Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Grapefruit League Imperial Pale Ale

I've tried a lot of different beers in my young life, sold in a variety of formats and vessels, but Grapefruit League Imperial Pale Ale was the first I've ever tried that came in a waxed, swing top bottle. It's a weird choice, stylistically, since it looks decent when closed, but once you pop it, it's kinda gnarly. Not to mention the crumbled bits of green (?) wax that dropped off periodically. At 750mL, it's a great size, though.

Grapefruit League comes from the Ottawa outpost of the Mill St. Brewery, one of the major players in the Ontario craft beer scene. At 7% booze, I'm not sure that I'd have affixed the "Imperial" label to this pale ale, but it's decently strong. An attractive pint, GL pours clear copper, beneath a foamy cream chapeau. As expected from the name, the nose has a heady whiff of grapefruit, but it also has a resinous hops quality. Citrus and resin are the major players in the flavour as well. There's an admirable bitterness level, but what really stood out to me was the sultry, smooth mouthfeel. I was bracing myself for an IPA-style astringency, but got mellow, and mild-mannered. The finish proved to be a little wispy, but not regrettably so.

Grapefruit League Imperial Pale Ale was a curious ale--smooth, attractive, bitter, and oddly-packaged. I have no compunction stating that I liked it. It's not Mill St.'s finest, but it is an innovative and well-structured brew. It's a coup that Mill St. managed to boom out a beer named Grapefruit League before their fellow Ontario brewers, the baseball-themed Left Field managed to jump on it. To use a ballpark metaphor, they took away a sure-fire extra base hit from the opposing team.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10.

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