This strong seasonal ale from the Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, Ontario pours a copper colour with amber highlights around the edges of the glass and has the appearance of wavy lines on a hot road. A moderate tan coloured head burns off quickly, leaving a bit of lace and a thin collar behind. The aroma of Muskoka Harvest Ale is dry in nature. The beer smells of fresh grains and grasses, caramel malts, baker’s chocolate and it has a peppery spiciness to it. A sweet, honeydew-like fruity note and a hint of alcohol appear as it warms.
Muskoka Harvest Ale tastes like dark or toasted malts, a dark fruit like raisin or date and it’s highlighted with a note that reminds me of a buttered bran muffin. The ale has a very crisp and bitter finish with a hint of grapefruit and there is little trace of alcohol in the taste, but there is a definite warming effect. The beer has a medium body with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. There is a yeasty pop on the tongue and the aftertaste is dry, but with an oily quality and a peppery bite.
Like other seasonal releases from the Muskoka Brewery, Muskoka Harvest Ale comes in a heavyweight 750 mL swing-top bottle. The label features old-style farm equipment imagery printed in orange ink. The back label has a detailed description of the beer, a complete ingredients list as well as a recommended serving temperature and glassware.
Muskoka Harvest Ale is a fantastic beer that is robust in both aroma and taste but has a mellow, easygoing character. It’s essentially a hopped-up take on the ESB style rather than a traditional English-style ale that I could enjoy not only in the fall, but during winter and spring as well.
You can find Muskoka Harvest Ale at select LCBO and The Beer Store locations at the beginning of September each year, as well as at the brewery.
Type: English Pale Ale
Region: Ontario, Bracebridge
Brewery: Muskoka Brewery
Format Purchased: 750 mL
Alcohol Content: 6.4%