I had another chance to hang out with one of my buddies and test out some beers. Summers are good for that.
We started out with Red Racer India Session Ale because I wanted to see if our experience last time was a fluke. Nope. Really enjoyed it again. I really noticed the citrus this time around. It remains a refreshing, flavourful, and sufficiently robust light beer that I think may be my number one find of the summer. Definitely maintaining its 4.75 bbq’d chicken thighs out of 5.
Having had such a good experience with the ISA, we had a go at Red Racer’s IPA. This one was a good, strong IPA but not overwhelming. Maybe it was a carryover from the ISA, but we noted a stronger citrus taste than what we remembered from Muskoka’s Mad Tom IPA. I don’t think this will displace Mad Tom and Amsterdam’s Boneshaker IPA as my favourite strong IPAs, but it is a fantastic brew. I give it 4.25 oven-baked lemon salmons out of 5.
Next we tried Nickel Brook’s Headstock IPA. A few years back I had a pint of Headstock at a restaurant and came away very unimpressed, but I wanted to give it another try. One never knows. I’m glad I did. This is a stronger IPA with the kind of hoppy bitterness I like. It doesn’t knock it out of the park, but I think it belongs up there with Mad Tom and Boneshaker. Definitely a recommendation if you want to broaden your IPA experience. I give it 4.25 provably false memories out of 5.
Then came Mad and Noisy Brewing’s Hops & Bolts India Pale Lager. Yeah, that designation alone made me need to try it. It was certainly interesting in that it had a robust hoppiness and some bitterness when it hit my tastebuds, but that soon disappeared and it finished with the weak character I come to expect from Canadian lagers. I don’t think I would recommend this unless you are a lager fan interested in trying something a little different. It’s going to hit you as strange, but the backend will be familiar enough. I give this one a 3 very confused gulps out of 5.
Finally we gave Innis & Gunn Lager. You heard that right, Innis & Gunn Lager. Now, I hate to say this about my favourite Scots brewers, but there wasn’t anything particularly noteworthy about this beer. I mean, it’s a lager, so what was I expecting? To be honest, I don’t know. The three words (ignoring &) in that title just didn’t make any sense together. Again, if you like lager, I think you’ll find this crisp and fresh with slightly more character than a standard lager, but there wasn’t enough in it to make a real mark. I give it 3 disappointed frowns out of 5.
My buddy is heading off for a posting in Halifax, so I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to sample another batch with him. I might need to head off to Halifax to see what’s brewing there.
Very willing to do that.
You can find the last beer review here.