Category Archives: Reviews

Beer reviews

Peak Organic Brewing Company Hop Blanc – Belgian IPA at 6.4% ABV

Peak Organic Brewing Company Hop Blanc Belgian IPA at 6.4% ABV (2014 Advent Calendar #4, 355ml, bottle date 05/27/14)

Pours hazy straw with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, patchy lacing. (3/5) Nose is citrus, peaches, floral, Belgian yeast, wheat. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter, mild spice. (8/10) Light body, moderate to low carbonation, lingering and building bitter finish. (4/5)

Well, that was a pleasant surprise. The higher scores notwithstanding (I was young and foolish then) the two Peak Organics in last year’s advent calendar were a bit disappointing. This one, on the other hand, is a decently done Belgian IPA – pleasantly hoppy and aromatic, with a crisp bitterness. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Microbrasserie Les Trois Mousquetaires Grande Cuvée Réserve De Noël – Spiced Red Lager at 10% ABV

Microbrasserie Les Trois Mousquetaires Grande Cuvée Réserve De Noël Spiced Red Lager at 10% ABV ($13.97 at NLC Howley Estates  750ml, bottle date 6-Nov-2014)

Pours clear deep amber with a one finger of light tan head diminishing gradually to a thin ring, no lacing. (4/5) Nose is strongly spicy ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, medicinal hops. (8/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, mild bitter. (8/10) Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, mildly bitter warming finish. (4/5)

I like it. It’s so heavily spiced that it actually reminds me of ginger beer – but I like ginger beer! The ABV is very well-integrated (or perhaps masked by the spice) to the point that this is a seriously dangerous tipple. I’ve yet to have an LTM brew I didn’t like, and this is no exception. I’d go so far as to say that this could well be the best lager I’ve ever had. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Penpont Brewery Chateau Civrac Old Ale – Old Ale at 7.5% ABV

Penpont Brewery Chateau Civrac Old Ale Old Ale at 7.5% ABV (2014 Advent Calendar #3, 330ml, best before 1/2016)

Pours clear pale to medium amber with one finger of loose light tan head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, patchy lacing. (3/5) Nose is caramel malt, grassy and earthy hops, mild fruit. (6/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderately strong bitter, vinous and oaky astringency. (7/10) Medium body tending to the watery, low carbonation, lingering and building bitter finish, slight warming. (3/5)

I’d’ve called this more a bitter than an old ale. I don’t get a lot of the supposed wild yeast character, either – perhaps a little tartness midway through, but I think it’s more present in the bitterness of the finish, which seems to combine bitterness from both hops and wild yeast, along with the woody winey tones. The ABV is integrated to the point of being essentially undetectable except as a very mild warming starting halfway through the bottle. (14/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Bellwoods Brewery Lambda (2014) – Abt / Quad at 11% ABV

Bellwoods Brewery Lambda (2014) Abt / Quad at 11% ABV (Via trade, 500ml, bottle date 21-Mar-2014)

Pours clear deep ruby with a fluffy tan head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, no lacing. (4/5) Nose is complex – dark fruit, figs, raisins, brown sugar, vinous oak. (10/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate sour. (9/10) Full body, prickly carb, mildly funky sour warming finish. (4/5)

Great – complex boozy quad, but the ABV doesn’t intrude. I was expecting more brett funk, but it’s actually extremely mild – most of the complexity is red wine oakiness. Very, very good. I’m starting to think Bellwoods might actually justify living in The Big Smoke. (17/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Teerenpeli Panimo & Tislaamo Teerenpeli Hippaheikki – ESB at 4.7% ABV

Teerenpeli Panimo & Tislaamo Teerenpeli Hippaheikki ESB at 4.7% ABV (2014 Advent Calendar #2, 330ml, best before 2/2015)

Pours clear pale gold with a short, short-lived white head, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is crackery and biscuity malt, grassy hops, faint fruit and citrus. (6/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderately strong bitter. (7/10) Light to medium body, low carbonation, lingering and building bitter finish. (3/5)

A fairly standard light ESB, with perhaps a little more emphasis on the bitter, and pleasantly low sweetness. The body, yeast, and malt are all quite light for the style. Pleasant enough with dinner, but not really worth looking for again. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Nøgne Ø (Hansa Borg) God Advent – Winter Warmer at 10% ABV

Nøgne Ø (Hansa Borg) God Advent Winter Warmer at 10% ABV (2014 Advent Calendar #1, 250ml, bottle date 26-Mar-2014, best before 26-Mar-2018)

Pours hazy medium to deep amber with a short light tan head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is toffee malt, dark fruit, yeast, some pine resin. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter, mild alcohol. (7/10) Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter and spicy finish with a distinct alcohol warming. (4/5)

Nice boozy winter warmer. Good balance of toffee sweetness and mild pine resin hops, with dark boozy fruit. I figure a winter warmer should be a dark boozy fruitcake in a glass, and this is pretty much that. A good start to the advent calendar! (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Garrison Brewing Company Winter Warmer – Winter Warmer at 7% ABV

Garrison Brewing Company Winter Warmer Winter Warmer at 7% ABV ($2.67 at NLC Howley Estates, 341ml, bottle date 10-Nov-2014)

Pours clear deep amber with a short, short-lived light tan head, no lacing. (4/5) Nose is nutmeg, cinnamon, caramel malt, maybe some cloves. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter, mild alcohol. (7/10) Medium to full body, moderate to low carbonation, lingering bitter and spicy finish with a distinct alcohol warming. (4/5)

Decent winter warmer. No off flavours at all, spices are well-balanced and while emphatic, not overwhelming. The ABV is definitely present, as should be the case for a winter warmer. Ticks all the boxes, without being overly memorable. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Boston Beer Company Samuel Adams White Christmas – Witbier at 5.8% ABV

Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) Samuel Adams White Christmas Witbier at 5.8% ABV ($2.50 at NLC Kelsey Drive, 355ml, best before 1-Mar-2015)

Pours hazy pale gold with a short, short-lived white head, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is muted wheat, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange peel. (5/10) Taste is moderate sweet and mild bitter. (5/10) Light to medium body, moderate carbonation, bitter orange peel finish. (3/5)

Oh, look, a witbier for people who don’t like witbiers and/or can’t spell witbier. Pretty bland, although there is a little bit of a lingering orange peel bitterness that’s not bad, and the moderately high ABV is fairly well integrated. It’d do in a pinch. (12/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Microbrasserie Les Trois Mousquetaires Hors Série Gose – Gose at 3.8% ABV

Microbrasserie Les Trois Mousquetaires Hors Série Gose Gose at 3.8% ABV ($4.26 at Bishop’s Cellar, 341ml, bottle date 7-Jun-2014)

Pours cloudy gold with a short, short-lived white head, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is muted wheat, lemon, and salt, faint coriander, slightly sour. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet and bitter, moderate sour, mild salt. (7/10) Light body, low carbonation, moderate tart slightly salty finish. (4/5)

Light and easy to drink, with just a little salt that works well with the mild tart sourness. Could be nice as a palate cleanser during a meal, or just as a nice summer afternoon beer on the deck. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Rogue Ales Voodoo Doughnut Pretzel, Raspberry & Chocolate Ale – Fruit Beer at 5.4% ABV

Rogue Ales Voodoo Doughnut Pretzel, Raspberry & Chocolate Ale Fruit Beer at 5.4% ABV ($12.99 at Sobeys Liquor Silverado, 750ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear brown with red highlights, one finger light tan diminishing gradually to thin skim, moderate lacing  (4/5) Nose is raspberry, milk chocolate, biscuity yeasty malt. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter, mild sour, mild salt. (6/10) Medium body, prickly carbonation and mild bitter and tart berry finish. (3/5)

Well, that’s a bit of a kitchen sink – what’d they do, throw everything at it, and see what sticks? It’s not bad, but ultimately what it ends up tasting like, particularly with the prickly carbonation, is cola. Maybe raspberry cola, but cola. Smells a bit better than it tastes, but ultimately doesn’t work all that well. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com