Dandy Brewing Company Dandy In the Underworld – Sweet Stout at 5% ABV

Dandy Brewing Company Dandy In the Underworld Sweet Stout at 5% ABV ($7.29 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours opaque deep brown with amber-brown highlights, short light beige head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, minimal lacing. (3/5) Nose is predominantly coffee, with some dark chocolate, biscuity malt, and maybe weak earthy hops. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate lingering bitter. (7/10) Medium body, low sustained carbonation, mildly bitter finish. (4/5)

(Had to have at least one stout on #InternationalStoutDay!) Not a bad sweet stout. Certainly not too sweet, which is good. What is there, is almost a lactose sweetness, giving it a café au lait feel. The finish is perhaps a bit too bitterly astringent and dry for the style, though. Could be a little smoother, and the head is disappointingly short – this might be a lot better on a nitro tap! All of that said, it’s a fairly impressive first attempt for a nano brewery. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Dandy Brewing Company Golden Brown Dandy – English Pale Ale at 6% ABV

Dandy Brewing Company Golden Brown Dandy English Pale Ale at 6% ABV ($7.29 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours hazy medium amber with a shot-lived finger of loose off-white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skin, minimal lacing. (3/5) Nose is muted, cereal malt, nutty, fruity and herbal hops. (6/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate lingering bitter. (6/10) Medium body, low sustained carbonation, mildly bitter finish. (3/5)

Well, right off the hop (no pun intended), this doesn’t look, smell, or taste like a Pale, English or otherwise – It’s a lot more like an ESB or an English Brown. As Pale, it’s  bland and underwhelming. As an ESB or a brown ale, it’s… well, bland and underwhelming. But a bit less so. Not a bad first try for a local nano brewery, and I’ll keep giving their products a try, but it’s not exactly an unqualified success either. At the very least, I’d like to see a little more carbonation to kick things up a notch and sharpen the flavour and finish. Speaking of the finish, it’s not entirely boring – there are herbal/floral notes that gradually become apparent, but it’s a case of too little, too late. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brauerei Aying Celebrator – Dopplebock at 6.7% ABV

Brauerei Aying Celebrator Dopplebock at 6.7% ABV ($4.42 at South Trail Co-Op, 330ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear deep brown with deep amber around the margins, one fat finger of light beige head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, minimal lacing. (4/5) Nose is dark fruits (raisins), chocolate and roasted malts. (9/10) Taste is moderate sweet and mild bitter. (9/10) Light to medium body, slightly oily texture, low sustained carbonation, lingering bitter, slightly smokey finish. (4/5)

Excellent traditional dopplebock. The ABV is very well-integrated, and is apparent in neither the nose or the taste, but only as a gentle warming toward the end of the glass. Surprisingly light body and texture given the appearance. Definitely appropriate as a winter warmer at whatever midwinter celebration you observe. (18/20)

My 120th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 113th by the 2013 Edition, and 123rd overall.

9/10 #1001beers   #ryansbooze  ryansbooze.com

Wychwood (Marstons plc) Black Wych – English Stout at 5% ABV

Wychwood (Marstons plc) Black Wych English Stout at 5% ABV ($3.99 at NLC Sobey’s Mount Pearl, 500ml, best before 20-Jul-2015)

Pours nearly black with hints of ruby around margins, two fingers of beige medium-density head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is muted, roasty malts and coffee, faint dark fruit. (6/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate lingering bitter. (7/10) Light to medium body, moderate to low sustained carbonation, decent bitter finish. (4/5)

Continuing with the Halloween theme for the evening. [Ed: Oversight on my part – not sure how/why this didn’t get posted 4 days ago when I wrote this, but here it is now.] And actually, not bad at all. A little confusion as to whether this is a porter or a stout – it seems like the description used to be a “Spellbinding Stout”, but now it’s “A Dark Mysterious Spellbinding Porter”. Well, either way, it’s a decently bitter dark beer with a little dark malt sweetness. Body is definitely thin for a stout, and actually on the thin side for a porter, but overall it’s fairly drinkable. (12/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Central City Brewing Red Racer Imperial IPA – Imperial/Double IPA at 9.0% ABV

Central City Brewing Red Racer Imperial IPA Imperial/Double IPA at 9.0% ABV ($8.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale amber with two fingers of off-white head, excellent retention, well-defined heavy lacing. (5/5) Nose is caramel malt, pithy citrus, pine resin. (8/10) Taste is moderate to strong sweet, moderate to strong bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, strongly bitter finish. (4/5)

Just a little too much emphasis on the malt for my taste. Not “malt forward”, as such, but a balanced malt/hop presence – and for a DIPA, that’s too much malt for my preference. And yes, perhaps I’m damning it with faint praise, because overall it’s very well done, and very dangerous – that 9% ABV doesn’t make any sort of appearance at all until well into the second glass – but it could’ve been so much better with just a little tweak of the grain bill. Mind you, that being said, I’m wondering if maybe it’s the Maris Otter that I’m not the biggest fan of… Regardless, this is an excellent DIPA, and hard to beat for the price. And damn, is it pretty. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

New Belgium Brewing Company Lips Of Faith Le Terroir – Sour/Wild Ale at 7.5% ABV

New Belgium Brewing Company Lips Of Faith – Le Terroir Sour/Wild Ale at 7.5% ABV ($19.49 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650ml, 2014 vintage)

Pours hazy deep gold with limited/no head, no lacing. (4/5) Nose is intense funk, strong sour cherries and lemons, some peaches and sweet fruit. (9/10) Taste is mildly sweet and intensely sour. (9/10) Medium body, low to still carbonation, dry tartly sour finish. (4/5)

Oh yeah – think I’m gonna get another two or three of these for cellaring. This is sort of similar to La Folie, but in the “family resemblance” sense, not “identical twins”. If La Folie were a red wine, Le Terroir would be a white. And yeah, that does mean that I prefer La Folie – but not by a whole lot. This is a really good Belgian-level sour that can pretty much hold its own against a Cantillon. (18/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Maine Beer Company Mo – American Pale Ale at 6.0% ABV

Maine Beer Company Mo American Pale Ale at 6.0% ABV ($8.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 500ml, bottle date October 14, 2014)

Pours hazy pale gold two fingers of off-white head, great retention, moderate to heavy lacing. (4/5) Nose is citrus, pine, tropical fruit, caramel malt. (9/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate to low sustained carbonation, dry medium bitter sudden finish. (4/5)

A very nice APA – juicy fruit flavours and an excellent appearance really promise a great experience… which doesn’t quite materialize. The taste, while decent, is slightly less interesting than what was promised by the nose. The soft carbonation ends up making this feel just a little on the flat side, and the finish dies a little abruptly. Now that I think about it, a little higher carbonation might well have solved all the issues. In any case, I wanted to like this more than I do – and that’s not to say I don’t like it, but I don’t love it as much as I thought I might. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Parallel 49 Brewing Company Lost Souls Chocolate Pumpkin Porter – American Porter at 6.5% ABV

Parallel 49 Brewing Company Lost Souls Chocolate Pumpkin Porter American Porter at 6.5% ABV ($5.49 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear ruby brown with amber-brown highlights, one finger of light beige head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, minimal lacing. (3/5) Nose is dark roasty malt, dark chocolate, light vanilla, faint spices and earthiness. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Light to medium body, soft carbonation, medium bitter finish with some acidity. (3/5)

Not getting much of the ginger and pumpkin that are claimed to be in here – but that doesn’t bother me too much, all things considered. Almost a vinous quality on the flavour, particularly as it warms, and some earthiness that might be pumpkin or just the Fuggles hops. Pretty much a straight-up porter with not a lot to distinguish or recommend it. Decent without being memorable or exciting. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com