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S.Y.C. Brewing Co. Nimbus Maximus – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.0% ABV

S.Y.C. Brewing Co. Nimbus Maximus – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.0% ABV (C$4.81 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 15-Jul-2020, acquired 4-Aug-2020, reviewed 5-Aug-2020)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one fat finger of rocky pale pink head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, tropical & stone fruit, caramel. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering building bitter lightly spicy finish. (4/5)

Galaxy, Citra, and Sabro – what’s not to like? In addition to decent hopping, this high-proofer is dangerously easy to drink. It smells and (largely) feels like it should be an NEIPA, except for the emphatic building slightly spicy hop bitterness that’s not really in keeping with the style – but not unwelcome for me at all. Good fun. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Born Colorado Brewing Blackberry’on – American IPA at 7.5% ABV | 10 IBU

Born Colorado Brewing Blackberry’on – American IPA at 7.5% ABV | 10 IBU (C$4.72 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 29-Jul-2020, acquired 4-Aug-2020, reviewed 5-Aug-2020)

Appearance: opaque pale purple with one fat finger of rocky pale pink head, good retention and spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, pale malt, mild field berries, light pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter lightly tart finish. (4/5)

Hopped with Ella, Vic Secret, and Galaxy. I was deeply concerned that the NEIPA character would be overwhelmed by blackberry, but in fact this is very nicely balanced. There’s enough blackberry content to give intense colour, but the associated aroma and flavour very much take a back seat to the ANZ hopping. I really like this. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Phillips Brewing Company Pandamonium Super IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 6.8% ABV

Phillips Brewing Company Pandamonium Super IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 6.8% ABV (C$4.22 at Okotoks Co-Op, 473 ml, best before 13-Sep-2020, acquired 3-Aug-2020, reviewed 5-Aug-2020)

Appearance: hazy deep gold with two fat fingers of rocky pale ivory head, good retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pine, overripe tropical fruit, caramel, citrus. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-full body, moderate carbonation, sweetish building bitter finish. (3/5)

Meh. A bit of a lazy unfocussed mess. It’s OK, but no better. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Great Lakes Brewery Sunnyside Session – Session IPA at 3.9% ABV | 25 IBU

Great Lakes Brewery Sunnyside Session – Session IPA at 3.9% ABV | 25 IBU (C$3.82 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 11-Jun-2020, acquired 4-Aug-2020, reviewed 5-Aug-2020)

Appearance: hazy straw with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, citrus, tropical fruit, crackery pale malt, hint of earthy pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter. (7/10) Palate: light body, moderate carbonation, crisp mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Not bad for such a low ABV. I suspect the addition of flaked oats prevents the body from falling off too thin or watery, and there’s no astringency in the finish as sometimes occurs with these very light beers. It is what it is: a pleasant, unchallenging patio beer. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Deschutes Brewery Neon Daydream – American IPA at 4.8% ABV | 35 IBU

Deschutes Brewery Neon Daydream – American IPA at 4.8% ABV | 35 IBU (C$3.85 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 26-Jun-2020, acquired 4-Aug-2020, reviewed 4-Aug-2020)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale straw with one finger of rocky white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, minimal spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus, crackery pale malt, light grass & floral, faint tropical notes. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter, hint of tart. (7/10) Palate: light body, moderate carbonation, crisp mild bitter slightly tart finish. (4/5)

Hazy, light, and bright, easy to drink crisp citrus – that’s the up side. The down? It’s not quite boring, but certainly not exciting. It’s hopped with Cashmere, Simcoe, and Lemondrop, and as usual I don’t find the latter all that lemony – but the Simcoe doesn’t tend catty, so that’s good, and the Cashmere doesn’t seem to be presenting a whole lot of tropical notes, so call it neutral. The malt bill includes wheat, flaked oats, and acidulated malt, but I’m really only finding the former. All in all, it’s a light easy drinker, making it a nice lunch or lawnmower beer. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Iron Rock Brewing Co. Overburden – Oatmeal Stout at 4.9% ABV | 32 IBU

Iron Rock Brewing Co. Overburden – Oatmeal Stout at 4.9% ABV | 32 IBU (Trade – thanks Norm!, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 28-Jul-2020, reviewed 31-Jul-2020)

Appearance: slightly hazy deep cola red with one fat finger of rocky light beige head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, minimal soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: chocolate, red berries, roasty malts, oats. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium smooth slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Yep, that’s an Oatmeal Stout, all right. The initial aroma contains a fairly significant red berry character, and it tends slightly sweet on the tongue consistent with that. There’s some nice smoothness in the body, presumably courtesy of the oats, but I find the carbonation a touch high for the style. Also, though it’s fairly decent on the front end, it finishes just slightly astringent. All in all, an OK effort but nothing very memorable. Glad I’m getting to try some beers from The Big Land, though! (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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2 Crows Brewing Bedlam Bridge – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV | 68 IBU

2 Crows Brewing Bedlam Bridge – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV | 68 IBU (Trade – thanks Norm!, 473 ml, packaged on 15-Apr-2020, acquired 28-Jul-2020, reviewed 30-Jul-2020)

Appearance: slightly muddy opaque deep gold with two fat fingers of fluffy white head, short retention and minimal spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild, citrus, pine, oats. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium smooth slightly creamy body, moderate-low carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter mildly warming finish. (4/5)

No negatives at all here. Unfortunately, there are also not a lot of positives. Come right down to it, there’s just not a lot happening here: although it’s refreshing and easy to drink, the aroma and flavour are surprisingly mild. I guess it’s no mean feat that the high ABV drinks like water, but some character would be nice, y’know? I strongly suspect I’m being unfair here, and that age is the problem: at more than three months in the can, I think this poor thing went and faded away. I suspect that fresh, this would score at least one full point higher overall, if not more. Oh, well – best I can do is promise to try it again if the opportunity presents. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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The Church Brewing Co. Sanctuary Enkel – Patersbier / Singel / Enkel at 3.8% ABV | 17 IBU

The Church Brewing Co. Sanctuary Enkel – Patersbier / Singel / Enkel at 3.8% ABV | 17 IBU (Trade – thanks Norm!, 473 ml, packaged on 14-Feb-2020, acquired 28-Jul-2020, reviewed 30-Jul-2020)

Appearance: clear straw with two fat fingers of fluffy white head, good retention and minimal spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: floral, spice, lemon, honey, crackery malt. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, crisp mildly spicy finish. (3/5)

They call this an Enkel, which should be essentially the same as a Patersbier, Singel, or Trappist Single, and a style I’ve had very infrequently. It’s got a bit of a mongrel character, with flashes of Pilsner, Belgian Table Beer, and other Trappist styles. Decent without being memorable, refreshing and crisp, but with a slightly unbalanced spiciness that lingers and grows a little. Good, not great. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Port Rexton Brewing Company All Together – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Port Rexton Brewing Company All Together – American IPA at 6.5% ABV (Trade – thanks Norm!, 473 ml, packaged on 1-Jun-2020, acquired 28-Jul-2020, reviewed 30-Jul-2020)

Appearance: slightly hazy medium gold with two fat fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, pine, pale malt. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Port Rexton’s version of a worldwide collaboration hosted by Other Half in support of hospitality personnel. Not quite as good as the Town Square version, perhaps, but far, far better than Russell’s version. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Trailway Brewing Co. Sultana’s of Swing – American Double / Imperial IPA at 7.5% ABV

Trailway Brewing Co. Sultana’s of Swing – American Double / Imperial IPA at 7.5% ABV (Trade – thanks Norm!, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 28-Jul-2020, reviewed 29-Jul-2020)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with one finger of loose white head, short retention and minimal spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: pineapple, stone fruit, mild dank resiny pine, hint of oats, light vegetal. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Props for the Dire Straits reference (even if the citation isn’t anywhere near their best album or song – those would be Brothers in Arms and Love over Gold, respectively, and I’ll fight anyone who says differently) but you lose those points again for the improper punctuation: an apostrophe is used for contraction or possession, never pluralization. As far as the beer itself goes, it’s a bit rough around the edges and definitely not one of their best. This appears to be single-hopped with Sultana (a.k.a. X06277 a.k.a. Denali) and while I appreciate that in a “science project” kind of way, I’m not sure this hop has the breadth of character to pull it off. (Not to mention, I hate that name for a hop. Sultanas are raisins or grapes, FFS, and the hop has no such characteristics.) It’s not bad – and, after trying half a dozen of theirs now, I’m not sure they can do a bad beer – but it’s merely good, not great. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com