Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

sierranevada_ipaBrewer: Sierra Nevada Brewing, Mills River, NC
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 7.2%
IBUs: 65

Description: This classic American-style IPA is part of the brewery’s year-round lineup, and was the first of their beers to feature the “Hop Torpedo” – a special dry-hopping device that controls how the level of hops infused into the brew. It is fashioned using Two-row Pale and Caramel malts, bittered with Magnum, Crystal and Citra hops.

Tasting Notes: Oftentimes, I get comments about my Best Of lists, usually by someone who is surprised their favorite beer didn’t make the cut. Alas, one commenter did make me realize that this is one beer that, though I have tried, I have never reviewed. And while it won’t be making my Best Of list just yet, it is certainly a good and faithful example of a solid IPA. Rich and slightly sweet malts compliment a hop profile that is powerful and varied, combining both dry-hops and finishing hops to give it a grassy, citrusy, and mildly tropical flavors – in short, all that North American hops are known for. A noble creation and one that makes me want to explore Sierra Nevada’s wares again. Thanks for the recommendation Brandon Kump!

Appearance: Deep amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong malt, big hop nose, grassy, citrusy, tropical fruit
Taste: Rich malt, syrupy sweetness, bitter and dry hop finish, grass, citrus rind, herbs
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness, citrus rind and dry herbal hops
Overall: 8.5/10

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Stone Ruination IPA

stone_ruination_ipaBrewer: Stone Brewing, Escondido, CA
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 8.2%
IBUs: 100+

Description: As part of their regular lineup, the Ruination IPA (so named because of its strength and intense hop flavor) is basically the same recipe as their Stone IPA, but with an extra-large helping of malt and a very large dose of of Magnum, Chinook and Centennial hops.

Tasting Notes: This is only my second sampling from the Stone Brewery, which began with their Arrogant Bastard Ale. And again, it seems they’ve got me pegged with their wares! Comparable to the better Imperial IPAs I’ve had, this brew has a strong malt base (minus the sweetness I’ve become accustomed to) and some truly decent hop flavor that combines intense grassy, citrus and piney flavors. I have to say, I highly approve of the hop-forward nature of this beer, and their choices of hops since it lends it a distinctly dry and bitter flavor.

Appearance: Light gold/amber, slightly cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Light malt, strong notes of grassy, herbal, citrus and piney hops
Taste: Smooth malt, tang, plenty of herbal, grassy, dry hop flavor, citrus notes
Aftertaste: Lingering dry hop and herbal/grassy bitterness
Overall: 9/10

Prohibition Lawless IPA

prohibition_ipaBrewer: Prohibition Brewing, Kelowna BC
Style: West Coast IPA
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: 60

Description: This is the breweries second regular release, and represents their take on a traditional IPA. The brew combines a pale malts base with a generous dose of Perle, Magnum, Cascade and Cluster hops.

Tasting Note: This IPA is a bit was a departure for me, and was my long-overdue introduction to this brewery and its wares. Whereas most West Coast IPAs seem to be hopped with the 3 Cs these days – Cascade, Centennial and Columbus, which culminate in a mix of citrus and tropical fruit flavors – this one has some decidedly dry bitterness that put me in mind of an Imperial Pilsner or an ESB. Altogether, it manages to do the job of a good IPA, balancing a strong malt backbone with some rich, hoppy bitterness!

Appearance: Light amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, strong hop nose with lots of grassy, citrus, and pine notes
Taste: Good malt base, hint of sweetness, tang, strong citrus, pine, and resin bitterness
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness, citrus rind and dry hop finish
Overall: 7.8/10

Canuck Empire Pumpkin Patch Ale

canuckempire_pumpkinBrewer: Canuck Empire, Aldergrove, BC
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 6%

Description: A seasonal Fall brew, this pumpkin ale is made using a combination of 2-Row, Munich, Aromatic, Caramel, & Wheat malts, then hopped with Magnum and Perle hops. The beer is then flavored with pumpkin and maple syrup, and spiced with a combination of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

Tasting Notes: This is my first time sampling a beer from Canuck Empire, another brewery from the lower mainland that I’ve been noticing around these parts. And for the most part, this beer was exactly what I would expect from a good pumpkin ale. Smooth, pale malt interacts with pumpkin flesh and a pumpkin pie palette to deliver “Fall in a glass”. However, this one was a bit different in that it incorporated ginger, which I initially mistook for clove spice. This added a bit of a bite and a slight bitterness to the mix, which worked well in the end. Still a good brew and a good intro!

Appearance: Amber/orange, slightly cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Gentle malt, pumpkin pie, notes of allspice and cinnamon
Taste: Smooth malt, pumpkin, burst of ginger spice, allspice and cinnamon
Aftertaste: Lingering ginger and spice flavor, mild malt bitterness
Overall: 8/10

Parallel 49 Wild Ride Belgian Strong

https://iamthebeersnob.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/82ced-2.pngBrewer: Parallel 49 Brewery, Vancouver, BC
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Alc/Vol: 9.0%

Description: Brewed in honor of Parallel 49’s second anniversary, this combination brew is fashioned using Pilsner malt and German Magnum and Mittelfrueh hops. It is then fortified with cane sugar and fermented with a combination of brettanomyces and other yeast cultures.

Tasting Notes: As always, P49 is at the forefront of experimentation, merging different styles in order to create new and interesting beers. In this case, we get a beer that embraces elements of a sour ale (the brettanomyces that triggers the accumulation of lactic acid), Pilsner and Noble hops for a lager-like crispness and clean flavor, and cane sugar that lends its a Belgian Strong blonde ale flavor. This combination leads to a certain apple cider-like taste crossed with a Belgian Triple.

Appearance: Golden, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Pilsner malt, lactic acid, cider-like, mild hint of wild yeast
Taste: Mild Pilsner malt, slight tang, tart apple, hint of honey, crisp hops
Aftertaste: Lingering malt, hint of sugar and apple, quite clean
Overall: 8/10