Barking Squirrel Lager: Nuts to You

This red lager from the Hop City Brewing Company in Brampton, Ontario pours an amber-copper colour with lots of visible carbonation and a medium-sized, foamy tan coloured head that leaves some spotty lacing and settles as a collared film. Barking Squirrel Lager smells of toasted caramel malts with a floral hop quality. Fresh grains, alcohol, raisin and tree nuts also come through.

Barking Squirrel Lager
This Red Lager has a Nutty and Fruity Character

The taste of Barking Squirrel Lager is crisp and mostly dry, with a subtle nutty quality, a bread-like tone and a hint of chocolate. The finish is solidly bitter with a slight wood or scotch note. The mouthfeel is creamy with a yeast-like quality on the tongue. There is a nice pop of carbonation even at the bottom of the glass and the aftertaste is dry with a raisin-like fruity tone to it.

Hop Nouveau 2011: Same Old Song and Dance

Hop Nouveau 2011 from Trafalgar Ales and Meads on Oakville, Ontario pours a hazy pencil yellow colour with a moderate soapy head that’s only around a few seconds, leaving no lace and only a hair thin collar. This unfiltered wet hopped American pale ale smells of old, wet grains, earth, strawberries and honey along with a slightly buttery note. This combination will be familiar to those who have tried other products from this brewery such as Elora Special Bitter.

Hop Nouveau 2011
The Label Details When and Where the Hops were Picked

Hop Nouveau 2011 has a very earthy and grassy taste with subtle grapefruit and caramel tones and a nice bitter finish with a grape-like note. The mouthfeel is thin with a dry, grainy and earthy character and little to no perceivable carbonation. The aftertaste is quite dry with a bit of a honey character and an oddly salty tone.

Red Leaf Lager: Seeing Red

Red Leaf Lager from the Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto, Ontario pours a nice copper-amber colour with a rather small white head that has good retention and a fair amount of visible carbonation. This American amber lager has a very malt laden aroma. Chestnut, caramel and a plum-like fruit tone are accompanied by toasted note and a nutmeg-like spiciness.

Red Leaf Lager
This Beer is Easygoing and Better than Certain Popular Reds

The taste of Red Leaf Lager is relatively sweet with characteristics similar to the aroma. Dark toffee malts with a plum or red grape-like fruit tone backed by a fatty, nutty flavour and a hint of chocolate. The beer is thin-bodied, giving off a prickly pop on the front of the tongue before a creamy sensation takes over. There is a bit of a syrupy, resin-like feeling to the aftertaste, but it’s clean overall with a hint of fresh grains.

Czech Mate: Knight to Rook Four

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.

Czech Mate
This Pilsner is Crisp and Clean

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.

Duggan’s No. 9 IPA: Love Potion Number Nine

This American-style IPA from Cool Beer Brewing Company Incorporated in Toronto, Ontario pours a clear, rusty amber colour with a small, tan-coloured head that gets retained as a collar and leaves a small amount of lace. Duggan’s No. 9 IPA (formerly brewed by Duggan’s Brewery) has a nice citrus hop tang to the aroma, along with a sweet roasted malt and dark caramel backing.

Duggan's No. 9 IPA
I Grew Fond of this Beer Quickly

Duggan’s No. 9 IPA tastes tangy at the front of the tongue before a solid chocolaty malt backing kicks in. Citrus appears at almost the same time as the malts, creating a rather unique chocolate-orange flavour. This strong beer is very easy-going, with little to no trace of its ABV until you actually feel it. It goes a bit thin on the back-end before a solidly bitter aftertaste takes over.