Thursday, 19 July 2018

Electric Mud: Major Small Best Bitter

Major Small Best Bitter is a 4.6% alcohol, 30 IBU English-style ale from Toronto’s Muddy York Brewing Co. I had a 12oz pour of the hazy orange grog at the brewery. Through its thin eggshell head, M.S. had an earthy, malt nose, with some coppery elements. It had a slightly metallic flavour with brown sugar, toasty malt, and some English-style bitterness.

Toasty and tasty, Major Small is an agreeable low-alcohol ale with surprisingly big flavour. The mouthfeel is a wee bit thin, but the beer tastes both nice and well-made.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Electric Mud: Radelmüeller’s Ghost Märzen

I dragged the Bitter Wife on a transit journey across town to visit the Muddy York Brewing Co., a place I’ve long been hankering to try. Given the amount of time spent getting there, I was pretty determined to try everything they had, but sadly I only had 90 minutes before closing time.

My kicked off my visit with a 12oz pour of their Radelmüeller’s Ghost Märzen, a 5.2% alcohol tribute to J.P. Radelmüeller (I always thought it was "Rademüeller"), the Toronto lighthouse keeper who was murdered and whose ghost allegedly haunts the Toronto Island Lighthouse.

The beer had a gorgeous amber colour with just a hint of haze and a thin, white head. The lager had a malt and biscuit nose with a bit of earthiness. It tasted both warm and crisp, with some toasted malt notes, and a back end with a slightly peppery uptick.

Märzens are not a style I’ve had a lot of experience with, but I thought the MYBU’s take had some class. It was a bit thin-bodied for my taste, but the crispness was welcome and the flavour was agreeable.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.
For another take on the same theme, see my review of Rademuller's Refusal.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Enlightenment Boom! Double IPA

Enlightenment Boom! Double IPA comes all the way from Marlborough, New Zealand. It’s an 8.3% brew built by the folks at Renaissance Brewing. Sold in 500mL bottles, Boom! is a hazy grog. It has a rusty orange tint and pours with an inviting cap of sudsy off-white head.

Boom! has a feisty nose that, while always bitter, tightropes between citrus and floral. The flavour is sweet and perfumed, with notes of evergreen and peach, before dive-bombing into a fiercely bitter finish. According to the copy, this brew hits 89 on the IBU scale, and I don’t doubt it for a second, though the bitterness is cleverly woven into the overall flavour, rather than just providing a hops wallop.

Boom! is a playful brew with an edge. One seldom has cause to describe a beer as both floral and fierce, but that’s what this double IPA from New Zealand delivers. It’s well worth a try.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

Friday, 13 July 2018

8track XPA

In early May, the Missus and I dealt with a prolonged power outage. Before it got too dark, I decided to review a 473mL can of 8track XPA from Chatham, Ontario’s Sons of Kent Brewing Company. 8track clocks in at a not quite rowdy but not too sorry 5.7% alcohol.

The beer is a cloudy orange-gold number, with a fluffy white head. It has a citrus-dominated aroma with a whiff of bitterness. The flavour is quite restrained, but not buttoned down—there are notes of tangy tangerine, a whisper of grapefruit, and a bit of peachy sweetness. The finish is short and fairly dry, but not as bitter as I’d have preferred.

This was a pretty pleasant ale with a session-friendly vibe, but a respectable percentage. It’d be a banger to bring to a party, but it fits in a slightly odd niche, what with it being only modestly flavourful, but slightly stronger than baseline. There are enough APAs that have less boom but more flavour that makes this beer a bit of an anomaly, but that said, I’d definitely buy it again. In short—odd weight, but pretty nice taste.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

All's Welly That Ends Welly: Bewitched Belgian IPA

Bewitched Belgian IPA, an India pale ale brewed with farmhouse-style yeast, is a 6.3% alcohol, 65 IBU grog from Guelph, Ontario’s Wellington Brewery. Bewitched comes in creepy-as-hell 355mL bottles. The beer is a hazy and highly carbonated orange ale that pours with a thick fog of bright white head.

This ale has a yeast and tart fragrance that has a dusting of arid hops. For flavour, Bewitched is floral, yeasty, and cracklin’ dry. There is a subtext of bitterness, but the 65 IBUs are pretty well hidden.

Bewitched was a pretty decent Belgian-styled take on the IPA, but I’d have liked it to be a bit stronger and a bit deeper. Still, it was an enjoyable brewski.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10.

Monday, 9 July 2018

All's Welly That Ends Welly: Iron Duke

According to the copy on 355mL bottles of Iron Duke, the beer was first brewed way back in the Stone Age of craft beer: 1986. Iron Duke is an English-style strong ale brewed in Guelph, Ontario by Wellington Brewery. Clocking in at 6.5% it has some get up and go, but at just 21 IBUs, there isn’t a lot of hops in the tank. Coloured somewhere between amber and ruby, the clear beer pours with a sudsy off-white head. It has a warm aroma that is bready and fortified with notes of sticky toffee. It tastes malty, biscuity, and strong, with toffee notes and an agreeable metallic coil.

The Iron Duke is a bit too sweet and insufficiently bitter, but it has lovely strength and it’s a nice change up from typical Ontario strong ales that tend to be IPAs or porters.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

All's Welly That Ends Welly: Shadowy Pact Irish Dry Stout

Wellington Brewery's Shadowy Pact Irish Dry Stout comes in incredibly eye-catching 355mL bottles with a cool yellow and black colour scheme and an awesome Illuminati theme. Low-octane like a classic Irish-style stout, SP contains just 4.4% alcohol. It’s an oil black brew with amber highlights and a durable cover of creamy head. With a rich and enticing scent, SP has notes of roasted malt, brown sugar, molasses, and chocolate. Its flavour is a bit less robust than the nose, though it contains many of the same elements: roasted malt, brown sugar, and molasses, supplemented with some toffee, too. The finish is dry and quick, while the mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side.

Shadowy Pact’s execution didn’t quite live up to its awesome packaging and excellent aroma, but it was still a pretty good little ale. I’d have liked a richer flavour and a bit more body though.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10.