Phillips Brewing Company Kaleidoscope IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Phillips Brewing Company Kaleidoscope IPA American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Pours a clear light gold with two fingers of foamy white head diminishing to a thin skim and moderate spotty lacing. Nose is hop forward, lots of Mosaic citrus, pine, and tropical fruit, but with a hint of caramel malt. Taste starts balanced sweet and bitter, but the bitter grows to dominate, becoming almost peppery. Mouth feel is slightly watery and light bodied, with a lingering bitter, sticky finish.

Quite nice! Flavour starts surprisingly mild, given the nose, but the hop bitterness and peppery bite build as the bottle progresses. The crystal clear appearance of this beer suggests this to be a far less enthusiastic IPA than it actually is. Not quite as robust as their Amnesiac, but it makes up for that in the very decent finish.

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

St. Austell Brewery Proper Job – IPA at 5.5% ABV

St. Austell Brewery Proper Job IPA at 5.5% ABV

Pours a clear gold with two fingers of foamy white head, excellent retention, and heavy lacing. Nose is citrus, pine, and tropical fruit. Taste starts sweet and citrusy, giving way to a bitter finish. Mouth feel is watery, with medium body and sustained carbonation.

Pleasantly light and fruity, with nicely balanced sharp hop bitterness and mild malt. The ABV may be a little high to consider this a session ale, but it’s not far off that. Quite drinkable.

8/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Green Flash Brewing Co. Green Flash West Coast IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.1% ABV

Green Flash Brewing Co. Green Flash West Coast IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.1% ABV

Pours a slightly cloudy orange with a fat finger of white head diminishing to a thin skim and moderate sticky lacing. Nose is pine and citrus hops against a caramel malt background. Taste is similar, with a blend of bitter hops and caramel malt. Smooth mouthfeel, medium body and an off-dry lingering bitter finish.

Big hops dominated by pine, just the way I like it. There’s a lot of malt as well, though, that definitely cuts the impact of the hop bittering. Not entirely sure what’s missing here, but this doesn’t have the character one might expect from nearly 100 IBU. No bottle date, so perhaps it’s simply age. Decent, without being stellar.

8/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Shmaltz Brewing Company He’Brew Hop Manna – American IPA at 6.8% ABV

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Shmaltz Brewing Company He’Brew Hop Manna American IPA at 6.8% ABV

Pours a hazy orange with a fat finger of thick white head with great persistence and heavy chunky lacing. Nose is pine, citrus, tropical fruit, and grassy hops against a sweet caramel malt backbone. Taste is similar, with a blend of bitter hops and caramel malt. Smooth mouthfeel with medium body and an off-dry lingering bitter finish.

Not bad, but not really the hop profile or malt balance I prefer in an IPA. The mango flavour plays slightly too dominant a role, and there’s a stronger sweet malt presence than I’d like. The hops blend loses its edge against the malt background, and though it’s hop forward, it’s missing the resiny sharpness I prefer.

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Goose Island Beer Co. Matilda – Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7.0% ABV

Goose Island Beer Co. Matilda Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7.0% ABV

Pours a cloudy copper with a ridiculously unmanageable head, requiring ten or fifteen minutes to tame to three or four pillowy fingers, great retention and heavy lacing. Nose is dominated by brett, with a distinct sour edge, against stone fruit and caramel malt. Taste starts out sweet, but moves quickly to sour, with a lingering sour and bitter finish. Mouth feel is slightly heavy, with lower than expected carbonation.

Oh, that’s nice. That’s very nice. Mildly funky and sour, with just enough brett to be interesting, but not overwhelming. Loads of character, with a gentle warming as the bottle progresses.

9/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mill Street Brew Pub Mill Street Original Organic Lager – Pale Lager at 4.2% ABV

Mill Street Brew Pub Mill Street Original Organic Lager Pale Lager at 4.2% ABV

Pours a bright clear straw yellow with a half finger white head, decent retention, and no lacing. Nose is biscuity malt and very faint grassy hops. Taste is sweet biscuity malt and no hop presence to speak of. Light body and sustained carbonation.

Inoffensive, fizzy and yellow. At least there are no adjunct flavours. (And thankfully, that’s it for my Mill Street sampler pack. Won’t be doing that again!)

5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mill Street Brew Pub Mill Street 100th Meridian – American Amber Lager at 5.0% ABV

Mill Street Brew Pub Mill Street 100th Meridian American Amber Lager at 5.0% ABV

Pours a clear medium amber with a low short-lived head and no lacing. Nose is light caramel and toasted biscuit malt, faint grassy hops. Taste is medium sweet malt and mild bitter. Medium bodied, moderate sustained carbonation.

Well, it’s a lager. An amber one. It’s better than a macro adjunct lager, but that’s hardly an accomplishment. Not much else to say about that.

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Double Trouble Brewing Co. Prison Break Breakout Pilsner – Pilsner at 5.0% ABV

Double Trouble Brewing Co. Prison Break Breakout Pilsner Pilsner at 5.0% ABV

Pours a clear gold with a fluffy two finger head on an aggressive pour, decent retention and spotty lacing. Nose is biscuity malt, light grass and herbal hops, faint honey. Taste starts mildly sweet before giving way to a lingering moderate bitter finish. Body is light even though carbonation is a little low, tending to the watery.

Not a bad pilsner, but even a good pilsner is only a pilsner – which is to say, you pretty much expect it to be fizzy, yellow, and watery. Decent enough thirst quencher with dinner, and certainly better than a macro adjunct lager.

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Mill Street Brew Pub Mill Street Belgian Style Cherry IPA – Fruit Beer / Belgian IPA at 7.0% ABV

Mill Street Brew Pub Mill Street Belgian Style Cherry IPA Fruit Beer / Belgian IPA at 7.0% ABV

Pours a clear slightly pink copper with one finger of foamy white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim and spotty lacing. Nose is low, cherries, biscuit malt, faint spiciness. Taste is mildly tart bing cherries, biscuit and slight pepper. Mouth feel is medium bodied with sustained carbonation and an off-dry finish.

I dunno. After the first mouthful I entertained thoughts of a sink pour, but it grew on me. I initially thought the cherry was a little artificial and metallic, but again, I mellowed on it as the bottle progressed. It ends up smelling and tasting like nothing so much as a cherry pop tart – which is of course a mixed blessing. The cherry is actually nicely tart, not too sweet, and builds to a pleasant bitter finish. Plus, anything that can pull off a decently high ABV as sneakily as this is aces in my book.

7/10 #ryansbooze

Stone Brewing Co. Matt’s Burning Rosids – Smoked Saison/Farmhouse at 10.5% ABV

Stone Brewing Co. Matt’s Burning Rosids Smoked Saison/Farmhouse at 10.5% ABV

Pours a clear, deep gold with a fluffy two finger head diminishing gradually to a thin skim and spotty moderate lacing. Nose is smoky and almost peaty, woody and cherry, with some sweet biscuity malt. Taste starts sweet and slightly salty, giving way to moderate bitter and smoke. Mouth feel is medium bodied and sticky, with lower carbonation and a building smokiness and alcohol warmth on a lingering bitter finish.

An odd beer, but not necessarily in a negative way. The smokiness is initially muted, but grows as the pint progresses, as does the alcohol presence. There’s a back and forth between the aroma and flavour, with neither clearly dominating over the other, but I generally find the flavour to be lighter than expected given the nose, as is the body. Perhaps this is why smoking seems to be generally reserved for darker beers, where the more robust dark malt flavour can counterbalance the smoke? Intriguing, but a bit of a challenge to finish. I again find myself less than completely convinced by a smoked beer, but hardly dismissive.

7/10 #ryansbooze

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