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.
Heller High Water from Kichesippi Beer Company in Ottawa, Ontario is a golden straw colour with a spongy white head that leaves small spots and streaks of lace before resting as a thin collar and film. This seasonal helles lager has a mild smell with aromas of fresh and lightly toasted grains, yeast and red berry juice.
The taste of Heller High Water is light and crisp. Airy yet earthy malt, yeast and grassy flavours are accented by an almost metallic, mineral-like bitterness. The lager has a fairly thin body and moderate carbonation. It is creamy and a bit grainy with a mild oiliness and the finish is pretty clean with a touch of grain and yeast flavour in the aftertaste.
Nickel Brook Premium Organic Lager from Better Bitters Brewing Company in Burlington, Ontario pours a clear, golden-amber colour with a frothy off-white head that leaves spotty lacing before settling as a thin film and collar. The smell of this American pale lager is grassy, floral, soapy and earthy, anchored by toasted grain and honey tones and carrying soft green apple and yeast accents.
The taste of Nickel Brook Premium Organic Lager is very earthy with a honey and caramel-sweetened, toasted grain flavour and distinct mineral note. It is rather heavy on the tongue with a mild carbonation. It comes off as creamy, though it’s also fairly viscose. The finish has a burntness and twang of yeast to it, while mild bitterness comes through in aftertaste.
This traditional English stout from the Black Creek Historic Brewery in Toronto, Ontario pours an opaque black with a spongy, tan coloured head that gets retained as a frothy collar and leaves some spotty lacing. Black Creek Stout has a thick aroma with smoky wood and roasted grains backed by a fatty, nutty tone. A soft and appealing chocolate smell also comes through, along with hints of coffee and dark fruit after warming.
Black Creek Stout tastes of thick, roasted chocolate malts and burnt coffee, with a defined oak-like wood flavour and a hint of smoke. The finish is very dry and bitter. This stout is full-bodied and thick with a low carbonation, but still delivers a nice pop on the front of the tongue. It takes on a heavy, bready character, but the aftertaste is fairly clean with subtle smoky and earthy notes.
Russian Gun Imperial Stout from Grand River Brewing in Cambridge, Ontario pours an opaque black, with dark ruby visible around the extreme edges of the glass. This strong brew has a creamy and soapy tan coloured head that leaves a ton of lace behind and settles as a thick film. The deep and complex aroma of Russian Gun Imperial Stout has strong notes of roasted malts, espresso and dark chocolate, along with a plum-like fruit tone and a piney bitterness.
The taste of Russian Gun Imperial stout is anchored by a bitter roasted coffee-like flavour accented by baker’s chocolate and dark fruit juice. The stout is full-bodied with the long-lasting head providing an extremely smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The finish is bitter, with a chocolate tone that lingers in the aftertaste.