Bière de blé double épicée (gingembre) et à l’orange, 7%, de Toronto, Ontario.
Ginger double wheat orange beer, 7%, from Toronto, Ontario.
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5 = 3.5/5
Hazy and cloudy dark gold color with few activity. Slightly creamy and bubbly beige 2-3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with good lacing. Flavors of orange, light passion fruits, peach, ginger, vanilla, coriander, wheat, sweet grains, nutmeg, and floral spices. Bready and wheathy, quite sugary and a bit candy like, soft spices. Creamy and silky full body with moderate prickly and crispy carbonation. Medium strength finish, gingerbread and red ale kind of feel, a bit of straw and cereal, soft tropical fruits and clove, with some noble hops. Belgian like. Smells like orange crush, almost feels like a radler. Good freshness and taste, not overly ginger. Very nicely bodied, thick and filling. A bit too sugary I think, too candy like. Good accessibility, not harsh. Overall good quality craft, a nice try but I wouldn’t drink this casually. Festive for once a year, like Halloween or the holidays.
Pale Ale Belge rustique, Série Farm Table, 4.7%, de Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
Rustic Belgian Pale Ale, Farm table series, 4.7%, from Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4 = 3.84/5
Hazy straw color with low activity. Deep cloudy with the yeast. Foamy and slightly creamy light beige 2-3 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with poor legs and a decent swirl effect. Flavors of lemon, sweet grains, wheat, spices, Belgian yeast, Wild yeast, caramel, and floral hops. Slick and oily medium to full body with strong crispy carbonation. Light to medium strength finish, sharp and dry, a slightly vinous with citrusy dry hops, a bit of straw and flowery. A cross between Pale Ale and Saison from hints of cheese, kinda like a Belgian rustic pale ale. The maillard effect is too pronounced and overwhelming. So it lacks a bit of complexity. Feels a bit more alcoholic, like 7%. Balanced bitterness and sugars. Still really fresh and pleasant to drink. Overall high quality craft.
Wild Oats #23, Lager Allemande Schwarzbier, 7.3%, de Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
Wild Oats #23, Schwarzbier German Lager, 7.3%, from Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75 = 3.74/5
Would not recommend to serve this in a pils glass, better in a tulip. Almost opaque black color with a faint copper hue, and some kind of moderate Guinness construction effect with a very fine line definition. Creamy and frothy light brown 3-4 finger head, lasting around 10-15 minutes, with good legs. Flavors of coffee, chocolate, toffee, raisins, prunes, liquorice, vanilla, dark malts and herbal hops. Slick light oily medium body with a light crisp. Strong strength finish, quite roasted and earthy, including brown sugar and cinnamon. It’s packed with flavors and balanced nicely. Feels more like a mellow Russian stout than a typical more delicate Schwarzbier. Got a light barrel effect, and a bit smokey. I like the intensity, it’s not quite accessible from the thick tongue coat, yet it remains pleasant by being decently fresh. Good warmth and filling, though the body is a bit bland and not well rounded enough. Also a tad too much boozy. Overall high quality craft.
Gruit Écossais, 6.6%, de Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
Scottish Gruit, 6.6%, from Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4 = 3.91/5
Clear and veiled copper color with moderate activity. Foamy and slightly creamy light brown 3 finger head, lasting around 5 minutes, with poor legs, decent swirl effect. The smell is almost butterscotch. Flavors of toffee, berries, light cherries, flowers, ginger, brown sugar, dark grains and herbal hops. Slick and smooth medium to full body with a moderate crisp. Medium strength finish, slightly toasty, ending with a clean fresh barley feel and floral spices. Makes a very tasty and different kind of red ale, with more fruits, that I would drink anytime before regular reds. It’s still very herbal but pretty well balanced between the sugars and bitterness. I like that kind of complexity, being also quite fresh and filling. Probably gets dull and thin too fast, for the style it’s okay but I would of liked more carbonation and probably more yeast. Overall very good quality craft.
IPA Américaine, 6.7%, de Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
American IPA, 6.7%, from Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75 = 3.74/5
Hazy dark straw/golden color with moderate activity and a mist of yeast. Creamy light beige 3 finger head, lasting around 20 minutes, with poor legs, but a nice swirl effect and decent lace. Flavors of pineapples, lemon, grapefruits, pine, orange peels, caramel, sweet grains and herbal hops. Thick oily, almost milky medium to full body with a moderate crisp. Strong strength finish, tongue coating leafy tar of spruce, less tropical but still zesty, and lightly buttery. Quite coarse for a single, not accessible, only for the experienced mouths. So it lacks a little freshness, but I can see where it’s trying to go with the powerful West coast interpretation. The balance is alright in the flavors, the finish doesn’t overly kill them. Overall very good quality craft.
Lager pâle Américaine de 4.8%, très similaire aux versions commerciaux, contenant trop d’adjuvent de maïs. De Bracebridge, Ontario.
American Pale Lager, 4.8%, from Bracebridge, Ontario.
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25 = 2.61/5
Slightly hazy golden color with moderate pearly activity. Faint foamy white 2-3 finger head, lasting less than 5 minutes, with poor legs. Flavors of straw, caramel, sweet grainy malts, lemon, floral hops. Slick medium to full body with prickly carbonation. Medium strength leafy and floral bitter spices, with coarse barley, and sour apples. Lacks balance in the flavors. Got that wet straw feel that most adjuncts have, but the sweetness is a bit more bearable. Doesn’t feel very fresh, the tongue coat is long and kinda harsh. You get an overly alcoholic feel too. Lots of character though, too much and the residual flavors are muffled by a brutal finish. Accessible to those whose likes hard adjuncts like malt liquors. Overall bad quality craft.
Winter Warmer, 7%
Un corps riche pour se rassasié en hiver. Elle fait bien son travail, avec une finition agréable mais très résiduelle sur la langue, manquant donc légèrement de tonus dans les saveurs. Elle goûte le caramel et des fruits esters comme la pomme et la pêche, ainsi que de l’orge et une dominance d’herbes. Elle est plus fraîche que la normale, ayant de la levure de style Allemande au phénols de bananes.
Slightly hazy dark amber color, with low activity, and a light mist of yeast. Slightly creamy and bubbly beige 1 finger head, lasting around 5 minutes, with decent lace, but faint legs. Flavors of caramel, lemon, apples, pears, nutmeg, ginger, dark grains, banana yeast, light vegetables, herbal spices. Biscuity and bready, mostly sugary, with moderately spicy herbal bitter notes. Slick and smooth medium body with crispy carbonation, quite long. Medium strength finish, fruity esters, roasted barley, light brown sugar, soft clove and vanilla, leafy and floral hops, with tingling cinnamon. Good freshness from sharp yeast, and well intensified, pleasant and easy to drink, low perception of alcohol. Decent flavors, but a little thin and bland, quickly overtaken by the finish. So all the flavors are residual on the tongue, although it’s a very nice rich tasty feel. Overall very good quality craft, need some tweaks and this could be a great one!