This English IPA from Waterloo Brewing Company in Kitchener, Ontario is a golden tinged light amber colour and pours with a large and frothy white head that burns off quickly, leaving a scant film behind. Waterloo Traditional IPA smells mainly like honey and light caramel malts, with notes of red berry, earth, rocky minerals and a faint hint of citrus rind.
The taste of Waterloo Traditional IPA is rather imbalanced towards the sweet side of things and has a distinct syrupy flavour that comes through after an extremely sharp astringency bites the front of one’s tongue. Subtle notes of chocolate, strawberry jam, bread and chokecherry are all but lost amidst the battle between sweet and sharp. The finish and aftertaste are both very dry and leave my mouth craving moisture. Frankly, I find this ale hard to drink without puckering and smacking my tongue. It has a medium body, very little carbonation and an unpleasant metallic feeling throughout.
Hops and Robbers from Double Trouble Brewing Company in Guelph, Ontario pours a beautiful golden colour with amber tinges. Its large and frothy white head gets retained as a foamy collar and leaves minor lacing. The beer doesn’t smell like a typical Ontario brewed American IPA. It has more of a toasted grain character with citrus and berry tones in the background as well as hints of pineapple and banana after warming.
The taste of Hops and Robbers has a slightly sweet, toasted caramel malt character with subtle berry, grape and citrus notes, along with a nicely-balanced bitterness from dry-hopping. The beer is crisp on the front of the tongue then gives way to a sturdy bread-like sensation with a nice oiliness before finishing dry. The oily character remains in the aftertaste and the toasted character really lingers.
Red Racer IPA from the Central City Brewing Company in Surrey, British Columbia pours a clear, golden tinged copper-amber colour with a moderate, tan-coloured head that sticks around as a thin collar while leaving a light amount of fine lacing. This hop-laden American IPA has a very rich and bright aroma. It has lots of tropical fruit smells, like mango and pineapple, as well as grapefruit, pine and even a hint of cherry. Fresh grains, creamed honey and a nice lightly toasted wheat smell make up the backing.
The taste of Red Racer IPA has a bread-like malt tone to start before a crisp grapefruit citrus taste punches the palate. A buttery caramel comes through on the tongue and the finish has an assertive, but under control bitterness. The beer has a fairly thin mouthfeel and a mild prickly sensation from the long lasting collar. It gets quite oily on the back of the tongue and a fruity tartness lingers in the aftertaste just enough to make you want another sip.
Nickel Brook Headstock IPA from the Better Bitters Brewing Company in Burlington, Ontario pours a hazy, rusty amber colour with a medium-sized tan coloured head that is retained for a while as a frothy colour. There is spotty lacing and small grains of yeast sediment are visible. This American IPA has a thick, syrupy aroma with citrus and berry tones in the forefront and a sturdy caramel malt base with a pine accent and a subtle spicy note.
The taste of Nickel Brook Headstock IPA is similar to the smell, with bright citrus and red berry tones taking the lead and backed by toasty, bready malts with a hint of caramel. There is a nice balance of sweetness in the taste and a solid bitterness in the finish. The ale is full-bodied with a relatively mild carbonation. It is very creamy on the tongue with a lingering oily sensation and flavours of lemon zest, pine and a peppery spice in the aftertaste.
Netherworld Cascadian Dark Ale from the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie, Ontario pours a cola-like dark ruby colour with a nice, creamy head not unlike a root beer float that leaves some distinctly layered lacing. This American black ale, often referred to as a “Black IPA” has a crisp, spicy aroma with a generous helping of a grapefruit-like citrus smell backed up by notes of toasted grains, malts and molasses.
The taste of Netherworld Cascadian Dark Ale is malty and slightly sweet with syrup, coffee and toasted cocoa tones, as well as a subtle cherry or plum-like fruit flavour. The beer is noticeably carbonated but still a bit watery on the tongue, though there is a nice oily quality as well. The finish carries a nicely-balanced, solid bitterness and the aftertaste is slightly sweet and spicy with a soft banana note and a lingering pine-like flavour.