Big Rock Brewery Big Rock Cherazz – Fruit beer at 4.1% ABV

Big Rock Brewery Big Rock Cherazz Fruit beer at 4.1% ABV

Pours a deep brownish ruby with a fat frothy pinkish-purple head diminishing rapidly to nothing, no lacing. Nose is dominated by cherry and raspberry, with a little wheat, pale malt, and vinegar. Taste is cough drops, artificial cherry and lots of sugar. Light to moderate body, low carbonation, and an off-dry finish.

Yeah, that’s about what I expected. I’ll keep buying Big Rock varietals till the cows come home – have to support home-grown breweries, after all – but I no longer expect to be impressed by them. This is a bit of a muddled mess, and is a far cry from the Belgian style it aspires to.

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Unibroue Éphémère Pomme (Apple) – Fruit beer at 5.5% ABV

Unibroue Éphémère Pomme (Apple) Fruit beer at 5.5% ABV

Pours clear straw yellow with a fat finger of frothy white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and no lacing. Nose is green apple with a faint yeasty base, perhaps a hint of wheat and coriander. Taste is green apple and bready malt with a little citrus. Light body, moderate sustained carbonation, and a short, sweet, crisp finish.

Light and refreshing, mildly tart and not too sweet. Cider comparisons are obvious but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A good summer patio beer.

My 100th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 94th by the 2013 Edition, and 103rd overall.

7.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

McAuslan Brewing St-Ambroise Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.0% ABV

McAuslan Brewing St-Ambroise Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5.0% ABV

Pours clear medium amber with two fingers of frothy off white head, decent retention and heavy lacing. Nose is herbal hops, roasted malt. Taste is caramel malt leading light grassy hops. Light to medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, and a sustained balanced bitter finish.

A decently sessionable malt-forward APA with not much to distinguish it one way or another. Pleasant and easy-drinking, but without too much character.

My 99th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 93rd by the 2013 Edition, and 102nd overall.

7/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet – Abbey Tripel at 8.4% ABV

Brouwerij Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet Abbey Tripel at 8.4% ABV

Pours a hazy straw yellow with two fingers of fluffy white head gradually diminishing to a thin skim, with sticky lacing. Nose is Belgian yeast, wheat, banana, bubblegum, and vanilla. Taste is light, sweet and mildly bitter, with wheat and fruit notes, and slightly spicy. Medium to light body and a sticky, off-dry warming finish.

Very nice Belgian Abbey Tripel. Balanced sweetness and a nice bright character with a pleasant lingering finish.

9/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV Maredsous 10 – Tripel at 10.0% ABV

Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV Maredsous 10 Tripel at 10.0% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy copper amber with a fat finger of frothy white head, great retention and heavy lacing. Nose is mild, dark fruit and Belgian yeast, some citrus, and faint bubblegum. Taste is similar, with some toffee malt and spice. Medium to thick body, with a somewhat fluffy texture and a sticky, warming alcohol finish.

Sweet and tending towards the heavy, this is a big beer. Although I prefer dry and floral tripels over malty ones, this is pretty decent.

My 98th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 92nd by the 2013 Edition, and 101st overall.

8.0/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mill Street Brew Pub Mill Street Coffee Porter – American Porter at 5.5% ABV

Mill Street Brew Pub Mill Street Coffee Porter American Porter at 5.5% ABV

Pours a deep cola brown with no head or lacing. Nose is muted, coffee and roasted grain. Taste follows suit, mild bitter coffee and nutty malt. Body tends to the thin side, with low carbonation and a medium dry bitter finish.

Not bad, but nothing thrilling – a moderate porter with a mild coffee edge. I was a little disappointed the airport brew pub didn’t have this on tap, but I have to assume they at least have decently new bottles of their own beer… Don’t I?

My 97th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 91st by the 2013 Edition, and 100th overall.

6.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

The Bruery Sour In The Rye – American Wild Ale at 7.8% ABV

The Bruery Sour In The Rye American Wild Ale at 7.8% ABV

(2013 vintage re-reviewed after a year’s cellaring) Pours a clear copper amber with one finger of loose light beige head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim and no lacing. Nose is sour and funky, with lemony citrus coming to the forefront and dominating over the rye bread tones that were previously more noticeable, vanilla and spices coming through as it warms. Taste has become almost lemonade-like citrus and sour cherries, with low but sufficient sweetness. Medium-bodied and moderate residual carbonation despite the lack of a head.

At least as good as it was at the time of the previous review, perhaps slightly better. The sourness has developed more, with slightly less sweetness apparent. The flavours are more of a cohesive whole, but still leave a complex finish, with vanilla and cloves gradually becoming apparent as the citrus and cherries fade. Really, really good, with only some very minor aesthetic issues preventing a perfect score.

9.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Bières de Chimay S.A. Chimay Spéciale Cent Cinquante – Tripel at 10.0% ABV

Bières de Chimay S.A. Chimay Spéciale Cent Cinquante Tripel at 10.0% ABV

Pours a clear gold (some lees in the bottle) with a fat finger of fluffy white head, great retention, and chunky head. Nose is muted, candi sugar, Belgian yeast, faint floral hops and dark fruit. Taste follows suit, sweet and complex. Medium to light body, with a somewhat fluffy texture aided by the sustained moderate carbonation, and a lingering, sticky, boozy finish.

I’m a little torn here – it’s a decent enough tripel, albeit a touch on the sticky side, and missing the dry, floral aspect I tend to prefer in a tripel – but I feel like it would cellar really well. There’s a hint of dark fruit that I think would integrate very well with the booziness to make something partway between a tripel and a quad. As it stands, it’s a little exuberant and naïve. At the end of the day, though, it’s a Chimay, and if they do anything wrong, I haven’t seen it.

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Quidi Vidi Brewing Company Honey Brown – American Amber / Red Lager at 5.0% ABV

Quidi Vidi Brewing Company Honey Brown American Amber / Red Lager at 5.0% ABV

Pours a clear deep gold to pale amber with a short white head dissipating rapidly to a thin ring and no lacing. Nose is honey, light grain and malt, slightly floral. Taste is caramel and biscuity malt with hint of honey. Medium body and smooth, with moderate to prickly sustained carbonation.

Well, it’s not brown, but it’s sorta honey. (I’ll be generous there, since it’s local, and assume it’s more “honey” and less “corn syrup”.) I’ve of course had a great many of these over the years, but really the best one can say about it is, it gets the job done. Eventually. If “the job” is “quench thirst” and/or “impair judgement”. It’s better than an adjunct lager… barely. Fairly mediocre, overall.

5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Bulmers Cider (Heineken UK) Foundry Golden Cider – Cider at 4.5% ABV

Bulmers Cider (Heineken UK) Foundry Golden Cider Cider at 4.5% ABV

Pours a clear medium amber with a fluffy one finger white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim. Nose is sweet apples, some grape and skins, slightly spicy. Taste follows suit, mildly sweet and finishing tart. Mouth feel is medium-bodied, with moderate sustained carbonation and decently dry.

Surprisingly decent for an industrial cider. Certainly better than the Magners that Bulmers also makes – certainly the Foundry is not as sweet, and is missing the slightly metallic note I didn’t like in the Magners. That being said, it is what it is, and suffers badly by comparison to artisanal ciders like the Domaine de la Minotière Cidre Fermier Bio Brut Normandy Cider I reviewed a few months ago.

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beer Reviews