Boneshaker from Amsterdam Brewing Company Limited in Toronto, Ontario pours a hazy caramel-amber colour with light sediment suspended throughout the glass. A thick and frothy white head leaves thick lacing as it settles into a slim collar and cap. The aroma of this American IPA can best be described in two words: Boom! Hops! Thick tangerine, mango and pineapple tones are countered by a warm honey-caramel body and a sharp, piny bite.
The taste of Boneshaker certainly does not lack bitterness. Citrus fruit rind, lemongrass and raw grain flavours are strong and meaty and set against an equally sturdy and toasty caramel malt backing. The ale is full-bodied with a mild carbonation. The sediment creates a lot of life on the tongue before a viscose oiliness coats the back of the tongue and throat. The finish is bitter and a strong citrus tone remains throughout the aftertaste.
Boneshaker comes in a brown cardboard sleeve that features the image of a skeleton riding a 19th century-style bicycle and wordmark printed in black. There is also a thorough description of the beer and brewery and a slogan that reads “Over the Top Hops”. The bottles use clear stickers with gold printing. If there is freshness dating, I have yet to find it on the six packs I have purchased thus far.
Boneshaker is truest to the pacific style among Ontario brewed American IPA offerings. It is very hoppy, strong and remarkably balanced. I prefer the taste of another Ontario IPA, but this ale is an outstanding product that showcases excellent technical execution and straddles the line with an Imperial IPA.
Like most American IPAs, Boneshaker pairs well with bold-flavored, spicy and fried foods, as well as grilled and roasted meats. You can find Boneshaker in six packs at many LCBO locations, on tap throughout Ontario, or you can visit the Amsterdam Brewery retail store in downtown Toronto seven days a week.