Category Archives: Reviews

Beer reviews

Bomber Brewing Company / Stone Brewing Company Blood From A Stone Red Rye IPA – American IPA at 6.8% ABV

Bomber Brewing Company / Stone Brewing Company Blood From A Stone Red Rye IPA American IPA at 6.8% ABV (C$8.29 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear medium amber with two fingers of rocky light beige head, excellent retention and lacing. (5/5) Nose is sourdough, toasted malt, caramel, pithy grapefruit, pine resin, slight buttery diacetyl. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild to moderate sour. (7/10) Medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, off-dry lingering and building bitter finish. (4/5)

A decent rye IPA. In my ever-so-humble opinion, there’s always a bit of a tightrope act required with this style: generally speaking, you want enough malt sweetness to keep the rye sourness from becoming overwhelming, but not so much that you end up completely overshadowing the hop bitterness. In this case, there’s a nicely-pronounced rye edge, and the caramel malt actually isn’t overly pronounced. The problem is that the hops don’t seem to be keeping up their end of the deal, and are just a bit on the muted side – not enough to wreck the beer, but enough to make it a little less bright than I’d like to see it. (14/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Coronado Brewing Company Frog’s Breath – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Coronado Brewing Company Frog’s Breath American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$10.75 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear (first glass) to cloudy and heavily particulate-laden (second glass) deep gold with two fingers of loose white head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is lime, pine resin, pale malt, mild honey. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild tart. (8/10) Medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, crisp bitter finish. (4/5)

I’ve been looking for this one for a while, pleased to have finally located one. Interesting lime leaf tones add a pleasant tart edge to that decent base IPA that Coronado seems to handle quite capably. Nothing negative here; a solid IPA with an interesting edge. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

YellowBelly Brewery Paddy’s Day Ale (2015) – English Pale Ale at 6.5% ABV

YellowBelly Brewery Paddy’s Day Ale (2015) English Pale Ale at 6.5% ABV (C$13.05 at NLC Howley Estates, 1 l, best before April 23, 2015)

Pours clear deep gold with two fingers of rocky white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Nose is grassy and herbal, pale malt. (6/10) Taste is medium sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Light to medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, off-dry lightly spicy and mild bitter finish. (3/5)

I don’t think this is as good as last year’s. The 2014 had a lot of pine resin, citrus, and fruit, while the 2015 is more a traditional English Pale. Not that that’s a surprise, I guess, since the label says it’s hopped with East Kent Goldings. To be fair, it’s decently well done, but I personally prefer the American-style hopping of the previous one. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Elysian Brewing Company Men’s Room Original Red – American Pale Ale at 5.6% ABV

Elysian Brewing Company Men’s Room Original Red American Pale Ale at 5.6% ABV (C$7.75 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, bottle date May 5, 2014)

Pours slightly hazy pale amber with one finger of loose light beige head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Nose is toasted malt, caramel, mild floral and citrus. (6/10) Taste is medium sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry and mild bitter finish. (3/5)

Sigh… I have regret. Not that this is a bad beer – it’s not. But it’s just what it says on the bottle: an original red. And that’s about all it is. Nothing interesting or memorable here. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

No-Li Brewhouse Born & Raised – American IPA at 7% ABV

No-Li Brewhouse Born & Raised American IPA at 7% ABV (C$8.50 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours slightly hazy pale amber with a fat finger of rocky light beige head, good retention and excellent lacing. (5/5) Nose is pithy grapefruit, caramel malt, pine resin, apricot and other fruit, hint of honey. (8/10) Taste is medium sweet, strong bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, slick and mildly warming finish. (4/5)

An upstart of an IPA with a DIPA attitude. Hops and malt trade places with alternating sips, but it’s all citrus and piney bitterness in the finish, with just a mild warming from the moderately beefy ABV. Some might consider it a hop bomb at 85IBU, but for me it’s a solid and well-built performer, with emphatic but not overwhelming bitterness. I might be being a little generous here, but not by a lot. (15/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing I Love You With My Stout – Imperial Stout at 12% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing I Love You With My Stout Imperial Stout at 12% ABV (C$$4.44 via Beer Club Offering #15, 355 ml, bottle date 31-Dec-2014)

Pours deep brown with deep amber highlights, one finger of dense beige head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is roasty malt, dark chocolate, liquorice, dark fruit, nutty and vinous. (8/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, moderately strong bitter. (8/10) Full body, moderate carbonation, slick and warming finish. (4/5)

Starts off with a sweet, almost honey-like, dark malt, giving way to vinous dark fruits and finishing with a lingering bitter and alcohol warming. That’s not to say the double-digit ABV is intrusive, because it certainly isn’t. Flavours are complex, changing and opening up as it warms. Big and bombastic, for sure, but not overly hot even when young. I’m going to cellar one and see how it develops. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Gigantic Brewing Company Intensify – Belgian IPA at 8.1% ABV

Gigantic Brewing Company Intensify Belgian IPA at 8.1% ABV (C$10.75 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale amber with two fingers of dense off-white head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is floral, tropical fruit, citrus, pine resin, slight banana, light caramel. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter, slight earthy funk. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

A decently well-balanced combination of both Belgian and IPA flavours, with a little funk. Nothing too interesting, but nothing unpleasant, either. I could go for another one of these. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing Freudian Slip – Barleywine at 10.3% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Freudian Slip Barleywine at 10.3% ABV (C$4.55 via Beer Club Offering #15, 355 ml, bottle date 1-Dec-2014)

Pours clear deep amber with a short, short-lived head, minimal lacing. (4/5) Nose is burnt sugar, dark fruits, floral, faint oak. (7/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, mild bitter. (7/10) Medium body, prickly sustained carbonation, off-dry and boozy warm finish. (4/5)

Barleywines don’t tend to be my favourite style, but this one is quite pleasant. Not too heavy or sweet, with an understated ABV. Not quite a sessionable every day drinker, but not far off. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing Low Life – Pilsener at 5.5% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Low Life Pilsener at 5.5% ABV (C$3.32 via Beer Club Offering #15, 355 ml, bottle date 3-Dec-2014)

Pours slightly hazy pale gold with one finger of loose white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (3/5) Nose is herbal, grassy, pale bready malt, some citrus. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, mild bitter. (7/10) Light to medium body, prickly to moderate carbonation, off-dry and crisp finish. (4/5)

A non-traditional but pleasant pils. Definitely hoppier than a true pilsener, and with a heavier body – but those aren’t negatives as far as I’m concerned. I guess the truth is, I want every beer to taste like an IPA. This one tends to that flavouring, so it’s a win with me. (15/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing Molotov Cocktail – American Double / Imperial IPA at 13% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Molotov Cocktail American Double / Imperial IPA at 13% ABV (C$4.55 via Beer Club Offering #15, 355 ml, bottle date 6-Nov-2014)

Pours slightly hazy deep gold with one finger of medium ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (3/5) Nose is caramel malt, tropical fruit, pine, citrus. (7/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, strong bitter. (7/10) Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, slick slightly syrupy and warming finish. (4/5)

A big DIPA with a well-integrated double digit ABV that comes through as a pleasant boozy warmth in the finish. It’s definitely more sweet than I would prefer, but not overwhelmingly so – I’d prefer more hop-forwardness. Good without being great. (15/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com