Saturday, 1 August 2015

Wizard Wolf Session Ale

On my way home from work on a sunny Friday, I ducked into the Bellwoods Brewery bottle shop with a thirst for an IPA. I found one to my taste, but I also picked up a couple of 500mL bottles of Wizard Wolf Session Ale. Wizard Wolf is one of Bellwoods' regular offerings, but for some reason I hadn't previously tried it. I feel like it might be due to the "session ale" moniker--I've enjoyed lots of such ales, but seem to shy away from this one because the name lacks a modifier. Call it a session IPA and I'll buy it. Ditto American Pale Ale (which, incidentally, is how I'd class this one). On the Bellwoods website, they call it a dry-hopped session ale--put that on the bottle and I'd've come knocking months earlier. But a beer by any other name. I digress.

Wizard Wolf contains 4.8% alcohol, which is fairly potent for a session ale, though I guess an amorphous style like that creates a big tent.  Like most of BB's brews, it has a really eye-catching label--this one is yellow, bears a lupine silhouette, and features lots of mysterious and magical-looking symbols.  The beer itself is hazy, cheery, golden, and crowned with a sudsy off-white head.

My nose was fairly assaulted with a juicy, tropical aroma--a beating that left me anxious for more. The flavour follows suit, with passion-fruit and citrus notes well represented, leading into a fairly crisp, almost dry finish. Transitioning between juicy and dry is a tough line to walk, but this stuff tightroped it like a champ.

Wizard Wolf is yet another top flight APA bursting out of the Ontario craft beer market. Moreover, it's one of the best ones I've tried. After having foolishly shunned this tasty elixir for ages, I can assure you it'll be a frequent fixture in my refrigerator going forward.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10.

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