Saturday, 28 February 2015

Vicar's Vice Olde Ale

I quaffed a measure of Amsterdam Brewery's Vicar's Vice Olde Ale just following the first winter storm of the year. I figured I'd need something to insulate me, and at 8.1%, I guessed that this stuff would be just my speed. This Torontonian brew came in a 650mL bottle with a waxed mouth--something I detest. Stylistically, it's great, but what a pain in the ass to open!

V-squared is a handsome dark ale--a gloomy auburn beer that wears a stylish derby of tawny head. It's almost as dark as a standard porter, and with that head, one could easily make that mistake. Aromatically, is malty and quite nutty. Its flavour is a quite interesting blend of bourbon-y vanilla, nuttiness, leather, caramel, and brown sugar. It has some bitterness parked out back, but substantial malt notes are the ones taking dad's convertible for a joyride (ignore the metaphorical motoring--don't drink and drive!).

Not too sweet, nor too strong, Vicar's Vice jams a lot of flavour into a single bottle. It has a wide and evolving taste profile--the label suggested that it would "unveil more depth as it warms", though as I drank it outdoors in December, I can't speak to that. After all, I really wanted that cigar! That said, as my chalice emptied, I was treated to a bit more evolved bitterness on the finish.

This beer gave me little to complain about. It's not a tipple I'd invite to a Tuesday after work social or a Saturday house party, but it is one that'd star as an after dinner treat.  Vicar's Vice will never be my favourite Amsterdam offering (especially competing with the remarkable Boneshaker), but it's certainly a neat one that I'd be glad to enjoy again.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

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