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Western Newfoundland Brewing Co. Beer Lake NL Honey Pilsner – Pilsner at 5% ABV

Western Newfoundland Brewing Co. Beer Lake NL Honey Pilsner – Pilsner at 5% ABV (C$7.31 at NLC Stavanger, 946 ml, packaged on 24-Mar-2020, acquired 9-Jul-2020, reviewed 10-Jul-2020)

Appearance: very slightly hazy medium gold with a short, short-lived loose white head, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: bready honey, herbal/grass, earth. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, medium duration mild bitter lightly spicy finish. (3/5)

Boy, that’s not much different than their Beer! Like the Can Says Blond – maybe a bit more honey, a bit less fruit, and a bit more bitter, but not radically different. Which is to say, cold, wet, beer. No more, no less. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Western Newfoundland Brewing Co. Beer! Like the Can Says – Blond Ale at 5% ABV

Western Newfoundland Brewing Co. Beer! Like the Can Says – Blond Ale at 5% ABV (C$7.31 at NLC Stavanger, 946 ml, packaged on 1-May-2020, acquired 9-Jul-2020, reviewed 9-Jul-2020)

Appearance: slightly hazy medium gold with a short, short-lived loose white head, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: bready honey, mild fruit, herbal/grass. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, medium duration mild bitter finish. (3/5)

Yep, that’s beer, just like the can says. Those crowlers are fun – they remind me of the old days of my work term in Ottawa when we used to get the big 1 litre cans at the depanneur next to the house. I’d be on the phone to my girlfriend and she’d ask if I had been drinking. “Nah, just one or two cans, that’s all.” Then we came back from the work term with my buddy’s Lada loaded to the tits with flats of the 1 litre cans, and there was much eye rolling and sighing. Good times!  Oh, you wanted to know about the beer itself? Yeah, it’s beer. Like the can says. Weren’t you paying attention? Bonus points for the Newfoundland flag and the merb’y (not explaining – if you have to ask, you won’t get it) logo. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Brouwerij Het Anker Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Rood (2014) – Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 10% ABV | 17 IBU

Brouwerij Het Anker Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Rood (2014) – Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 10% ABV | 17 IBU (C$13.49 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 750 ml, best before 24-Jun-2017, acquired 1-Mar-2015, reviewed 7-Jul-2020)

Appearance: clear deep gold with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: apple, stone fruit, candi sugar, white grape, hint of banana, spices. (9/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-low bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, sticky long warming slightly spicy finish. (4/5)

Dammit, I miss Belgium. This is generally classed as a BSPA, but it could just as easily be a sweet Tripel of the style sometimes encountered there. Any way you slice it, it’s slick, sweet, and lively, and betrays very little of its double-digit ABV until you start to go cross-eyed. I was convinced I had tried this before, but digging through my notes comes up empty. Thus, I apparently have no experience with a fresh baseline, but I’m guessing this has changed very little, if at all, during its six years in the bottle. I’m also of the opinion that the purported BB date is pure nonsense, because with it more than three years in the rear view mirror, this is still very drinkable indeed, exhibiting no negative effects of age at all. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Innis & Gunn Brewing Company Irish Whiskey Cask – Stout at 6.1% ABV

Innis & Gunn Brewing Company Irish Whiskey Cask – Stout at 6.1% ABV (C$3.65 at NLC Stavanger, 473 ml, best before 30-Apr-2021, acquired 30-Jun-2020, reviewed 6-Jul-2020)

Appearance: clear deep cola red with one finger of fine beige head diminishing rapidly to a thin ring, spotty soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: chocolate, ashy roasted malt, vanilla, whiskey, stone fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, lingering bitter lightly warming finish. (4/5)

I’ve been fairly unimpressed with I&G for quite a while now: admittedly it seems like they never actually shit the bed (though their ginger beer came close to that) but no more do they ever really knock one out of the park – mediocrity seems to be the name of the game. This, though, is actually pretty decent. Not great, mind you – there are too many little picky points for that. Head development and retention are frankly abysmal for the style, and the light body and almost lively carbonation seem inappropriate to the style. I’m also on the fence regarding the whiskey notes: on the one hand, it’s good that they don’t overwhelm, but on the other, a bit more bombast wouldn’t be a bad thing, either. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Quidi Vidi Brewing Company Night Cap Gin & Tonic Ale – Blond Ale at 5.1% ABV

Quidi Vidi Brewing Company Night Cap Gin & Tonic Ale – Blond Ale at 5.1% ABV (C$3.75 at NLC Stavanger, 473 ml, packaged on 19-Apr-2020, acquired 30-Jun-2020, reviewed 5-Jul-2020)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to nothing, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: cucumber, herbal juniper, gin barrel, lemon-lime. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration slightly boozy finish. (4/5)

Well, it’s definitely gin-and-tonic-ish, even if it’s not very beer-ish. Now, if you only do traditional G&T’s with lime you might think that the cucumber is out of place, but I’ll tell you: a G&T with cucumber is well worth your time trying. I’ve called the finish “slightly boozy”, but it’s not really warming or otherwise alcohol hot – it’s just so much like a G&T that I can’t convince myself it isn’t. Definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m giving it bonus points for both originality and quality of implementation. Bottom line: try it if you like G&T’s, don’t if you don’t. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Quidi Vidi Brewing Company Aloha Sour IPA – American IPA at 6% ABV

Quidi Vidi Brewing Company Aloha Sour IPA – American IPA at 6% ABV (C$3.92 at NLC Stavanger, 473 ml, packaged on 20-May-2020, acquired 30-Jun-2020, reviewed 5-Jul-2020)

Appearance: hazy deep gold with one fat finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to nothing, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: lactic sour, tropical & stone fruit, citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, mild bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-low carbonation, medium duration lightly tart finish. (4/5)

Meh. The comparison between Newfoundland and Hawaii is a little on the nose, what with the 7º and rain here. Not to mention, I had to cancel my Hawaii trip in April… Personal context aside, this is OK, but no better. It’s a pretty basic fruited sour IPA, with the typical single-note lactic kettle sour, and some non-specific tropical, stone, and citrus fruits. I wouldn’t be very excited about this even if I didn’t already have heartburn today. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Ninepenny Brewing Blinding Light – American IPA at 6.6% ABV

Ninepenny Brewing Blinding Light – American IPA at 6.6% ABV (C$4.93 at NLC Stavanger, 500 ml, packaged on 24-Jun-2020, acquired 30-Jun-2020, reviewed 4-Jul-2020)

Appearance: muddy hazy deep gold with two fat fingers of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, moderate soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: stone fruit, caramel, wet cardboard. (5/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (5/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration lightly warming finish. (3/5)

Extremely disappointing. I had this one a year ago at Landwash, and was hoping to be able to do a more detailed review of what was then a good beer, but this bears no resemblance to that, is far inferior, and clearly damaged. I’m hoping just a bad batch, because with only ten days in the bottle it clearly hasn’t had time to oxidize. Sorry guys, not good – sink poured it. (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Ninepenny Brewing 12 Bricks – American IPA at 5.6% ABV

Ninepenny Brewing 12 Bricks – American IPA at 5.6% ABV (C$5.14 at NLC Stavanger, 500 ml, packaged on 17-Jun-2020, acquired 30-Jun-2020, reviewed 4-Jul-2020)

Appearance: opaque purple-pink with two fingers of loose light pink head diminishing rapidly to a thin ring, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: raspberry, floral, faint lactose. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, moderate-low bitter. (8/10) Palate: smooth medium body, moderate carbonation, short duration lightly tart finish. (4/5)

This thing pours a shockingly intense purplish-pink, and is imbued with nearly as intense raspberry aroma and flavour. Despite the intense fruit flavour, the sweetness is quite mild, and I’m not getting a lot of lactose, except perhaps as a smoothness in the body. Yes, it’s all about the fruit, but in a way that emphasizes flavour over sweetness. In fact, it’s almost reminiscent of a Belgian Framboise,  and once I got over the shock of how completely unexpected the whole thing was, I quite enjoyed it. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Ninepenny Brewing Original Sin – White IPA at 5.6% ABV

Ninepenny Brewing Original Sin – White IPA at 5.6% ABV (C$4.71 at NLC Stavanger, 500 ml, packaged on 3-Jun-2020, acquired 30-Jun-2020, reviewed 4-Jul-2020)

Appearance: muddy opaque deep gold with two fingers of rocky off-white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: clove, wheat, oats, floral, earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter mildly warming slightly spicy finish. (3/5)

A bit more “muddy” than “white”, in my opinion. Brewed with Ardennes yeast and hopped with Equanot, Cascade, Centennial, and El Dorado – but the yeast definitely dominates with the clove-like aromas. Personally I’d like a bit more (as in, some) citrus from the hops selection. Not bad, but not a lot to distinguish it, either. On the other hand, it’s yet another new (-ish / to me) Newfoundland brewery, so that’s all to the good. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Innis & Gunn Brewing Company Gunnpowder IPA – American IPA at 5% ABV

Innis & Gunn Brewing Company Gunnpowder IPA – American IPA at 5% ABV (C$3.48 at NLC Stavanger, 473 ml, best before 30-Apr-2021, acquired 30-Jun-2020, reviewed 3-Jul-2020)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of dense pale ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, bready caramel, floral, oak. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration mildly warming finish. (3/5)

Slightly surprisingly, a halfway-decent AIPA. Or, at least, what halfway-decent AIPA’s were like about a decade ago. Old-fashioned, and a bit oaky, but Ok overall. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com