Saturday, 13 May 2017
Rodeo Monk's label declares that it's "Brussels meets Boise, Idaho". A white IPA, the stuff is a hybrid of American IPA and Belgian witbier, brewed in Toronto, by Mill St. Brewery. RM clocks in at a respectable 7% alcohol and it's sold in stylish 750mL swingtop bottles that are sealed with wax. The wax seal calls for a quick word: generally, it's a needless luxury that causes lots of grief because wax seals are a pain in the ass to open; the use of wax on this one is still a needless luxury, but because of the swingtop design of the bottle, it opens like a dream. I was genuinely pleased by the ease with which the bottle popped open. Kudos.
As for the beer within, it is a cloudy gold ale; not nearly as "white" as most witbiers, but definitely possessed of some yeastiness. It pours with a manageably thick white head through which comes a very interesting aroma: wild yeast tinged with raspberry and cranberry tartness and the suggestion of hops. Unlike its nose, Rodeo Monk's flavour didn't quite manage to achieve uniqueness, but it was certainly tasty enough, with sourdough notes providing the base, some fruit esters the frame, and a decently hoppy end note the finishing touches.
On reflection, this beer proved to be quite memorable for me. I've done the white IPA thing enough times that it's no real mystery to me, and I've quaffed a fair few Belgian-style-American-style hybrids. What made this beer stand out was its bountiful berry-tinged nose and, to a lesser extent, its berry-kissed flavour. I love raspberries, and a beer that can allude to that beautiful fruit without going overboard is a winner in my books.
Rating: 9.0 out of 10.