This Scottish ale from the Highlander Brew Company in South River, Ontario pours a fiery amber-ruby colour with a frothy light beige head that leaves a collar that sticks to your pint glass on its way down, giving off a cocoon-like lace effect. Highlander Scottish Ale smells mostly of caramel malts and mineral water, with bread crust and freshly cut grains as accents.
Highlander Scottish Ale tastes like tart, sour grains that have been toasted and sweetened with caramel or honey. Wood, light chocolate, cherry and cigar smoke can also be detected. The ale has a toasty, creamy and bready mouthfeel with a low amount of carbonation. It is syrupy and oily on the tongue in the finish, with a muffin-like aftertaste that has a hint of flowers.
The Legendary Spring Oddity from Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, Ontario pours a clear, light golden colour with a medium sized and frothy white head that has good retention and leaves some spotty lacing. The smell of this seasonal hybrid ale is like a spiced-up Belgian tripel. An almost sour, apple-like aroma is joined by hints of the heather tips, juniper berries and orange zest used in the brewing process and backed by a sweet caramel aroma and a soft yeast tone.
The Legendary Spring Oddity has a crisp and spicy taste with a lot going on. Apples, soapy and floral hops, toasted light grains and berries are backed up by a solid yeast character. The ale is full-bodied with a medium carbonation level. There is a nice pop on the tongue, then a yeasty, biscuit-like feeling. The finish is dry and the aftertaste has a lingering sweetness that becomes more prevalent after warming, followed by the melange of spices and a subtle hint of alcohol.
Fuller’s London Pride from Fuller Smith and Turner PLC in Chiswick, London, England pours a gem-like golden amber colour with a rich and creamy white head that settles as a sturdy film and leaves a moderate amount of lace. The aroma of this English Pale Ale is of roasted malts, with a cherry or plum-like fruitiness and it carries undertones of freshwater and floral hops.
The taste of Fuller’s London Pride has a bready character, with a toasted accent and a faint honey or caramel-like sweetness. This ale has an extraordinarily smooth and creamy mouthfeel, despite little to no perceivable carbonation aside from the head. A dark wood note comes through on the back of the tongue as it finishes and the aftertaste is nicely embittered.
This American-style IPA from the Railway City Brewing Company in St. Thomas, Ontario pours a golden-amber colour with a medium-sized off-white head that leaves a moderate amount of lacing and gets retained as a thin collar and film. Dead Elephant IPA has the traditional berry and citrus aromas fans of the style know and love, but here they take a back seat to a warm, toasted grain smell and deep caramel tone.
A nicely embittered grapefruit flavour is much more prevalent in the taste of Dead Elephant IPA and is joined by a slightly sweet, dark caramel tone, as well as a biscuit-like one. The ale is full-bodied with almost no carbonation beyond the first few minutes after being poured, yet there is a bright pop on the tongue followed by a heavy yeast note. The finish is bitter and the aftertaste is oily and grainy, with a subtle fruit tone.
The flagship beer of the Mill Street Brewery Ottawa Brewpub is a cream ale that pours a slightly pale golden colour with a frothy white head that leaves a healthy amount of lace behind as it settles and gets retained as a thin, collared cap. Portage Ale smells mostly of sweet grains, wheat and yeast. There is a strong juice-like tone that hovers between raspberry, cherry and grape, and a slight hint of alcohol on the nose.
The taste of Portage Ale is rather sweet as well, with grains making up the bulk of the body. There is a strong grassy tone, a certain grape or apple juice-like flavour, as well as subtle milk chocolate and red berry notes. The ale is medium-bodied with a high carbonation level and is quite creamy on the tongue thanks to a distinct yeast character. The finish is dry and the aftertaste has lingering yeast and raw grain tones.