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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Highballer Pumpkin Ale - Grand River Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Cambridge)

Highballer Pumpkin Ale - Grand River Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Cambridge) 5.2%

Full gold with an orange hue in a glass. A spice forward aroma: cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and perhaps all-spice with a faint hint of pear, gourd and some toast, cereal and caramel.

Strongly nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves taste but with a distinctly pumpkin flavour as well. Sweet and quite heavily spiced although its flavouring, not including the malt flavours, can be broken down as 60% spices and 40% pumpkin. Highballer Pumpkin Ale has fairly low carbonation which makes for a smooth, watery mouthfeel even though there is a malty body with some toast and cereal notes.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Duvel Tripel Hop (2014) (Belgium)

 Duvel Tripel Hop (2014) (Belgium) 9.5%

Grassy, unripened mango, passionfruit hop laden aroma also with sweetness and a herbal hint typical of a less hoppy Tripel. A pale, cloudy gold in a glass with a frothy and resilient head of white foam.

Hoppy, bitter flavour at first, pine, sweet tangerine (got that from the Untappd description), something between the green (aka unripened) mango and passionfruit I but with a sweet herbal, floral finish of a Tripel. Interesting hops character and a flavour that is otherwise true to the Tripel style. Nice beer.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Wilco Tango Foxtrot - Lagunitas (USA - California - Petaluma)

Wilco Tango Foxtrot - Lagunitas (USA - California - Petaluma) 7.8%

An amazing aroma and taste to match: very hoppy (melon & cucumber), hints of peaches but also malty and roasted.  Dark and almost chocolatey tasting at times. It's not bitter at first (or maybe there is just too much going on to really notice it) but it does have a bitter finish. As far as colour, just like one of the many humourous lines to read from the label: "We're not quite in the Red, or in the Black...". It tastes like they mixed a heavily hopped beer with maybe a stout. It's really really good. Too bad it was only a limited release.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Impact Altbier - Stack Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Sudbury)

Impact Altbier - Stack Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Sudbury) 5.2%

A deep amber in a glass. Quite a sweet aroma with some crusty bread and toasty malt tones and a hint of fruitiness and light molasses.

The flavour is certainly more sweet than bitter but it is not overly sweet and not even as sweet as it smelled. The crusty bread and toastiness are there, the hint of fruitiness is still subtle and there is a bit of hop bitterness, just a bit herbal, not strong but balancing some of the malt. In fact the hops character blends nicely with the toasty, caramelized though not-quite-roasty malt body and the touch of fruitiness. This is a very pleasant altbier.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Smoke 'n Oak - Stack Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Sudbury)

Smoke 'n Oak - Stack Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Sudbury) 5.5%

A crystal clear burnt amber colour in a glass with an off-white head of soda like foam. A smoky, maple aroma that made me say "Mmm!" outloud to myself. Oak tones as well and the smoke aroma is quite strong, just on the tasty side of acrid; which is exactly what I would expect from a smoked ale that even has smoke in the name.

A sweet flavour, oak and smoke;  that list is roughly in the order of flavour strength. The smoke and oak in Smoke 'n Oak really comes across as a flavour you could imagine being from fresh cut oak boards that were toasted just long enough for some of those wood sugars to caramelize without very much charring. Also, that could be exactly what it's from. Smoke 'n Oak is a tasty smoked beer that is a bit on the sweet side and makes good use of oak.