This unfiltered rye beer from Cameron’s Brewing Company in Oakville, Ontario pours a rusty orange colour reminiscent of orange pekoe tea. It has a small but frothy and persistent white head that creates a thin cap throughout the glass and leaves small spots of lace. The smell of Resurrection Roggenbier has a fruity blend of red berry and grape aromas anchored by toasted, earthy malts and accented by a light rye note and a hint of sweet smoke that brings hickory to mind.
Resurrection Roggenbier tastes of sweet malts and a blend of dark fruit and spice reminiscent of fruitcake or raisin bread. As with the smell, the rye character is fairly light, but creates a fiery bite towards the finish that harmonizes with a solid bitterness and lingers on the tongue. The ale has a thin to medium body with a light syrupy feeling and a hint of mineral can be detected in the aftertaste.
This Imperial gruit from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario is a murky, steely dark brown colour with a frothy tan head that is retained as a thick collar and leaves spotty lacing. The Bogfather has a somewhat medicinal smell and cacophony of aromas that evolve as it warms, including raisin, hazelnut, sharp herbs, root beer, anise, bread crust and bubblegum.
The taste of The Bogfather is just as complex. Flavours off chocolate, black licorice, toast, herbs, tart red berries and plum can all be detected. This beer is full bodied, with mild carbonation and a yeasty pop on the tongue. The finish is somewhat bitter and a bit salty, with lingering dark bread and bubblegum notes in the aftertaste.
Trois Pistoles from Unibroue in Chambly, Quebec pours a mostly opaque black with steely and crimson tinges when held up to light. The light tan coloured head is of ample size and stays around as a collar while leaving spotty lace behind. Sharp, fermented apple and grape notes permeate the smell of this Belgian strong dark ale, accented by plum, spice, banana and chocolate. The aromas are smooth, complex and inviting.
Trois Pistoles tastes of dark, ripened fruits and has a nice sour character. Plum, apple and grape are joined by a peppery and cinnamon-like spiciness. The ale has a solid, but unassertive malt backbone with a slight chocolate note. It is full-bodied with a low carbonation, but has a yeasty, fizzy pop on the tongue. Trois Pistoles is smooth, thick and rich throughout the finish and the aftertaste is mostly dry with a slight sour fruit flavour.
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.
Ambre de la Chaudière from Mill Street Brewery’s Ottawa Brewpub pours a hazy, rusty orange colour with amber tinges and a moderate tan coloured head that gets retained as a string-like collar and leaves some spotty lace behind. This Bière de Garde smells of wheat, grains, yeast, banana and bubble gum and it has a subtle hint of alcohol.
Ambre de la Chaudière has a deep taste of biscuit-like grains with a toasted, earthy character. Sweet, fruity accents of strawberry and banana and an assertive boozy bite round out the taste. The unfiltered beer is full-bodied with a low carbonation level. Yeast provides a pop on the tongue before a bready character takes over. The finish has a nice dryness and the aftertaste has a honey-like flavour and syrupy quality.