Brouwerij St. Bernardus Prior 8 Abbey Dubbel at 8% ABV
Pours clear (first glass) to muddy and particulate-laden (second glass) ruby-tinged deep amber with two fingers of loose off-white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, light lacing (3/5). Nose is dark caramel malt, dark fruit, Belgian yeast, some vanilla. (8/10). Taste is moderate brown sugar sweet, mild bitter, alcohol (8/10). Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, with a smooth, lightly boozy finish (4/5).
A decent abbey dubbel that doesn’t get me all that excited. Decent dark flavour and boozy finish, but ultimately falls just a little short. I’m not sure exactly what’s not doing it for me, but I just can’t rank this above the 8/10 “world class” line. (15/20)
7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
Microbrasserie Charlevoix Dominus Vobiscum Blanche Witbier at 5% ABV ($5.74, via Beer Club Offering #12.)
Pours slightly hazy pale straw with two finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, moderate lacing (4/5). Nose is Belgian yeast, lemony citrus, wheat bread, apples and grapes. (8/10). Taste is mild sweet, moderate bitter, tart and spice (8/10). Light to medium body, prickly to moderate carbonation, with a spicy, tart finish (5/5).
That is nice! Glad I drank it fresh, before it had a chance to dim. Really excellent example of a true Belgian-style witbier, comparable in performance to their Lupulus as an example of Belgian Strong Ale. Tart, crisp, and almost cider-like flavour, with just a hint of cellar mustiness. Great beer for a warm day on the patio. (18/20)
8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
North Coast Brewing Company Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Russian Imperial Stout at 9% ABV (Price unknown, via trade.)
Pours solid opaque black with a fat finger of dense beige head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, light patchy lacing (4/5). Nose is roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, liquorice, woody smoke, faint hops (8/10). Taste is mild sweet, intensely bitter with both roasted malt and grassy hops (8/10). Full creamy body, moderate carbonation, with a semi-sweet lactose-like finish (5/5).
Some distinct harshness at times, with the hops giving a suggestion of cattiness in the nose and on the tongue – but just a suggestion. Overall, it’s complex and robust, quite able to pull off the moderately high ABV. An excellent example of the style – right on par with Ten Fidy, perhaps, but not quite as decent a performer as Stone’s IRS. And yet again, Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Brunch Weasel has spoiled me for all lesser beers. (17/20)
My 116th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 109th by the 2013 Edition, and 119th overall.
8.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
Brouwerij Bockor N.V. Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge Flanders Red Ale at 5.5% ABV (Price unknown, via trade.)
Pours mostly clear deep amber brown (some particulate) with a fat finger of dense light beige head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, light patchy lacing (4/5). Nose is dominated by sour cherry, with a hint of other berries and oaky wood, balsamic vinegar (9/10). Taste is mild sweet, moderately intense sour, just a hint of umame (8/10). Medium to full body, moderate to prickly sustained carbonation, with a tart, dry finish (5/5).
Now that’s what I’m talking about! I do love me a good Flemish red, and that’s a good Flemish red. Lovely sour on the nose and the tongue, finishing tart and crisp. Well worth the inevitable heartburn! (18/20)
9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
Hofbräuhaus München Hofbräu Original Dortmunder/Helles at 5.1% ABV ($5.78 via Beer Club Offering #13)
Pours clear straw with two plus fingers of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate patchy lacing (4/5). Nose is biscuity malt, grassy hops, and fruit (apple/grape) (6/10). Taste is mild to moderate sweet, mild to moderate bitter (5/10). Light body, moderate to low sustained carbonation, with an off-dry bitter finish (3/5).
See, what I like most about this, is that it reminds me of being in the Hofbräuhaus München. With a beer as big as my head in one hand, and a pretzel as big as my head in the other. Listening to the oompah band. While my nine-month old dances on the table to the delight of the German patrons. Other than that, it’s a pretty standard Helles lager – fairly light in body and character, with no offensive adjunct flavourings. (12/20)
6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
Microbrasserie Charlevoix La Vache Folle RyePA Rye Beer at 6% ABV ($5.74 via Beer Club Offering #12)
Pours clear pale amber with three plus fingers of loose light beige head, great retention, heavy lacing (4/5). Nose is sharp rye, caramel malt, citrus and floral hops (8/10). Taste is moderate sweet, moderate sour, and moderate to strong bitter (8/10). Medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, with a slightly sticky, dry bitter spicy finish (4/5).
That’s quite good. The rye works very well with the citrus and floral hops to provide a solid bittering counterbalance to a malty sweetness that might otherwise be overwhelming or sickly. Gotta say, I do tend to like rye beers in general and rye IPA’s as a sub genre. (17/20)
8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
Molson Coors Canada Rickard’s Lederhosen Oktoberfest/Märzen at 6.5% ABV ($3.75 at NLC Kelsey Drive)
Pours clear pale amber with two fingers of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, patchy moderate lacing (4/5). Nose is corn, pale/caramel malts, faint herbal hops, and a metallic tang (4/10). Taste is moderate sweet and moderate to strong bitter (4/10). Medium body, moderate to low sustained carbonation, with a dry bitter finish (3/5).
Well, I’m hardly surprised. It’s a poor, pale macro imitation of a style that isn’t all that exciting to start with. Credit where credit is due, I’m kind of surprised at how much bittering there is on the tongue (thought it’s hardly present on the nose, which is very much an adjunct lager). Gets fractionally better two-thirds of the way through the pint, once the higher ABV has a chance to mellow you out a little. Better than a Molson Canadian, I guess. (10/20)
5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
Coronado Brewing Company Orange Avenue Wit Witbier at 5.2% ABV ($9.29 at Quarry Park Co-Op)
Pours clear (first glass) to cloudy (second glass) deep gold with a short-lived one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, patchy minimal lacing (3/5). Nose is orange pulp and peel, honey, coriander, wheat (6/10). Taste is moderate sweet and bitter, finishing mildly spicy (6/10). Light to medium body, moderate to low sustained carbonation, with a dry bitter and spicy finish (3/5).
Kind of disappointing, if I’m honest. The sadly deflating head sort of mirrored my perception of this beer. The first whiff of orange pulp and peel started to get me interested, but then it just kinda slumped. The nose started to come across as a bit perfumey, then the taste started to feel the same. Not the best offering from what I had considered a pretty solid brewery. (12/20)
6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
Tullibardine (Black Wolf) 1488 Scotch Ale at 7% ABV ($7.69 at Crowfoot Liquor)
Pours clear medium gold with one fingers of dense white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, patchy minimal lacing (3/5). Nose is sweet malt, honey, faint whisky and oaky vanilla (5/10). Taste is aggressively sweet with faint whisky notes, finishing bitter (4/10). Light to medium body, moderate to low sustained carbonation, with a lingering sticky bitter and faint whisky finish (3/5).
I’m not a big fan of scotch ales / wee heavies at the best of times, and this doesn’t come anywhere near the best. Aggressive sugary sweetness and only a hint of whisky conditioning, on top of a sweet malt base and no hop character. About the best thing I can say about this is, at least it’s not peated malt. (10/20)
My 115th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 108th by the 2013 Edition, and 118th overall.
5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com