Czech Mate from the Paddock Wood Brewing Company in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pours a clear golden colour with a moderately-sized, frothy and soapy white head that settles as a collared film and leaves light, spotty lacing. This traditional pilsner has a very pleasant and appetizing smell consisting of a mild soap tone, flowers and fresh grains. A subtle malt note, a hint of green tea and a honey-like sweetness balance out the body of the aroma.
The taste of Czech Mate is hop-forward, clean and crisp. A slight malt sweetness is accompanied by a very solid dryness and a tart, almost sour finish. The beer is light-bodied with a medium-heavy carbonation. An oily sensation comes through on the tongue before a slight syrupy aftertaste takes over.
This strong, American-style double IPA from the Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood, New York pours a hazy golden-orange colour with a moderate-sized soapy head that gets retained as a collar and leaves a bit of lacing. 2XIPA has a very smooth aroma. It’s well-balanced citrus with a grapefruit tartness and tangerine sweetness, as well as a buttery tone and thick, biscuity malt backing. A piny alcohol tone comes through after warming, but it’s not intimidating.
2XIPA is also very smooth in taste, especially for the style. It has a syrupy, butterscotch sweetness at first. A maltiness takes on characteristics of dark rye and a bitter, almost sour grapefruit-like citrus kicks in at the end. The beer’s collar sticks around forever, contributing to a fairly thick and creamy mouthfeel. Its high ABV makes itself known in the finish with a warming sour bite before going dry on the back of the throat.
This one-of-a-kind, 19th century American-style beer from the Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco, California pours a pretty golden-amber colour with a moderate tan head that doesn’t leave any lace, but sticks around as a long-lasting film. Anchor Steam Beer has a sort of fishy, freshwater aroma at first. Once that wears off, there is a sweet malty aroma with a very subtle fruit backing and a dry grassiness to it. More honey-like sweetness comes through after warming.
Anchor Steam Beer tastes mostly like sweet malts, but with a well-balanced bitterness. It also develops a tart, raspberry-like fruitiness as it warms. The mouthfeel is refreshing and crisp, but creamy on the tongue and light-bodied overall. Slightly malty on the aftertaste, and the beer also has a mineral sharpness that reminds me of tonic water.
This raspberry-flavoured beer from Brasseurs de Montréal in Québec pours a light golden colour with a light peach pink hue in it. A foamy tan-coloured head survives as a collar until the end of the glass and leaves very minor lacing. Coeur Brisé really does smell a lot like raspberry, not drinking box grape juice or canned vegetables. It has a sort of wet hay backing to it and starts to get musty as it warms up.
Coeur Brisé tastes like a raspberry soda or raspberry ginger ale sweetened by honey. There isn’t a heck of a lot of beer taste aside from a yeasty tone coming through, but it’s not too sweet or tart. The mouthfeel is surprisingly creamy, but light-bodied. The beer has a medium carbonation with a puckering sour bite on the finish, but isn’t overly dry.
Crazy Canuck Pale Ale from the Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto, Ontario pours a deep Golden-amber colour with a moderate tan head that leaves a fair amount of lace. A collar and film last throughout the glass. After breathing for a bit, this American-style pale ale has a grapefruit-like citrus aroma with spicy and buttery tones and a cherry-like bitter fruit note.
Crazy Canuck Pale Ale sort of tastes like overripe fruit, but in a good way. Like the aroma a tart citrus taste, along with a sweet, buttery malt are present. The mouthfeel is thin, yet creamy and carries a medium carbonation feel. The finish is tart, but not puckering.