Category Archives: Reviews

Beer reviews

Deschutes Brewery Obsidian – American Stout at 6.4% ABV

Deschutes Brewery Obsidian American Stout at 6.4% ABV (C$3.75 at Zyn, 355 ml, best before 7-Jun-2015)

Pours opaque deep brown with barely present brown highlights, two fingers of fluffy tan head, good retention and excellent lacing. (4/5) Nose is dark roasty malt, dark chocolate, coffee, toasted grain, mild liquorice and vanilla. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter. (8/10) Medium to full body, mild carbonation, dry and slightly warming finish. (4/5)

A very good stout, and only slightly “American” – the ABV is somewhat higher than most traditional English stouts and there’s a tiny hint of citrusy tartness in the finish, but that’s the extent of its variation from type. I’d like to try it on a nitro tap, though, for some extra smoothness. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Deschutes Brewery Black Butte – American Porter at 5.2% ABV

Deschutes Brewery Black Butte American Porter at 5.2% ABV (C$3.75 at Zyn, 355 ml, best before 29-Mar-2015)

Pours clear brown with amber-brown highlights, one finger of rocky tan head diminishing gradually to a thick cap and spotty lacing. (3/5) Nose is dark roasty malt, coffee and dark chocolate, mild liquorice and vanilla, slight earthy and citrus hops, very faint smoke. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter. (7/10) Medium body, soft carbonation, crisp mildly bitter finish. (4/5)

An interesting porter with a hint of earthy hops and a crisp, very slightly citrusy tart finish. A definite American twist on a style that tends to be a bit, well.. boring. It’s not an unreserved success, but it’s also not your grandpa’s porter, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. (14/20)

My 156th from the 2010 Edition (147th from the 2013 edition), and 166th combining both editions.

7/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Asahi Breweries Asahi Black – Dunkel at 5% ABV

Asahi Breweries Asahi Black Dunkel at 5% ABV (C$3.75 at Zyn, 334 ml, bottle date 1-Nov-2014 best before 1-Jul-2015)

Pours clear ruby brown with amber-brown highlights, one finger of rocky tan head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and spotty lacing. (3/5) Nose is dark roasty malt, coffee and mild chocolate, very light smoke. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Medium bodied tending to the watery, low carbonation, off dry and mildly bitter finish. (3/5)

Well, it’s better than I was expecting it to be. I mean, seriously? A Munich-style Dunkel from Japan? But all things considered, it’s pretty drinkable. Don’t get me wrong, it’s light to the point of it being a bit of a negative – some character would help here, but it’s definitely easy drinking. I had to laugh at the commercial description, though: “Unlike other, more bitter dark beers and stouts, it’s brewed in a process called bottom fermentation.” Oh, really? A corn and rice beer brewed through bottom fermentation? Sounds exotic, and not at all like a macro adjunct lager… (ahem)… (12/20)

My 155th from the 2010 Edition (146th from the 2013 edition), and 165th combining both editions.

6/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

3 Fonteinen Brouwerij Ambachtelijke Geuzestekerij Golden Doesjel – Gueuze at 6% ABV

3 Fonteinen Brouwerij Ambachtelijke Geuzestekerij Golden Doesjel Gueuze at 6% ABV (C$13.49 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 375 ml, bottle date 2-May-2015, best before 31-May-2023)

Pours hazy deep golden orange with a thin skim of white head diminishing rapidly to nothing, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is slightly muted, complex, horseblankety funk, tart citrus, woody and leathery, tobacco. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate tart, mild salt. (9/10) Medium bodied, zero carbonation, dry tart finish. (4/5)

A very good still gueuze. (“Doesjel” means “sleepy” – as in, it hasn’t been awoken by carbonation, geddit?) Because of the lack of carbonation, it comes across very similar to an unblended lambic, but this is in fact a blend of one, two, three, and four year-old lambics. (Really more like a tart uncarbonated white wine than most beers one could name.) The absence of carbonation means you can sip this for a long time, appreciating the changes in flavour as it warms and opens up. A lot of fun, and definitely worth trying for a sour aficionado, but not as good as the carbonated versions – I find the carbonation adds some texture and even some flavour, really livening it up and bringing it to the next level. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV Maredsous 8 Bruin – Abbey Dubbel at 5.2% ABV

Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV Maredsous 8 Bruin Abbey Dubbel at 5.2% ABV (C$4.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 500 ml, best before Jun-2015)

Pours clear deep amber with one finger of dense tan head diminishing gradually to a thick cap and moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is mildly boozy raisins and stone fruit, sweet dark malt, light floral. (8/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, mild bitter. (8/10) Medium bodied, soft carbonation, slightly oily and sticky finish. (4/5)

A very pleasant abbey dubbel. Surprisingly mild, light, and easy drinking given the fairly beefy ABV. (16/20)

My 154th from the 2010 Edition (retired from the 2013 edition), and 164th combining both editions.

8/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Badger (Hall & Woodhouse) Blandford Flyer – Premium Bitter/ESB at 5.2% ABV

Badger (Hall & Woodhouse) Blandford Flyer Premium Bitter/ESB at 5.2% ABV (C$4.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 500 ml, best before Jun-2015)

Pours slightly hazy pale amber with two fingers of soapy off-white head, good retention and excellent lacing. (4/5) Nose is ginger and not much else. (4/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, mild peppery spice. (3/10) Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, sticky finish. (2/5)

A bit of a sticky mess. Basically ginger beer, and certainly not an ESB. And not very good. Drank half, got bored, turfed it – there’s too much good beer out there to struggle through something like this. (8/20)

My 153rd from the 2010 Edition (retired from the 2013 edition), and 163rd combining both editions.

4/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Deschutes Brewery Chainbreaker – Belgian IPA at 5.6% ABV

Deschutes Brewery Chainbreaker Belgian IPA at 5.6% ABV (C$3.75 at Zyn, 355 ml, best before 5-Jun-2015)

Pours opaque straw with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, minimal spotty lacing. (3/5) Nose is orange peel, bready yeast, coriander, mild banana. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweetness, mild bitter, mild peppery spice. (6/10) Medium bodied, lively carbonation, dry and mildly bitter finish. (4/5)

A pleasant enough beer but really more like a witbier than an IPA in my opinion. Definitely one for a shady patio on a hot summer day. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beer Here Hopfix – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Beer Here Hopfix American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$6.00 at Zyn, 330 ml, best before 15-Apr-2015)

Pours clear amber-brown with three fingers of rocky tan head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is pine resin, grapefruit, tropical fruit, caramel malt, (7/10) Taste is moderate sweetness, strong bitter. (7/10) Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, lingering and building bitter finish. (4/5)

Bit of a hop bomb, but pleasant for all that. Never gets too over the top, and finishes reasonably clean. That said, I’m not sure this – or any of these Beer Here brews I’ve tried so far – are worth the premium. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beer Here Nordic Rye Ale – Roggenbier at 8% ABV

Beer Here Nordic Rye Ale Roggenbier at 8% ABV (C$11.20 at Zyn, 500 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear amber-brown with three fingers of pillowy tan head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is molasses, green spruce tips, bready caramel malt, floral. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter, slight spiciness. (6/10) Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, lightly spicy finish. (4/5)

Feels very nordic – the combination of spicy rye, green wood, and dark malt feels like something that would be very appropriate to drink in the nordic darkness waiting for spring to arrive… He said, drinking in the nordic darkness, waiting for spring to arrive. Definitely an old-fashioned, hearty brew. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beer Here Pale Hops – American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV

Beer Here Pale Hops American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV (C$9.00 at Zyn, 500 ml, best before 28-Feb-2015)

Pours clear pale amber with two fat fingers of pillowy tan head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is caramel and bready malt, pine and citrus. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, slightly oily finish. (4/5)

A somewhat malt forward APA that might be suffering slightly from a slight dimming of the hops as a result of being a little after its best-by. Nothing too dramatic or interesting, but solid. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com