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Category 12 Brewing Mango Hazy IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 25 IBU

Category 12 Brewing Mango Hazy IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 25 IBU (C$4.81 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 15-Jun-2021, acquired 2-Jul-2021, reviewed 3-Jul-2021)

Appearance: opaque orange-tinged pale gold with two fingers of loose yellowish head diminishing rapidly to nothing, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mango, tropical fruit, pine, citrus, herbal. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, slightly sticky short finish. (4/5)

Brewer notes list Centennial, El Dorado, and Azacca on American Ale yeast, as well as mango puree. (I guess the malts play as little a role here from the brewing perspective, as they do from the tasting perspective.) Smells and looks like mango juice upon pouring, but there’s still emphatic hop notes present once you get up close and personal, and particularly through the finish. The body is also surprisingly light and not at all the thick juice- or nectar-like consistency you might expect from the appearance, buoyed aloft by a fairly lively but not inappropriate carbonation. I’m starting to conclude that mango might very well be the absolute best adjunct for working with modern American (or ANZ) hop notes, instead of overwhelming them. All in all, this is a pretty solid effort. (15/20)

7.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Best of Kin Brewing Big Hat Hazy IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Best of Kin Brewing Big Hat Hazy IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$4.45 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 1-Dec-2020, acquired 10-Feb-2021, reviewed 22-Feb-2021)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with two fingers of pillowy pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, citrus, stone fruit, pale cereal malts, light earthy pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-low carbonation, medium duration soft finish. (4/5)

I guess it says I’ve been a transplanted westerner too long when my immediate reaction to this one’s name was “All hat and no cattle”. That’s not to suggest that’s going on here, though, because it does deliver a pleasant, easy-to-drink thirst quencher. And yet… the only reason I haven’t given this a higher score in aroma and taste is because it’s mild, almost to the point of muted. A bit more enthusiasm could make it memorable, but as it is it’s merely quite serviceable. On the other hand, it is more than two months in the can, so I’ll make a note to try a fresher copy if I find one. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Cabin Brewing Company / Eighty-Eight Brewing Love Shack (88) – American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 30 IBU

Cabin Brewing Company / Eighty-Eight Brewing Love Shack (88) – American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 30 IBU (C$4.68 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 5-Feb-2021, acquired 10-Feb-2021, reviewed 15-Feb-2021)

Appearance: hazy medium gold with one fat finger of rocky pale ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin cap & ring, minimal lacing. (4/5) Aroma: dank resiny pine, stone & tropical fruit, citrus, oats, wheat. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium smooth body, moderate-low carbonation, medium duration finish. (4/5)

(RIGHT) Bookkeeping note: I don’t think I have any particular favourite in these two breweries, and would have to go to my records to determine whether I actually have a historical preference for one or the other. However, in order to avoid any possibility of bias, I made my notes referring to the two simply as “LEFT” (in the ribbed IPA glass) and “RIGHT” (in the smooth one). I looked at the labels only after the fact, to determine which was which. Turns out, “LEFT” is Cabin’s version, and “RIGHT” is 88’s.

The collaboration claims to use the same recipe at both breweries, but I don’t know whether that includes hop ratios or choice of yeast. The commercial description I can find seem to indicate both versions are hopped with Galaxy, Vic Secret, Cryo Mosaic and Cryo Sabro hops. On their web site, I see that 88’s version also includes Mosaic Incognito and Sabro, but Cabin doesn’t have any brewing details so I’m not sure if theirs does as well. Both get less fruity and more dank as they warm, but RIGHT starts off just a hair danker. I’m hard-pressed to detect any other differences between the two (and that’s side-by-side – I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to just from memory or notes). Both have the clean malt base and slightly smooth body that I associate with oats, and I’m halfway convinced I can detect just a touch of wheaty tartness. Gun to my head, I like RIGHT just a little more, but the bottom line is, they’re both fun, NE-style hazy IPAs with a lot of fruit adjunct working well with the underlying hops. (Unfortunately, they’re also both guilty of the egregious sin of putting that stupid fucking song in my head.) (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com