This rye-based American red ale from Waller St. Brewing in Ottawa, Ontario pours a steely copper colour with amber highlights and a slight chill haze. The small and tight off-white head has decent retention, hanging around as a small collar and film. Speakeasy Red immediately struck me as hoppy for the style, with pungent pepper and grapefruit aromas popping out over earthy rye and honey-sweetened biscuit malt tones.
Rye is prevalent in the taste of Speakeasy Red, bringing a distinct sharpness and pushing the ale’s sturdy bitterness to the forefront. Juicy citrus and red berry characteristics are complemented by grassy and zesty notes before a rather dry finish takes hold. The ale is mildly carbonated and full-bodied, giving the illusion of a much stronger brew despite a relatively tame ABV of 4.4%.
Spark House Red Ale from Lake of Bays Brewing in Baysville, Ontario pours a rusty amber colour with a large and creamy off-white head that leaves sparse spots of lace as it settles into a rocky film. This American amber ale carries thick aromas of roasted chocolate malts, raisin, black cherry and mineral water.
The taste of Spark House Red Ale shares many of the same qualities. Its roasted character is joined by dark fruit and chocolate flavours that transitions to a light and lemony tone in the finish. This medium-bodied, mildly carbonated ale has a bready, slightly syrupy mouthfeel and moderate bitterness. A pronounced mineral tone is found in the aftertaste.