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Wells & Young’s Brewery Courage Russian Imperial Stout – Russian Imperial Stout at 10% ABV

Wells & Young’s Brewery Courage Russian Imperial Stout Russian Imperial Stout at at 10% ABV (C$5.29 at Okotoks Co-Op, 275 ml, best before 16-Aug-2025)

Pours solid black with one finger of dense tan head, excellent retention and lacing. (5/5) Nose is roasty malts, chocolate and coffee, molasses, pear, vinous notes, slight smoke. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mildly bitter finish. (4/5)

A big yet not overwhelming brew. The double-digit ABV is fairly well-integrated, and is apparent only a a mild warming. The slight smokiness plays well with the dark toasted malt flavours, tempering the intensity of the molasses. Feels like it would cellar very well, even though the ABV is not overly hot. (16/20)

My 136th from the 2013 Edition (new to that edition), and 152nd combining both editions.

8/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Mikkeller Spontanpeach (2013) – Lambic / Fruit at 7.7% ABV

Mikkeller Spontanpeach (2013) Lambic – Fruit at 7.7% ABV (C$15.10 at Sherbrooke Liquor, 375 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours slightly hazy pale gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, no lacing. (4/5) Nose is vinegar, sour citrus, peach and apricot, light oak, mild horseblanket funk. (8/10) Taste is very low sweet, moderately strong tart. (8/10) Light body, prickly to moderate carbonation, dry tart finish. (4/5)

Fruit flavours, such as they are, are very muted in this: it tastes more like a straight lambic. Not a complaint, as such – just an observation. I wonder whether a fresher vintage has more fruit? Regardless, it’s pretty decent even as it is right now. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Brouwerij Oud Beersel Framboise – Lambic Style / Fruit at at 5% ABV

Brouwerij Oud Beersel Framboise Lambic Style – Fruit at at 5% ABV (C$18.60 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 375 ml, best before 13-Aug-2017)

Pours cloudy red with one finger of loose light pink head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, no lacing. (4/5) Nose is strong raspberries, sour cherries, mild funk. (8/10) Taste is very low sweet, mild bitter, moderate sour. (9/10) Light body, moderate carbonation, dry tart finish. (4/5)

That’s a heckuva nice fruit lambic. It initially smells like raspberry jam and the expectation is that it’ll be sweet – but it’s not, at all. Excellent fruit flavour and very mild sweetness gradually gives way to a traditional tart lambic character. Better than the framboises by Lindemans or Mort Subite, and comparable to the Boon – though definitely a bit short of the high water mark set by Cantillon. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Stift Engelszell Trappistenbier-Brauerei Gregorius Trappistenbier – Abt / Quadrupel at at 9.7% ABV

Stift Engelszell Trappistenbier-Brauerei Gregorius Trappistenbier Abt / Quadrupel at at 9.7% ABV (C$5.99 at South Trail Co-Op, 330 ml, best before 13-Feb-2016)

Pours cloudy brown with one finger of creamy dense light beige head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is dark malt, dark fruit, vinous and oaky. (7/10) Taste is moderate to strong sweet, mild bitter, very slight sour. (7/10) Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, warming mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Pleasant quad – lots of dark fruit and vinous notes, subtle warming from a near-double-digits ABV. Nothing spectacular (it is Austrian, after all, and not Belgian) but a decent enough trappist. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Russell Brewing Company A Wee Angry Scotch Ale – Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy at at 6.5% ABV

Russell Brewing Company A Wee Angry Scotch Ale Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy at at 6.5% ABV (C$3.50 at South Trail Co-Op, 341 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear brown with one finger of light beige head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is muted, burnt dark malt, coffee, treacle, oak. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering mild bitter finish. (3/5)

Fairly unremarkable wee heavy. It’s an OK interpretation, but not good enough to overcome my ambivalence towards the style. Maybe that’s a touch unfair, but I actually have had ones that did succeed in doing so, so… (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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East African Breweries – Diageo Tusker Lager – Pale Lager at 4.2% ABV

East African Breweries – Diageo Tusker Lager Pale Lager at 4.2% ABV ($4.29 at Quarry Park Co-Op, 500 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale straw with one finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is muted, grainy malt, light grassy and citrus hops. (3/10) Taste is moderate sweet, faint bitter. (3/10) Light watery body, moderate carbonation, off-dry crisp finish. (3/5)

Not much to say about this – typical adjunct lager. Fizzy, yellow, and watery. (8/20)

My 142nd from the 2010 Edition (retired from the 2013 edition), and 151st combining both editions.

4/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Amsterdam Brewery Boneshaker – American IPA at at 7.1% ABV

Amsterdam Brewery Boneshaker American IPA at at 7.1% ABV (C$3.00 at Liquor Depot McKenzie Town, 355 ml, bottle date 3-Dec-2014)

Pours hazy medium amber with three fingers of rocky light beige head, excellent retention and lacing. (5/5) Nose is pithy grapefruit, orange peel, pine resin, mild tropical fruit, caramel malt. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderately strong bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry bitter finish. (4/5)

Nice full-bodied IPA. A little on the malty side, but not overly so. Decent body, slightly chewy. Well-integated ABV that doesn’t intrude. Would kinda like to see brighter hops, though. Pretty darn good overall. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Brewsters Brewing Company Brewsters Brooding Soldier Tripel – Abbey Tripel at at 8.5% ABV

Brewsters Brewing Company Brewsters Brooding Soldier Tripel Abbey Tripel at at 8.5% ABV ($5.29 at South Trail Co-Op, 355 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours hazy pale gold with one finger of dense white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, heavy lacing. (4/5) Nose is overripe apples and pears, doughy yeast, caramel malt, floral and grassy. (6/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, boozy sweet finish. (3/5)

Not a bad tripel, but certainly not up to the standard of true Belgians. Or even Quebec Belg-ish. The high ABV is fairly well-integrated, though, and it’s not without its charms. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Half Pints Brewing Co. HoppenHeimer – Wheat Ale at at 4.8% ABV

Half Pints Brewing Co. HoppenHeimer Wheat Ale at at 4.8% ABV ($6.75 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no can date or best before)

Pours hazy pale gold with an explosive three fingers plus of white head, great retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is tropical fruit, wheat, banana, pine resin. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, strong bitter, slight sour. (7/10) Light to medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering dry and bitter finish. (4/5)

What the hell is that? It’s like the bastard love child of a Belgian IPA and a wheat beer. With a hefty dose of saison and brett. It’s not entirely a success: the nose is actually a little muted, and the astringency of the brett tones pushes the bitterness a little out of balance with the malt. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Steam Whistle Brewing Steam Whistle Pilsner – Pilsener at at 5% ABV

Steam Whistle Brewing Steam Whistle Pilsner Pilsener at at 5% ABV ($3.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 500 ml, no can date or best before)

Pours clear straw with one finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, patchy lacing. (3/5) Nose is crackery pale malt, grassy hops. (6/10) Taste is mild sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Light body, prickly to moderate carbonation, crisp finish. (3/5)

Meh. It’s pretty decent, as pilseners go, but that’s not exactly an emphatic endorsement, is it? Don’t get me wrong, I’d take this over Canadian or Stella any day of the week – but I also wouldn’t actually buy either one of those, either. Decent enough as a thirst quencher with a meal. If I was having lunch somewhere that had only macro lagers on tap, and this was an option, I’d have it. Barring that set of circumstances, I’ll probably never have this again. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com