This American-style IPA from the Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, Ontario pours a deep golden colour with a generous, soapy white head that burns off quickly, but leaves some nice lacing and settles as a thick film. Mad Tom IPA smells of fresh hops with a big, bright grapefruit and orange peel citrus tone. It has a sweet, butterscotch malt backing, but one that really lets the hops come through and it picks up a sort of soapy note as it warms.
The taste of Mad Tom IPA is also very well-balanced. A crisp citrus flavour is backed by a honey-sweetened buttery tone, a solid malt body and the beer has a nice bitterness on the finish. Mad Tom IPA is very easy-drinking and masks its ABV well. It’s medium-bodied with a decent prickly carbonation on the tongue and is crisp on the back of the tongue and throat.
The packaging of Mad Tom IPA features the hand drawn image a sinister-looking mustachioed man in a derby hauling a barrel of beer from his rowboat with a river, forest, railway bridge and a moose in the background. A description of the beer is printed on the back plastic label.
These labels are easily-removable while leaving little to no adhesive residue, making them ideal for reusing bottles, however a bubbling effect tends to mar the overall look a bit. The American-style, open-top six pack sleeve has a flavour scale of sorts and a detailed ingredients list on it.
The Muskoka Brewery has rebranded themselves a bit with Mad Tom IPA. First and foremost, the beer (along with Muskoka Cream Ale) is in 355 mL bottles, instead of the brewery’s traditional can format. They’ve also switched their logo to mid 20th century-style fonts with an iconic Muskoka Chair (complete with beer holder) image above.
The slick branding, punchy citrus aroma and taste make this beer ready to take on the increasingly competitive North American craft beer market, in which its chosen style is among the most popular.
Mad Tom IPA is one of the best Ontario-brewed American-style IPAs I've had yet and a fantastic addition to the Muskoka Brewery catalogue. It goes well with cheeses, grilled meats, salads and spicy foods and can be found at many The Beer Store and LCBO locations. The Muskoka Brewery also welcomes visitors to its retail store seven days a week.
Type: American IPA
Region: Ontario, Bracebridge
Brewery: Muskoka Brewery
Format Purchased: 6 x 355 mL
Alcohol Content: 6.4%