My recent trip to Canada yielded the opportunity to try a lot of different ales! Which was really quite nice. Plus, I got to share many of them with an old friend, and that’s even better. So, as is tradition, I’m going to give short views on what I had, with a little influence from my friend. Because the best way to really evaluate a beer is with someone else.
Four Winds- Meli, a farmhouse ale. This farmhouse ale is mining apples for flavor like nothing I’ve ever had. The nose is a little sweet, almost cloying in a yeast base way. But the beer tastes like cinnamon and applesauce. Or perhaps apple pie would be a better comparison: A little sweet, a little spicy, even a hint of dough in there. It seems a little alcohol forward for a 6.7% beer-there’s a question as to where the spice comes from, alcohol or yeast. It’s definitely enjoyable though and recommended.
Brassneck– 10×10 IPA: Faint hit of pine in the nose, and that woody quality shows up in the finish, too. It’s a solid, no frills IPA I’m perfectly happy to drink this at first…
But it doesn’t age well. The more sips I get, the more a dirty note comes in and the beer becomes less palatable. The front end of this beer is really good but the dismount just torques it badly.
However, their Kolsch is a different story entirely. Sourdough nose, bready malt line running through it, finishes pretty clean, I really think it’s delicious.
Also, they gave me a taster of the Pinky Promise to replace the 10×10. This is a saison with pink peppercorn and this too was a very good beer. A little lemony, just the barest bit of spice, and a pleasantly tart finish, I’d recommend this beer, no question.
33 Acres– ‘Of Euphoria’; Belgian tripel. There’s a hint of vanilla liquor in the nose, which sets me up pretty well for what I’m in for. Banana, vanilla: very much like a sundae is this beer. I can appreciate it, but my personal preference would be if it was a little drier on the finish, like white wine. However, it’s not flawed and I’d gladly recommend it to anyone who likes the style.
Luppolo– Oatmeal Stout: this is a super light stout. Pleasant coffee nose, with flavors that follow through. What I don’t get is a mouthfeel that I would expect from oatmeal being added. My tongue slices through this ale like water and I’m a little disappointed by that.
However; feel is not the major determiner of a beer, flavor is. And this stout is a light, dry stout. If there was a little more chocolate in there, I’d call it a porter and be perfectly happy. As it is, the coffee notes are strong enough and the beer more than pleasing that I’d tell someone to have one.
Field House-Dutch Pale ale: First impression, oh this smells like cutting open a bag of hops, maybe Simcoe. It’s a little funky, too but the flavors give me some malt (yay!) before turning back to the hops. The finish, though, has a lot of effervescence & bubbles and wipes the slate clean-right before a tinkerbell wave of sweetness arrives to balance it all out. I dig it.
Torchlight Brewing– Hoptimus Prime IPA: Pleasantly straightforward NW IPA. Clear & bright, without an overpowering hop bitterness-there’s actually a little sweetness that appears before the finish-it reminds me of IPAs from 5 years ago.That isn’t a bad thing: it’s nice to get a break from the “juice box” IPAs. Definitely wants some nachos to go with it. I like it.