Centennial IPA – Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, MI, USA)

TL:DR – “Balanced (bitter hop : sweet malt : alcohol) ratios.”

Centennial IPA – Founders Brewing Company, 7.2% ABV – 65 IBUs, 12 fl.oz., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA)

on the back label:

“Get ready to bask in the glory of the frothy head’s floral bouquet, relish the citrus accents from the abundance of dry hopping. This one’s sweet, yet balanced, malty undertones shake hands with the hop character for a finish that never turns bitter”

Visual: Pours dirty medium copper orange with a small 1cm head with a 1mm fine frothy layer of retention with sticky lacing, very active tight clustered streams.

Nose: toffee bold barley malt, orange citrus hoppy undertones (lvl-5)-pungency.

Attack: thicker-creamy, soft bite

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness) mixed with light alcohol detection, soft citrus hop, sweet toasty toffee malt

Finish: residual malty, super subtle pine hopped bitter

Summary: The flavours won’t knock your socks off, rather, this one is more about he subtle nuances. Clean subtle bitter hops are balanced in zen-like unison with the malts, alcohol and texture. Smooth.

Pineapple Sculpin – Ballast Point Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA, USA)

TL:DR – “Super smooth balanced tropical IPA, go get it.”

Pineapple Sculpin – Ballast Point Brewing Company, 7.0% ABV, 12 fl. oz., (San Diego, California, USA)

Visual: Pours translucent deep orange with a smallish 3mm head, a thin layer of fine retention, loose clusters of steady micro streams.

Nose: rich light green hoppy-honey barley malt, hints of pineapple. (lvl-7)-pungency.

Attack: creamy-silky-crisp

Mid-palate: fruity apricot, smooth (lvl-5)-sweetness barley malt, subtle dry grassy bitter hops

Finish: grainy barley malt, subtle pineapple exhale, hints of lemon.

Summary: super smooth, virtually zero alcohol detection, masterfully crafted.

Nitro Merlin Milk Stout – Firestone Walker (Paso Robles, CA, USA)

Rating : B-

Visual: Pours dark brown with a fine dissipating nitro 2mm head, no real activity.

Nose: sweet roasted barley, cocoa coffee

Attack: dull mild flat, light milky creamy

Mids: (lvl-5)-sweetness, nutty roasted coffee barley malt

Finish: cacao, soft burnt roasted bitter hop

Summary : I’m not a big fan of nitro textured beers but this one has a solid milk stout base.

Leo v. Ursus Wookus Imperial Black IPA – Firestone Walker (Paso Robles, CA, USA)

Rating: B+

Visual: Pours jet black-brown with a lasting 2mm creamy head, clusters upon clusters of tight activity.

Nose: green citrusy hops, very bright

Attack: slightly thicker, sharp crisp

Mids: clean grapefruit bitter hops, light roast solid barley malt base, (lvl-4)-sweetnesd

Finish: stealth alcohol hit, lengthy mellow grassy hoppy bitter.

Summary: Easy drinking, great balance and body.

Deceit Belgian-Style Golden Ale – Funkwerks Inc (Fort Collins, CO, USA)

TL:DR – “Mostly sweet alcoholic barley malt, finished 750ml solo but forgettable. Just okay.”

Deceit Belgian-Style Golden Ale – Funkwerks, Inc., 8.5% ABV, 1 pint 9.4 fl.oz., (Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)

on the front-right label:

“This gold medal-winning beer is inspired by Belgian Tripels and Golden Strong ales. Deceit is a Belgian-Style Golden Ale that is deceptively palatable as the alcohol percentage is masked by complex characteristics introduced by our unique Belgian yeast strain. It pours with an alluring golden color and shimmering white head. Aromas of pineapple, pear, and citrus will give you and idea of the surge of flavors that await. Your first sip will introduce a slight spice that compliments the citrus notes carrying the beer to a dry and rewarding finish. Deceit is full of pleasant surprises that will leave you begging for more.”

  • ]
  • Style: Belgian Strong Ale
  • Taste: coriander yeasty resiny compounding sweet grainy barley malt slight pineapple pear
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $15.50 CAD (after 20% off) – 1 pint 9.4 fl.oz., October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: nah
  • What made an impression: finishable solo

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Unfiltered. Pours translucent golden orange with a large dissipating bubbly head, very active soda-like fast streams, a thin layer of retention, large suspended bits of sediment.

Nose: yeasty grain barley malt, pineapple-pear overtones. (lvl-5)-pungency.

Attack: bubbly full-crisp

Mid-palate: yeasty-resiny, coriander, grainy-pineapple barley malt, slowly compounding (lvl-6)-sweetness, light tangy-zingy, alcohol detection

Finish: slight dry apple-pear exhale, residual barley maltish

Summary: An all-around balanced Belgian strong ale with enough body, mouthfeel, and nuanced complexity. I didn’t find any trait particularly noteworthy. Good, but not exceptional.

Long Table Farmhouse Ale – New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO, USA)

TL:DR – “banana fruity grainy malt character, went down easy”

Long Table Farmhouse Ale – New Belgium Brewing, 6.2% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)

on the front-rightlabel:

“An ode to the communal Saison, LONG TABLE Farmhouse Ale brings together the juicy fruit flavors of Belgian yeast and Nelson Sauvin hops with the spicy and toasty notes of Munich and Rye grains. Grab a seat!”

  • Style: Saison
  • Taste: crisp banana mango grainy wheat-pils malt slight palate rough finish
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / Burnaby
  • How much: $3.40 CAD – 12 fl.oz., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: engaging banana-tropical fruit

Visual: (cellared for 2 years). Pours translucent golden orange without much of a head, ring with large island retention, a bit of lacing, scatter singular micro streams.

Nose: banana, liquid pils malt. (lvl-5)-pungency.

Attack: crisp, tingly

Mid-palate: banana wheat malt, (lvl-3-sweetness), off-dry grainy malt, hints of mango

Finish: banana wheat malt exhale, subtle short bitterness, mild palate rough

Summary: Quite a tropical fruity base with a solid grainy malt to back it up. Overall it drank very easy with a bit of minor palate roughness at the finish.

Cosmic Wave Double IPA – Tofino Brewing Co. (Tofino, BC, Canada)

TL:DR – “smoothing drinkable 9%’er, big toffee-caramel malt with a bit of citrus. Guaranteed buzz.”

Cosmic Wave Double IPA – Tofino Brewing Co., 9% ABV, 650 ml., (Tofino, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

on the front-left label:

“Join us on a transcendental journey free from the shackles of physical existence and beyond the known realms of consciousness. Let your mind’s eye guide you to the astral planes of extrasensory non-being where we will collectively ride the cosmic waves of unity deep inside the endless barrel of the infinite void. Also, this is a strong hoppy beer.”

(cool story, bra)

  • Style: Double IPA / Imperial IPA
  • Taste: Cloying authentic basic raspberry-apple light sour acidic
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.10 (after 20% off) – 650 ml., October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: 50/50
  • What made an impression: solid toffee-caramel malt

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Pours translucent copper brown-orange without much of a lasting head, half sticky lacking, ringed retention with a large island, lots of loose clustered active streams.

Nose: toffee malt, caramel, slight citrus undertones. (lvl-6)-pungency.

Attack: crisp, thicker mouthfeel

Mid-palate: light tingly, (lvl-7-sweetness), alcohol hit mixed with BOLD toffee-caramel malt, mild orange citrusy tang

Finish: orange peel exhale, resiny light bitter hop, subdued alcohol detection, slight grassy hop note

Summary: Big toffee-caramel malt flavour accompanied by a high but well-hidden ABV content. Smooth and very drinkable, goes nice with a meal. The alcohol hit comes later. This is still sippable and interesting after one glass down and as it decreases in temp. More resiny as it warms. Solid brew.