Saturday, 2 April 2016


I used to buy Netherworld, the Cascadian Dark Ale from Barrie, Ontario's Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery, with some regularity when I first moved to Toronto in 2010, but for years it's been pretty scarce. Recently it started showing up again on beer store shelves, so I pretty much had to buy some for old time's sake.

At 6%, this beer hits the cusp of what I'd call a "strong ale". Stout-dark and crowned with a lovely cream head, this beer is a real looker. It has a malty, syrupy nose that features dried fruit notes. The flavour is quite rich, but a tad too sweet. It has raisin elements and considerable malt in the first half, while the game concludes with a gritty, hoppy finish that has a taste of espresso.

Generally, I equate Cascadian dark ales with Black IPAs, but stuff is way maltier and sweeter than that style tends to play, particularly in the early going. Still, it tastes highly agreeable and it closes out strongly.

Something worth mentioning about this ale is its label. The 355mL bottles of Netherworld are adorned with a quartet of lurid, ghoulish hops-zombies huddled around what looks like a cauldron filled with electronics, art, a pink flamingo, and a purplish potion. Very strange. Very cool.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10.

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