Thursday, 16 October 2014

Shacklands Farmhouse India Pale Ale

Shacklands Brewing Co. which is apparently operated out of the Junction Brewery in Toronto, Ontario, is the birth parent of Shacklands Farmhouse India Pale Ale. I enjoyed a smallish goblet on tap at barVolo, a revered Toronto brew house. It contains a burly 6.5% alcohol and, according to the Shacklands website, it clocks in at 60 IBUs. This Belgian-style IPA/Saison was an attractively murky orange-brown. It arrived with almost no head--just an off-white ring.

The Farmhouse India Pale Ale had a lively bitter aroma with some yeast and a glimmer of something fruity hailing from a warm climate--perhaps satsuma. Nowhere near as dry or effervescent as a typical saison/farmhouse, but not as robust and hop heavy as a conventional Belgian IPA. Also, less yeast-driven then the majority of the strong Belgian-style beers on the market. There was a bitter, modestly dry mouthfeel, with some hop heft at the close.

This beer has some boozy warmth, some crisp saison qualities, and a dry IPA finish.  However, the real star is the tropical sweets and tarts that live in the body of this brew. A nice beer with some style. I'd have liked a bit more Belgian yeast character and a bit more hop blast, but what I got was an innovative and finely made beer.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

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