Something Brewing (Drummond Brewing Company) Dark Side – Schwarzbier at 5% ABV

Something Brewing (Drummond Brewing Company) Dark Side Schwarzbier at 5% ABV (C$2.65 at Liquor Crossing Red Deer, 355 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear deep brown with amber-brown highlights, one finger of rocky light tan head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate spotty lacing. (3/5) Nose is light smoke, toasted malt, lemony citrus and grassy hops. (6/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Medium bodied tending to watery, moderate carbonation, off-dry slightly smoky finish. (3/5)

Not quite a rauchbier, but there’s a definite smokiness. Not unpleasant at all, and a decent alternative to the everyday. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Something Brewing (Drummond Brewing Company) Gimme That Nutt – Brown Ale at 5% ABV

Something Brewing (Drummond Brewing Company) Gimme That Nutt Brown Ale at 5% ABV (C$2.65 at Liquor Crossing Red Deer, 355 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear deep amber with one finger of loose light tan head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, spotty lacing. (3/5) Nose is mild toasty malt, light chocolate and coffee, mild grassy, slight smoke. (6/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Medium bodied tending to watery, moderate carbonation, off-dry quick finish. (3/5)

Very mild nut brown – nothing too memorable, positive or negative. Decent enough thirst quencher, and certainly strongly preferable to a macro adjunct. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Something Brewing (Drummond Brewing Company) Hop Bomb – American IPA at 7% ABV

Something Brewing (Drummond Brewing Company) Hop Bomb American IPA at 7% ABV (C$2.65 at Liquor Crossing Red Deer, 355 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale gold with one finger of rocky off-white head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is caramel malt, pine, floral, mild grapefruit. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, bitter finish. (3/5)

A bit too malt forward for my preference, but not bad, for all that. Nice to see more micros starting up in Alberta: the world needs more hoppy IPA’s! But, “hop bomb”? No, not really. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Old Yale Brewing Co. West Coast IPA – American IPA at 6.0% ABV

Old Yale Brewing Co. West Coast IPA American IPA at 6.0% ABV (C$6.25 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale amber with two fat fingers of rocky off-white head, excellent retention and lacing. (5/5) Nose is tropical fruit, grapefruit, pale malt. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderately strong bitter. (6/10) Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter and sticky finish. (4/5)

Pretty good interpretation of the west coast style – decently dank hops with pale malt supporting. Hop forward without being too aggressive. A little blunted by age, perhaps, but still pretty decent. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

The Tin Whistle Brewing Company Osprey Pear White IPA – Belgian IPA at 6.5% ABV

The Tin Whistle Brewing Company Osprey Pear White IPA Belgian IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$5.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours hazy straw with two fat fingers of loose white head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is apples and pears, vinous white grape, wheat, pale malt, some banana and clove. (5/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild to moderate bitter. (5/10) Light bodied, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter and slightly sticky finish. (4/5)

I’m so tired of shelf turds. Please, brewers, please: date your bottles. Is that so much to ask? This might’ve been nice when it was fresh, but I’m pretty sure it’s at least six months old, and both the hops and the pear have faded. I’d like to a try a new one, but of course there’s no way to know whether I’ve found a new one because the BOTTLES AREN’T DATED. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Phillips Brewing Company Cabin Fever Imperial Black IPA – Black IPA at 8.5% ABV

Phillips Brewing Company Cabin Fever Imperial Black IPA Black IPA at 8.5% ABV (C$7.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear amber-brown with two fat fingers of loose beige head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is dark roasty malt cocoa and coffee, mild pine, citrus. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, mild to moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium bodied, moderate to low carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Surprisingly smooth and mild for a high ABV imperial black. (And, seriously, is that even a thing?) A seriously dangerous bad boy mix that will lay you out while you’re still trying to think of clever things to say about it. Hypothetically. “Oh, Phillips – I wish I knew how to quit you.” (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Deschutes Brewery Cinder Cone Red – Amber Ale at 5.3% ABV

Deschutes Brewery Cinder Cone Red Amber Ale at 5.3% ABV (C$7.50 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, best before 10-Feb-2015)

Pours clear pale to medium amber with two fat fingers of loose off-white head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is mild pine, caramel malt, pithy citrus. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild to moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Not bad, but I’m a bit disappointed to have gotten snookered with yet another out of date bottle. I don’t think it’s too far gone, but I suspect the hops would have been a bit brighter had I gotten it before its best-by. However, the hop character that’s present still makes it an interesting red, instead of the same old malt-forward tediousness that tends to make reds so very bland. And I don’t think the hops were ever intended to be bold, given the use of Tettnanger. OK, fine, there’s Amarillo too, but still. And maybe the noble hop presence makes this a little more impervious to aging? (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Nokomis Craft Ales Single Hop Centennial IPA – American IPA at 7.5% ABV

Nokomis Craft Ales Single Hop Centennial IPA American IPA at 7.5% ABV (Flight on tap at Winston’s Pub Saskatoon)

Pours clear pale amber with one finger of loose off-white head, good retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Nose is mild caramel malt, tropical fruit, light citrus. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Quite a decent IPA. Nice fruity hops decently balanced with a pleasant caramel maltiness. For something brewed in a garage by a 30 barrel nano operation, this is excellent. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Black Bridge Brewery (Canada) Black Bridge IPA! – American IPA at 7% ABV

Black Bridge Brewery (Canada) Black Bridge IPA! American IPA at 7% ABV (Flight on tap at Winston’s Pub Saskatoon)

Pours clear pale amber with one finger of loose off-white head, good retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Nose is pine resin, citrus, grainy pale malt, mild tropical fruit. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderately strong bitter. (8/10) Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter and slightly spicy finish. (4/5)

Really pleasant A/IPA – well-behaved piney bitterness and pleasant pale malt balance well. I found the nose to be a little on the muted side given the moderately robust flavours that come through on the tongue, but I’d rather that than the reverse – I’m always disappointed by IPAs that smell big and bombastic, but fall flat on the tongue. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Half Pints Brewing Co. Little Scrapper – American IPA at 6% ABV

Half Pints Brewing Co. Little Scrapper American IPA at 6% ABV (Flight on tap at Winston’s Pub Saskatoon)

Pours clear pale amber with one finger of loose off-white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is pithy citrus, light caramel malt, mild herbal. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

A nice little A/IPA from a reliable brewery. Maybe a little too little – it could stand to be a bit more bold, but as it stands, it’s pretty close to sessionable, so that’s OK too. Worth checking out. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beer Reviews