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

Brewery Ommegang Three Philosophers – Belgian Style Blend Quadrupel at 9.8% ABV

Brewery Ommegang Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend Quadrupel at 9.8% ABV

Pours a mahogany red brown with one finger of off-white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim and moderate lacing. Nose is raisins, dark stone fruit, cherries, slight citrus and faint spicy yeast. Taste is similar, with a clear cherry kriek tang cutting through. Mouthfeel is bold yet crisp, with energetic sustained carbonation and surprisingly little alcohol warming.

Fantastic. Nowhere near as heavy as the appearance or nose would suggest, buoyed aloft by the sustained carbonation and the subtle yet distinct kriek edge. That, plus a seriously sneaky ABV, make this a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Highly recommended.

9/10 #ryansbooze #1001beers

Brasserie Artisanale Meduz Meduz Dorée – Bière de Garde at 5.0% ABV

Brasserie Artisanale Meduz Meduz Dorée Bière de Garde at 5.0% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy yellow with a fat finger of foamy white head, diminishing to a thin skim and no lacing. Nose is yeasty and slightly citrus, not much else. Taste starts with light caramel sweetness, giving way to mild bitter and slight spice. Medium body, with sustained moderate carbonation.

Quite similar to the Blonde, but less bitter and more pronounced citrus. Pleasant enough beer for a sunny afternoon.

6/10 #ryansbooze

Brasserie Artisanale Meduz Meduz Blonde – Bière de Garde at 5.0% ABV

Brasserie Artisanale Meduz Meduz Blonde Bière de Garde at 5.0% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy yellow with a fat finger of foamy white head, diminishing to a thin skim and moderate patchy lacing. Nose is yeasty and slightly fruity, with hints of stone fruit, cloves, and must. Taste starts with light caramel sweetness, giving way to mild bitter. Medium body, with sustained moderate carbonation.

Almost like a wit, but without wheat. Not unpleasant, but with a little harshness on the finish. Despite the low ABV, the low hop profile makes me think this might benefit from some cellaring to mellow the edges. (Which is of course hardly a reach on my part, considering it’s classified as a bière de garde.)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze

Bulmers Ireland (C&C Group) Magners Original Irish Cider at 4.5% ABV

Bulmers Ireland (C&C Group) Magners Original Irish Cider at 4.5% ABV

Pours a crystal clear slightly pink copper with a brief fizzy head. Nose is predominantly apple, with a little dry champagne character. Taste is tangy apple, slightly metallic and artificial as the pint progresses. Light, crisp, and reasonably dry.

A decent thirst quencher by the fire, but a little too sweet for my preference.

6/10 #ryansbooze

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Brasserie Artisanale Meduz Meduz Ambrée – American Amber / Bière de Garde at 6.0% ABV

Brasserie Artisanale Meduz Meduz Ambrée American Amber / Bière de Garde at 6.0% ABV

Pours a clear medium amber with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim and no lacing. Nose is dominated by caramel malt, with a little yeast. Taste is sweet caramel with little hoppiness to speak of, and slightly spicy. Medium body and mild sustained carbonation, with a crisp, bitter finish.

Slightly more interesting than a domestic amber/red, but not by a whole lot. A solid work-a-day performer.

6.5/10 #ryansbooze

Brasserie Artisanale Meduz Meduz Blanche – Bière de Garde at 5.0% ABV

Brasserie Artisanale Meduz Meduz Blanche Bière de Garde at 5.0% ABV

Pours a cloudy straw yellow with a fat finger of foamy white head, good retention and minimal lacing. Nose is muted, wheat and sweet citrus, with a little floral hops. Taste is mildly tart citrus, slightly spicy. Mouth feel is light, with low but sustained carbonation and a mildly bitter finish.

Not bad at all. Decently crisp, citrusy and slightly spicy. Nothing earth shattering, but certainly quite drinkable.

7/10 #ryansbooze

The Bruery Saison Rue – Saison / Farmhouse Ale at 8.5% ABV

The Bruery Saison Rue Saison / Farmhouse Ale at 8.5% ABV

Pours a clear deep gold with two fingers of foamy white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim and spotty lacing. Nose is subtle: light brett notes, pale malt, spicy rye, earthy, citrusy hops. Taste is complex, citrus and spice with a just a little brett and rye sourness. Carbonation remains high and fizzy, giving it a light mouthfeel.

Civilised and balanced – but perhaps a touch too civilised. The nose, in particular, is a touch too restrained. The flavour builds and deepens, with a mild alcohol warming, but the nose remains mild, with few indications of what’s to come. The flavour is balanced, sure, but it’s a bit out of sync with the nose – I’d like a little more emphasis there.

8/10 #ryansbooze #1001beers

8 Wired Brewing Co. Super Conductor – American Double/Imperial IPA at 8.8% ABV

8 Wired Brewing Co. Super Conductor American Double/Imperial IPA at 8.8% ABV

Pours a hazy orange with minimal head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, minimal spotty lacing. Nose is tropical fruit, low piney and floral hops, caramel malt. Taste leads with sweet caramel malt, giving way to a lingering hoppy bitterness. Medium to heavy body, slick, with low sustained carbonation.

This seems to be my third stale IPA of the evening. No buttered popcorn, but the hops in the nose were quite muted. The taste is pleasantly bitter, though. Not convinced it was all that fresh, but not bad.

7/10 #ryansbooze

Beer Reviews