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Beer reviews

Big Rock Brewery Dead Reckoning Royal IPA – American IPA at 7.5% ABV

Big Rock Brewery Dead Reckoning Royal IPA American IPA at 7.5% ABV

Pours a clear coppery amber with two fingers of foamy off-white head gradually diminishing to a thin skim and moderate lacing. Nose is biscuity toffee malt, citrus, and spicy, earthy hops. Taste is pretty similar. Mouth feel is medium-bodied, with medium to low carbonation and an off-dry finish.

Now this is a little more like it – not a bad little IPA, though a more aggressive hop profile wouldn’t hurt.

7/10 #ryansbooze

Unibroue Éphémère Cerise – Fruit Beer at 5.5% ABV

Unibroue Éphémère Cerise Fruit Beer at 5.5% ABV

Pours a clear orangish pink with three fingers of fluffy faintly pink head, gradually compacting to a short dense cap and no lacing. Nose is predominantly cherry, very faint sour funk and perhaps a hint of malt. Taste is much less intense than suggested by the nose, cherry flavour reminiscent of cough syrup, but with low sweetness, slight yeast and pepper. Mouth feel is light-bodied, with persistent effervescent carbonation.

Not very exciting. The sweetness level is not bad, but the intensity of the fruit flavour could be higher, as could the sourness. The carbonation is sustained without being aggressive, with a champagne character. Improves with the lees poured into the final tulip, amping up the yeast flavour. Not bad, but not thrilling.

7/10 #ryansbooze

Le Trou Du Diable Saison Du Tracteur – Saison / Farmhouse Ale at 7.0% ABV

Le Trou Du Diable Saison Du Tracteur Saison / Farmhouse Ale at 7.0% ABV

Pours a cloudy medium gold with a huge fluffy head, good retention, and minimal lacing. Nose is floral hops, citrus, yeast, and coriander, with a little barnyard funk. Taste is similar, with a peppery edge. Medium-bodied with prickly carbonation, mild warming, and a lingering bitter dry finish.

Very pleasant saison. Just enough funk to make it interesting, without making it challenging or aggressive. I like the little rye bite, as well. Lots of chunky yeast at the bottom of the bottle, but I don’t consider that a negative – you shouldn’t be able to see through your beer, anyway!

8.5/10 #ryansbooze

Gigantic Brewing Company Gigantic IPA – American IPA at 7.3% ABV

Gigantic Brewing Company Gigantic IPA American IPA at 7.3% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy light amber with a foamy white head, good retention, and moderate lacing. Nose is light pine and citrus hints balanced with light cereal malt. Taste leads out with sweet caramel and biscuit, becoming moderately bitter with pine and citrus notes. Medium body, slightly sticky and astringent, with a slightly tart, mildly warming finish.

A little maltier than I prefer my IPAs, but still nicely balanced and quite drinkable. Relatively light in both aroma and flavour, with no west coast funk.

8/10 #ryansbooze

Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Sorachi Ace – Saison / Farmhouse Ale at 7.6% ABV

Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Sorachi Ace Saison / Farmhouse Ale at 7.6% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy pale golden with one finger of white head, good persistence and moderate spotty lacing. Nose is dusty funk and citrus with some malt. Taste is dusty and bitter, caramel malt, with a bitter and floral aftertaste. Medium body, moderate to low carbonation.

Not my cup of tea. I’ve had Sorachi hops before, and had the same reaction. Musty and dry, without much malt.

6/10 #ryansbooze

Maine Beer Company Peeper Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV

Maine Beer Company Peeper Ale American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy golden straw with a fat finger of fluffy, soapy head with great retention and spotty, chunky lacing. Nose is mild grassy and herbal hops, citrus and light bready malt. Taste is similar, with light hoppy citrus and biscuit malt. Body is light and smooth, with soft carbonation and a medium dry bitter finish.

A solid APA, crisp and refreshing. Restrained ABV and a light body make this an excellent summer beer.

8.5/10 #ryansbooze

Brouwerij Liefmans Cuvee-Brut – Kriek / Flemish Red at 6.0% ABV

Brouwerij Liefmans Cuvee-Brut Kriek / Flemish Red at 6.0% ABV

Pours a deep ruby with an enthusiastic three finger light mauve head diminishing gradually to a half finger cap and moderate sticky lacing. Nose is cherry and malt vinegar with woody and slight funky notes. Taste is well-balanced medium sweet and sour, with little bitterness. Medium body, medium to low carbonation, with a lingering dry finish.

Lots of cherry without being overwhelming, and no cough syrup character. Just enough sweetness to temper the moderate sourness makes this a very pleasant and approachable sour. In fact, I think this is the beer that led me down the path to the true sours. Very good, but a little too middle of the road to be ranked as great.

8.5/10 #ryansbooze #1001beers

Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA – American IPA at 6.0% ABV

Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA American IPA at 6.0% ABV

Pours a crystal clear copper amber with two fingers of persistent fluffy head and moderate sticky lacing. Nose is grapefruit and floral hops, caramel malt. Taste leads out with caramel malt giving way to piney hops. Body is medium, with sustained carbonation and a bitter dry finish.

Surprisingly decent IPA for a pseudo-craft label like Sam Adams. The finish is a little on the harsh side, with a little saccharine sweetness, but fairly serviceable should you find yourself facing limited options.

(The label? Beats me – it was a gift/trade. I assume it spent some time in an ice bucket.)

6/10 #ryansbooze

Okanagan Spring Brewery Apricot Summer Weizen – Wheat Ale / Fruit Beer at 5.0% ABV

Okanagan Spring Brewery Apricot Summer Weizen Wheat Ale / Fruit Beer at 5.0% ABV

Pours a hazy gold with a two finger creamy off-white cap, decent retention and moderate lacing. Nose is artificial and overwhelming apricot, with additional fruit, sugary malt, and perfume. Taste is dominated by apricot, with little or no wheat presence. Light body, moderate carbonation, semi-sweet saccharine finish.

Blah. Regardless of whether it’s actually fake or not, it tastes fake. And when I say “perfume”, I don’t mean “hot chick on the elevator” perfume, I mean “grandma in the nursing home, vain attempt to mask the ever-pervasive odour of urine” perfume. It’s not quite as bad as a macro lager, but let’s face it, what is? I honestly can’t see a scenario in which I ever have another one of these, that doesn’t also involve ice-pick lobotomies.

5/10 #ryansbooze

Micro-brasserie Le Trou Du Diable Shawinigan Handshake – Weizen Bock at 6.5% ABV

Micro-brasserie Le Trou Du Diable Shawinigan Handshake Weizen Bock at 6.5% ABV

Pours a cloudy straw with a foamy two finger white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim and moderate spotty lacing. Nose is very Belgian – lots of bananas, cloves, and bubblegum, with just a hint of cinnamon and spruce. Taste follows suit, with a distinct peppery bite. Medium bodied, with decent carbonation and a lingering off-dry finish.

This bottle had quite a bit of residue around the neck and cap, but it appeared to be just yeast, with no off flavours in the nose or taste. Definitely a characteristic weizenbock, with a strong clove character. Just as a little aside of Canadiana, the dude on the label looks nothing like the skater hippie who Chrétien actually throttled (the “Shawinigan handshake”), and actually bears a strong resemblance to Don Cherry.

8.5/10 #ryansbooze