Beyond the Pale Brewing Company (Ottawa, Ontario)
Saison / Farmhouse Ale (4.8%)
Look: Hazy Lemon yellow, large white head leaves a yarn thick collar and soapy film.
Smell: Earthy, grany pilsner malts, light plum-like fruit note. Light floral and honey tones.
Taste: Again, definitely grainy. Lots of citrus, more bitter than most saisons, Mix of citrus peel, peppery dryness and cereal sweetness in the finish/aftertaste.
Mouth: Medium body and carbonation. Earthy with a light syrupy feeling.
Opinion: Tame for a BTP beer flavour-wise, but absolutely nails the core style. Refreshing, summery addition to their regular lineup. I’d like to see them play with this one a bit.
Food: Creamy, earthy and blue cheeses. Light sausage (summer, hunter salami), spinach salad, cherry tomatoes.
100 Mile Ale from Ontario Beer Company in Toronto is a clear, deep amber tone and pours with a large, spongy white head that doesn't leave any lace behind as it settles into a small cap. The smell of this American amber ale has lots of big, fruity esters that bring grape and berry juices to mind on top of a hearty caramel malt base. Pepper and resinous pine aromas provide accents.
The taste of 100 Mile Ale strikes a great balance, though some may find its hop characteristics to be somewhat muted. The sweetness of warm, toasty malts and plum or raisin-like fruit flavours are met with a solid bitterness, a mild lemon peel note and a slight saltiness that’s most noticeable in the aftertaste. There is a certain slickness to this mildly carbonated and medium-bodied ale that contributes to a mellow experience.
This flavoured malt liquor from Molson Coors Canada is a bright, caramel-tinged golden colour and yields a small, loose white cap when poured that only lasts for a few seconds. Mad Jack Premium Apple Lager smells almost entirely of sweet apple juice from concentrate and bears little resemblance to anything even approaching any type of lager I've ever had.
The taste of Mad Jack Premium Apple Cider does have a subtle malt character, but it’s quickly buried under an overly sweet, drinking box-like apple flavour. Malic acid enhances the medium-bodied and lightly carbonated beverage’s moderately sour finish and the aftertaste brings forth a chemical tone that seems to dry out your tongue, despite it being coated by a syrupy film.
This flavoured, semi-dry hard cider from Angry Orchard Cider Company, LLC in Cincinnati, Ohio is a bright and surprisingly deep golden colour. Its powerful effervescence forms a small white cap that spews aromas of familiar culinary and juice varieties of apple like Empire and McIntosh and burns off within a moment, after which you are left with mild apple and caramel notes, as well as a hint of alcohol.
Angry Orchard Crisp Apple is very sweet to the point of imbalance and tastes mainly like grocery store apple juice from concentrate against a backdrop of light caramel and brown sugar. The green apple-like crispness and slight sourness found in the finish owe their presence to the addition of malic acid, a substance commonly used in the making of hard candies and soda. The aftertaste of this light-bodied beverage carries an inadequate, fleeting dryness before leaving a syrupy, apple-tinged flavour on the tongue.
Patio Saison from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario is a hazy golden-amber colour and yields a large, billowy white head that is retained as a small cap and leaves large rings of lace on your glass. This Belgian-style farmhouse ale has strong aromas of light, honey-sweetened malts and freshly picked cloves with a mild citrus note and a faint perfumy whiff that comes from the addition of elderflower.
The taste of Patio Saison is anchored by a blend of pilsener and wheat malts that create a soft caramel sweetness. Subtle citrus zest and peppery flavours contribute to a well-balanced dryness, while the ale finishes with a moderate bitterness and leaves notes of pith and clove in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel has definite earthy and grainy qualities, though long-lasting fine bubbles produce an air of creaminess and my tongue was left feeling a bit slick and syrupy between sips.