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Marda Loop Brewing Co. The Big Juice – American IPA at 5.8% ABV

Marda Loop Brewing Co. The Big Juice – American IPA at 5.8% ABV (C$4.18 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 24-Mar-2021, acquired 23-Apr-2021, reviewed 30-Apr-2021)

Appearance: slightly hazy medium gold with two fat fingers of rocky pale ivory head, good retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pineapple/tropical, apple/pome, citrus, caramel, grass, light pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, sweetish medium duration finish. (3/5)

Not bad, but sweeter than I’d prefer. The fruit aroma is decent, but translates through to a somewhat sweet mid and a slightly sticky finish, preventing it from being as clean and refreshing as I’d like. Ultimately it’s juicy, but not brightly so. (14/20)

7/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Dageraad Brewing Field Theory – Saison at 4.2% ABV

Dageraad Brewing Field Theory – Saison at 4.2% ABV (C$4.45 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 24-Feb-2021, acquired 23-Apr-2021, reviewed 29-Apr-2021)

Appearance: hazy pale straw with a massive fluffy white head, excellent retention and moderate stringy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: floral, herbal, white pepper, cereal grains, lemon zest. (8/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, low bitter, light tart. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate-lively carbonation, dry clean finish. (4/5)

Hard to go wrong with Dageraad, particularly in their many Saisons, and this is exactly how I like to see a Saison done: dry, light, and refreshing, with a low ABV. Brewer notes indicate this is malted with barley and triticale, the latter contributing nicely to the cereal grain character. There is just enough peppery phenol character to make things interesting, and zesty lemon to cleanse the palate, resulting in a refreshingly dry and short finish. Great thirst quencher with lunch. (16/20)

8/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Rogue Ales Collossal Claude – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.2% ABV | 75 IBU

Rogue Ales Collossal Claude – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.2% ABV | 75 IBU (C$5.89 at Collective, 568 ml, packaged on 31-Dec-2020, acquired 23-Apr-2021, reviewed 28-Apr-2021)

Appearance: crystal clear medium gold with two fat fingers of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate stringy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: citrus, resiny pine, tropical fruit, caramel, cannabis. (8/10) Taste: high sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-full slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, sticky sweet lingering and building bitter finish. (4/5)

Hopped with the usual starts-with-C suspects (Cascade, Chinook, and Citra) as well as Strata, giving a nice blend of citrus, pine, and the old sticky-icky. I’ve been in the Haze Craze for so long now that I’d almost started to forget how much I love a good WCIPA, but this is just the bombastic beast to remind me of just how much fun old skool can be. It’s not perfect – in particular the big bitterness doesn’t completely offset the big sticky sweet malt, which would frankly make it hard for me to have more than one – but it’s a whole lot of fun. And who doesn’t love a proper-sized pint? (16/20)

8/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Fernie Brewing Company Inverted West Coast IPA – American IPA at 5.5% ABV

Fernie Brewing Company Inverted West Coast IPA – American IPA at 5.5% ABV (C$4.50 at Collective, 473 ml, best before 5-Nov-2021, acquired 23-Apr-2021, reviewed 27-Apr-2021)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two fat fingers of loose pale ivory head, good retention and moderate stringy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: zesty grapefruit, rosewater, tropical fruit, crackery malt, resiny pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, crisp lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Hopped with Talus and Mosaic. I initially thought this was my first experience with the former, but discovered it was previously known as Experimental Hop HBC 692, so I had encountered at least once. However, that time it was one of a blend of several hops, and here it’s one of only two, so I think I’m getting a clearer picture of what that hop entails. The most interesting aspect seems to be a Turkish Delight-like rosewater note, which doesn’t come across as perfumy or cloying, but instead works well with the other fruit and resiny pine notes. Good stuff, refreshing and easy to drink. (16/20)

8/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Last Best Brewing (/ Banff Ave / Campio / Jasper / Field & Forge) First Call Blood Orange IPA – American IPA at 5.4% ABV

Last Best Brewing (/ Banff Ave / Campio / Jasper / Field & Forge) First Call Blood Orange IPA – American IPA at 5.4% ABV (C$4.50 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 5-Apr-2021, acquired 23-Apr-2021, reviewed 27-Apr-2021)

Appearance:  hazy pale gold with two fingers of loose white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus juice & zest, bready caramel, earthy pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (4/5)

I really got a full dose of the blood orange when I slurped a little foam off the top, and accidentally inhaled it: emphatic oily citrus peel made me half cough up a lung. I’m not entirely sure if that’s the reason I got very little other than citrus, or because that really does completely dominate. In any case, it’s certainly pleasant and approachable, if not overly complex. (15/20)

7.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Imperial City Brew House Hazy NEIPA – American IPA at 6% ABV | 35 IBU

Imperial City Brew House Hazy NEIPA – American IPA at 6% ABV | 35 IBU (C$4.45 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 23-Apr-2021, reviewed 26-Apr-2021)

Appearance: slightly murky hazy medium gold with two fingers of loose off-white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: stone and tropical fruit, citrus, cereal grains, earth. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: smooth medium body, moderate carbonation, sweetish medium duration finish. (3/5)

A new brewery to me, and not the most auspicious of beginnings. Brewer notes don’t specify the hops, but do indicate oats and wheat, probably explaining the slightly thicker smooth texture – which I like – but also the sweeter finish – which I don’t. Those cereal grains are also present in the aroma, but not excessively so. However, the aroma just isn’t wowing me, coming across as a muddle of stewed fruit rather than brightly juicy, and that doesn’t improve through the finish. (13/20)

6.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Bent Stick Brewing Co. Swap the Hops Sultana – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV

Bent Stick Brewing Co. Swap the Hops Sultana – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV (C$4.45 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 23-Apr-2021, reviewed 25-Apr-2021)

Appearance: hazy pale straw with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and heavy soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, vegetal, pale malt, stone fruit, citrus, earthy pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry bitter lightly astringent finish. (3/5)

I’ve ranted before about how “Sultana” used to be “Denali,” and how bad a name “Sultana” is, so I won’t revisit the same ground. I’ve also noted that I’m unsure that this hop has the depth of character to pull off single-hopping, and this sure isn’t changing my mind in that regard. (In fact, I don’t like this as well as I did Trailways’ single hop with it.) I don’t know if it’s a different crop, or different treatment, but I’m getting less of the tropical and stone fruit character the hop is known for, and more weedy piney vegetal – and that’s underscored by the slight astringency in the finish. It’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. (14/20)

7/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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S.Y.C. Brewing Co. Hopsycle IPA – American IPA at 6.0% ABV

S.Y.C. Brewing Co. Hopsycle IPA – American IPA at 6.0% ABV (C$4.45 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 14-Apr-2021, acquired 23-Apr-2021, reviewed 24-Apr-2021)

Appearance: hazy straw with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: tropical and stone fruits, citrus, melon, pale malt, light cat piss. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry clean lightly tart finish. (4/5)

When I noticed the date stamp on this one, I had to prioritize getting to it – hopefully at only two weeks old, this is the next best thing to on tap at the brewery. During the initial pour I thought there was quite a bit of cattiness, but that seemed to boil off quickly and leave behind a nice blend of tropical and stone fruits, backed up by citrus and melon/lychee. The malt is completely unobtrusive here, and it’s kind of rare to see spelt in the grain bill, but I’ll take it. The label calls this a dessert beer, but I’m not seeing it: the sweetness is actually quite restrained behind dominant hops, and the finish is off-dry. The brewer notes reference a “new dry-hopping technique” without specifying what it is – whirlpool? secondary? hop rocket? – but regardless, it’s working for me. (I sort of felt that this one was pretty much par for the course for this brewery, whom I thought was generally pretty reliable, and a quick check of my personal stats bear that out – for n=20, μ=7.5 & σ=0.56.) (16/20)

8/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Modern Times Beer Space Ways – American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 40 IBU

Modern Times Beer Space Ways – American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 40 IBU (C$4.72 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 20-Nov-2020, acquired 23-Apr-2021, reviewed 24-Apr-2021)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fingers of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: citrus flesh & oily zest, stone fruit, white grape, bready malt, mild earthy pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: smooth medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

I guess I’m just as happy I didn’t look at the packaging date before buying this one, because it would have been a dilemma. Come on, guys, does it really take five months (!) to get to Calgary from San Diego? Now my dilemma is merely in trying to assess how badly this has faded in its time in the can… (On the other hand, the stamp also said “SAY HER NAME” so being the bleeding heart liberal I am I’d’ve felt a bit of an obligation to support them in any case.) Hopped with Nelson Sauvin, Motueka, and Simcoe; malts are 2 row, wheat malt, and oats; yeast is London III. I don’t much believe the brewer claim of only 40 IBU, since it feels more like 60+ to me, but at least it isn’t bland. I want to say the Nelson character has faded a little, since the aroma is dominated by an oily lime/citrus instead of the grape must I normally expect, but then again it’s not single-hopped. And you certainly can’t accuse it of being boring! (16/20)

8/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Nickel Brook Brewing Co. Blessed Double Divine – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.3% ABV

Nickel Brook Brewing Co. Blessed Double Divine – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.3% ABV (C$5.89 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 21-Jan-2021, acquired 9-Apr-2021, reviewed 23-Apr-2021)

Appearance: hazy straw with one fat finger of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: slight boozy juicy tropical fruit, citrus, bready caramel, resiny pine, stewed fruits. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-full body, moderate carbonation, lingering and building bitter warming finish. (4/5)

So, my immediate question is, is there a “Cursed” version, and if so, how’s it different? (Spice, maybe?) [A quick Google search confirms there is a “Cursed,” but it’s a Stout, so dark, so cursed. Racist much? 🤣] Anyway, as regards this one: yeah, I like it. It smells a bit better than it tastes, with fairly juicy tropical fruit and citrus leading the way over bready malts and earthy pine. On the tongue, though, it’s not quite as bright (but still good). The finish leaves no doubt as to the ABV, with a distinct warming. I haven’t been buying many dark beers lately, but maybe I’ll see if I can find its Cursed cousin/brother from another mother. (15/20)

7.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze