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Beer reviews

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

Brauerei Heller Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen – Rauchbier at 5.1% ABV

Brauerei Heller Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen Rauchbier at 5.1% ABV

Pours a deep amber-brown with a thin finger of light tan head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and moderate lacing. Nose is dominated by mild to moderate smoked malt, with faint Bavarian hops in the background. Taste is sweet dark malt and moderate smoke, building as the pint progresses. Body is lighter than appearance suggests, with carbonation diminishing gradually from lively to moderate at the end of the pint, and a lingering smoky, bitter finish.

Not as smoky as I was expecting, to be honest. The bottle claims an “intense smoky aroma and flavour”, but I’d say it’s at most moderately smoky. It might very well be overwhelming or shocking to someone who wasn’t expecting it, but I found it to be quite well-behaved and approachable. Still not my favourite style, but I could see this growing on me somewhat with further experimentation.

My 107th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 101st by the 2013 Edition, and 110th overall.

7.5/10 #1001beers   #ryansbooze  ryansbooze.com

BrewDog Punk IPA – American IPA at 5.6% ABV

BrewDog Punk IPA American IPA at 5.6% ABV

Pours a hazy gold with one finger of ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, well-defined lacing. Nose is bright citrusy and floral hops and very little malt. Taste is similar, pine resin and pineapple, grapefruit and mango, with a moderate but not overwhelming pale malt background. Body is light to medium, with medium carbonation and a lingering bitter finish.

I’d love to try this fresher, this being three months past its best before, but the fact is, the hops are still reasonably bright even so. Pleasantly hoppy, without being a palate wrecker.

My 106th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 100th by the 2013 Edition, and 109th overall.

8/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij de Molen Blikken & Blozen – Saison at 8.5% ABV

Brouwerij de Molen Blikken & Blozen Saison at 8.5% ABV

Pours a pale amber with two fingers of loose light tan head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, medium spotty lacing. Nose is citrusy and fruity hops, moderate caramel malt, slight peppery bite, some floral perfume. Taste is caramel malt, dark fruit, slightly sour yeasty bitterness. Medium to full body, soft carbonation, and a slightly sticky finish.

I’m sorry, “saison”? What? Maybe, just maybe, you might call it an “Imperial Saison”, if such a beast existed (does it?) but otherwise I’d have to say this isn’t a saison. On a blind test, I’m sure I’d call this an IIPA/DIPA. That’s not to say it’s not a fine brew – it is – but I really don’t see how it’s a saison. The Amarillo and Citra hops work well in the aroma, and the high ABV is very well integrated in the overall flavour.

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Big Rock Brewery Cherry Bomber – Fruit Beer at 5.0% ABV

Big Rock Brewery Cherry Bomber Fruit Beer at 5.0% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy pinkish deep gold with two fingers of fluffy off-white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and no lacing. Nose is muted, wheat, sour cherry, light malt, faint yeast and grassy hops. Taste is grainy malt, faint sugary cherry, very mild yeast and hops. Medium body, low sustained carbonation, and a slightly metallic aftertaste.

Well, I went into this not expecting much, and I wasn’t disappointed. No, wait, I was disappointed, but not exactly surprised. But I was smugly pleased with myself for predicting my disappointment and lack of surprise, so that’s good, I guess?

5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Wild Rose Brewery Wild Rose Gose Rider – Gose at 4.0% ABV

Wild Rose Brewery Wild Rose Gose Rider Gose at 4.0% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy bright straw yellow with one finger of dense white head, excellent retention and light to moderate lacing. Nose is citrus, salt, with faint wheat and coriander. Taste is is similar, leading with salty citrus and finishing slightly sour. Medium to light body, with moderate sustained carbonation.

Dunno if this is all that representative of the style, since the brewers seem to have worked from theory instead of direct experience. Mind you, since the style actually went extinct, that’s kind of true across the board. What causes me more concern is the “Enjoy by 09/01/2013”, making me wonder if it’s a little less tart than it should be. That being said, it’s not bad – the tartness makes it fairly refreshing, but I’m not sure the saltiness actually adds anything.

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Coronado Brewing Company Sock Knocker – Imperial/Double IPA at 8.5% ABV

Coronado Brewing Company Sock Knocker Imperial/Double IPA at 8.5% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy medium gold with one finger of white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate lacing. Nose is emphatic pine and citrus hops backed up with mild bready malts. Taste is pine resin and citrus hops balanced nicely with a mild caramel sweetness. Medium body, moderate slightly tingly carbonation, and lingering spicy bitterness.

Nice! Hops fill the room the instant the bottle is uncapped. Loads of hops on the nose and the tongue make this an IIPA of the hop-forward variety (which we all know is the best variety). Consider my socks knocked, if not off, at least loose.

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Elysian Brewing Company Avatar Jasmine IPA – American IPA at 6.3% ABV

Elysian Brewing Company Avatar Jasmine IPA American IPA at 6.3% ABV

Pours a cloudy brilliant orange with one finger of white head diminishing gradually to a moderate cap, well-defined lacing. Nose is bright jasmine, floral hops, light sweet and bready malts. Taste starts out bready and caramel sweetness, quickly followed by floral and citrus hops. Medium body, medium to low carbonation, and mild lingering bitterness.

I gotta say, I like this a whole lot more than I thought I would. The delicate jasmine flower aroma works very well with the Amarillo hops so that even though it’s only 40 IBU, the hoppy floral presence holds its own very well against the sweet malt background. The appearance is quite nice as well – yeah, it’s cloudy, but that doesn’t bother me, and the head is very well-behaved, trapping the floral hoppy aroma and generating a perfect lacing ring for nigh-on every sip. I’d like a little more perkiness from the carbonation, but otherwise the mouth feel is spot-on.

My 105th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 99th by the 2013 Edition, and 108th overall.

8.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Timothy Taylor & Co. Limited Timothy Taylor Landlord – Bitter at 4.1% ABV

Timothy Taylor & Co. Limited Timothy Taylor Landlord Bitter at 4.1% ABV

Pours a deep copper with a short finger of off-white head, excellent retention and spotty moderate lacing. Nose is fresh light English-style hops and light caramel malt. Taste follows suit, balanced sweet malt and dry, almost earthy hops. Medium body with sustained, almost prickly carbonation and a lingering bitter finish.

Now, that’s a decent bitter. Sufficient malt to support the earthy dry hops, but not so much that the sweetness is overwhelming. I’ve been pretty down on English beers lately – other than IPA’s, obviously – but this is quite nice.

My 104th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 98th by the 2013 Edition, and 107th overall.

7.5/10   #1001beers #ryansbooze   ryansbooze.com