Monday, 3 July 2017

Ricky and the Hendersons: Face of Toronto

Face of Toronto was brewed by Toronto's Henderson Brewery in honour of the City's 183rd birthday. A dark saison, this tricky little number brings several unconventional ingredients to the traditional Belgian/French farmhouse style: cardamom, orange rind, and chocolate. The beer was a low-alcohol effort, at just 4.5%, and came in a 650mL bottle with a "waving out the streetcar-themed" label. It was Henderson's "Ides of ..." entry for March 2017.

The beer poured stout-dark, which would have been jarring had I not seen MT enjoy one of these guys a day earlier at the brewery. It had a sudsy tan head and a substantially chocolatey aroma. Quite unlike any saison that I've ever tried, Face of Toronto was light on the traditional yeast and spice elements. Its flavours were built largely around chocolate and coffee, with an agreeable dip of the toe into orange. Of the cardamom, I detected very little--only a whisper of spice at the finish of each sip.

If Face of Toronto didn't say "saison" right on the bottle, I'd have called this a spiced stout. However, it does. I must take its saison-itude at "Face" value (puns!), but whatever it's called, I found it to be a largely agreeable dark ale. I'd have liked a bit more spiciness, but the chocolate was nicely represented and the orange peel suitably restrained.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10.

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