Detour from Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, Ontario is a light, orange-tinted golden colour and pours with a soapy white head that has good retention, hanging around as a tight collar and film throughout your glass while leaving an ample amount of lace behind. This American pale ale has strong tropical fruit aromas of mango, pineapple and passion fruit over a fairly light base of caramel and toasted grain with subtle notes of lemon, pine and gypsum.
The taste of Detour is most definitely hop forward. Bitter citrus bites at the first sip, but is backed up by a surprisingly hearty and earthy grain flavour that remains throughout the finish. Along the way I found notes of caramel, red cherry, peach and green grape before a pithy aftertaste took over the back of my tongue. The ale is medium bodied and suitably carbonated, leading to a lively feeling on the tongue before its mild oiliness eases the beer down.
This American stout from Railway City Brewing Company in St. Thomas, Ontario is opaque black and pours with a spongy, mocha-tinted head that is retained as a thin collar and wispy film. Black Coal Stout has a veritable ton of roasted grain character in its smell, along with deep notes of chocolate, plum, raisin and coffee and hints of nuts and wood.
The taste of Black Coal Stout is thick with the chocolate and coffee flavours you would expect from a full bodied stout, with a red berry accent and a lemon juice note that is most apparent in the dry finish and coffee-forward aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a bit thin and somewhat oily, which makes this ale drink more like a porter, though it doesn't detract from the experience at all. Carbonation is minimal, with just enough there to prevent the beer from weighing too heavy on your tongue.
This extra special bitter from Beyond The Pale Brewing Company in Ottawa is a hazy, rusty brown colour and pours with a creamy white head that leaves a few small spots of lace on your glass and hangs around as a thin collar. Breaking Bitter has a breadlike smell, with aromas of fresh and toasted grain accented by notes of wild grasses, raspberry jam and hints of citrus and pine.
The taste of Breaking Bitter has a nice toasted character, with grainy flavours that bring breads, biscuits and bran muffins to mind. This ale is very well-balanced with an amount of bitterness in the finish that I consider to be spot on. The beer is full-bodied with mild carbonation and a slight oiliness. A dry lemon rind and pith flavour comes out in the aftertaste.
This American pale ale from Moosehead Breweries Limited in Saint John, New Brunswick is clear and light amber in colour, pouring with a small but frothy light tan head that leaves weblike lacing as it settles into a thin cap. Boundary Ale has a very fruity smell, with dark notes of plum and raisin countered by bright grape, lemon and apple juice aromas. Sweet fresh grains and light malts carry hints of chocolate and minerals.
The taste of Boundary Ale is thick with flavours of biscuit, raisin, cocoa and honey balanced by a moderate bitterness that is most prevalent in the aftertaste and carries notes of lemon rind and fresh grasses. This ale is on the lighter side of medium-bodied and has a fair amount of carbonation that pops on the front of the tongue. A smooth oiliness leads to a grainy and somewhat chocolatey finish.
This spiced bock from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario is a clear ruby tinted orange colour and pours with a spongy off white head that dissipates quickly, leaving a stringy collar and a few spots of lace in its wake. Hogan's Goat is ripe with earthy, herbal and outdoorsy aromas like juniper, mint and pine oil standing out against a sweet malt backdrop with a hint of wood.
Herbal flavours of peppermint, orange peel and juniper berry also permeate the taste of Hogan's Goat. The addition of rye malt contributes to a decidedly dry experience, with toasted grain, red berry juice and a sharp hickory-like note rounding things out in the finish. This lager has a medium body and light carbonation, as well as a pronounced oiliness that lingers in the aftertaste with a blend of herbal tones that bring dry gin to mind.
Fire in the Rye from Double Trouble Brewing Company in Guelph, Ontario pours a hazy, rusty amber colour with a frothy off-white head that leaves waves of lace as it settles into a thick, climbing collar and fuzzy-looking film. Aromas of toffee, rye, pine and citrus zest are joined by accents of black pepper, chocolate and red berry in this American-style rye beer.
The taste of Fire in the Rye is malt forward with a warm, dry roasted rye flavour present throughout. Bitter lemon rind and pith come through on the tongue and palate and remain throughout a dry finish. This ale is full-bodied, earthy, roasty and grainy, though a fairly thick oiliness keeps everything smooth-going. Moderate carbonation and a touch of yeast pop on the tongue, leading to an aftertaste that has hints of grapefruit juice and chocolate.