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Strathcona Beer Company Big Sexy Funk – American IPA at 5.5% ABV | 55 IBU

Strathcona Beer Company Big Sexy Funk – American IPA at 5.5% ABV | 55 IBU (C$4.59 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 7-May-2021, reviewed 12-May-2021)

Appearance: hazy straw with two fingers of fine white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, tropical fruit, cereal grains. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Well, it’s certainly neither big nor funky. As for sexy, well, it didn’t make me tingle in my special place, but if it does it for you, who am I to judge? The label says it’s hopped with Azacca, Citra, and Simcoe, and also specifies pilsner malt and flaked oats. I definitely get the oats, as well as the kind of citrus and tropical fruits I’d expect from the hop blend. Solid enough, I suppose, but nothing really next level here. (14/20)

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Overhop Brewing Co. Keep on Lovin – Session IPA at 4.5% ABV 38 IBU

Overhop Brewing Co. Keep on Lovin – Session IPA at 4.5% ABV 38 IBU (C$6.07 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 7-May-2021, reviewed 12-May-2021)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, citrus, tropical fruit, cereal grains, grass, faint pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

I’d call this pretty decent, but only with the “for a Session” qualifier attached. Overall, not bad. No real negatives here, but the aroma is not as bright as I’d like, nor is the flavour particularly enthusiastic. I’m also noting that the aroma, which started off as being mild at best, tends to be more dominated by grassy notes as the pint progresses. The body is light, as would be expected for the type, and doesn’t really drop off watery, but there is a bit of astringency in the finish. I’m also more than a little skeeved out by the Pale Man / crazy girlfriend mashup artwork. (14/20)

7/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Cabin Brewing Company Jungle Juice – American IPA at 7.4% ABV

Cabin Brewing Company Jungle Juice – American IPA at 7.4% ABV (C$4.45 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 5-May-2021, acquired 7-May-2021, reviewed 11-May-2021)

Appearance: hazy opaque straw with two fat fingers of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, dank resiny pine, caramel, coconut. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate-soft carbonation, sweetish medium duration bitter finish. (4/5)

Brewer notes say this is hopped with Sabro, but I’m not sure that it’s a single-hop. Initially there was a lot more resiny pine, but that faded, allowing tropical fruit and sweet caramel to move to the forefront, backed up by coconut. It’s quite good, and there’s some interesting depth and complexity, but ultimately I do find it a bit too sweet for my preference. (16/20)

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Best of Kin Brewing Mom Perm – American Pale Ale at 6.0% ABV

Best of Kin Brewing Mom Perm – American Pale Ale at 6.0% ABV (C$3.73 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 21-Apr-2021, acquired 7-May-2021, reviewed 10-May-2021)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: gooseberry / field berries, white grape must, pale malt. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, mild bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body falling off slightly thin, moderate carbonation, lightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Not bad, but truthfully it’s about as interesting as, well, a mom perm. The berry and vinous notes certainly pop on the front end, but the taste is slightly flat by comparison, and the finish falls off a bit watery and astringent. (14/20)

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Cannery Brewing Company Ceres – White IPA at 5.5% ABV | 55 IBU

Cannery Brewing Company Ceres – White IPA at 5.5% ABV | 55 IBU (C$4.45 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 7-May-2021, reviewed 10-May-2021)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: candied lemon zest, floral, hint of coriander. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter, light tart. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, lively carbonation, off-dry medium bitter finish. (4/5)

Not much coriander in this, not that I’m complaining, because I find that can get pretty overwhelming pretty quickly. Instead, this one is dominated by candied lemon zest, reminding me of the preserved lemons I had in Greece. It’s not quite dry enough to be really refreshing, and I might be rating it slightly high because of the positive associations and my desperation to start travelling again, but in any case it’s certainly a pleasant and interesting example of the style. (16/20)

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Superflux Beer Company Happyness – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Superflux Beer Company Happyness – American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$5.22 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 7-May-2021, reviewed 9-May-2021)

Appearance: slightly hazy straw with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: dank resiny pine, juicy tropical fruit, citrus, pale malt, hint of onion. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter finish. (4/5)

They say money can’t buy happiness, but clearly it can buy Happyness, and that might be close enough. Mosaic hops dominate here, with a dankly resiny West Coast pine note leading the way. It’s not quite what I’d consider crushable, but it’s close, especially considering its no fooling around ABV. (16/20)

8/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Bent Stick Brewing Co. Ariana Grande – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV

Bent Stick Brewing Co. Ariana Grande – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV (C$5.08 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 23-Apr-2021, reviewed 9-May-2021)

Appearance: slightly hazy deep gold with two fat fingers of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: berries, stone fruit, citrus, grape must, caramel, floral. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-full body, moderate carbonation, lingering moderate bitter warming finish. (4/5)

Interestingly complex aroma on this one. I don’t know if it’s a single-hop, but I think it might be – and if that’s the case, it might be one of the most complex hops I’ve ever tried. The more I sipped and thought, the more aspects I could list. Mind you, that might be at least a little informed by the enthusiastic ABV… (16/20)

8/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Nickel Brook Brewing Co. Cursed Double Divine – American Double / Imperial Stout at 8.5% ABV

Nickel Brook Brewing Co. Cursed Double Divine – American Double / Imperial Stout at 8.5% ABV (C$5.89 at Collective, 341 ml, packaged on 21-Jan-2021, acquired 23-Apr-2021, reviewed 8-May-2021)

Appearance: clear deep brown with two fat fingers of rocky beige head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: raspberries, dark chocolate, dark fruit, coffee. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter, mild tart. (7/10) Palate: medium-full body dropping off slightly thin, moderate carbonation, moderate bitter lightly tart mildly warming finish. (4/5)

It’s not typical of my experience for the list of malts to be longer than that of the hops, but that’s the case here: Pale Ale, Chocolate, Crystal, Dark Chocolate, Flaked Wheat, Roasted Barley, Flaked Barley, Chocolate Wheat, Flaked Oats, and Carafa Special III; compared with German Magnum, Nugget, and Centennial. However, for all that, the malts don’t really carry the day here. Bright jammy raspberries dominate on the front end, but it’s not as sweet as might be expected. Like its Blessed colleague, though, it smells a bit better than it tastes. On the up side, the elevated ABV is very well integrated and doesn’t intrude at all. (15/20)

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Parallel 49 Snap Crackle Hop Imperial Rice IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.3% ABV | 70 [?] IBU

Parallel 49 Snap Crackle Hop Imperial Rice IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.3% ABV | 70 [?] IBU (C$4.45 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 20-Mar-2021, best before 20-Mar-2022, acquired 23-Apr-2021, reviewed 6-May-2021)

Appearance: clear medium gold with two fat fingers of loose pale ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: orange juice, tropical fruit, rice, light resiny pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, lingering building bitter warming finish. (4/5)

I definitely got the rice sweetness right away, reminiscent of a macro adjunct lager – albeit one on steroids. I couldn’t find any proper brewer’s notes, but secondary sources suggest 70 IBU and Motueka hops, both of which I believe. This has a lot of the characteristics you’d associate with such a high ABV, such as the slick feel and the higher sweetness, but all in all it’s not done badly at all. (15/20)

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Sea Change Brewing Co. Gold Knuckle West Coast IPA – American IPA at 6.2% ABV

Sea Change Brewing Co. Gold Knuckle West Coast IPA – American IPA at 6.2% ABV (C$4.50 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 23-Apr-2021, reviewed 5-May-2021)

Appearance: clear straw with two fingers of fine white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, pale malt, floral / herbal, resiny pine. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, medium duration bitter finish. (4/5)

Secondary sources claim Simcoe and Citra hops, Alberta pale ale malt, Maris Otter, and spelt. Drinks fairly clean and easy, but the aroma is a little muddled, and there’s an herbal peppery note that overwhelms any of the pine that I’d want to see showcased for a WCIPA. Not unpleasant, but not really very West Coast. (14/20)

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