Saturday, 26 July 2014

Dead Elephant India Pale Ale

I was searching through some old blog posts and was shocked and dismayed to learn that I'd omitted to review Railway City Brewing Company's excellent Dead Elephant India Pale Ale. A glaring omission I decided to remedy posthaste.

According to the 473mL can, Dead Elephant owes it's unusual and macabre name to the demise of Jumbo, PT Barnum's beloved elephant. Jumbo, it seems, left the world of the living in a train accident in St. Thomas, Ontario (home of Railway City Brewing) in 1885. The decidedly mortal pachyderm has been immortalized in this strong ale.

At 6.5%, Dead Elephant has a slightly low alcohol content for an IPA. It pours a dull orange colour, obscured by murky haze and topped with a creamy head.

It's aroma is bitter and resinous, with sweetish malt bracing. Unlike those IPAs that lean toward citrus or evergreen, Dead Elephant has fully embraced dank, sticky, earthy notes. At 6.5%, this stuff manages to taste much stronger than some of its boozier compatriots due to its hempen and bitter flavour.

There is a fair dose of sweetness in this stuff, but it in tough against the hop volume, which nearly drowns it out.

Dead Elephant is one of my go-to Ontario beers. It's got a dynamic flavour, a cool historical connection, and always satisfies. This beer is not the kind of IPA that I feel compelled to enjoy more than one in an evening though. It's full flavour makes a single can adequate.

9.0 out of 10.

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