Cervecería Nacional Panama Balboa – Pale Lager at 4.8% ABV

Cervecería Nacional Panama Balboa Pale Lager at 4.8% ABV (Gift, 330 ml, best before 17-Jun-2015)

Pours pale straw with a short white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is grainy biscuity malt, corn, faint herbal and grassy hops. (3/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter. (3/10) Light bodied, prickly to medium carbonation. (2/5)

Not a good beer, at all – standard crap adjunct lager. Though it reminds me of drinking Cristal in Cuba, so there’s that… (6/20)

3/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brewery de Block Satan Red – Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 8% ABV

Brewery de Block Satan Red Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 8% ABV (C$4.12 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, best before 30-Sep-2018)

Pours hazy pale amber with a thin light beige head diminishing rapidly to nothing, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is peaches, citrus, caramel malt, Belgian yeast. (6/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Medium bodied, prickly to medium carbonation, mildly warming finish. (4/5)

An OK BSPA. The flavours are simultaneously a little boring, and a little harsh, and the sweetness is a bit overpowering. It does, however, do a decent job of hiding the ABV, so there’s that? Not really doing it for me. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Tree Brewing HopHead India Pale Ale – American IPA at 5.6% ABV

Tree Brewing HopHead India Pale Ale American IPA at 5.6% ABV (C$5.50 at Fionn MacCool’s, 330 ml, bottle date 16/02/15)

Pours hazy pale to medium amber with a short, short-lived light beige head, spotty lacing. (4/5) Nose is pine, citrus, caramel malt, slightly flowery. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate to low sustained carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Quite a decent A/IPA. Good balance between hoppiness and maltiness: the malt is quite pronounced, but definitely in a supporting role, and the flavour remains hop-forward. Quite nice. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Traquair House Traquair Jacobite Ale – Traditional Ale at 8.2% ABV

Traquair House Traquair Jacobite Ale Traditional Ale at 8.2% ABV (C$3.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 500 ml, bottle date 30-Apr-2014)

Pours clear brown with a thin light beige head diminishing to a thin skim, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is toffee malt, dark fruit, spices, liquorice, dark chocolate, woody oak. (8/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, mild bitter. (7/10) Full bodied, low carbonation and slightly syrupy. (4/5)

I’m not usually a fan of the Scottish styles, especially wee heavies, but this is a decent Traditional Ale. It’s sweet, hovering on the edge of cloying, but there’s a depth and complexity of flavour that saves it from being boring. It’s not something I’d choose for a go-to, but it’s definitely worth trying. (14/20)

My 146th from the 2010 Edition (140th from the 2013 edition), and 156th combining both editions.

7/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

G. Schneider & Sohn / Brooklyn Brewery – Schneider & Brooklyner Hopfenweisse – Weizenbock at 8.2% ABV

G. Schneider & Sohn / Brooklyn Brewery Schneider & Brooklyner Hopfenweisse Weizenbock at 8.2% ABV (C$3.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 500 ml, bottle date 30-Apr-2014)

Pours cloudy straw with two fingers of rocky off-white head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is banana, cloves, yeast, oranges, mild resin. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Medium bodied, moderate sustained carbonation and a mild bitter finish. (4/5)

An interesting wheat beer, with lots of characteristic banana and cloves, underpinned by citrus and mild piney resin. The stronger flavours work well to support the higher ABV and prevent it from being intrusive. (16/20)

My 145th from the 2010 Edition (139th from the 2013 edition), and 155th combining both editions.

8/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Hooper’s Alcoholic Cloudy Lemonade at 4.0% ABV

Hooper’s Alcoholic Cloudy Lemonade at 4.0% ABV (C$3.99 at Willow Park Wine and Spirits, no bottle date or best before)

This is how I envisage the naming meeting for this going:

Well, it ticks all the boxes: Alcoholic? Check. Cloudy? Check. Lemonade? Check.

Right, then. That’s that. Anybody fancy a pint?

Fizzy carbonation, not too sweet, pleasant low ABV thirst quencher. This is soda for grown-ups, I guess.

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mad & Noisy Brewing (Creemore Springs) Hops and Bolts – India Pale Lager at 5.3% ABV

Mad & Noisy Brewing (Creemore Springs) Hops and Bolts India Pale Lager at 5.3% ABV (On tap at Bar:120 Toronto International Airport)

Pours hazy pale amber-orange with one finger of medium dense light beige head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate spotty lacing. (3/5) Nose is grassy, pithy citrus, caramel malt. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Light to medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Not a bad IPL, but as usual I find myself wondering about the point: the hoppiness isn’t bad, and I like the unfiltered aspect of it, but every second sip smells like an adjunct lager. It’s so hard to make a lager that isn’t reminiscent of cheap crap, I keep wondering, why bother? (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Half Pints Brewing Co. Black Galaxy – Black IPA at 6.0% ABV

Half Pints Brewing Co. Black Galaxy Black IPA at 6.0% ABV (C$6.50 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear brown with deep amber highlights, massively explosive rocky light beige head, excellent retention and lacing. (3/5) Nose is roasty malt, tropical fruit, citrus, cocoa, molasses, moderate brett funk (6/10) Taste is low sweet, moderate bitter, mild sour. (6/10) Light to medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, bitter and funky finish. (4/5)

A fairly enjoyable black IPA, with a lighter body than the dark colour would suggest. Gotta say, I’ve been reasonably pleased with my sampling of Half Pints so far – seems like a solid brewery. But, though I’m definitely getting the tropical fruit notes of the Galaxy hops in this one, I’m convinced there’s a runaway brett infection on top of everything – which probably explains the unmanageable head. I did a little research, and it seems like this thing was brewed only once – three years ago! Seriously? A three year old IPA? Dammit, people, why can’t you date your bottles? What’s this supposed to taste like? Who knows? It’s OK as-is, but I have no idea if it bears any resemblance to what it was and/or what it was intended to be. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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

Beer Reviews