Propeller IPA from The John Allen Brewing Company Limited in Halifax, Nova Scotia is a clear, golden colour with amber highlights. The off-white head leaves cascading lace and hangs on as a thin cap. This English IPA has a strong mineral presence in its aroma and whiffs of toasted grains, toffee, raisin, pine and mango.
A toffee flavour and one of dark roasted grain anchor the taste of Propeller IPA, accented by an earthy and bitter tone and brightened by notes of red berries and grass. The mouthfeel straddles a line between grainy and creamy. A sharp mineral tone comes through in the finish and transitions into a lemon oil flavour in the aftertaste.
King Goblin from the Wychwood Brewery in Witney, Oxfordshire, UK pa deep ruby colour with amber highlights and a fluffy, tan coloured, root beer-esque head that gets retained as a thin collar and leaves spotty lacing. This English strong ale smells of sweet, toasted caramel malts and a light, grape-like fruit note reminiscent of white wine. Light chocolate, fresh grains and pungent floral hops can also be detected.
The taste of King Goblin starts off bitter then reveals notes of ripened fruits, roasted bread-like malts and a peppery spiciness and then finishes with a bitter brewed tea-like taste. The mouthfeel is pretty heavy and malty overall, but the ale still pops on the tongue thanks to a medium carbonation and long-lasting collar. The aftertaste is clean and dry with a bitter chocolate tone.
Goliath from the Wychwood Brewery in Witney, Oxfordshire, UK pours a clear golden-amber colour with a large frothy white head that gets retained as a thick film and leaves a fair amount of lace behind. This mild English pale ale has a mild, yet malty aroma with a ripened fruit tone that reminds me of white grapes and a definite toasted character.
Goliath has a malt forward taste with a strong grape or cherry-like fruit tone. A somewhat surprising alcohol taste comes through in the bitter finish, along with a subtle metallic or mineral quality. The ale has a rather thin body with a moderate carbonation level. A nice creamy sensation with a slightly yeasty character can be felt on the tongue. The aftertaste is dry with a fresh, grainy quality to it.
This English brown ale from the Black Oak Brewing Company Limited in Toronto, Ontario pours a deep, rusty brown colour with ruby tones. A moderately-sized light tan-coloured head gets retained as a collar and film while leaving some spotty lacing. Black Oak Nut Brown Ale has a strong nutty aroma that reminds me of hazelnut or acorns, with a ripened, cherry-like fruit tone backing it up. Dark, bready malts and fresh grain notes poke through as the ale warms.
Black Oak Nut Brown Ale tastes of thick, slightly sweet dark malts at first with a nicely-balanced crispness as it passes the tongue. Thick, oily nuts and unsweetened dark chocolate come through in the finish. The beer is medium-bodied with a mild, but noticeable carbonation on the tongue. It goes down creamy thanks to the long-lasting collar and has a nice, bitter tartness to the aftertaste.
Smithwick’s Irish Ale from Guinness and Company in Dublin, Ireland is brewed using roasted barley, giving it a distinct aroma with hints of wood and honey and a beautiful amber-ruby colour. It creates a rich and frothy head that laces your glass, though without the use of a pressurized widget.
The beer has a malty taste in which the roasted barley really comes through along with chocolaty and toffee-like undertones. Smithwick’s Irish Ale has a pleasant, creamy mouthfeel and a mildly bitter finish with a rather strong aftertaste.