Moroccan Brown Ale from Spearhead Brewing Company Limited in Toronto, Ontario is nut brown in colour, with streaks of rust and ruby and a small tan coloured head that leaves small spots of lace and hangs around as a tight collar and cap. This fruit and spice infused American brown ale has a very inviting blend of fruitcake, raisin, hazelnut, roasted coffee and freshwater aromas.
The blend of dark fruits used in the brewing of Moroccan Brown Ale is at the forefront of its taste and the fig, date and raisin flavours are deftly tied together by a touch of cinnamon. A warm and dry chocolaty tone encapsulates the finish, with the dryness persisting throughout the aftertaste along with a shiraz-like red wine flavour. This ale is fairly thin and low in carbonation, but also carries mild oily and grainy characteristics.
Mike’s Authentic Shandy from Mike’s Hard Lemonade Company in Chicago, Illinois pours a cloudy pale yellow colour that unsurprisingly looks like diluted lemon juice, with a loose white head that gets retained as a thin cap and leaves sparse lacing. This lemonade and lager mix has a fairly mild, yet overly sweet and syrupy lemon smell. The only hints of lager come from a dirty metallic note and distinct whiff of corn.
The taste of Mike’s Authentic Shandy is also quite sweet and dominated by what I can best describe as a concentrated, “hypernatural” lemon flavour. This shandy is medium-bodied with lots of fine carbonation, but is extremely syrupy on the tongue and teeth. Some tartness is perceived in the finish, but is swallowed by the sweetness provided by a seemingly unhealthy amount of glucose-fructose that lingers throughout the aftertaste and gets joined by a biting, metallic and chemical-like flavour.