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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.)
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.