Tree House Brewing Company Hurricane – American Double / Imperial IPA at 7.7% ABV

Tree House Brewing Company Hurricane American Double / Imperial IPA at 7.7% ABV (Gift – thanks, Norm!, 473 ml, packaged on 27-Aug-2019, acquired 1-Oct-2019, reviewed 2-Oct-2019)

Appearance: opaque pale amber with two fat fingers of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy citrus, caramel, tropical fruit, stone fruit. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter, light tart. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

The brewer says it’s primarily dry hopped with Citra & Simcoe, which for me are coming through as citrus and tropical fruits, respectively. Unlike so often is the case, there’s no green onion or cattiness at all from the Simcoe, and it remains juice-like, mild, and pleasant throughout. If I have a complaint – and it’s really not much of one – it’s that the hop selection is resulting init being just a hair too agreeable. Personally, I’d like a little more edge, for emphasis. Still and all, a pretty darned great beer. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Trillium Brewing Company / Other Half Brewing Double Dry Hopped Green Street – American IPA at 7.7% ABV

Trillium Brewing Company / Other Half Brewing Double Dry Hopped Green Street American IPA at 7.7% ABV (Gift – thanks, Norm!, 473 ml, packaged on 30-Aug-2019, acquired 1-Oct-2019, reviewed 1-Oct-2019)

Appearance: opaque slightly muddy pale amber with two fat fingers of loose pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: resiny pine, juicy tropical fruit, biscuity malt, citrus, spicy rye, light green onion/cattiness. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter, light tart, light spice. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration bitter and spicy finish. (5/5)

I completely overlooked the rye in the malt bill, then was scratching my head as to how best express what I was getting: “Is that herbal? Or more like spices? Yeah, spice, but what kind? Pepper?” Then it hit me – rye! That tartness, nearly astringency, works well with the hop selection, giving an overall complexity beyond a straight fruit juice character. I like straight fruit juice character, but this added dimension certainly ups the game. There’s a hint of green onion and cattiness I’m attributing to the Simcoe, especially as it warms, that could easily a negative to some people, but I appreciate the little edge it gives. Really good stuff. (18/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Coronado Brewing Company 23rd Anniversary Double Hazy IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV

Coronado Brewing Company 23rd Anniversary Double Hazy IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV (C$4.72 at Collective, 330 ml, packaged on 17-Jun-2019, acquired 22-Sep-2019, reviewed 30-Sep-2019)

Appearance: hazy deep gold with two fat fingers of fluffy pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy stone fruit, citrus, tropical fruit, biscuity malt, light resiny pine. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light tart. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration bitter mildly warming finish. (4/5)

That’s how you do a hazy, especially a double. Juicy fruit dominates the aroma, with only a light malt supporting, but on the tongue the sweetness remains restrained. The finish is reasonably clean, and the mild warming presents only after the pint is mostly gone. I could drink a lot of these. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Ecliptic Brewing / Firestone Walker Brewing Company Five Years / Five Beers Hazy Double IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV

Ecliptic Brewing / Firestone Walker Brewing Company Five Years / Five Beers Hazy Double IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV (C$9.00 at Collective, 500 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Sep-2019, reviewed 29-Sep-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy particulate-laden pale amber with one fat finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: toffee/caramel, tropical fruit, citrus, honey, pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, sweet lingering bitter warming finish. (4/5)

Not overly impressive. Right off the hop, it’s got a muddy appearance with loads of floaties, though the excellent head development and retention offsets that somewhat. On the nose, the dominant aroma is sweet toffee and caramel, with the hop character playing second fiddle to malt. The taste is similar, with higher sweetness dominating over a lingering bitterness. Tends hot and boozy as well, more so than would be expected for an ABV well under double digits. Wouldn’t want another one. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Dageraad Brewing Best of All Possible Worlds – Belgian IPA at 6.5% ABV

Dageraad Brewing Best of All Possible Worlds Belgian IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$8.91 at Collective, 650 ml, packaged on 8-Aug-2019, acquired 22-Sep-2019, reviewed 28-Sep-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with a massive and growing rocky white head, excellent retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: funky Belgian yeast esters, biscuity malt, citrus, tropical fruit, pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light funk. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry moderate bitter mildly funky finish. (4/5)

The head, while not quite explosive, is still pretty uncontrollable, even with a very long pour, so it starts off looking pretty Belgian. I’m not clear on what they mean by “biotransformed” here, since any juiciness lags a long way behind a fairly typical Belgian ester profile. Not that I’m complaining, since I actually enjoy a Belgian ester profile, but this isn’t a huge departure from any number of Belgian Saisons or IPAs I’ve had. There is some uncharacteristic citrus in the middle, but the finish also ends up with a largely typically Belgian mild barnyard funk. A bit different, sure, but not radically so. In short, while this may or may not be the best of all possible worlds, I’m confident in saying this is not the best of all possible IPAs – but it’s not bad, either. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Analog Brewing Loot Box Hops – American IPA at 6% ABV

Analog Brewing Loot Box Hops American IPA at 6% ABV (C$4.32 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Sep-2019, reviewed 28-Sep-2019)

Appearance: clear medium gold with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: slightly muted, resiny pine, citrus, caramel, tropical fruit, hint of green onion. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry building bitter finish. (4/5)

Was hoping for more hop aroma, especially given the selection of some of may favourites. It’s solid, but I’m not getting a big explosion of juicy citrus and fruit I was hoping for. Also, I was initially tempted to call the finish slightly astringent, but ultimately don’t think that’s a fair characterization. Hopefully any variants that follow will dial up the dry hopping a bit. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Coronado Brewing Company Peach Cruiser – American IPA at 6.8% ABV

Coronado Brewing Company Peach Cruiser American IPA at 6.8% ABV (C$9.00 at Collective, 650 ml, packaged on 25-Jul-2019, acquired 22-Sep-2019, reviewed 27-Sep-2019)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: citrus, stone fruit, resiny pine, crackery malt, melon rind, grass. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

I was expecting – hell, hoping for – a bit more peach here. I mean, yeah, it’s there, but it’s hardly dominant the way I was expecting based on the label. Ultimately it’s just as much an afterthought as the label, which appears to have been slapped together by an intern – don’t get me started on that kerning! I’m also torn regarding the bitterness: on the one hand, I appreciate it being a little more on the emphatic side, but on the other, it’s accompanied by a slightly astringent “green” note that’s equal parts melon rind and grass. Overall, it’s OK, and I probably would have rated it higher if I weren’t so disappointed by the anemic peach character. But I was. So I didn’t. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Nelson Brewing Company Night Lights Tropical IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Nelson Brewing Company Night Lights Tropical IPA American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$3.69 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Sep-2019, reviewed 27-Sep-2019)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, resiny pine, citrus, pale malt, light funk. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light tart. (8/10) Palate: medium body tending slightly watery, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration bitter finish. (3/5)

I like how the tropical fruit characteristics of the Sacc Trois yeast play with the same characteristics of the hop selection here (I haven’t been able to find out what hops they went with, but I’m guessing Galaxy or something similar) while simultaneously contributing a light funk and overall dryness in the finish. To the extent I’ve got a complaint, it’s that it seems to drop off a little watery in the finish. It’s hardly a beefy ABV by any means, but I’d expect it to be capable of holding on a little better than it does. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Phillips Brewing Company Grainbow – American IPA at 6.3% ABV

Phillips Brewing Company Grainbow American IPA at 6.3% ABV (C$3.91 at Collective, 473 ml, best before 2-Feb-2020, acquired 22-Sep-2019, reviewed 25-Sep-2019)

Appearance: hazy unclean medium gold with one fat finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: cereal grains, bready caramel, pine, nuts. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering and building resiny pine finish. (4/5)

Seriously? Eighteen grains, including quinoa, triticale, teff, and freekeh, not to mention six hops?  I mean, yeah, I get that you’re going with a theme here, but why didn’t you toss the kitchen sink in there too, while you were at it? But, to be fair, it’s not bad. The muddy appearance presages the muddled aroma, which is cereal-heavy, but not without some interesting hop contribution. The taste is better than the aroma, and the finish is actually quite nice, with a lingering piney bitterness that justifies the “West Coast” appellation. All in all, this thing starts off looking pretty bad, but builds and ends up solid. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Totenhopfen Brauhaus Bloody Vlad – Fruit / Vegetable Beer at 6.66% ABV

Totenhopfen Brauhaus Bloody Vlad Fruit / Vegetable Beer at 6.66% ABV (C$5.71 at Collective, 330 ml, best before 20-May-2020, acquired 22-Sep-2019, reviewed 25-Sep-2019)

Appearance: hazy ruby red with one fat finger of fine pink head, excellent retention and chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: raspberry, field berries, herbal, grass. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light tart. (7/10) Palate: medium body tending slightly watery, moderate carbonation, medium duration slightly tart finish. (3/5)

Well, it’s very red. And fruity. And completely not what I was expecting for a “Red IPA” – even a juicy one. Really, it’s more reminiscent of a kriek or a framboise, except less tart and slightly sweeter, like a faro. I’m not getting much of the Chinook, Mosaic, or Citra hops alleged by the label, and I would be happier if the body didn’t fall off slightly watery in the finish, but it’s not unpleasant overall. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beer Reviews