Bellwoods Brewery Wizard Wolf – American Pale Ale at 4.8% ABV

Bellwoods Brewery Wizard Wolf American Pale Ale at 4.8% ABV (C$4.50 at Bellwoods Brewery, 500 ml, bottle date 2-Apr-2015)

Pours hazy pale gold with a short off-white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, good lacing. (3/5) Nose is doughy bread, grassy and floral hops, light citrus, very mild pale malt. (6/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate to low carbonation, off-dry bitter and slightly spicy finish. (4/5)

Not my favourite Bellwoods, which isn’t to say there’s anything overtly wrong with it – because there isn’t – but they so excel at “real” brews that this “session” ale seems like a pale imposter (no pun intended). I’ll session Roman Candle, Boogie Monster, or Witchshark instead, thanks. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Great Lakes Brewery Apocalypse Later Imperial Black IPA – Black IPA at 10% ABV

Great Lakes Brewery Apocalypse Later Imperial Black IPA Black IPA at 10% ABV (Via trade, 473 ml, canning date 2-Apr-2015)

Pours clear brown with two fat fingers of pillowy light tan head, good retention and excellent lacing. (4/5) Nose is light citrus, pine resin, grassy, moderate dark malt and mild coffee. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, immediate strong bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, dry bitter and warming finish. (4/5)

Whattya mean, “Imperial Black IPA” isn’t a BJCP style? (Nor, I guess, is Black IPA, at least not formally, yet.) Bit of a beast – huge bitterness and big (but not overwhelming) booziness battle it out on the tongue, along with a little onion aftertaste. Interesting, if not perfectly balanced – a bit of an odd duck. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

YellowBelly Brewery Unite Red Ale – American Amber / Red Ale at 4.5% ABV

YellowBelly Brewery Unite Red Ale American Amber / Red Ale at 4.5% ABV (1 l,best before May 11, 2015)

Pours clear amber-brown with two fat fingers of pillowy ivory head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Nose is pithy citrus, tropical fruit, pine resin, crystal malt. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet giving way to moderately strong bitter. (7/10) Medium body, prickly to moderate carbonation, building and lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Surprisingly highly hopped for a local Newfoundland brew, and surprisingly flavourful for only 4.5%. The Mosaic dry hopping really comes through, and I hear it’s supposed to be in the current batch of their Pale, making me think I need to sample that as well. This is one heckuva beer, really – here’s hoping it’s the thin edge of the wedge for more highly hopped local brews. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Great Lakes Brewery Johnny Simcoe Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.0% ABV

Great Lakes Brewery Johnny Simcoe Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5.0% ABV (Via trade, 473 ml, no canning date or best before)

Pours hazy straw with two fingers of pillowy white head, good retention and excellent lacing. (4/5) Nose is juicy citrus, catty, pine resin, very little malt. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet giving way to moderately strong bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, building bitter finish. (4/5)

No bottle date, but I got it via trade the day it was sourced from GLB (a few days ago). Typical catty Simcoe notes, but not overwhelming. Maybe a little too sharp and bitter to be a simple thirst quencher, but pretty pleasant. Another good treatment of the Simcoe hop, and actually very similar to the Bellwoods Cat Lady I had yesterday. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Bellwoods Brewery Cat Lady – American IPA at 7.2% ABV

Bellwoods Brewery Cat Lady American IPA at 7.2% ABV ($5.50 at Bellwoods Brewery, 500 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours hazy pale amber with two fingers of pillowy white head, good retention and excellent lacing. (4/5) Nose is juicy citrus, pine resin, pale malt, light pepper. (7/10) Taste is mild sweet giving way to moderately strong bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter and slightly spicy finish. (4/5)

No bottle date, but I got it from the Bellwoods bottle shop a couple of days ago, so it’s definitely fresh – and it is bright when fresh. This certainly has some of the catty element expected for Simcoe, but in a fairly restrained and polite way. I was a little fearful that the cat would be overwhelming, especially given the name, but it’s better than I was expecting. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Great Lakes Brewery Octopus Wants to Fight IPA – American IPA at 6.2% ABV

Great Lakes Brewery Octopus Wants to Fight IPA American IPA at 6.2% ABV (Via trade – thanks, Groulxsome! – 473 ml, canning date 2-Apr-2015)

Pours hazy pale gold with two fingers of pillowy white head, good retention and excellent lacing. (4/5) Nose is juicy citrus, mild pine resin, pale malt, very light pepper. (9/10) Taste is initially mild sweet, giving way to strong bitter. (9/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter and slightly spicy finish. (5/5)

Lovely. Every bit as bright and fresh as I was hoping for a two-day-old A/IPA hop bomb. So glad I didn’t wait to crack this. Just slightly better than Thrust!, Canuck Pale Ale, or My Bitter Wife – but could be because I had it oh so very fresh, or because of the greater bitterness that I enjoy so much. In any case, probably the best of the Tank Ten offerings I’ve tried to date. (18/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Van Steenberge Vampire Pale Ale – Belgian Pale Ale at 7.0% ABV

Brouwerij Van Steenberge Vampire Pale Ale Belgian Pale Ale at 7.0% ABV (C$13.90 at Liquor Crossing Red Deer, 750 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours slightly hazy page gold with a three fingers of loose ivory head, good retention and lacing. (3/5) Nose is Belgian yeast, lemon, apples and pears, pale malt, light pepper. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering dry finish. (4/5)

A fairly middle-of-the-pack BPA. Decent fruitiness, but not entirely clean – there’s a little brown apple in there, but not bad overall. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij der Trappisten van Westmalle Westmalle Dubbel – Abbey Dubbel at 7% ABV

Brouwerij der Trappisten van Westmalle Westmalle Dubbel Abbey Dubbel at 7% ABV (C$5.29 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, best before 30-Apr-2016)

Pours opaque ruby brown with a short light tan head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, no lacing. (4/5) Nose is complex: toffee and caramel, brown sugar, dark slightly boozy stone fruit, mild cloves, banana and bubblegum. (9/10) Taste is moderate sweet, mild bitter, very slight tart. (9/10) Full slightly creamy body, soft carbonation, lingering dry finish. (5/5)

Really good. The sweetness is never cloying, and as it fades, there’s a very mild lingering bitter that you keep expecting to come forwards – but it doesn’t. The bitter stays in the background and never upsets the smooth fruity flavour or the lingering dry finish. There’s a very slight restrained acidity that keeps the mouth feel clean and almost crisp, and brings out the stone fruit flavour. I love hoppy and bitter beers, and this is pretty much the complete antithesis of that: it’s all about the dark malt fruitiness – and I like it a lot. There’s a reason this is considered a reference dubbel. (18/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Lagunitas Brewing Company Hairy Eyeball – American Strong Ale at 9.1% ABV

Lagunitas Brewing Company Hairy Eyeball American Strong Ale at 9.1% ABV (C$8.00 at Zyn,  650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear amber-brown with three fingers of light tan head, excellent retention and lacing. (5/5) Nose is toffee malt, brown sugar, dark slightly boozy stone fruit, mild pine resin. (7/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild peppery spice. (7/10) Medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter and mild spicy finish. (4/5)

Surprisingly smooth and light for a beefy ABV. I keep thinking there’s rye in there because of the little spice kick, but it doesn’t appear that there is. An interesting deep and rich malty brew. I’m not generally a fan of malty, but this works pretty well. Not sure I’d shave my eyeballs for it, but… (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Rosée d’Hibiscus – Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer at 3.9% ABV

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Rosée d’Hibiscus Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer at 3.9% ABV (C$3.50 at Zyn, 341 ml, bottle date 1-May-2014)

Pours clear reddish pale amber with one finger of short-lived off-white head, no lacing. (3/5) Nose is berries, light wheat, floral, light yeast. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, low bitter, slight tart. (6/10) Medium body, moderate to low carbonation, quick finish. (3/5)

Not all that great: reminds me of some of Innis & Gunn’s better products – e.g. the Cherrywood. It’s sweet and fruity, but without a lot of depth to back it up. The hibiscus is less pronounced than I was hoping it would be, but I’m not sure more emphatic floral notes would help all that much. Not one of DDC’s best offerings. (12/20)

My 157th from the 2010 Edition (148th from the 2013 edition), and 167th combining both editions.

6/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beer Reviews