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.
Conductor’s Craft Ale from Junction Craft Brewing in Toronto, Ontario is a light amber colour with golden streaks. Its moderate off-white head leaves cascading lace that is met by a small collar that appears to climb your glass. This English and American-influenced pale ale with a German twist has thick toffee, berry and raisin aromas with warm floral and lemon juice accents.
The taste of Conductor’s Craft Ale is anchored by a distinct chocolate flavour, a strong, prune-like fruit tone and a very grainy base. A hint of light red berries and a nectarous floral note lead to an earthy finish with moderate bitterness and a light, lemony citrus flavour that lingers in the aftertaste. This ale has a full body and low carbonation that lead to a mouthfeel that is equal parts creamy, grainy and oily.
This English brown ale from Kichesippi Beer Company in Ottawa, Ontario pours a deep, rusty copper colour with a very thick frothy off-white head that leaves cascading lace on your glass and settles as a soapy collar and film. Kichesippi 1855 has a very warm, woody, fatty and nutty aroma with sweet hints of toasted malt and red berry.
The taste of Kichesippi 1855 is quite crisp at first, then smoothed out by a mellow roasted grain character. Notes of currant, cocoa, biscuit and coffee also come through. This ale is full-bodied with a grainy mouthfeel, a subtle tingle on the tongue and a mild oiliness. The finish brings a temperate bitterness and the aftertaste is earthy, grainy and woody.
Yuletide Cherry Porter from the Barley Days Brewery in Picton, Ontario pours an opaque black with a deep, brownish red visible around the edges and a small tan coloured head that hangs on as a thin collar and leaves a fair amount of lacing. This seasonal beer smells like dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans and fresh, unripened cherries. Its aroma has a liqueur or boxed chocolate feel about it.
Yuletide Cherry Porter tastes like freshly ground bitter coffee, with a strong chocolate tone behind it. Juicy dark cherry and plum-like fruit flavours are very bright and are mellowed by a slightly woody finish that carries a roasted note. The porter is medium-bodied with a low carbonation. Yeast creates a subtle prickly, but creamy sensation on the tongue and the bright fruit tones linger in a moderately bitter aftertaste.
Dubbed “Winter Beard”, this flavoured imperial stout from the Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, Ontario pours an opaque black with a small light brown head that gets retained as a collar and leaves little in the way of lacing. Muskoka Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout has a deep, dark chocolate aroma accented by the smell of freshly picked cranberries and grains.
The taste of Muskoka Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout starts with a bright, slightly sweet berry taste before bitter dark chocolate, roasted malt and coffee flavours take over and linger throughout the finish. The stout is full-bodied with just enough carbonation to give off a subtle pop and a nice creamy sensation on the tongue. The aftertaste is tart, with the cranberry flavour whetting the palate for another sip.