot of the pecan – I would’ve liked to try this when it was still Genghis Pecan. For all that, a pleasantly boozy yet well-balanced higher ABV porter. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Aphrodisiaque – American Stout at 6.5% ABV

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Aphrodisiaque American Stout at 6.5% ABV ($3.54 via Beer Club Offering #14, 341ml, bottle date 4-Nov-2014)

Pours opaque brown/black with one finger of tan head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is dark chocolate, coffee with milk, roasty dark malts, vanilla. (9/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter. (9/10) Full slightly creamy body, low sustained carbonation, sticky mildly bitter finish. (4/5)

Excellent. Nice complexity of bitter flavours from the roasted malts, with the usual suspects of coffee and dark chocolate making appearances, but tempered by a lactose sweetness that adds a milky flavour, assisted by the creamy texture. The hop bitterness is not first apparent, but is gradually revealed during the long complex finish. Another stellar beer from DDC. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

New Belgium Brewing Company / Perennial Artisan Ales – Lips of Faith Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout at 9%

New Belgium Brewing Company / Perennial Artisan Ales Lips of Faith – Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout American Double / Imperial Stout at 9% ABV ($12.20 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 650ml, best before 27-Mar-2016)

Pours opaque brown with one finger of tan head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is dark chocolate, roasty dark malts, mild dark fruits, faint smoke and salt. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, mild bitter, mild salt. (7/10) Full body, low sustained carbonation, sticky mildly bitter and salt finish. (4/5)

Not unpleasant by any means, but I have to say I was expecting more of a salted chocolate punch. Both flavours are there, but restrained. Which, probably, is a more sophisticated approach than the beast I was anticipating. (Guess I’m just unsophisticated at heart.) Nicely balanced and restrained almost to the point of delicate. (16/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Unibroue Don de Dieu – Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 9% ABV

Unibroue Don de Dieu Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 9% ABV (Via trade, 341ml, bottle date 13-Nov-2011)

Pours hazy deep gold with some particulate, one finger of white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is bready yeast, apples and pears, spices. (7/10) Taste is moderate bitter, mild sweet, mild tart. (7/10) Light to medium body, prickly to moderate sustained carbonation, and a dry mildly bitter and tart finish. (3/5)

Some cidery apple notes and a doughy, bread-like yeast initially dominate the flavour. As that fades, there’s a moderate bitter and a mild tartness that linger. Despite the quick recession of the head, there’s significant champagne-like carbonation that persists all the way to the end of the glass. The high ABV is seriously well-hidden, making this a very sneaky sipper. The character is about what I’d expect given its long cellaring, but that’s by no means a negative. That being said, I’ll have to try it again fresh, just for comparison. (15/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brasserie Dupont Biere de Miel (Biologique) – Saison at 8% ABV

Brasserie Dupont Biere de Miel (Biologique) Saison at 8% ABV ($2.85 from Solo Liquor Copperfield, 250ml, best before 03/2015)

Pours cloudy medium gold with lots of suspended particulate, one finger of white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is honey, apples, floral, mild citrus and funk. (7/10) Taste is mild to moderate sweet, mild bitter. (7/10) Light to medium body, low carbonation, and an off-dry mildly bitter finish. (3/5)

Flavour is dominated by honey, fruit, and floral, but there’s a definite Belgian yeast character and dusty funk in the background.  Not unpleasant, but there’s a distinct feeling of age and I can’t help but wonder how this tastes new. A little disappointing by comparison to the Saison Dupont. (12/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) Old Fezziwig Ale – Winter Warmer at 5.9% ABV

Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) Old Fezziwig Ale Winter Warmer at 5.9% ABV ($2.50 from NLC Kelsey Drive, 341ml, best before 1-Mar-2015)

Pours clear deep amber with a short, short-lived light tan head, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is bready malt, holiday spices, some roasty notes. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate to low sustained carbonation, and an off-dry bitter finish. (3/5)

Starts off a bit on the sweet side, but the malt kind of dies halfway through and leaves… well… not a lot backing it up. Spices are reasonably restrained, though, and it’s fairly drinkable. Serviceable but nothing too special. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Quidi Vidi Brewing Company Winter Ale – Winter Warmer at 6% ABV

Quidi Vidi Brewing Company Winter Ale Winter Warmer at 6% ABV ($2.50 from NLC Kelsey Drive, 341ml, bottle date 14-Dec-2014)

Pours clear deep amber with a short, short-livedlight tan head, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is citrus, coffee, chocolate, and smoky something or other. (5/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild smoke. (5/10) Medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, and an off-dry bitter finish. (3/5)

I’m not convinced. There’s a not-entirely-identifiable smoky flavour that isn’t doing it for me. The mouth feel tends to the thin side for a winter warmer, and there’s a lack of spiciness or richness. In my experience, QV tends to be hit and miss, and I think this one is more “miss,” than “hit”. (10/20)

5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com