Saint Arnold Brewing Company Elissa IPA – India Pale Ale at 6.6% ABV

Saint Arnold Brewing Company Elissa IPA India Pale Ale at 6.6% ABV (Bottle at IAH, 355ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear pale gold with a short, short-lived off-white head, spotty lacing. (3/5) Nose is doughy yeast, pale malt, earthy and grassy, mild citrus and tropical fruit. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly sticky lingering finish. (4/5)

Somewhat surprisingly, this is much more a traditional English-style IPA than the American style I was expecting. The flavour of the Maris Otter malt and the yeasty presence certainly temper the hops, and while it’s not necessarily malt-forward, it’s certainly malty (and yeasty). Not bad at all. (15/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Anheuser-Busch InBev Ziegen Bock – Amber Vienna Lager at 5% ABV

Anheuser-Busch InBev Ziegen Bock Amber Vienna Lager at 5% ABV (On tap at IAH Pappadeaux)

Pours pale to medium amber with a short ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (3/5) Nose is grainy caramel malt, toasty and slightly nutty. (5/10) Taste is moderate sweet, almost non-existent bitter. (4/10) Light body, moderate to low carbonation, slightly sticky finish. (3/5)

Thin and light bodied despite the darker colour, certainly nothing impressive in the flavours. Mostly malty and boring, with a little toasted flavour that drops dead pretty quickly. Maybe marginally better than most other AB-InBev offerings. (Didn’t know it was AB-InBev when I ordered it, but there wasn’t much doubt by the time I was finished.) (8/20)

4.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Great Divide Brewing Company Fresh Hop Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 6.1% ABV

Great Divide Brewing Company Fresh Hop Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 6.1% ABV ($7.88 at Specs Main Branch, 650ml, best before Jan7 2015)

Pours clear pale amber with two fat fingers of rocky white head, good retention, moderate lacing. (4/5) Nose is earthy, grassy, mild pine, pale malt, mild citrus, black tea. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild black peppery spice. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry finish. (4/5)

Obviously I’m slow on the uptake, but there’s no way I can be effectively reviewing a wet-hopped beer right now. Shouldn’t have bought it in mid-January, when it was fresh four months ago. It’s still just fine, mind you, but I don’t feel like I’m really appreciating the fresh hops. Good, with a green hoppy bitterness, but without being great. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition – Gueuze at 5% ABV

Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition Gueuze at 5% ABV ($6.31 at Specs Main Branch, 375ml, bottle date 18-Jul-2012)

Pours slightly hazy pale amber with one finger of loose ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, no lacing. (4/5) Nose is sour lemon, woody oak, mild dusty and cobwebby vinegar, slight funk. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderately strong tart. (7/10) Medium body, prickly carbonation, dry and tart finish. (4/5)

A fairly plain gueuze – nothing exciting or complex, but decently well-behaved. The sour tartness is strongly pronounced, with restrained sweetness and mild cobwebby funk. (15/20)

7.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Van Steenberge Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale (Bios Vlaamse Bourgogne) – Oude Bruin at 5.5% ABV

Brouwerij Van Steenberge Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale (Bios Vlaamse Bourgogne) Oude Bruin at 5.5% ABV ($3.99 at Specs Main Branch, 330ml, best before 23-Mar-2015)

Pours murky and opaque amber brown with one finger of light tan head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (4/5) Nose is red fruit, raisins, vinegar, woody and vinous notes. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate tart. (7/10) Medium body, moderate to low carbonation, off-dry tart finish. (4/5)

A very mild sour / oude bruin. Aromas of dark, slightly boozy fruit reminiscent of a quadrupel, but with a mildly tart, cidery flavour. Very drinkable and quite refreshing. (15/20)

My 137th from the 2010 Edition (retired from the 2013 Edition) and 145th combining both editions.

7.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Ska Brewing Company Modus Hoperandi – American IPA at 6.8% ABV

Ska Brewing Company Modus Hoperandi American IPA at 6.8% ABV ($1.88 at Specs Main Branch, 355ml, best before 23-Mar-2015)

Pours hazy medium amber with one finger of off-white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (4/5) Nose is piney resin, pithy citrus, mild caramel malt, faint tropical fruit. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderately strong bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate to low carbonation, building bitter finish. (4/5)

A fairly emphatic A/IPA that comes pretty close to a DIPA in pretty much every regard: intensity of flavour, ABV, IBU’s (65), colour, and body. Although it’s not malt forward by any means, the malt is lurking not far under the surface, and I expect this one could get fairly caramelly, fairly quickly, as it ages. As it stands, though, it’s a nice, sharply bitter IPA with good support from the malt. (15/20)

My 130th from the 2013 Edition (new to that edition) and 144th combining both editions.

7.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij De Brabandere Petrus Aged Pale – Sour / Wild Ale at 7.3% ABV

Brouwerij De Brabandere Petrus Aged Pale Sour / Wild Ale at 7.3% ABV ($4.20 at Specs Main Branch, 330ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours hazy straw with a short loose foamy head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (3/5) Nose is mild barnyard funk, cidery apple, woody and vinous notes. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate tart, mild funk. (7/10) Light body, moderate to low carbonation, dry tart funky finish. (4/5)

An extremely well-behaved sour/oude bruin that would probably make a great introductory beer for those interested in expanding their horizons to include sours. The taste is actually nowhere near as sour as the aroma would suggest – to the point where I was actually a little disappointed (but a neophyte might be relieved). Pleasant cider and vinous notes are present, and it continues to open up as it warms. The sweetness is quite restrained and the finish moderately dry, make this a very nice sipper. (15/20)

My 136th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 129th from the 2013 Edition, and 143rd combining both editions.

8/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

North Coast Brewing Company Pranqster – Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7.6% ABV

North Coast Brewing Company Pranqster Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7.6% ABV ($1.84 at Specs Main Houston, 355ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours cloudy medium gold with a short, short-lived white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, patchy lacing. (3/5) Nose is bready malt, ripe fruit, banana and faint cloves. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitterness. (6/10) Medium body, low carbonation, creamy and spicy finish. (3/5)

An acceptable – if not stellar – Belg-ish pale. A shade too sweet for my preference, and lacking the crispness and dryness I associate with BSPAs. A decent American interpretation of this Belgian style, especially for the price. (14/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Dogfish Head Brewery Raison D’Extra – Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 18% ABV

Dogfish Head Brewery Raison D’Extra Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 18% ABV ($11.57 at Specs Main Houston, 355ml, bottle date 21-Nov-2014)

Pours murky medium brown with a short, short-lived light tan head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, patchy lacing. (3/5) Nose is boozy raisins and other dark fruit, hot alcohol. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitterness, strong alcohol. (8/10) Full body, low carbonation, slick and boozy finish. (4/5)

A bit… “enthusiastic”. Might benefit from some cellaring to blend and mellow the flavours and the still-moderate harshness of the very high ABV. Sweet without being cloying, and with an interesting richness and depth of flavour. Not without its attractions, and very drinkable, but a bit of a velvet-covered hammer to the head. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Victory Brewing Company DirtWolf – Imperial / Double IPA at 8.7% ABV

Victory Brewing Company DirtWolf Imperial / Double IPA at 8.7% ABV ($2.37 at Specs Main Houston, 355ml, best before 10-Mar-2015)

Pours clear pale gold with a short, short-lived white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, patchy lacing. (3/5) Nose is pine, citrus, tropical fruit, mild caramel malt, floral notes. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate to strong bitterness. (8/10) Medium body tending to heavy, moderate to low carbonation, slightly creamy and oily with a lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Nicely balanced yet hop forward DIPA, with just enough malt to support the hops – just the way I like my DIPA’s! Pleasantly fruity and juicy, with a very well-integrated ABV. Definitely a go-to DIPA. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beer Reviews